As I mentioned in my previous entry, I am reading along in the “Curse of the Mutants” storyarc that started with the new 2010 X-Men series. The storyarc continues in Namor #1 – also a new ongoing series of 2010 starring Marvel’s first mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner.
I signed up to get Namor regardless of whatever storyarc was running at the time. I knew that the ongoing would not be the most popular and would most likely be canceled eventually, but I wanted to 1.) show Marvel I support ongoings outside of Deadpool and Wolverine; 2.) for one time in my life be a subscriber to a Namor title.
The cover art for this issue was done by Jae Lee. I don’t run into art by him very often, although I have a number of his things for The Dark Tower comics. I spent some good solid time looking at this Namor cover and am not sure if its great or if I dislike it. First of all, the background water is done, in my opinion, very well. This looks like water. Deep below the surface of the water, clearly, and the tricks done with the lighting make it look real. In other words, Lee doesn’t just paint a blue background. Now, as far as Namor himself, he looks very youthful and almost Asian. In fact, this is a very different looking Namor than the typical box-head, square-jaw we are used to seeing. He almost looks petulant in this shot. I don’t know how I feel about this. Also, I find this pose to be very odd, as well. But I do admit: this is very unique. Now, the “throne” Namor is sitting on isn’t really a throne. It looks like an octopus that is surrounding him. At first glance I thought it was a throne, but Namor’s butt isn’t actually sitting on anything. He’s just hovering in the arms of the sea creature.
The story is written by Stuart Moore and interior art is done by Ariel Olivetti. The interior art isn’t my favorite style. It looks like it was drawn by a girl. Its got that feminine style to it – which was kind of a let down for me because I like the edgy sharpness of masculine art. Its not that the art here is bad, mind you. It just isn’t very hard and sharp. Everything seems blended and pastel, I suppose.
The story is written well. We learn a bit of background about The Aqueos (vampires sect), we met the Tridents (underwater sea people), and we learn about The Vault of Law. The Vault of Law is a box that can only be opened by a royal – so, Namor. And it contains Dracula’s head – which (Cp. X-Men issues) is what the X-Men are seeking. It has been stolen. Namor recruits the Tridents to help him fetch it. The Aqueos Highlord meets them and fights. He declares war on all the Atlanteans.
Some problems first. The first time in this series that Namor says the famous Imperious Rex! Its as flat and deadpan as possible. I mean, its really lackluster, as if Namor himself is bored. Also, on the small Trident force are two brothers: Husni and Husam. I swear this sounds to me like Stuart Moore dug into Muslim history and discovered the Shia Imams: Hussayn and Hassan. It doesn’t matter too much, Husni is dispatched in the fight with the Aqueos in this very issue.
The good stuff: there are some good quotes by Namor including this one: “If you face death on this voyage, stare it in the eye and slit it down to the gills!.” Also the storyline moves along nicely, we learn background, we fight, we end with a threat by a scary evil baddie. So, as far as issue #1’s go, this one meets all expectations. I just don’t prefer the art and some parts of Namor’s dialogue are flat.