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Namor The Sub-Mariner #1 Review

4 min read

“Hope’s Embers”

Creative Staff:
Story: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Pasqual Ferry
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

What They Say:
A century into the future, not much land remains on Earth. A combination of a worsening climate and a devastating war with the Kree has left the surface of the planet mostly inhospitable, with an ever-dwindling population of air-breathers and a profound lack of superheroes to protect them. Enter NAMOR, who these many years on is no longer King of Atlantis…but ruler of the entire world.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With Namor about to make his big-screen MCU debut in Wakanda Forever, it was no surprise that we’d get a standalone book that would be primed for the bookstore channel into the next year. With this series, Christopher Cantwell is writing it and he continues to be a writer I enjoy because I don’t consistently like his works. Some are strong, some are weak, and strangely I prefer that from a writer as it shows them doing very different things and not working a familiar formula. On the artwork, Pasqual Ferry is handling that and it’s my first time seeing their work. With the talented Matt Hollingsworth coloring it, we get something that works really well to showcase an Atlantis of the future and kind of different world design that scratches a particular itch of mine.

The premise is thankfully covered well as we get to go a hundred or so years into the future and see how the world has changed since the Kree, having decided that they had enough of what humanity might be as the years go on, accelerated our own mistakes and it eventually flooded. Most of what remained of humanity went to the stars at the time and many heroes went to fight. Now, all these decades later, only a small group of a couple hundred thousand remain in a section of the surface still available while a smaller group are somewhat protected in a closed-off section of Atlantis. Cantwell delivers this quickly for the most part because while important, and I’m glad it was laid out quickly, the story here really is about Namor. With so much of our time in comics on him focused on his adversarial relationship with the surface, seeing him this much older, greyer, and nostalgic is definitely interesting.

Under his guidance, his people have spread to all seven seas and have set up a rapidly growing and thriving society without fear of the surface. It has gone so well that Namor has stepped down as King to allow Namorita to rule and oversee things, though she worries that he’s become too much of a wandered. His advocacy for humanity is what causes him problems, especially now out of power, but he has a good ally in Old Man Captain America, who gives off a look like buff Santa Claus. Through him we see how humanity is struggling, and some of the others that have stayed behind to help and lead, which aren’t exactly even-headed thinkers a century later. But it’s understandable as for the branch of humanity that stayed here, they’re not only the conquered but the rapidly dwindling and dying.

In Summary:
The concept here is pretty strong and I like taking a look into what’s basically a what-if future because it’s another one of those reasonable ways to view it. Atlantis at this stage looks pretty good but you know there will be dark secrets and hidden agendas revealed. I’m naturally curious about what happened to those that left but I hope it’s not touched upon much. I’m weirdly glad that Cap is here but I wish that none of those from the age of heroes stuck around for this just to give Namor that chance to deal with the world as is without the lingering of the past. Time marches on but some things are clung to. Regardless, I’m all-in to check out more of this as it’s a pretty strong opening shot.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 12th, 2022
MSRP: $4.99