Monday, June 13, 2016

Manic Monday--Namor's Forgotten Power!

Young Johnny Storm and Namor are fighting because, well, because of testosterone, really...

Now, you'd think that a guy with Hulk-level strength like the Sub-Mariner wouldn't have any problem smashing through an iceberg. (Plus, you'd think those little ankle wings would make him more maneuverable.)

But this is early days at Marvel. So instead of just busting up the 'berg, Namor resorts to the age-old comics stratagem of "pulling a brand new power out of his ass":


See, in Marvel's early Silver Age days, it was stated that Namor did indeed "have the powers of all of the creatures that live beneath the sea!" So he would generate electricity like an eel, use the "radar sense" of blind cave fish (yes, I know...) or whatever Stan and/or Jack needed for that particular scene.

Those "powers" were conveniently forgotten when Namor finally got his own series, and never cropped up again, until John Byrne revived the idea in his Namor series in the 90s.

But this is 1963, and Namor still has those powers, and...a puffer fish?!?  Really? How the hell is that going to help you when you're about to run into an iceberg?!?!?!

Well, OK, I guess...
I'm calling that silly.

But then again, it's yet one more way in which Namor is infinitely cooler than Aquaman. He can fly; he can stay out of water for longer than an hour (is that still an Aquaman thing?); he's a mutant; he can personally use the powers of sea creatures; and when he wants to summon beasties, he doesn't just make a furrowed brow and think hard--he blows a big-ass sea horn!! Extra bonus--no Garth!!

And if you ever need a hero who can blow up like a puffer fish, Namor is your guy!!

From Strange Tales #107 (1963) as reprinted in Human Torch #7 (1975)


SallyP said...

Oh, Namor just pretends to have the powers of a puffer fish. He's really just allergic to shrimp.

George Chambers said...

One more thing that makes Namor a better character is that his head and face are just slightly non-human (and were moreso in the Golden Age. Then his head was pretty much triangular.) This guy is clearly a human-Atlantean hybrid, while Arthur Curry is just a blond American in a silly orange shirt.

SallyP said...

And his cranky eyebrows are just... dreamy.