For this weeks Deconstructed we are going back to look at one of Marvel Comics most underrated (or overrated, depends how you look at it) characters. Namor the Sub-Mariner is an importants piece to Marvel Universe cannon. Sometimes the hero, often the villain, the first comic book anti-hero. The king of Atlantis has aligned with teams like the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Defenders, Invaders, and the Illuminati. At the same time, he is also been many of these factions worst enemy. Fact is, Namor’s allegiances lay with whomever best serves himself, and his domain.
The half human, half merman, is the first mutant known in the Marvel U. Not only that, Sub-Mariner was Marvels first big name superhero, appearing in Marvel Comics #1. He served as one of the companies most popular characters for decades alongside Captain America and Human Torch. Today, it has been established that a Sub-Mariner self titled series doesn’t sell with customers. However, Namor has dug his claws deep into the Universe and is a cornerstone to many major events. He has also proved to be a major player, as a member of the Illuminati, and its darker version known as the Cabal.
Now, let’s dive into a 1970 title featuring the half naked merman. This particular issue features a battle with Red Raven, who himself is often used as an antihero. It’s air versus sea, in a battle of champions. But, who will get caught in the middle?
This cover is big, bright, and beautiful. Red Raven makes a surprisingly gorgeous contrast to Namor. I am surprised these enemies did not meet more often. Sub-Mariner is looking good as always, as ComicAlliance’s #16 “Sexiest Male Character in Comics”.
Since Deconstructed started we have seen many of these mail-in prize pages. This is the first one that I have seen that offers a mini-bike! That is bloody sweet! That’s the first time I’ve seen something that I would still actually want. Well, and maybe the phonograph…
Marvel Comics Group
“Kill” Cried the Raven
Cover Price: $0.15
Today’s worth: $2 to $25
Written by Roy Thomas
Pencils by Sal Buscema
Ink by Joe Gaudioso
Letters by Artie Simek
Edited by Stan Lee
Prince Namor rises from the ocean.
He comes in secrecy, in a search for someone specifically. He finds a copy of the Daily Bugle-
In an accidental collision Namor gets into an argument with a citizen-
Umm… what? Okay, first off who lets a kid drive a car in a race without at least checking for a drivers licence? Second, what does this have to do with pants? Then, the kid who has never driven a car before wins a race against professionals? And… and… the other kid is wearing some nice dress pants. How are those ‘kid clothes’? I do like the catch phrase ‘Lee Leens: the grown-up pants’. Haha, this ad is ridiculously great.
Back to the story, and Namor is being approached by the police. He does what anyone would do, and throws a garbage can at them.
Oh, and a car for good measure-
Elsewhere, Diane Arliss is saying goodnight to Dr. Walter Newell, also known as Stingray. When he leaves, she gets a surprise visitor- p.s. it is not Nightcrawler.
Well that is something.
Sub-Mariner reveals that he is looking for Red Raven as an ally to Atlantis. He has a special device for waking him up. And Diane has an inside connection to getting Namor to him.
They arrive at the museum, and Namor uses his special device to wake him-
Red Raven wakes and explains his history of growing up with the bird people of Aerie. Raven was a human baby that was the lone survivor of a crash. The bird people raised him as one of their own. However, they never trusted his ‘human blood’. He released a gas to put the bird people in suspended animation, and sunk the island. And just recently his own body was discovered. But, Red Raven does not like the humans, they are not worthy.
So, I saw this ad mixed in with a bunch of stamp and coin collector ads and I was like “What!?!” Turns out in 1970 The Traits released a song called ‘Nobody Loves the Hulk’. The ad is right, it is Hulkerific. I actually really like it. Here it is for you folks to check out:
Museum security shows up as Namor and Red Raven’s battle makes a tonne of noise. They jump onto Namor recognizing him as a villain and an intruder. Which gives Raven his chance-
Red Raven takes Diana high over the ocean, and then ditches his hostage-
Namor saves the day just in time-
Then, they take a ride on a dolphin! Cute!
While they are doing playing with a dolphin Red Raven takes the chance to run. He dives below the ocean to seek out where he left the sleeping bird people.
Before he can release them, our hero arrives with his famous battle cry-
… well… I dunno. What a jerk!
Mid-battle Namor reveals to Red Raven that the bird people are not looking well. They slump. They’re limp. They’re dead.
Red Raven trashes the sunken kingdom, and it explodes as Namor makes his escape.
Prince Namor returns to his home of Atlantis-
Check out this mail-in survey for Marvel Comics and Stan Lee. This is something they would never do today because of the extreme angry fans. This is sweet though, and I kind of want to fill it out and mail it in.
One astute fan was able to recognize the Marvel bullpen in the title page of Sub-Mariner #19.
Here is the page in question-
Well this ad has a very different connotation in todays world, and I doubt you’d hear any heterosexual woman saying it.
Thanks booknerds, Imperius Rex!