Click on each image to view larger
Sub-Mariner Comics #1-32 (Spring 1941 - June 1949), Sub-Mariner #33-42 (April 1954 - Oct. 1955).
Namor the Sub-Mariner is a fictional comic book character in the MarvelComics universe, and one of the first superheroes, debuting in Spring 1939. The character was created by writer-artist Bill Everett for Funnies Inc., one of the first "packagers" in the early days of comic books that supplied comics on demand to publishers looking to enter the new medium. Initially created for the unreleased comic Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, the Sub-Mariner first appeared publicly in Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939) — the first comic book from Timely Comics, the 1930s-1940s predecessor of the company Marvel Comics. During that period, known to historians and fans as the Golden Age of Comic Books, the Sub-Mariner was one of Timely's top three characters, along with Captain America and the original Human Torch. Everett said the character's name was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
The mutant son of a human sea captain and of a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, Namor possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the "Homo mermanus" race, as well as the mutant ability of flight, along with other superhuman powers. Through the years, he has been alternately portrayed as a good-natured but short-fused superhero, or a hostile invader seeking vengeance for perceived wrongs that misguided surface-dwellers committed against his kingdom.
The first known comic book antihero, the Sub-Mariner has remained a historically important and relatively popular Marvel character. He has served directly with the Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Invaders, and the X-Men as well as serving as a foil to all of them on occasion.
Namor the Sub-Mariner first appeared in April 1939 in the prototype for a planned giveaway comic titled Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, produced by the comic book packager Funnies Inc. The only eight known samples among those created to send to theater owners were discovered in the estate of the deceased publisher in 1974. When the giveaway idea fell through, creator Everett used the character for Marvel Comics #1, the first comic book by Funnies, Inc. client Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel. The final panel of the earlier, unpublished eight-page Sub-Mariner story had included a "Continued Next Week" box that reappeared, sans lettering, in an expanded 12-page story. The series Marvel Comics was retitled Marvel Mystery Comics with issue #2 (Dec. 1939).
Namor's first cover appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb. 1940). Art by Alex Schomburg. In his first appearances Namor was an enemy of America. Everett's antihero would eventually battle Carl Burgos' android superhero, the Human Torch; however, as the U.S. entered the Second World War, Namor would ally himself with the Torch and the allies against Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers. Other friends included Betty Dean, a New York policewoman introduced in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (and later known as Betty Dean-Prentiss), who was a steady companion, and his cousins Namora and Dorma.
Namor starred in the Golden Age comic book Sub-Mariner Comics, published quarterly, then thrice-yearly, and finally bimonthly, from issues #1-32 (Fall 1941 - June 1949). A backup feature each issue starred the detective-superhero the Angel. Along with many other Timely characters, Namor disappeared not long after the end of World War II and the decline in popularity of superhero comics. He also briefly fought crime as a member of the post-war superhero team the All-Winners Squad, and, through a 1970s retcon, was given a history of having fought with the Allies during World War II in the superhero team the Invaders. Both these super-groups were built around the core of Namor, Captain America, and the original Human Torch. Some issues of the 1975-1979 series The Invaders reprinted Golden Age Sub-Mariner stories.The Sub-Mariner experienced a brief revival in the mid-1950s, starting with Young Men #24 (which also briefly revived Captain America and the original Human Torch) and then in Sub-Mariner Comics #33-42 (April 1954 - Oct. 1955). During this time, Namora had her own spin-off series.
William Blake "Bill" Everett, also known as William Blake and Everett Blake (May 18, 1917, Cambridge, Massachusetts – February 27, 1973) was a comic book writer-artist best known for creating Namor the Sub-Mariner and co-creating Daredevil for Marvel Comics. He was a descendant of the poet William Blake and of Richard Everett, founder of Dedham, Massachusetts. Everett was inducted into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2000.
Everett created the Sub-Mariner for an aborted project, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1, a planned promotional comic to be given away in movie theaters. When plans changed, Everett used his character instead for Funnies, Inc.'s first client, pulp magazine publisher Martin Goodman. The original eight-page story was expanded by four pages for Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), the first publication of what Goodman would eventually call Timely Comics, the 1940s precursor of Marvel Comics. Everett's anti-hero proved a sudden success, quickly becoming one of Timely's top three characters, along with Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch and Jack Kirby and Joe Simon's Captain America. Everett soon introduced such supporting characters as New York City policewoman Betty Dean, a steady companion and occasional love-interest, and Namor's cousin Namora.
Everett drew his star character in Sub-Mariner Comics for issues #1-32 (Fall 1941 - June 1949).
Everett entered the U.S. Army for World War II military service in February 1942. When he returned home, he renewed his association with Martin Goodman, "working by mail on a freelance basis, picking up the Sub-Mariner where I'd left off four years ago". His first recorded post-war credit is writing and full art for the 12-page story "Sub-Mariner vs. Green-Out" in Sub-Mariner Comics #21 (Fall 1946) — the third of three Sub-Mariner stories that issue, for which Syd Shores drew the cover. Everett was soon providing Sub-Mariner stories regularly for the solo title as well as for The Human Torch, Marvel Mystery Comics and even Blonde Phantom Comics.
Additionally, he drew the title feature in the three-issue spin-off series Namora (Aug.-Dec. 1948).
By now, Timely Comics had evolved into Marvel's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. Like most superhero characters in the postwar era, the Sub-Mariner had faded in popularity, and his solo title had been canceled in 1949. But after a nearly five-year hiatus, he briefly returned with Captain America and the Golden Age Human Torch in Young Men #24 (Dec. 1953), during Atlas' mid-1950s attempt at reviving superheroes. Everett drew the Sub-Mariner feature through Young Men #28 (June 1954) and in Sub-Mariner Comics #33-42 (April 1954 - Oct. 1955), which outlasted the other two characters' features. During this time, Namora had her own spin-off series.
Everett also drew the features "Venus" and "Marvel Boy", as well as a large number of stories for Atlas' anthological horror-fantasy series. One such tale, "Zombie!," written by editor-in-chief Stan Lee and published in Menace #5, introduced the character Simon Garth, the Zombie, who in the 1970s would be plucked from this one-shot story to star in Marvel's black-and-white horror-comics magazine Tales of the Zombie.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.