L: "Splash" page of Avengers #95 (January 1972), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Neal Adams, inks by Tom Palmer, letters by Sam Rosen
R: She-Hulk v.2 #23 (January 2008), art by Mike Deodato Jr. and Rain Beredo
(Click picture to super-soaker-size)
A special tip o' the nose ring to Mighty Mark Hale, who helped!
Panel from New Mutants v.2 #10 (May 2004), script by Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir; pencils by Carlo Barberi; inks by Wayne Faucher, Juan Vlasco, and Rick Ketcham; colors by Ian Hanni and Rob Ro; letters by Dave Sharpe
To get yourselves into the mood before I announce the winner of the second bout in Supporting Character Slamdown, why not listen to some classic rock?:
Cool! And now, of course, the winner is...Morgana Blessing,. Naw, I'm jus' kiddin'. It is, of course...
Probably by sheer bullying, Flash Thompson took an early lead and despite some energetic sprints to catch up by Morgan Blessing, Mister Thompson never lost the lead, winning with 70% against Morgana's 30%. Not that Ms. B. didn't get any blows in:
But by hook or by crook, Flash always wins...whatever it takes.
And...let's face it...he always gets the girl:
Even girls he's not supposed to get:
Even girls who are married to somebody else:
Yes, Flash Thompson gets every...oh wait, never mind.
Well, at least you can say this about Flash Thompson: he always gets kissed.
The next round of Supporting Character Slamdown will start next week, so watch this blog! (You can always check the upper part of the sidebar to see if a poll is running!) Who knows who will pop up next: maybe Dixon Bowie versus Sigjid Roskoff. Now that's a powerhouse matchup!
Okay, get this, now: Namor is wandering through Manhattan, not wearing anything but a trenchcoat and his special, created-by-Atlantean super-science pressure-sensitive Speedos. Normally if a guy's strolling on the upper west side dressed like that, you're gonna call the cop on the beat and have him arrested as a flasher. But Mister McKenzie strolls up, calm as a clam, to one of the posh CPW residences , knocks as bold as can be on the front door, where he's greeted by a butler on his day off from a P. G. Wodehouse book:
Panels from Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (January 1940), script and art by Bill Everett
We immediately discover this butler's name is Pinkerton...
...which can only mean one thing: Sub-Mariner has wandered into Madame's Place:
Anyway, that fire. Just like an Ellery Queen mystery, let me pause for a moment to let you attempt to figure out the solution to the mystery. (Ignore the screaming burning woman for a while; she'll wait while we examine all the clues.) You've seen everything Namor has, and you know all of Namor's special superhuman powers, right? So surely you know how he will save this damsel in dis dress! Go ahead...match wits with Namor McKenzie...and see if you can find out...how he duz it!
Got the answer yet? Let's see if it matches Namor's clever plan of action!:
I...I did not expect that. Ummmm. What did we just see, comic book?
Oh, that familiar old cliché Subbie trick! Why, I do believe we've seen him, in hundreds of comic book appearances, repel excess water from his pores. That certainly comes in handy every time he fights Johnny Storm, and, if, say, the Secret Invasion had not been by Skrulls but instead by those aliens from Signs, why, we'd all be bowing down before Lord Namor, king of America, instead of our pal Norman Osborn.
Just in case you missed it, Pinkerton asks Sub-Mariner to explain just what happened two panels ago:
To which Namor replies with his usual tact and grace:
So. Namor. Can flash-flood through his skin upon application of extreme heat.
And now, the event all comics fanboys have been eagerly ready for! But while you're waiting for Ms. Johansson to come out in her Black Widow leather catsuit, let's do a Supporting Character Slamdown wrapup, shall we?
The very first slamdown of round one (collect 'em all!) featured Man-Thing groupie Richard Rory squaring off against that devious diva of dernier cri, Chili Storm! The accounting otters here at Bully H.Q. have just finished tallying up all the votes, and we're ready to make the big announcement...
...the winner is...CHILI STORM!
Chili started strong out of the gate with an early lead and never lost it as Richard Rory trailed behind her all the way. He gained about 10% in the past twelve hours, but it wasn't enough: he was beaten 60% to 40%, and the very first slot in the second round goes to Miss Chili Storm! Thanks, everybody, for voting for your favorite!
Which brings us, of course, to the next event! Let's see who's stepping into the ring tonight:
In the mystic corner:Morgana Blessing, gal about town, dilettante and author of the unauthorized Dr. Strange biography, in which we find out the real secrets of the Cloak of Levitation. (Lots and lots of magnets.) Her strengths: speed, dexterity, and the ability to hold onto a cat during strenuous activities.
Not only is Morgana an accomplished writer of novels and cheesy exposés, she also was Doc Strange for ten, twelve minutes!...
...just not (weakness!)...just not a very good one. In fact, she was so rotten at it that we're not gonna disqualify her on those grounds. (That transparent pantsuit, on the other hand...)
In the jock corner:Flash! (ah ahhhhhh) Thompson!Yes, Emma Thompson's kid brother, football star, high school bully (not the good kind of Bully, mind you!) to Peter Parker and Spider-Man's #1 fan...not to mention the smoothest operator since George Clooney covered himself in Wesson Oil and slid himself over to Jennifer Lopez's.
Flash's strengths: he's strong, he's fast, he knows a lot about getting his hands on a girl, and he's best buds with Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Manat least the way Flash tells it.
Like another academic football star and cartoon character, Flash is also an honored Army veteran, having served in both Vietnam and Iraq. Following his most recent tour of duty, Flash lost his legs and is in a wheelchair, but this is one guy you don't count that as liability. Lookit the size of those arms! He could totally beat Professor X in wheelie demolition derby. His weakness? Despite overcoming his bullying side to befriend Petey, he's still kinda a dumb jock with a big ego and an eye for the ladies. One wardrobe malfunction on Morgana's part and it'll be all over but the arrival of Prince Baran and the Hawkmen.
So, you know the drill, don't you? Vote your heart, vote your wallet, vote for who you think will win, vote for who you want to win...just vote, will ya, ya big lugs? Gee, you guys are great. I have the best audience in the blogosophere! (sniffle)
Hey, let's look once more at Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner! Or, if you're Ben Grimm, the Sub-Mareener. Regal and noble Namor is always a figure of power and authority, and even when he's losing his temper and slapping someone across the face with his prune-wrinkled fingers, he's always the very model of a modern marine gentleman. As much as the Sultan of the Seven Seas needs a continual course in anger management, there's never a moment when he acts like anything other than a perfect gentlefishman...
Eh, let's gloss right over that.
Other than that, there's nothing in his past that Namor is ashamed to talk about.
So, down in the briny deep (arrrrrr!), it's just another normal day in Atlantis for regal Namor McKenzie, swimmin' through the ocean, scooping up the scallops, and poppin' 'em in his mouth. When suddenly! He spots a waterlogged corpse caught in the seaweed.
Yes, it's time for another exciting episode of
But wait! She's alive! She's aliiiiiiive! And more important to Namor, she's hot!
Just like his own personal hero, Mitch Buchanan, the Sub-Mariner is always ready, and he will not let you out of his sight. In fact, he's gonna give an internal monologue while he carries your half-drowned bikini-clad body to the beach.
Even though you can't actually see where he's wearing it, Namor of course has his CPR badge, and he immediately begins administering the kiss of life (at least, that's what he always calls it when Reed walks in on him and Susan) to the helpless half-drowned girl. Hey, watch the tongue, Namor! This is around the moment Veronica always walks in on Archie and Betty, isn't it, now?
Whoa! Somebody's had a course in self-defense! Our bathing beauty clocks Namor with an uppercut that, if it were drawn by Gil Kane, would have knocked the Sub-Mariner's head clean into the next county, bouncing off the wall of the Target and rolling down the parking lot until it landed between a Dodge Durango and a Chrysler Town and Country minivan, looking puzzled and a bit peeved.
As a young boy, Subbie was often read by Princess Fen the fable of The Fox and the Grapes, although in Atlantis it's better known as the fable of the Shark and the Grapejellyfish. "Eh, I didn't wanna kiss her anyway," Namor justifies in his head, and we all know when he gets back to the Defenders he's totally gonna tell Hulk that he made out with her. Hulk, of course, will be completely puzzled by this and then ask Fish-Man to help him finish his jigsaw puzzle of Fred Flintstone at the drive-in movies.
Just to make sure she knows he didn't wanna kiss her crummy lips anyway, Namor keeps yelling at her as she swims back to the deck of the Minnow, or to Fantasy Island, or to that floating James Bond car, or maybe to Monster Island, or wherever she came from. He's still shouting at her a half-hour later when his only audience is a beach scavenger with a metal detector, Moondoggie getting in some late surfing, and a seagull.
Later, Namor faces off against one of his most deadly enemies, that supervillain we all love to hate, one of the most important archnemesisesesis in the Marvel Universe, the same man we've all got action figures of, the bad guy that Sir Derek Jacobi is slated to play in the Sub-Mariner motion picture...um...I think his name is "Walrus Man." And he seems to pretty cranky towards Namor because apparently his new contact lenses aren't very well fitted...
Ladies and gentlemen, check it outit's Wendy Pini's Elfquest! Oh wait, no, actually it's Namor's cousin Namorita! (That's Atlantean for "Little Avenging Son," which coincidentally is also the name Namor has given to his...his puppy. His little sea-dog. What, what? What did you think I was goanna say?
Anyway, let us consider this: Namor was mashin' lips with his cousin. (inhale:) Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
In any case, that's why Namor was later heard to say:
All images except the first and the last one are from Sub-Mariner #50 (June 1972), script, pencils, and inks by Bill Everett, letters by John Costanza. The first panel in this post is from Fantastic Four #4 (May 1962), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Sol Brodsky. The final image is Photoshopped from a panel in Namor #20 (November 1991), script, pencils, inks and letters by John Byrne, colors by Mike Thomas