The Last Sub-Mariner Story

Continuing in our look at the final Golden Age adventures of the assorted Marvel mainstay characters, here’s the final Sub-Mariner story presented in 1949.

There were two stories presented in SUB-MARINER COMICS #32, so the second of these would have been the final Sub-Mariner story of the era. As it turns out, this story continues directly on from the opening of the book–but I’m not going to reproduce the whole issue here!

For whatever reason, a choice was made in this issue to not only retell the Sub-Mariner’s origin again (as was done with the Human Torch in his final adventure) but also to follow that up with a recounting of Namor’s first forays into the surface world, as originally seen in the earliest issues of MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS.

It may ave been felt that some of the luster had gone out of these series from drifting too far away from their original premises. So here, once more, the Sub-Mariner wages terrorist war on the surface-dwellers as he did when he first started out.

Namor’s creator Bill Everett was clearly the best artist represented in MARVEL COMICS #1 and indeed in most of those early Timely comics. Here, almost a decade later, his technique has grown even more polished and proficient. It’s a much slicker treatment than in the original tales he was referencing.

Additionally, Everett had grown as a writer as well, and this story demonstrates his greater command of the language of comics. Here, he diverts from his original stories to reintroduce Namor’s long-lost father into the proceedings. Notice his similarly triangular-shaped head.

The events of this story would be ignored after Namor was reintroduced in the Marvel Age in the 1960s.

I suppose the real question is whether this story would have been continued in the next issue, and whether events would ever return to the present. For that matter, would Everett have gotten around to re-creating Namor’s first battle with the Human Torch as well?

2 thoughts on “The Last Sub-Mariner Story

  1. FYI… To this day, seventy years later, 90 Church Street in Manhattan, referenced in the story, remains a federal office building housing a post office and state and city departments. It is directly across Vesey Street from the World Trade Center and survived the collapse of the north WTC tower and the adjacent 7 WTC building on 9/11 with only moderate damage but much airborne contamination. It has been repaired and returned to service.


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