Wednesday, November 30, 2011
THE AVENGING SON
Continuing with Roger Stern's classic Avengers run, Marvel Comics Group, 1986
You might’ve found the clash of egos between Namor and Hercules amusing; perhaps the arguing just left you cold. Perhaps you enjoyed the complexities of their friendship. When Captain Marvel breaks up their latest row over Namor not catching Hercules---tossed in the air by the Beyonder’s parting gift, a tornado, in #265---she gets them both to focus, irritated though she is. “May your beard grow inward” from Namor’s thoughts as they work together, is the funniest thing I’ve read all day.
When Marrina flees Atlantis in #272, Hercules is the first to speak his worry. It is well that Namor realized, when Attuma repulsed him alone with the forces of Atlantis, he should in fact call Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
The entire team’s reassembled: Captain Marvel, Black Knight, Captain America, Hercules, the Submariner, and their leader, the Wasp. Now, his fiancé, Marrina of Alpha Flight, is the endangered one, tortured by the new barbaric monarch. Her team mates also arrive: Vindicator, North Star, Aurora and Box join shape-shifter Snowbird against the Atlantean defenses, who offer no cordialities to their exiled prince (a story told in a 1985 limited series).
Namor overcomes Attuma, but after he frees Marrina, he must leave him in charge of Atlantis.
His regrets are much more personal; Marrina’s alien nature has asserted itself, usurped her human appearance. As she explains, she, a Plodex egg from the stars, only assumed human form because that’s the first thing she detected: her adopted mother---but what of her lifetime of human feelings? Neither Namor nor Captain Marvel can stop her. He invokes private privilege once more, in his quest to save Marrina’s very soul, and with it takes his leave of the Avengers.
His two billion dollar lawsuit is a burden he’s taken on, so that he might settle it rightfully in court, and with it, establish a true place “in the world of my father.” What an unfortunate time, especially, for him to choose not to return.
I like how Captain Marvel softens at this other side of Prince Namor, even as the team loses him this sad way. I am not sure he is right to pursue her alone without his surface friends. I do know they will shortly need him very much!