Characters Appearing: Andromeda, Attuma, Black Moray, Llyra, Phoebe Marrs, Sea Leopard, Sub-Mariner, Vyrra
Issue(s): Namor #52, Namor #53
I've subsequently gone back and picked up the rest of Herdling's run for 1994.
This is a two-part story called Wreck of the Endurance, which leads directly into a four-part Son of Namor storyline. We open with a flashback to Namor's "origin', i.e. the meeting of his father and mother. The new information is that the meeting prevented Namor's father from reaching his original goal, a shipment of "anti-metal", i.e. Antarctic Vibranium. The Vibranium was initially being transported by an earlier ship crew led by an Admiral Shackleton and his second-in-command, Frank Wild (as Andrew notes in the comments, these were real-life people, but i doubt they were shipping Vibranium in real life). But it melted all their boat parts, and they had to be rescued by Atlanteans.
Meanwhile, Namor returns to Oracle to talk to Phoebe Marrs for the first time since Llyra was exposed as her imposter. Phoebe reminds Namor that someone has been embezzling Oracle funds to launch an expedition to the South Pole, and she tells him that she's sent a force there to counter them. Namor - who is with Andromeda - heads there and meets Marrs' team, who are apparently called the Free Divers.
Andromeda goes ahead to the site of Old Atlantis, where her father Attuma rules. The assumption is that he's behind attacks on the Free Divers, but it turns out that he's been knocked out already by a mysterious new villain. Meanwhile Namor goes to help the Free Divers directly and is attacked by the embezzling leader of the first expedition, who we know is a McKenzie (same last name as Namor's father).
Issue #52 ends with the reveal that the mystery villain is the *snicker* Sea Leopard. He confronts Namor, already captured Andromeda as well as Attuma. (Sea Leopards are seals, people. I'm sure they're just terrifying to penguins, but not exactly a good super-villain name.).
The Sea Leopard uses them as a shield when Namor attacks. It seems that the Leopard is able to predict Namor's every move.
Namor surprises the Sea Leopard by being more effective above the sea.
It turns out that the Sea Leopard does have telepathy.
It's similar to the way Atlanteans have telepathy, and Sea Leopard says that he's from an ancient race. Namor uses his own limited telepathy to bring a killer whale into the battle.
Meanwhile, Leon MacKenzie, calling himself the Black Moray, returns to searching for the vibranium while Namor battles Sea Leopard. The Leopard is the guardian of the vibranium, and, after the whale is dealt with, he returns to make sure Leon isn't reneging on their deal, which apparently involves Leon providing Leopard worshipers.
Andromeda and Attuma show up to fight Sea Leopard.
This allows Black Moray to slip away, but he finds Namor guarding the (empty) vibranium hold.
Black Moray detonates a depth charge, stunning everyone. Sea Leopard recovers and tries to strike Attuma, but Andromeda takes the hit.
Don't worry, she's fine.
Meanwhile, Namor disguises himself in the Black Moray armor, allowing him to get close to Sea Leopard and take him out.
Andromeda goes with Namor to search for the vibranium, to Attuma's dismay.
Namor locates the vibranium soon enough.
Also in these issues, Llyra goes to the lab of the Atlantean geneticist Vyrra. She's seemingly being confronted by Lady Dorma. Or is it Vyrra?
I can't say exactly what i like about the story. It's definitely kind of cheesy. Maybe it's Isherwood's clear storytelling (if not exactly beautiful artwork). Maybe it's just seeing the father-daughter team of Attuma and Andromeda. In general, there's a Classic 80s kind of feel to the whole thing, and i can always use more of that.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The next issue begins with Namor having just returned to Oracle and Phoebe. But he's traveling by floating glacier. So not too much time should pace between here and then, but it's not immediate either.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I was also surprised by how good the art looks. It’s far above what many other Marvel comics from the same period have. I could have easily believed that this Namor comic had been published around 1988, not in 1994.
Posted by: Lecen | December 15, 2017 7:45 AM
I’d dare to say that the art feels like a mix between Neal Adams and George Perez, with some over abundance of muscles typical of the 1990s.
Posted by: Lecen | December 15, 2017 7:49 AM
Geof Isherwood has stated that the three comic book artists who influenced him the most were John Buscema, Barry Windsor-Smith and Gil Kane.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 15, 2017 9:41 AM
I always thought of Isherwood as pretty good...his best work probably being Dr. Strange.
Posted by: MindlessOne | December 16, 2017 12:15 AM
Namor's lame, flowy ponytail aside (the only place they were in style in the 90s was Marvel Comics), this art is decent.
Posted by: Bob | December 16, 2017 2:53 AM
The implication is that Sea Leopard is one of the Ancients who created the city where Destiny (Paul Destine) found the Helmet of Power and those odd psychic generators way back in the Tales to Astonish/Savage Sub-Mariner days.
Black Moray seems like a mashup of Aquaman's two archfoes, Black Manta and Ocean Master, who, like Black Moray here, is Aquaman's evil half-brother.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 17, 2017 5:43 PM
Since this turns out to be Vyrra's mind in a clone body of Dorma, shouldn't Vyrra be listed as a Character Appearing?
Posted by: Michael | December 18, 2017 5:31 PM
If that's the case, then yes. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 19, 2017 2:32 PM
It's not really relevant to this project, but Shackleton and Wild were real historical figures who attempted the land crossing of Antarctica. Shackleton's considerable leadership and survival skills are a perennial favorite subject of inspirational business speakers.
Posted by: Andrew | February 15, 2018 11:10 AM
Geof Isherwood's art has a gritty uniqueness to it which I've always enjoyed. It's what hooked me on the later issues of John Ostrander's Suicide Squad series. I always thought that both creators deserved a shot at a higher profile Marvel book. They were two of the few true highlights of the 90s for me.
Posted by: Clutch | February 15, 2018 2:13 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that this is Aquaman, complete with fish telepathy and a Black Manta espy.
Posted by: BU | February 16, 2018 6:31 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|