In Marvel’s long history, Namor is probably one of their most complicated characters. It’s nearly impossible to glean where his allegiances truly lie. Sometimes, he’s good, other times, he’s at war with the world. AVENGERS #9 seems to more clearly draw the line.

The short of it is, Namor’s really pissed with we land-dwellers.

AVENGERS #8 featured some Roxxon mercenaries killing Atlanteans and hanging them from the side of their ship. Namor didn’t take too kindly to that. As such, he captured these goons and has been holding them prisoner beneath the sea. AVENGERS #9 deals with the fallout of the previous issue, and sets up what is likely going to be an epic confrontation in the near-future.

Writer Jason Aaron continues his Avengers stampede. He’s effectively revamped the team and ushered in a new age for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But, will these new Avengers be able to stand up to the might of Namor? I’m not entirely sure.

Joining Aaron once again is artist David Marquez, who really, really, really needs to keep working on this series. This new rendition of Namor is probably the coolest one we’ve ever seen, and Marquez absolutely nails it. Not to mention, he’s just really good at making the Avengers look good.

Namor is Pissed

Namor narrates the entirety of AVENGERS #9. It’s essentially him harping on the superiority of merfolk and how humanity is a cancer on the world. Very pleasant stuff.

AVENGERS #9 opens on what seems like a one-off fight between the hero Stingray and the villain Tiger Shark. Tiger Shark is attacking a cruise ship, and Stingray isn’t having it. Their battle takes to the ocean, where they encounter Namor. He offers them both a choice: join him, or get the hell out of the ocean.

And all I have to say is I hope none of you guys were big Stingray fans.

AVENGERS #9
AVENGERS #9 page 7. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The story cuts back to a few days earlier, as we find the Avengers racing to the depths to save those Roxxon punks from the wrath of Atlantis. The Avengers battle against a squad of Atlantean warriors and a giant sea monster, exchanging tasteful banter throughout.

The confrontation turns sour as we get a reunion between T’Challa and Namor. As far as I recall, the last time these two got together was during Jonathan Hickman’s SECRET WARS. At that point, they hated each other. I’m fairly certain that rivalry still lingers. I mean, their nations did go to war with each other, after all.

Namor effectively dismantles the Avengers. It’s made abundantly clear to us that you don’t screw with Namor, especially when underwater. Steve manages to calm him down to the point that they can get the hostages out of the sea, but the peace doesn’t last.

At least, it doesn’t seem like it will. AVENGERS #9 ends by showing us the new oceanic defenders Namor has assembled. I must say, they don’t look like the nicest bunch.

An Understandable Motive for Namor in AVENGERS #9

Like I mentioned before, Namor hasn’t always been the easiest character to read. By that, I mean he paints himself in different shades every time you see him. It’s hard to understand his motives because they’re constantly changing. One moment, he’s trying to save the multiverse with the Illuminati, and he’s got some semblance of a conscience. In another instance, he’s empowered by the Phoenix and just wants to destroy his enemies.

That trend continues in AVENGERS #9. However, this time around, Namor has a more understandable motive. Jason Aaron has gone to great lengths to make sure we know what’s driving the Sub-Mariner, and what his goal is. I should hope he’s not really thinking about declaring war on the surface world because Namor’s Defenders of the Deep look horrifically fearsome.

AVENGERS #9
AVENGERS #9 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Aaron does a great job of putting stock into Namor’s aggression. In the past, I’ve always felt like Namor’s been a dick just to be a dick. Now, he has a sensible cause, one that anyone could probably get behind. He’s rightfully pissed off at we humans because we keep dumping our shit into the oceans. Namor’s people would rather die on land than continue living in the squalor beneath. Can you blame them?

If anything, you should take AVENGERS #9 as a call to arms. Stop polluting the oceans, people.

But, seriously, Aaron’s done a damn good job convincing me of Namor’s purpose this time around. I’m eager to see more of him and his Defenders of the Deep. By all accounts, we will.

Namor Never Looked So Good

Sheesh, it used to be I never wanted to talk about this guy. Now, he’s the center of my attention. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got guys like David Marquez and Justin Ponsor drawing you.

Marquez and Ponsor return for AVENGERS #9 in spectacular fashion. As I said earlier, this is easily the best Namor has ever looked. I’m pretty sure this is the first appearance of his new look, and it’s outstanding. It’s equal parts stylish and intimidating.

Not only does he look aesthetically cool, but Namor’s never had a more demanding presence in a comic. Any close-ups on him show him with dead-black eyes. He’s more grizzled and stoic than we’ve seen in the past. All of this comes from Marquez’s immeasurable talent as an artist.

AVENGERS #9
AVENGERS #9 page 27. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I also really have to commend Ponsor’s colors. As the majority of AVENGERS #9 takes place underwater, there’s a surprising variety of colors and hues. It’s both the weirdest and coolest thing seeing Ghost Rider set the ocean ablaze. He even burns rubber from inside a giant sea monster.

There really isn’t a single page I dislike in AVENGERS #9. Honestly, there are very few pages from this duo I dislike, in general. Even more reason for them to stick to this series like glue.

War on the Horizon

Though the Avengers have apparently stemmed the tide of war, for now, a battle between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Namor’s Defenders of the Deep seems abundantly inevitable. Those do not at all look like the kind of people you want to piss off. But, hey, Namor’s kind of in the right on this one. So, here’s looking forward to that confrontation.

Jason Aaron doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all with his run on AVENGERS. In fact, it seems as though he’s speeding up. We’re on a one-way track to something epic. How can he top something as grand as the Final Host? I really have no idea. All I know is I’m excited for it!

AVENGERS #9 also continues to prove just how potent a duo David Marquez and Justin Ponsor are. Their art is some of the best an Avengers series has seen in a while. I look forward to seeing more of their work on this series in the future.

Next up is AVENGERS #700! That’s a lot of Avengers, guys! Who’s excited? I’m excited! Get excited!

AVENGERS #9 by Jason Aaron, David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, and VC's Corey Petit
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
AVENGERS #9 may just be the first Namor-themed comic I can actually get behind. I've never been much of a fan, but I'll be damned if I didn't admit Jason Aaron is changing my mind.
97 %
Namor. Is. Pissed.

One Comment

  1. […] Last time we saw the Avengers, they got into a heated scrap with Namor. Now, the Submariner has his own comradery of super people to defend the oceans of the world. AVENGERS #10, aka AVENGERS #700 (holy shit!), brings the two teams together for a dramatic clash, plus so much more! […]

    Reply

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!