Sub-Mariner Comics #38
Issue(s): Sub-Mariner Comics #38
The Emperor of Atlantis restores these powers in order to renew Atlantis' war on the human race. Namor is conflicted by his affection for his friend Betty Dean, because they've been "pals for years".
She calls him a "spineless sniveling slave" for obeying the Emperor, and then says if he's go to wipe out the human race, why not start out by attacking a group called The Fatalists, a group of humans who are also bent on destroying all of humanity after developing a death ray and failing to find a buyer for it. Awful, awful depiction of the Chinese, here.
Clearly, though, the Fatalists have the same goals as Namor, so he doesn't see why he should stop them. But while Namor debates it, the Fatalist decide to come after them. He defeats them, and then mercilessly turns the death ray on them.
Now in possession of the ray, Namor figures he can start wiping out the human race himself. But it turns out that A) the Fatalists are really aliens from Pluto, B) The ray actually just sends people to Pluto, and C) only the Plutonians can power the ray, so it's worthless to Namor.
Namor is really a relentless villain in this issue. Love it!
Also in this issue is a three page story that was reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes #17. Interestingly it's the earliest story i've seen that goes back and tells a prequel or continuity implant type story. Written (and drawn) by Everett in 1955, it tells a story that takes place prior to Namor's first published appearance in Marvel Comics #1. An opening blurb says:
Conscious of a curiosity among our readers as to the origin of the Sub-Mariner, we have attempted to delve into his past, to ascertain, if we can, how he originally came to posses the strange supernatural powers that distinguish him from all other creatures of the Earth... in our search, we have come upon an entry in his diary, made when he was fourteen years old.
Now, the blurb doesn't actually promise that it'll enlighten us in any way, and it really doesn't. Namor's wings first sprung from his ankles after he and his mom fell into an icy cavern.
But the story doesn't explain why they appeared.
It's a happy coincidence that in light of later revelations that Namor is a mutant, this story has his wings and flight power first manifesting while he's an adolescent. But there's also the issue of Namora's ankle-wings, not addressed in this issue (in fact, that opening blurb seems inaccurate in light of Namora).
I love Namor's slang expressions in the origin back-up (Neptune's Noodle! Sufferin' Shad!) and the fact that the story ends with Namor vowing to use his new-found powers to wage war against the surface dwellers.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: I've debated with myself about where to put the continuity implant portion. My project starts with Marvel Comics #1. That's my cut-off to prevent temptation to add everything from Marvel's Westerns and Conan books and Tales of Asgard and Wolverine: Origin and all sorts of other stuff. But that's when this story takes place. So that really means i should throw this story out altogether for the purposes of my project. However, we've got the narrator talking to us about reading from Namor's diary. So i can cheat and pretend that this story takes place sometime later when the narrator is talking. Essentially what i'm telling you here is that i'm placing the story based on publication date along with the rest of the issue (like a Tales Of Asgard). But in that case, i'm not listing Sub-Mariner and Princess Fen as Characters Appearing since i'm treating it as a flashback, and i'm similarly not counting it as a Continuity Implant.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Giant-Size Defenders #3, Marvel Super-Heroes #17
"only the Plutonians can power the ray, so it's worthless to Namor"
I love how Namor immediately assumes the ray is worthless because "they took the power o the death ray with them", as opposed to, say, just assuming it doesn't work BECAUSE HE'S FIRING IT UNDERWATER.
Then again, that probably would be appropriate cultural blindness for someone raised underwater.
Even moreso when I can't help but think of "Neptune's Noodle" as a slang reference to his genitalia (which I'm tempted to suspect was the actual intention).
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | July 15, 2014 5:34 PM
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