Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Fabulous Life of Namor McKenzie

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald, creator of popular superhero Doctor T. J. Eckleburg ("He can see the evil...inside you!) who coined the phrase "The rich are not like us,", but he might as well have been talking about the Atlanteans! Especially Atlantis's poster boy for bad behavior, Mr. Mark Harris!

Man from Atlantis
Man from Atlantis #1 (February 1978), art by John Buscema and Joe Sinnott

No, wait, I've made another one of my silly mistakes. I'm talkin' 'bout Namor!

Sub-Mariner #38
Sub-Mariner #38 (June 1971), art by Marie Severin and John Severin

Can it be? more? Man, he's gonna regret saying those words someday, I betcha.

Avengers #262
Panel from Avengers #262 (December 1985), script by Roger Stern, breakdowns by John Buscema, finishes by Tom Palmer, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Jim Novak

Anyway! Any similarity between these Namor McKenzie and Mark Harris is completely on porpoise.

So: let's look back at 1954, on the day when Subbie happened to hear The Silhouettes perform their hit doo-wop classic, "Get a Job"—all the way from 1957. (You think he has those pointy ears for nuthin'?)

Young Men #27
Panels from the Sub-Mariner story in Young Men #27 (April 1954), by Bill Everett

Remember: when interviewing for a job, always wear a suit that will blend into your natural underwater surroundings.

As per usual, Namor totally lands on his feet. Say, where was this job the summer I had to build a lemonade stand and I didn't have any wood? Or nails? Or lemons.

Young Men #27

Just for fun, read the Sub-Mariner's word balloon in that panel above in the voice of late great sportscaster Howard Cosell.

But once Namor's done working his way through this arresting assemblage of effeminate elegance, he'll discover his real target: his cousin, the Dreamboat of the Deep, Namora!

Young Men #27

Yes, the same Namora that he re-encounters fifty-plus years later in the pages of Agents of Atlas. Let me let Ken Hale, the gregarious Gorilla-Man, say what we're all thinking:

Agents of Atlas #6
Panel from Agents of Atlas #6 (August 2009), script by Jeff Parker, pencils and inks by Gabriel Hardman, colors by Jana Schirmer, letters by Nate Piekos

And the same Namora who's dead and a crab tries to marry Namor to her. Uh...what?

Sub-Mariner #50
Panels from Sub-Mariner #50 (June 1972), script, pencils and inks by Bill Everett, letters by John Costanza

Anyway, turns out the a plot by bad guys to steal some jewels from under the sea or something. Seriously, you ought to know your new boss is a crook when his name has an umlaut in it. Also, if the villain's henchwench looks like a character from Chester Gould's Dick Tracy.

Young Men #27

And, since its the fifties, the villain is of course a communist. Better dead than red, comrade! (Actually, I have no idea what that means.)

Young Men #27

Also, there are ghost pirates.

Young Men #27

So there ya go: the much-more fabulous life than yours of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Play us off, Agents of Atlas!

Agents of Atlas


Michael Jones said...

Oh my Cod, that smelt!

d said...

that's some really great art on the 50's story, but doesn't look like any Everette stuff I've ever seem. Any idea who did it?

SallyP said...

On porpoise? You, you just threw that in for the halibut!

Namor DOES seem to get around.