By Chris Arrant
The currents have carried Namor from the Illuminati to the X-Men and several points in between of late, but this July, the King of Atlantis will find himself at odds with one of the hammer-wielding Worthy in the FEAR ITSELF: THE DEEP limited series.
“The story kicks off as Namor faces an enemy he simply cannot defeat on his own,” says writer Cullen Bunn, joined on THE DEEP by artist Lee Garbett. “The Sub-Mariner has faced insurmountable odds before. He's been defeated. But he's never, ever been beaten, at least not like this.”
With the X-Men and mutantkind embroiled in separate issues, the Sub Mariner looks to old friends to help turn the tide.
“Namor calls upon his frequent ally, Doctor Strange, and together they set about putting together a group of heroes who can face this terrible challenge,” reveals Bunn. “Because of the chaos gripping the world, it’s easier said than done to form a cohesive group.”
And while Namor’s words have got him into trouble before with both foe and friend, his actions—and the assistance of Strange—bring the Silver Surfer and Savage She-Hulk to his aid.
“Part of what I like about this team-up is that it's not ideal at all,” Bunn professes. “This group should be able to handle just about anything that comes their way, but they've never worked exceptionally well as a team. They're all too headstrong and set in their ways. If they're going to survive to the end of the series, though, they'll have to work through that.”
Garbett has had no trouble working through the series—in fact, he dove right in.
“I just plunged in, if you'll pardon the pun,” the artist says. “The book pretty much opens with a large scale undersea battle so I had to get right into it. Underwater scenes are different because you're drawing a large scale fight but people aren't necessarily anchored to the ground—but they're not exactly flying either. In that respect it was actually quite freeing because you could add characters wherever you wanted and in a way that was pleasing to the eye.”
In addition to taking advantage of the series’ underwater setting, Garbett took Fear Itself’s thematic origins to heart when illustrating.
“I tried to tap into my own fear of the water, appropriate for Fear Itself I think. I don't like it at all but as a result I find it easy to visualize so I think that's sort of worked out well.”
Both Garbett and Bunn intend to use THE DEEP to push themselves further in the craft of creating comics. For Garbett, it’s his first major adventure under the Marvel Comics banner, while for Bunn, it’s part of a rising wave of work at the House of Ideas which includes the recently announced FEAR ITSELF: BLACK WIDOW.
“It’s a big, action-packed, super hero epic, and I'm handling some of the most powerful and enigmatic characters in the Marvel Universe,” Bunn says. “Going into the book, I channeled a lot of my love for these characters, and I wanted to capture some of the magic I remember from when I was reading them for the first time.
“I kept reminding myself not to hold back—I wanted this to be as wild and as thrilling as a story with these heroes, with the villains I'm using, and with these set pieces could be. And going into every subsequent issue, I forced myself to up the ante.”For more news, live reports, photos, videos and more from the 2011 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo, stay tuned to Marvel.com all weekend! And to really keep up, get the Marvel Live Event App!