Views: 36641

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

He was an impressively powerful character with a personality, he had an interesting design, he could be used as both hero and antihero, and readers could vicariously enjoy his aggression.

My speculation may be all wet, but here goes:

-the superhero comic was still new in 1939; a lot of comics sold various kinds of adventure characters, even after the superhero went mainstream. Namor starts off as a guy from somewhere else with justifiable anger. He's sort of a proto-Hulk, tying into the rage we (and kids, in particular) cannot express. In a world at war elsewhere and on the verge in the U.S., that impotent rage might be stronger, more common, perhaps?

-the exotic appeal probably seemed rarer in pop culture then. A guy with pointy ears? And ankle-wings? From Atlantis? That must've caught people off-base.

Anyone else?



Captain Comics said:

It's weird to me that Namor was so popular in the '40s. Does anyone have any theories as to why? '

I don't think he ever attained that level of popularity again -- even in the '70s he was basically a supporting character, the abrasive Hawkeye of whatever team he was on. (As Commander Benson has pointed out, no combat team would allow that sort of personality to hang around and destroy unit cohesiveness, no matter what skills or super-strength he or she brought to the table. I think 1970s and later audiences began to be sophisticated enough to realize that and dislike him.) Even John Byrne couldn't make the character sell.

Theories?

It seems a little odd that in the conformist 40s Namor was popular yet in the anti-everything 70s he wasn't.

It's also notable that no one has figured out how to make a movie about him or including him.

Wolverine's so popular, what's Namor doing wrong?

One thing that struck me about early Sub-Mariner stories was his dialogue, which was of the wiseacre/tough guy variety. That seemed to be the prevailing attitude of movie heroes at the time, from just about every role played by Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable or Dick Powell. I can't think of a single, overarching standard-bearer for that sort of character -- Sam Spade, maybe? -- but maybe that had something to do with it.

“An Aquaman/Sub-Mariner crossover, three years apart.”

Awesome. Now I’m going to have to track down a copy of Aquaman #56.

“It's weird to me that Namor was so popular in the '40s. Does anyone have any theories as to why?”

Two words: Bill Everett.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

“It's weird to me that Namor was so popular in the '40s. Does anyone have any theories as to why?”

Two words: Bill Everett.

If so, the magic failed when Everett returned to the character twice, in Tales to Astonish for a run around 1967, and again on Sub-Mariner in the early 1970s. 

Tarzan was popular in the 30s and 40s, maybe Namor was riding that wave, so to speak.

I don't think the movies know what to do with Namor.

Is he a hero or villain?

What's with his foot wings?

He's in swim trunks*. I thought he looked stupid when I passed up Fantastic Four #4.

* I don't think his partial wet suit look ever worked. 

"If so, the magic failed when Everett returned to the character twice, in Tales to Astonish for a run around 1967, and again on Sub-Mariner in the early 1970s."

I think that's because there were a lot more good artists around in the '60s and '70s and his work didn't stand out as much as it did in the Golden Age. Plus, especially during his third run, his style was seen as old fashioned; what helped him in the '40s hurt him in the '70s.

His scaled trunks were an improvement on his original plain ones. I believe they were introduced in the 1950s revival.

His arm-wings costume was introduced in Sub-Mariner #67. It was part of a make-over of the strip following Bill Everett's death. It was written out in Super-Villain Team-Up #5. I like the modern version of it, without the wings.

If anyone's ever wondered, Dr Hydro and Hydrobase were introduced in Sub-Mariner #61-#62. Hydro had a plane full of people seized and transformed them into amphibians, including Betty Dean. (She had first appeared in the modern Marvel U in Sub-Mariner #8. Everett used her as a regular character during his run on the title.)

In #67 (1973) Namor was exposed to a nerve gas which changed his skin so it could no longer retain moisture outside water. In-story the FF gave him his new suit to solve that. The nerve gas also put all the Atlanteans into comas. This remained the case past the end of his title into his Super-Villain Team-Up period.

Doom found a cure, and finally revived the Atlanteans in Super-Villain Team-Up #13.

In the Golden Age Namor's people weren't from Atlantis, but somewhere in Antarctic waters. The Atlantis idea was introduced when Namor was revived in Fantastic Four. The Emperor and Princess Fen were characters in the 1950s feature, so that's also when they were dropped.

Fantastic Four #4 appeared the month between Aquaman #2 and #3. At that point Aquaman's connection to Atlantis had been established but he had not yet become its king. He became King of Atlantis (and married Mera) in Aquaman #18, from the same month as Fantastic Four #33.

JD DeLuzio said:

Has anyone posted this extraordinary, unlicensed (but apparently Gaiman-thumbs-upped) adaptation of a certain dark storyline from The Sandman

Sandman: 24 Hour Diner from Morpheus on Vimeo.

Just watched it on Youtube. They did a great job.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2017   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service