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  1. #1
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Default Namor's 80th Anniversary: Is The Sub-Mariner older than Batman?

    HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY to NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER!



    Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 has been dated to April 1939 and featured the first appearance of Marvel's seminal, Bill Everett's Namor the Sub-Mariner! You can read the entire story, rendered in lovely black ink washes here:


    Read Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1








    Since I haven't seen much celebration from Marvel itself of this momentous occasion, and I've only seen one place with a date, of April 1, I've decided to make the ENTIRE month of April an 80th Anniversary Celebration for Namor the Sub-Mariner! I'll try to post at least 80 amazing, or not so amazing, things about Namor this month. And since Marvel has not done so, I'd like to make a list of representative comics that could have gone into a Sub-Mariner 80th, or 75th, Anniversary book, like Marvel put out for Captain America and DC has put out for Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. I welcome any suggestions of comics for this endeavor.

    And all posts and ideas celebrating this milestone anniversary for Marvel's oldest character are encouraged and welcomed!
    ***Namor75 Celebration Threads***

    IMPERIUS REX FOREVER

  2. #2
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    1) Namor has had a book every decade of Marvel's existence. Only Captain America can say the same, though Cap wasn't featured in Marvel Comics / Marvel Mystery Comics.

    1939: Marvel Comics / Marvel Mystery Comics
    1940: Timely's The Sub-Mariner
    1950: Atlas' The Sub-Mariner
    1960: Tales to Astonish
    1970: Marvel's The Sub-Mariner
    1980: Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner mini-series
    1990: Namor the Sub-Mariner
    2000: Tsunami Namor
    2010: Namor the First Mutant
    Last edited by Reviresco; 04-01-2019 at 10:55 AM.
    ***Namor75 Celebration Threads***

    IMPERIUS REX FOREVER

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Batman appeared in March 1939, Namor in April, so yeah, Batman is older than Namor by a few years.

    Namor hasn't been continuously published like Batman has though, and in the Marvel era rarely commanded his own ongoing, often appearing as a refugee in other titles. Sometimes ally, sometimes enemy, always asshole.

    But yeah, Namor is an excellent character and far better than Aquaman, and it's a shame that Marvel didn't bring Namor first before Aquaman (who came out in 1941 and so is a good guy copy of Namor's). Namor is a versatile character, and fits as a foil for the X-Men, Fantastic Four, BP, Avengers and so on. I recently read Under Siege and Stern as always uses Namor's Timely history as a World War II anti-hero who fought Nazis inside the continuity so veterans come and support Namor while others bring up Namor's crazy attempts to take over the surface world and so on. Creating this great ambiguity there.

    I think Marvel's big anniversary moment now is 2021 (80 Years of Captain America, 60 Years of Fantastic Four), and 2022 (60 years of Spider-Man).

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    ALAN MOORE: In [Fantastic Four #4], the Sub Mariner made his first appearance since the 1950’s, turning up in the guise of a down and out amnesiac tramp who was quietly rotting away in a Bowery flophouse until said establishment was visited by the Human Torch...In what, to me, remains one of the most electrifying comic scenes ever, an awestruck Johnny Storm ignites one finger using his flame-power and begins to shave away the tramp’s shaggy mane of hair and tangled beard to reveal the unearthly triangular face and elegant curving eyebrows of Prince Namor, the legendary Sub Mariner.

    Kirby Namor.jpg


    This right here is the beginning of Marvel's Shared Universe. It connected the Timely era to the Marvel era, so Namor is ground zero to that.

  5. #5
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Batman appeared in March 1939, Namor in April, so yeah, Batman is older than Namor by a few years.
    By what? That's only a month, not a few years. And that issue of Detective was released in March with a May cover date... so was Motion Picture Funnies actually released in April, or cover dated that month? Because if it's the cover date and the comic came out in February, then Namor would be the older one. Someone should check the indicia.
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  6. #6
    Mighty Member capandkirby's Avatar
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    You know, the release date on the first Captain America comic is March 1941 but the actual comic was really released on December 20, 1940, two months earlier than the date printed on the comic. So, who knows, Namor could very well be older than Batman if early releases was something Timely was into back then (which they very clearly were).

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    By what? That's only a month, not a few years. And that issue of Detective was released in March with a May cover date... so was Motion Picture Funnies actually released in April, or cover dated that month? Because if it's the cover date and the comic came out in February, then Namor would be the older one. Someone should check the indicia.
    Yeah, apologize for that. I meant month. And not year.

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Happy 80th Anniversary Namor!

  9. #9
    Citizen of Atlantis ImperiusWrecked's Avatar
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    Happy 80th Anniversary Namor!!! My all time favorite character and I hope for many more years of submariner comics to come!
    "No one should ever question where my allegiance lies." - Namor of Atlantis

  10. #10
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    By what? That's only a month, not a few years. And that issue of Detective was released in March with a May cover date... so was Motion Picture Funnies actually released in April, or cover dated that month? Because if it's the cover date and the comic came out in February, then Namor would be the older one. Someone should check the indicia.
    Quote Originally Posted by capandkirby View Post
    You know, the release date on the first Captain America comic is March 1941 but the actual comic was really released on December 20, 1940, two months earlier than the date printed on the comic. So, who knows, Namor could very well be older than Batman if early releases was something Timely was into back then (which they very clearly were).
    Yes, this is exactly the point on which the question turns. The cover date, IIRC, has something to do with how long the book stayed on the newstand. IOW, the guy putting the books on the news stands could look at the cover date, and know that was when he was supposed to pull the book to be returned or shredded. The cover date isn't the release date. And yes, Timely did the same, because Marvel Comics #1 had an October (the second printing had November) cover date, but it was released on August 31, 1939, I believe.

    I need to do some more digging on whether there was a cover date on Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, though I've seen pictures of slabbed copies that say April 1939.
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  11. #11
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    People like to talk about John Byrne's runs on X-Men and Fantastic Four but he is still responsible for the best Namor and She-Hulk runs. Here is a link to a CBR article praising John Byrne's Namor run. https://www.cbr.com/comics-you-shoul...-mariner-1-25/
    "The Marvel EIC Chair has a certain curse that goes along with it: it tends to drive people insane, and ultimately, out of the business altogether. It is the notorious last stop for many staffers, as once you've sat in The Big Chair, your pariah status is usually locked in." Christopher Priest

  12. #12
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    I was never able to find all of the Namor run. I should check it out on Marvel Unlimited. I have one of the Byrne TPBs and a few scattered single issues. But Byrne left right around the time of the 4 issue Doom arc with Master Khan IIRC. He was the writer but Jae Lee was doing the art.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Taken from the CBR article. Thanks to Namor we also got Iron Fist back as well. I'm am going to have to get this entire run.

    The far larger plot of Byrne's Namor is, strangely enough, the resurrection of Danny Rand. Byrne, of course, had worked on Power Man and Iron Fist in the 1970s, and by the time that series had run its course with issue #125 (1986), Danny Rand had changed quite a bit and, of course, was killed off. Byrne decided to bring him back, and the second half of the Namor run (issues #13-25, although Byrne seeded it even before that) deals quite a bit with Namor's quest to find Danny Rand, with Misty Knight and Colleen Wing riding shotgun. Why Byrne felt the need to do this in a comic starring the Sub-Mariner isn't clear, but that's not the point. The point is that Byrne, with his encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel history, performs a retcon that works by using events that have already been printed and turning them to his advantage - in this case, the final six or so issues of Danny and Luke's series, which he interprets to fit his agenda. Byrne had done this before - most famously with Jean Grey - but he's good at it, so it's interesting to watch the machinations. Plus, unlike many writers these days, he doesn't invent things and slip them into breaks between issues or even between pages, so that Danny's resurrection feels far more natural than, say, Gwen Stacy banging Norman Osborn. Byrne is clever enough to use the vast tapestry of Marvel comics to create new stories and rescue characters from oblivion, rather than simply using the character and making up the justification as he goes along
    Last edited by Anthony W; 04-01-2019 at 04:18 PM.
    "The Marvel EIC Chair has a certain curse that goes along with it: it tends to drive people insane, and ultimately, out of the business altogether. It is the notorious last stop for many staffers, as once you've sat in The Big Chair, your pariah status is usually locked in." Christopher Priest

  14. #14
    Citizen of Atlantis ImperiusWrecked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I was never able to find all of the Namor run. I should check it out on Marvel Unlimited. I have one of the Byrne TPBs and a few scattered single issues. But Byrne left right around the time of the 4 issue Doom arc with Master Khan IIRC. He was the writer but Jae Lee was doing the art.
    They will be releasing the whole Bryne/Jae Lee run this year in October in an omnibus! LINK
    "No one should ever question where my allegiance lies." - Namor of Atlantis

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Let's not praise Byrne too much. His run on Spider-Man was a total disaster and his resurrection of Aunt May which undid a classic issue (ASM#400 better than all of Byrne's Spider-Man stories combined) was justified by his mean-spirited attitude that basically said, if you hate my retcon and its bad its not my fault its the fault of the story that made retcon and should never have been allowed to start with.

    In a way Byrne and Namor are a perfect fit -- "hypocrite lecteur mon semblable mon frère"

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