A post from my old Marvel blog concerning how a Sub-Mariner story that I’d held in my files for a decade finally came to see print.
Next week sees the publication of SUB-MARINER COMICS, the second in our series of Specials featuring the formative Marvel characters in commemoration of Marvel’s 70th anniversary. And in addition to a fabulous new story by Roy Thomas and Mitch Breitweiser, the issue also contains a tale I’ve been waiting for over a decade to see in print.
The second story in the issue was written by Mark Schulz and illustrated by the legendary Al Williamson, and was produced initially for the short-lived MARVEL: SHADOWS AND LIGHT series. I forget who was editing M:S&L at that point–it may have been James Felder, it may have been Mark Bernardo, or it might have been somebody else. But market conditions were unfavorable for a black and white anthology series, and the title was discontinued with some material still in the pipeline.
This Sub-Mariner story was an orphaned tale. Done as a homage to the work of Namor’s originator Bill Everett, it was set in 1939, and featured the young Namor battling Nazis. It was a lovely art job, but there wasn’t any other place to immediately publish it. (At one point, a short time later, it was momentarily going to be included in an oversized issue of FANTASTIC FOUR, but at the time there was a skittishness towards depicting Nazi symbology such as the swastika among Marvel’s then-brass, so the job was pulled from the issue.)
I’ve had the oversized boards sitting in my files ever since, waiting for an opportunity to get the thing published. And now, my patience has paid off–we’ve got a SUB-MARINER Special devoted to his earliest adventures and history, the perfect venue for this tale to finally be included. Newly colored by Chris Chuckry, who did a terrific job over artwork that was originally intended to appear in black and white, it’s a pleasure to close the book on this unseen piece of Marvel history.
So it just goes to show: throw away nothing.