Unearthed: Sub-Mariner #2

Welcome to a new episode of Comics Breakdown! Today we’re leaving the Avengers behind — not forever, mind you – to focus on a new old comic! Today we’re looking at the Sub-Mariner, published in 1941 in Timely Comics, which would later become Marvel Comics.

For the most part, these early adventures of Namor’s are somewhat crudely-drawn by today’s standards, but you can’t deny they have a strange energy all their own. Keep in mind that these came out while World War 2 was in full swing, so the preponderance of Nazi fighting is obvious.

And it’s not just Namor! Look! Cap’n ‘Mer’ca! Bucky! The Human Torch and Toro! And… The… Angel! And Black.. Marvel?

Onto the story. In the pantheon of great second-rate villains, Herr Schnapps is one of the better names.

Having been introduced to Namor as an arrogant, fighting prince of Atlantis, I was unprepared for this portrayal of him as a bitchy, Joan Crawford-esque scourge.

I’m going to say I doubt the writers foresaw the possibility of reading Namor as having the attitude of a drag queen, but it’s working for me.


The phonetic spelling of what I’m assuming is some kind of German accent is really kind of ruining my day.

SERIOUSLY, what the hell IS this? Did people actually replace the ‘b’ sound with ‘p’, like, ever? How the Max Schmeling do you put a ‘d’ sound in “ain’t”?

Early Namor is a froggin’ chatterbox, and a lot of his dialogue is simply incredible.


In my mind, the sight of a Speedo-clad, wing-footed mutant man spouting this kind of verbiage is what so demoralized the Germans that it won us the war.

Namor is the greatest drag queen of all time. LOOK AT THE EYEBROWS.

He’s got a bitch slap and everything!

As a stand-alone panel, this is just the best.

Namor speaks for all of us.

Do I need to keep making the argument?

Haha, the classic “Stop hitting yourself”! It just never gets old.

And a bit of history here: “Marvel Comics” in this case wouldn’t be the name of the publisher, but the title of an actual comics series.

Also, they lie, because this is actually what’s on the next page:

This does not satisfy as a Namor replacement.

Honestly, I think we’re done with old-school Namor comics. Next week, a brand-new comics title. But TOMORROW, assuming I get it done on time, the first episode of my original Marvel Retold series!

Marvel Retold reboots the Marvel Comics Universe as though it were created today. The only drawback is that you’ll have to contend with my terrible artwork, but I can’t afford a real artist! So, I apologize in advance. I hope you like it regardless.

Probably a bad idea to apologize for something before it’s even out, but there you go, that’s the Akela Promise.