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  1. #1
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Default Review: Namor: The Best Defense #1




    Chip Zdarsky and Carlo Magno take on Marvel's oldest character and deliver a visual feast, and character portrait of a conflicted ruler searching for ways to save his people while fighting himself, all in situations that reflect our modern world.

    Yes, there's one scene that is out of place, and sort of reminds me of the Defenders' Elf With a Gun, but it clearly has something to do with the overall thread that weaves between these Defenders books. The book also leaves us with an intriguing cliffhanger, that will segue to another Defenders book, or perhaps the last one, if previews are to believed.

    Of course, as a Namor fan, I had a few issues, but overall, I give this book a biased A- and am excitedly looking forward to this creative team's efforts on next year's INVADERS.
    Last edited by Reviresco; 12-05-2018 at 11:36 AM.
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  2. #2
    Citizen of Atlantis ImperiusWrecked's Avatar
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    This book is leaps and bounds away from what is going on in Avengers! I wasn't too happy in the beginning with how Namor was acting around his council but as the story went on I saw the writing come together, Namor really is trying to protect his people and compared to the Vodan King seems like he is a young king out of depths. Maybe he is? Because even though Namor is old compared to humans he is still young in Atlantean terms where they can live up to 200 years or so.

    I feel the writer could tone down a bit a few scenes, it felt like Namor was screaming the whole time but overall I'm happy with it.

    My favorite scene was the flashback of course:

    namor best defense.jpg
    "No one should ever question where my allegiance lies." - Namor of Atlantis

  3. #3
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImperiusWrecked View Post
    This book is leaps and bounds away from what is going on in Avengers! I wasn't too happy in the beginning with how Namor was acting around his council but as the story went on I saw the writing come together, Namor really is trying to protect his people and compared to the Vodan King seems like he is a young king out of depths. Maybe he is? Because even though Namor is old compared to humans he is still young in Atlantean terms where they can live up to 200 years or so.

    I feel the writer could tone down a bit a few scenes, it felt like Namor was screaming the whole time but overall I'm happy with it.

    My favorite scene was the flashback of course:

    namor best defense.jpg
    I don't really see Namor pleading for water, but I did like that scene. He's a bit vulnerable and inexperienced, which we don't usually see. Plus, I liked the transitions to the present scene. It's a little preview of the Invaders, especially when he says he's been thinking of the War lately.

    Yes, it is one of the best portrayals we've seen of Namor in almost a decade -- because it is basically a Namor solo book. And yes, because it has been almost a decade since we've gotten a Namor solo book. I'd scowl at Marvel at their shabby treatment, but I'm so very happy to get this book, I can't help but grinning.

    I think the Vodan king is much older, he's a 'greybeard' like Vashti. Speaking of ... I was disappointed that Namor's council is newly made up, yet again, with throwaway characters. Where was Vashti and Warlord Krang and Abira? They could have easily filled those places AND make sense to do so. But that is minor, a fannish complaint. Oh, and as I said elsewhere, who the heck is Machan? He strikes me as shady. I get the feeling that he may have something to do with Namor's weird eyes and more than usual belligerence.

    Speaking of that ... I was actually hoping we'd get more info on that here. Namor's actions in Avengers is simply not normal Namor. I thought the 'threat' Namor talks about with Machan and in the Avengers was going to be more than just, "surface worlders killing the planet."

    I agree. Namor wasn't exercising much diplomacy at all, and he actually can do it. Especially with Princess Kataw.

    One thing I did love was the admission of Namor's electrolocation abilities. This is something that Namor fans have long speculated on. And yet another "reason" why Namor should be in the speedo most of the time. LOL!

    What did you think of Vodan's claim that his kingdom was the original home of the Atlanteans?
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  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    My store didn't have this book, annoyingly enough. I ordered it online so I'm hoping to look at it next week. Is this issue one or two? Does it matter if I read it in order?
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  5. #5
    Citizen of Atlantis ImperiusWrecked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reviresco View Post
    One thing I did love was the admission of Namor's electrolocation abilities. This is something that Namor fans have long speculated on. And yet another "reason" why Namor should be in the speedo most of the time. LOL!

    What did you think of Vodan's claim that his kingdom was the original home of the Atlanteans?
    I think Namor does have more abilities than we know. I feel in addition to the one shown I think he has a low grade telepathy/telekensis something that is more subconscious and he doesn't really know it's there that helps him to fly, I feel he uses his wings as rudders to help him steer but that is just my headcanon. I want him a speedo so much, I shrieked at the flashback scene because of that. XD

    I think the writer wants to add to the mythos and while I would have preferred them to continue more with Cleito and Neptune it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to say that the Vodan world is really where they came or at least where Neptune came from to earth and then some of his followers came as well and established the golden city with Cleito in the golden days of Atlantis back when it was an empire.

    I think the Vodan's and Atlantis could be very interesting, now that the princess has a reason to hate Namor she could rise up against him? I'm just so starved for more world building I'm basically ready for anything but I do hope we get some of the old school characters; vashti and the rest back and get more synced up with past atlantean gods and history.
    "No one should ever question where my allegiance lies." - Namor of Atlantis

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    My store didn't have this book, annoyingly enough. I ordered it online so I'm hoping to look at it next week. Is this issue one or two? Does it matter if I read it in order?
    Based on how the interludes go in both Hulk and Namor, I believe we're meant to read Hulk first, then Namor.

    But you could read them in either order - or not read one or the other - and be fine.

    I liked both quite a bit. Namor really whetted my appetite for the upcoming Invaders book. Z'Darsky writes a fine Namor and the artwork was top-notch.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    My store didn't have this book, annoyingly enough. I ordered it online so I'm hoping to look at it next week. Is this issue one or two? Does it matter if I read it in order?
    Now, that's an interesting question.

    It is technically an "issue #1", but according to Previewsworld it's Part 2 of the story "The Best Defense".
    (Part 1 was in DEFENDERS: IMMORTAL HULK #1 also suppose to be available this week; Part 3 is in DEFENDERS DOCTOR STRANGE #1 due out next week.)

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    Wow... so I came in this book with very low expectations due to the past decade of terrible Namor treatment but I am happy to say that I am throughly impressed. This was a very good depiction of Namor. Not perfect but still outstanding. I wish it were an on-going. But I will settle for him to be written in this manner in Defenders if it is to be the case.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    Now, that's an interesting question.

    It is technically an "issue #1", but according to Previewsworld it's Part 2 of the story "The Best Defense".
    (Part 1 was in DEFENDERS: IMMORTAL HULK #1 also suppose to be available this week; Part 3 is in DEFENDERS DOCTOR STRANGE #1 due out next week.)
    OK. I'm going to read these in order, but wait until this issue arrives in the mail. If my LCS has Doctor Strange/Silver Surfer/etc. next week, I'll pick them up and save them.
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  10. #10
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    OK. I'm going to read these in order, but wait until this issue arrives in the mail. If my LCS has Doctor Strange/Silver Surfer/etc. next week, I'll pick them up and save them.
    And then the final part is in DEFENDERS BEST DEFENSE #1 on sale December 19th.

  11. #11
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    My store didn't have this book, annoyingly enough. I ordered it online so I'm hoping to look at it next week. Is this issue one or two? Does it matter if I read it in order?
    Well, sorry you didn't get it, but that may be encouraging. It sold out? Hopefully.


    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Based on how the interludes go in both Hulk and Namor, I believe we're meant to read Hulk first, then Namor.

    But you could read them in either order - or not read one or the other - and be fine.

    I liked both quite a bit. Namor really whetted my appetite for the upcoming Invaders book. Z'Darsky writes a fine Namor and the artwork was top-notch.
    That's what I read somewhere. That the order didn't really matter. Though ... I would think that you would need to read Hulk before Dr. Strange?? And of course, all of them before Defenders: The Best Defense.

    I'm definitely reassured about Zdarsky's Invaders now.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsChi View Post
    Wow... so I came in this book with very low expectations due to the past decade of terrible Namor treatment but I am happy to say that I am throughly impressed. This was a very good depiction of Namor. Not perfect but still outstanding. I wish it were an on-going. But I will settle for him to be written in this manner in Defenders if it is to be the case.
    I was cautious also. And I agree on all counts. It would be awesome if this team could do a Namor ongoing. But at least we are also going to get them on the Invaders.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImperiusWrecked View Post
    I think Namor does have more abilities than we know. I feel in addition to the one shown I think he has a low grade telepathy/telekensis something that is more subconscious and he doesn't really know it's there that helps him to fly, I feel he uses his wings as rudders to help him steer but that is just my headcanon. I want him a speedo so much, I shrieked at the flashback scene because of that. XD
    LOL! I can understand that reaction entirely.

    Well, originally, in the Golden Age, IIRC, the Atlanteans communicated underwater by telepathy. Over the decades there's been some waffling on the psychic powers. Though, I can't say I recall that use in his flight powers.

    And then there was the infamous grab bag of powers Stan Lee tied out on Namor back in the dawn of the Silver Age. I think one of those powers was actually the same power Princess Kataw had, discharging electricity.



    Quote Originally Posted by ImperiusWrecked View Post
    I think the writer wants to add to the mythos and while I would have preferred them to continue more with Cleito and Neptune it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to say that the Vodan world is really where they came or at least where Neptune came from to earth and then some of his followers came as well and established the golden city with Cleito in the golden days of Atlantis back when it was an empire.

    I think the Vodan's and Atlantis could be very interesting, now that the princess has a reason to hate Namor she could rise up against him? I'm just so starved for more world building I'm basically ready for anything but I do hope we get some of the old school characters; vashti and the rest back and get more synced up with past atlantean gods and history.
    I don't think Vodan world is where Neptune came from, as he's an Olympian. I don't think it is a world, but a pocket dimension, mostly because it has no atmosphere. It's like a water bubble in space. It also has a lot of creatures that look exactly like Earth creatures. Though it does have a few 'monsters' too. It sort of reminds me of the People of the Black Sea. Remember them from the Silver Age Sub-Mariner run?

    It is an interesting puzzle, who made Vodan world? Does it have something to do with the origin of the Atlanteans? Is it like a super ancient incubator of the Atlanteans? Or is it just a fairy tale the Vodani tell themselves. It is interesting that Silver Surfer, I assume, just happened to be cruising by Vodan world at the proper time. I love that last page!

    Especially with Marvel picking Conan back up, it would be cool if they picked back up on the Cleito connection. That would also be a great tie-in to Dr. Strange, or even another Defenders mini-series.
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  14. #14
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Another thing I'm wondering, does this mean Namor has already allied with Lemuria, the Old Atlanteans, the two Black Sea water breathers, the Nerieds, etc.? And if so, are all these people starving?
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  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member jackolover's Avatar
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    My own head canon has Atlanteans once being connected to the 9 worlds of Asgard, because of how the Red Skull used Atlanteans to lure one of the hammers of Cul the Serpent to Earth during WWII, in Fear Itself TPB. And Atlanteans blue skin being like blue skin Asgardian Frost Giants. It makes sense Atlanteans and Frost Giants being related to my mind. If Midgard is Asgardian, why not a mixture of Earthlings and Frost Giants in the world, especially that Loki comes here a lot, and hes a Frost Giant?

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