Wednesday 26 March 2014

Sub-Mariner comics I have owned.

As I clamber over the petrified forests of Middlewood, people often say to me, "Steve, we all know you like trees that have turned to stone thanks to the remorseless passing of aeons so huge it leaves one in awe at the unimaginable age of the planet Earth - but who'd win a fight between Flipper and Skippy?"

I, of course, respond, "You half-witted nincompoop! Flipper would win! Why? Because he lives in the sea, like the Sub-Mariner does - and the Sub-Mariner's well hard!"

Long-suffering readers will not be surprised to learn I took such a stance; as I have in the past stated my childhood desire to be the Sub-Mariner. The combination of flying and swimming was always going to appeal to me, as I could do neither.

Nor could I breathe underwater.

Nor did I have a flat head.

Clearly, this all meant Subby was the man I could never dream of being.

But that didn't stop me dreaming of being him.

And thus it was that, in my formative years, I'd grab any comic I saw that starred him.

In total, that was five.

And these are they.

Savage Sub-Mariner #45, Tiger Shark

My razor-sharp senses tell me Tiger Shark is involved in this tale - and the Human Torch.

Other than that, I must confess I can recall nothing at all of the issue's contents.

Still, it has a Gil Kane cover - and Tiger Shark was always one of my favourite villains - so what should I care?
Savage Sub-Mariner #48, Dr Doom

Colour me shocked! Dr Doom's up to no good!

Am I right in thinking the Sub-Mariner's lost his memory in this issue? Is he not sure if he's a good guy or a bad guy? Is Doomy out to trick him into wrong-doing?

I do believe that, somewhere in this issue, Doom says it's half a decade since he was last in Latveria, which, when I was ten, seemed a very very long time. In fact, I struggled to believe it was possible he was even still alive after such a phenomenally long time.

I had a similar experience when Patrick Troughton returned to Dr Who after four years' absence. "How can he still be alive after all that time?" I reasoned.

What an idiot I was. But such is the difference between how adults and children perceive the passage of time.
Savage Sub-Mariner #68, Force

Hooray! After an unfortunate accident, Subby has his new suit that allows him to live outside water.

And he finds himself up against a man called Force.

I happily declare myself to be amongst those who far preferred his new costume to his old trunks.

And you can read my review of this issue, right here.
Savage Sub-Mariner #69, Spider-Man

Despite what the cover promises, there's not what you'd exactly call an epic clash between Spidey and the Sub-Mariner in this issue.

In fact, Spider-Man's guest appearance is so fleeting that it's obvious he's only in it so he can appear on the cover and boost sales of a mag that was only months away from cancellation.

And you can read my review of this issue, right here.
Sub-Mariner Special #2

Of the Sub-Mariner issues I had, this was the jewel in my crown; a great big thick comic that reprinted a trio of Subby's adventures from the Gene Colan years.

I seem to recall that Warlord Krang or some-such is up to no good in it and, just for a change, has kidnapped Lady Dorma.

What was it with Subby? First he wanted to get his leg over with Sue Storm who was always getting kidnapped, and then he wanted to do the same with Lady Dorma who was always getting kidnapped. When it came to women, he clearly liked them useless, helpless and drippier than seaweed.


Jared said...

The cover of issue 48 has always bee a favorite of mine. I don't remember what happened inside though.

John Pitt said...

I gave up on his own title after the first few issues. But these later ishes look far more interesting.

Doug said...

Excellent set of covers!


Steve W. said...

Thanks, Doug.

Anonymous said...

Why's he called the "savage" Sub-Mariner? He seems fairly civilized to me. Steve, am I right in thinking he's only half-Atlantean and that's why he's not blue? Other than that I can't think of a reason.

Anonymous said...

I got into Namor when Byrne picked up his title. I have a healthy run up to issue 25. Of those that I own, I have NOT read any of them. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Null. Zoid. The Empty Set.

The Prowler (collapsing under the weight of his to-do list).

PS Namor is only half Atlantean of his mother's side. I believe his father was either a lighthouse keeper or a boat captain.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I believe the Prowler's right about Namor's father being a sea captain.

Anonymous said...

This is great!
I personally found the series to be pretty uneven, but I did very much enjoy the Gene Colan issues.
I love that guy's stuff.
That Doc Doom issue was dynamite.

Dougie said...

I haven't read any of these. I did have a few from 1969-70, often by Marie Severin. I liked Tiger Shark as a recurring villain. He anticipates the likes of Venom, Sabretooth and Deathstroke: baddies with presence who almost overpower the star.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Steve, I wonder how many compadres I have in the "owning comics but haven't read them yet" camp?

That would be an interesting book club. Once a week or once a month, you would meet and talk about what comic series would love to read but haven't yet. Or you could schedule the meetings but never get around to actually meeting.

The Prowler (spewing great ideas like Putin scheduling training exercises).

Anonymous said...

Steve, I cannot believe it, but you keep finding a way to outdo yourself when it comes to describing Sue Storm. I never thought you could come up with a better line than the one you had for FF #94 about Sue being locked in her bedroom. However, describing Susan Storm as "useless, helpless and drippier than seaweed" is a real classic! I absolutely love it!

Yes, I know you threw the same description in for Lady Dorma and perhaps it applies to her as well. However, let us not forget that if it was not for the intervention of Namor, Dorma would have drowned Sue in FF Annual #1 and she would have executed Sue in FF 32, volume 3. At least in those two issues, Dorma really got the better of Susan Storm!

Keep up the great work on this terrific blog! It is one of my favorites!

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Anon. :)

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Namor's father was a ship's captain, and Aquaman's father was a lighthouse keeper.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the clarification, Anon. :)

20 Cent Mike said...

Steve you have great taste. I was also a great fan of Submariner. That is why I loved the Defenders and Invaders because he was a member of their teams. I had the issue where he got his new costume. I recall it was made for him by Reed Richards to save his life. I also had the issue where he battles a villain who was like a killer whale. He had a ring of teeth around his face mask, I think. I am reading New Avengers now because he is in it. I don' t like the way his hair is drawn in New Avengers. His hair is somewhat tousled, as if he's got mouse in it to make it spiky. His hair is supposed to be smooth all around with not one hair out of place. He is also written as a bit of a jerk.
One of my favorite covers is of Namor pounding Cap's shield in one of the Avengers/Defenders War issues.
Namor is not blue because he is half human. But why is his cute cousin Namorita not blue either? Did his Atlantean aunt get married to a human, too? Speaking of Namorita, ever notice that female heroes can be made from male heroes, but not the other way around? You have She Hulk and Supergirl, but never say Black Widower or Scarlet Warlock. I cannot express how much I love your blog. 70s Marvels were all I read back in the day. Keep up the good work!

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all the praise, Mike.

And you're right. I can't think of any male heroes who were based on heroines.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you've been keeping up the good work, Steve.

But are you sure Namor had a flat head? I always thought that was his hairstyle.
Mind you, I did use to wonder how he kept it like that underwater.