The Namor, The Sub-Mariner Silver Age Omnibus, Vol. 1 is the #56 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017 on Tigereyes’s Secret Ballot.
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What Is It? The Sub-Mariner (1968) was Namor’s first solo ongoing title after almost thirty years of starring in anthology series. It ran for 72 issues from May 1968 to September 1974.
Before that, Sub-Mariner split Tales to Astonish (1959) with the Incredibly Hulk for 32 issues from #70-101 from August 1965 to March 1968.
Past Ranking: This year is the book’s debut placement in the ballot results.
Creators: Written by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas (with Archie Goodwin and Raymond Marais) with pencils by Gene Colan and John Buscema (with Werner Roth, Marie Severin, & Dan Adkins), inks by Vince Colletta, Dick Ayers, and Frank Giacoia (with Dan Adkins & Jerry Grandenetti), and letters by Art ‘Artie’ Simek.
Probable Contents: Most Silver Age omnibuses collect the contents of three Marvel Masterworks volumes, so this volume would almost certainly contain Marvel Comics #1, Daredevil #7, and Tales To Astonish (1959) #70-101, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, and The Sub-Mariner (1968) #1-13.
However, Marvel has recently shown a little bit of adventurousness when it comes to expanding the contents of their Silver Age omnibuses in Daredevil, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, so it’s not a stretch to think this would include another 10-14 issues.
The question is – which 10-14 issues! Click to expand a discussion of further content for this volume.
On one hand, adding a 4th Masterworks to this one would mean this omnibus line could be done in two books – a great idea! In that case, the added issues would be The Sub-Mariner (1968) #14-25.
On the other hand, Namor has an extremely interesting, deliberate progression of guest appearances leading up to him gaining his own features in Tales to Astonish. These stories reintroduce him to the Marvel Universe and play with the line between his heroism and villainy. Then, the added content would be Fantastic Four #4, 6, & 9, Strange Tales #107, Fantastic Four #14 & Annual 1, Avengers #3-4, Fantastic Four #27, X-Men #6, Strange Tales #125, Fantastic Four #33, and material from Avengers #16, and then the already-included Daredevil #7.
Except… why not get us an omnibus that can do both? If we don’t really need the full dozen issues leading up to Namor’s starring turn in Daredevil #7 to lead to Tales to Astonish. We could make do with Fantastic Four #4, 6, 14 (excerpts), & Annual 1, Avengers #4 (excerpts), X-Men #6, Fantastic Four #33, Avengers #16 (excerpt), and then the already-included Daredevil #7. That’s just five extra issues, so maybe we could do this and add the fourth Sub-Mariner Masterworks!
Want to know why I chose some issues but not others? I cover them all, below!
The detraction of stuffing those issues into a first omnibus is that it means we would probably need two more omnibuses to collect the remaining five Masterworks. On the plus side, since they would easily fit, we could probably get all of Super-Villain Team-Up into the third omnibus! For a full mapping, check out my Marvel series still awaiting an omnibus from the Masterworks Era (1961 – 1980).
Can you read it right now? Yes! This run is entirely covered by the Sub-Mariner Masterworks volumes, which are out-of-print but not terribly expensive – Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3. For more details, see the Guide to Namor, The Sub-Mariner.
Namor, The Sub-Mariner was Marvel’s original anti-hero – the tempestuous prince of an undersea kingdom long past its halcyon days who takes out his unending aggression on the above-the-waves world of the surface dwellers.
You may not know this, but he was also the first major hero that Marvel unthawed in the Silver Age, although this unthawing was metaphorical rather than him being relieved from an actual block of ice like Captain America.
And, actually, it was Namor who was partially responsible for freeing Cap!
But now we’re getting ahead of ourselves. [Read more…] about Namor, The Sub-Mariner Silver Age Omnibus, Vol. 1 – The #56 Most-Wanted Marvel Omnibus of 2017