Tag Archives: Namor

What If It Was The Fantastic Five Again?

It’s a story we’ve tackled over and over and over again. What if something happened in that first year of the Fantastic Four’s run? Hey, listen, it could be Atlantis Attacks again. And speaking of Atlantis and attacking, let’s talk about the time the Human Torch attacked a homeless man from Atlantis. The Torch is having a hissy-fit at the rest of the FF because he is clearly the one who got the short end of the stick in their whole getting powers thing. He leaves the Baxter Building and spends the night at what the texts continue to describe as a “flop house.” There he finds a familiar homeless person and sets his beard on fire. Then he throws said homeless person in the ocean and said homeless person luckily turns out to be Namor the Sub-Mariner. Because otherwise the FF would have a fucking lawsuit on their hands.

The Human Torch solves New York's homeless problem, one man at a time.
The Human Torch solves New York’s homeless problem, one man at a time.

While in our reality, the Torch dumps Namor in the drink on his own, in this issue we see the rest of the Fantastic Four helping to search for Johnny and them all watching him toss a strange man into the sea. Nobody seems to think this is a bad idea.

Anyway, Namor emerges from the ocean, pissed as hell but Sue Storm and the FF are able to calm him down. While they admit that Atlantis was destroyed years ago, they convince their new fishy friend to stick around, join the team and they can maybe help him find his people. Possibly before Atlantis Attacks and a giant snake devours the She-Hulk.

The Thing lets the new guy borrow his undies.
The Thing lets the new guy borrow his undies.

Namor’s first mission with the Fantastic Five is inevitably going to be the one where Doctor Doom sends the team back in time to search for Blackbeard’s treasure because it always is. Fuck you, Doom. You become a god on multiple occasions. Why the hell do you want some dead asshole’s doubloons? Anyway, Doom holds Sue hostage because she’s the woman and sends the rest of the team into the past. Luckily for everyone, Namor is familiar with Blackbeard’s treasure from when his team recovered the wreck years ago and knows exactly where to find it. Unfortunately, once he finds it, it is no longer there in the future for his people to discover and thus the location is lost to him so he could never find it in the first place and… GODDAMNIT, TIME TRAVEL. The hell with this, everyone back to the present to beat up Doom. That motherfucker.

"I see you're wondering about my friend's ears. He was injured... in a... mechanical rice picker."
“I see you’re wondering about my friend’s ears. He was injured… in a… mechanical rice picker.”

Back in the present, Namor unleashes the magical power of Blackbeard’s gold. Specifically, the gems of Merlin that were hidden among it. Jesus, how many famous historical figures interacted with this treasure? Did it also contain the bow of Robin Hood, the crown of Genghis Khan, the Dracula trophy of Dracula and the microphone of Elvis? Anyway, Namor unleashes the power of Merlin to turn Doom into a squirrel and then be seduced by another squirrel. Unfortunately, it’s just another fucking Doombot so guess who is still around to make bombastic statements and talk about himself in the third person. Fucking Doom.

The FF5 share many more exciting adventures all of which are made easier because Namor is there and isn’t he just so great? The super-apes of the Red Ghost are no match for the chiseled pecs of Namor the Sub-Mariner. Nor is Reed Richards and his stretchy flabby man chest. As he and Sue grow apart, she and Namor grow closer together until one evening whilst they enact the flying scene from Superman, Namor asks Sue to marry him. She says yes and luckily in this case, does not have her body permanently altered so it can live underwater. Good call, Sue. Excellent foresight. They do have a rather swinging wedding though (As far as I can tell, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are NOT invited.) and at the wedding toast, Reed proclaims that he is leaving the FF to pursue his scientific pursuits. Jesus, Reed. Way to bring the room down.

Way to bring down the party, REED.
Way to bring down the party, REED.

Fortunately, things seem to work out pretty well. The Fantastic Once Again Four continue to be a force for good in the Marvel Universe. Namor and Sue are expecting their first child while Reed opens Richtech where he can develop technology of the future without being distracted by frivolous things like fighting crime and being with a loving family. Alas, the good times cannot last forever. Needing a lab assistant, Reed hires hot foreign redhead Lissette Orlova and yes, those of you with linguistic degrees in the languages of fake eastern European countries, that IS a Latveria name. You see, Lissette is a spy for Doctor Doom, poisoning Reed even as she falls in love with him.

"Face it, tiger. You just hit... wait, that's not me."
“Face it, tiger. You just hit… wait, that’s not me.”

Eventually, Doom places his plan into action. He kidnaps Reed and his… weird purple singlet thingy and injects him with a neurotoxin that completely saps his free will. Meanwhile, Lisette apologizes. A LOT. Doom drags Reed to the Baxter Building and uses Reed’s knowledge to bypass the security systems. It’s a lot like the Baxter Building level of the Maximum Carnage game except the soundtrack is provided by Reed’s whimpers and not the musical stylings of Green Jelly.

After sealing Ben and Johnny in their rooms, Doom attacks Namor and Sue and their one set of pyjamas. Doom beats Namor pretty easily and then starts strangling Sue. Unfortunately for Sue, she has forgotten that she is the most powerful member of the FF and has beaten Doom numerous times and just lets herself be strangled until Reed snaps out of it and attacks Doom. Then Doom throws him at the window and Reed cuts himself badly, forgetting that he is a stretchy guy. I guess amnesia is communicable by air. Anyway, Doom escapes vowing revenge but the issue is almost over so I guess don’t worry about him.

The FF and Lissette rush Reed to a hospital where a blood transfusion from a Stretch Armstrong doll saves his life. Then Reed realizes that he loves Lissette and they hook up and they all live happily ever after with their creepy, creepy offspring.

PS Doom exploded on the way home.

 

What If Namor Was A Petulant Whiny Paleontologist?

Hope you guys like tales of Atlantean politics because this week’s story is a doozy. We start with a flashback to twenty years ago when Atlantis met its destiny. And no, this is a not (as I expected.) a metaphor for the destined destruction of Atlantis and the exile of its people all over the world’s ocean. No, Atlantis is literally attacked by an underwater guy named Destiny and only our favorite speedo wearing hairless wonder, Namor can defeat him. Or, as things would normally go in our universe, not defeat him.

But here, in this amazing universe, Namor fights back against Destiny. He swings just a second early, ending the threat and saving the day. And then the machinations begin. Whilst Namor is out in the depths of the ocean burying Destiny’s magic hat, Namor’s brother (uncle? I don’t know. Castle intrigue always confuses the hell out of me.)

Namor's ability to drill into the earth does not feature often.
Namor’s ability to drill into the earth does not feature often.

Byrrah takes the ailing Atlantean king’s signet ring, allowing him to take control of the Atlantean throne. He then travels to the local priest Kormak and WarmasterKrang and convinces them to join him in usurping the throne. Little does he know they both have identical plans to overthrow and betray Byrrah. I swear to God, I have no idea how anything ever gets done in Atlantis.

Byrrah talked to forty-eight other blue guys with ridiculous mustaches and they all thought pretty much the same thing.
Byrrah talked to forty-eight other blue guys with ridiculous mustaches and they all thought pretty much the same thing.

Namor returns home, excited about all the love his people will be showering him with now that he’s saved the day. Unfortunately, he hasn’t counted on Byrrah going on an all-out Namor smear campaign. The watery seabeds of Atlantis are practically littered with signs such as “Namor: Half-Breed Monster?”, “Namor: Really digs little shorts, what’s that about?” and “Namor: How come his widow’s peak reaches his nose? I mean who grows hair that low on their face?”

"We got trouble! Right here in this river!"
“We got trouble! Right here in this river!”

Namor attempts to take his proper place on the throne but Byrrah blocks his path and the guards do not trust him. That night, Byrrah pulls some Hamlet shit, murdering the king with poison. On a knife. Which he stabs the king with and then hides under Namor’s bed. The next morning, when the guards arrive, they quickly find the missing murder knife and Namor is forced to flee back into the unforgiving ocean.

That could be ANYONE'S knife.
That could be ANYONE’S knife.

Confused and ashamed, Namor leaves Atlantis to wander the oceans alone like all Marvel characters when they’re feeling down in the dumps. Just as he’s leaving, the spirit of Poseidon or possibly Neptune appears before Namor in the form of the Ice King and demands that Namor return to his people, bearing Neptune’s magic trident. With it, Namor can easily prove that he is king of all seven of the seas and return his tight butt to the Atlantean throne. Alas, Namor is in one of his legendary snits so instead he leaves to go sea wandering.

"Gunter, you're embarrasing me!"
“Gunter, you’re embarrasing me!”

Back in Atlantis, ruling a country is (of course) not enough for Byrrah so he dons the traditional black top hat and begins demanding rent from his subjects in exchange for not tying them to railroad tracks. The Atlantean people start to think they might have made a mistake. At this point, underwater barbarian Attuma attacks, hoping to capture… I don’t know, Atlantis’ many pearls or oil or whatever the hell.

"Ugh, THIS guy."
“Ugh, THIS guy.”

Meanwhile, Namor is attacked by a kelp monster for a few pages in an effort to kill time. He’s saved when some Atlanteans in a stingray ship arrive. They beg Namor for help in defeating Attuma but Namor’s got a whole lot going on now with the being a proud asshole so he fucks off to the surface.

Could this be my favourite quote in any What If ever?
Could this be my favourite quote in any What If ever?

Namor arrives on Galapagos Island and finds a research team whose boat is on fire. After extinguishing the fire, Namor bonds with an attractive research lady and learns a great deal about evolution and turtles. He also helps find fossils by destroying the rocks they are trapped in with his super strength which Jurassic Park has taught me is exactly how to do that.

No idea what's going on here.
No idea what’s going on here.

Eventually the Atlantean stingray ship arrives and this time tells Namor that his mother is dead. Well, now that the Sub-Mariner has an actual REASON to fight for his people instead of just… “They need help and you are a hero” he heads off, leaving behind his potential career as a shirtless scientist. After a quick stop by Neptune’s house to pick up that trident, Namor returns to Atlantis.

"Why do people not like me? Is it because I'm a magic user?" "You're a sociopath!"
“Why do people not like me? Is it because I’m a magic user?” “You’re a sociopath!”

There he finds his people beaten and Byrrah… dead? Exiled? Whatever. It’s not like Namor returning to free his people from an oppressive tyrant who murdered his father would be cool so we’ll just have him fight some other random dude instead. Which he does, first by dropping a building on the guy and then spearing him with a trident. The day saved and his royalty returned like so much Lion King, Namor prepares to take his place once more upon the Atlantean throne. Unfortunately, his people are all sad and betrayed and so they all go into self-exile, travelling across the sea, leaving to sit on his lonely throne, king of no one. Loser.

Please remember that he is  sitting alone in an empty throne room in an abandoned city.
Please remember that he is sitting alone in an empty throne room in an abandoned city.

 

What if Spider-Man Joined the Fantastic Four?! WHAT IF THAT?

What If Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four?


So we start with a little introduction featuring famous giant bald white guy the Watcher, here to explain what exactly an alternate reality is. He’s also the Cryptkeeper of the What If series, minus the bad puns and rotting jaw line. Unfortunately.

So after a little (a lot.) of explanation about what the hell is actually going on and then a catch-up on who Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four are (Stan Lee lived by a single philosophy: Every comic book is somebody’s first comic book. And if your first comic book is an story about four guys in jumpsuits who hire another guy when normally they wouldn’t  have, God help you.) and what their whole deal is. And then we get about four pages of a scene in Amazing Spider-Man 1 where Spidey tries to join the FF by breaking in, ruining an expensive plexiglass cage and then beating everyone up. (Stan Lee lived by a second single philosophy: Never go into a job interview ready to beat up the guy interviewing you. And at least tell somebody you’re there for an interview too.)

Then the Watcher freezes everything, Out Of This World style, so he can explain what the concept of the book is again, in case the slow kids weren’t paying attention. Spider-Man goes to leave but Sue calls him back, explaining to Reed that the FF doesn’t have enough jerks in it. Considering this is set in the Silver Age and Reed is still in his “Shut up, Sue, I’m doing science. Go buy yourself a hat.” phase, this is saying something.

The FF hires Spidey and they have a big press conference where they can dramatically remove their “4” emblems to reveal a fancy new “5”. Then J. Jonah Jameson shows up to proclaim Spidey a menace because it’s day time. He goes into his usual rant about how Spider-Man ruined his son’s space adventure or whatever but what’s this?! Apparently, Reed has some pull at NASA and gets them to drop the charges on Spidey. Jonah, easily cowed by the all powerful National Aeronautics and Space Administration backs off. Tomorrow’s Bugle Headline will read “Daredevil: Menace or Asshole?”

What follows is a few short stories about what’s changed now that the FF and Spidey are best friends forever. Basically the Chameleon never shows up because he’s afraid of Reed Richards and the Vulture gets his ass kicked in about five minutes because he doesn’t like being set on fire. Then Reed presents his new spaceship, powered by energy he found in “certain meteors” and proclaims his plan to have the FF be the first people to set foot on the moon! Except he kind of built it with only four seats, whoops, so Sue, uh, maybe you should sit this one out, muffin, here’s the credit card, go get yourself something pretty.  

So the Fantastic Five minus One go on an adventure while Sue stays behind and justifiably fumes, when she receives a psychic booty call from the ever-aerodynamic but not actually psychic Prince Namor to meet her at the docks. Upon arriving, Namor smacks her with a hypno fish. One of nature’s miracles, the hypno fish can not only breathe air and fly, it also has the incredible ability to hypnotize people and then capture them in bubbles so they can be safely transported under the sea. Scientists refer to it as ichthyius bullshitus.

Having soundly whipped the shit out of some communist moon super gorillas, the FF-1 return home to discover that a) Sue is missing and b) fucking Namor’s hanging out in the rec room. It takes all four superheroes failing to punch Namor in the face to realize that this is actually a hologram. Namor, politely waiting, invites them to his swinging undersea pad where they can all beat on each other in safety. The FF- 1 hop into their handy submarine and randomly drive around the ocean until they run into Namor. Seriously. It’s a good thing the ocean isn’t really big or they never would have found him.

Meanwhile, this whole thing is being monitored by the Puppet Master, who is also around, looking fucking creepy. He’s used his horrible puppet powers to control Namor but not the FF, despite clearly having puppets of them. This is not explained, nor is the Puppet Master’s possession of a Submarine of his own. Presumedly, he has a clay shipyard stored somewhere in his attic.

The FF arrive at Namor’s bachelor pad to find Sue trapped in a bubble and being attacked by the largest squid in the ocean. Namor challenges them to hand to hand combat, as is the tradition of his people apparently. Then he uses his array of extremely specific sea creatures to defeat the FF, including a seaweed mop that eats fire, a fungus that grows on rock guys, and a blowfish that exclusively feeds on inattentive super-intelligent husbands. There’s some more fighting and then Ben throws the squid through the ceiling where it smacks into the Puppet Master’s submarine. The Puppet Master tries desperately to forge a clay octopus but only has time to make one of the arms. Somewhere in the ocean’s depths, an eel plans to kidnap Sue Storm.

Freed of the Puppet Master’s puppet mastery, Namor comes to his senses. And attacks Reed because, mind-controlled or not, he still wants him some of that sweet Invisible Girl action. Aw yeah. At this point, Sue finally speaks up and tells the men to for god’s sake knock it off. And then she dumps Reed and hooks up with Namor. Tired of feeling like the fifth wheel from that one time Spider-Man took her seat on a spaceship, she abandons the surface for a carefree life under the sea, searching for Namor’s people and… I dunno, looking at fish. Luckily for her, Namor has prepared a device ahead of time that turns humans into fish, Blood Waters of Dr. Z style so he kicks Sue in there, permanently keeping her from returning to land, her family and the life she knew. Good thing she gave that decision a whole six seconds to think over.

So the once again Fantastic Four return to the surface, Reed mopes and Johnny and Spidey talk about how, if Spidey had never joined the FF, none of this would ever happen. And then the Watcher explains the premise again in case anyone fell asleep.