Alpha Flight in Namor, The First Mutant #1

Namor, The First Mutant #1
Oct 2010

The first issue of Namor’s new ongoing series starts off squarely in the middle of the vampiric Curse of the Mutants storyline, and could be one of the numbered chapters if the series had them. Right off the bat, sharp-eyed readers will notice the title block taking its general shape from John Byrne’s Namor, The Sub-Mariner series from 1990. Unfortunately, no one from Alpha Flight appears in the main story of the book, but Jeffries does appear in the Intro page as a regular member of the X-Men Science team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and Marrina appears in flashback in two panels.

Since there’s no need to introduce readers to the main character (unless you’ve been under a rock or in a coma since 1939), Stuart Moore picks up the story right after the events of X-Men #2, where Cyclops unveiled his incredulous plan to resurrect Dracula by reattaching his severed head to his body, which was recently recovered in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1. To introduce the general background of the Curse of the Mutants storyline and to show Namor’s current membership in the X-Men, a typical full intro page is used, containing narrative text and a portion of a two page team splash from X-Men #2. Here is part of that original panel:

Namor then obtains Dracula’s severed head.

After the main story is an eight page “Atlas File” as narrated by his cousin Namora from the Agents of Atlas, describing the major events in Namor’s life up to and including his membership in the X-Men. Extensive text and key panels depicting important moments fill in the reader with a well-written chronological story, including his brief romance and marriage to Marrina. Two interesting images accompany this text, one being a very nicely restored image from Fantastic Four #261 as Namor lifts Marrina from the roof of the Baxter building:

Note the miscolored light blue hair and miscolored dark blue costume – but don’t blame the artist in this issue – both were very clearly blue in the original comic. The detail of Marrina’s eyes and overall quality of the image has been very nicely restored, which says more about the poor quality of newsprint images and abysmal printing processes from 1983 than anything else. The art is by John Byrne, of course, who was in the middle of his famous Fantastic Four run at the time.

The second image is of Namor holding Marrina after he apparently killed her with the ebony blade:

Very sharp-eyed Alpha Flight fans know that this image is not from Avengers #293, the issue where those unfortunate events took place, but from Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12 – an incredible 12-issue summary of Namor’s life that puts this little eight page narrative to shame. That series contained new artwork based on original panels. In this case, the writer Kevin Garcia wanted to show Namor’ grief following Marrina’s apparent death and had a choice between the condensed version from Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12 and the original version from Avengers #293:

The single panel contains text combined from three panels of the original and is therefore the better choice of the two for this purpose.

Note: the single panel image shown above is from this issue, not the Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12, as distinguished by the modern coloring techniques but otherwise faithfully reproduced.

Note: there is a variant cover by Joe Quesada, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove, along with a rare sketch variant. There is also a second printing variant which is really a sketch variant of the orginal cover by Jae Lee and June Chung.

Namor, The First Mutant #1 – Quesada variant
Namor, The First Mutant #1 – Quesada sketch variant
Namor, The First Mutant #1 – second printing variant

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One Response to “Alpha Flight in Namor, The First Mutant #1”

  1. Ahab Says:

    I wish someone would have continued to follow up on the promise to find Marrina’s offspring. I know it was addressed in a SubMariner annual AND in Quasar, but they only showed one of the offspring in the annual (at least I interpreted it that way) and never followed up on it in Quasar. Again, the fact that Lobdell alluded to family at the end of V3 and showed Mar with the SubMariner leads me to believe that Mar was supposed to be one of the offspring, but I wonder if anyone will ever return to this idea. I tend to doubt it, as children in comics tend to have the stigma of excess baggage for characters. How sad is that?

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