Sub-Mariner Resurfaces From Civil War

The Prince of Atlantis is in hot water and back with a vengeance

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By Eric Drumm
Namor the Sub-Mariner has been a pillar of the Marvel Universe since its inception. As the ruling monarch of the undersea civilization of Atlantis, he has been friend and foe to heroes across the board. Back with his own mini-series, SUB-MARINER, Namor may have to shed his aquatic arrogance to save his people. Making his debut way back in 1939 with MARVEL COMICS #1, Namor has always been a heavy in the hero game. Even as a member of the Invaders and the Avengers, his allegiance has always been to the kingdom of Atlantis, prompting him to attack and invade the surface world on more than a few occasions. However, even if he was romancing a very married Sue Richards or fighting alongside Cap, Namor has been a hero through and through. More recently, Namor chose a side in CIVIL WAR. At the behest of the Invisible Woman, Namor and his Atlantean forces joined Captain America's Secret Avengers in the climatic final battle in CIVIL WAR #7. After their defeat, Namor went back to Atlantis, but not before creating a rift between himself and former teammate and Illuminati counsel member Tony Stark, the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. SUB-MARINER co-writer Matt Cherniss feels that he is giving Namor the royal treatment he deserves. "Writing the book has been fantastic," he gleefully explains. "Namor has obviously been at the center of many of his own books in the past. But I don't think there has ever been a better, or more important time for a Namor book in the history of the character. I know that is a bold statement, but with everything going on between Namor and the surface, combined with the shocking events of the first issue of our series, we feel like Namor is fun again. In a weird way I feel like Namor's path has been building to this moment for a while now. By the end of the story there will be no turning back and Namor will be more of a force than ever in the Marvel U. Namor will be involved in the day-to-day events on the Marvel Universe more than ever before." SUB-MARINER #1 kicks off with tragedy. An attack on a small Kansas town is seemingly caused by an Atlantean sleeper cell. Namor, shocked and appalled, disavows all knowledge, however Tony Stark is unconvinced. With the rest of the U.S. government unsure of Namor due to his actions in CIVIL WAR, a war is not off the table. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. military consider Namor guilty until proven innocent and engage Atlantis full scale? "It's tough to say for sure. I think that anyone who goes to war with Atlantis, no matter how prepared, is in for a big surprise," warns Cherniss. "There are many hawks within the government that feel they are up to the challenge and would like nothing more than to go in guns blazing. But there is also a contingent that is cautious about of this approach," he adds. "As for Namor himself, I think everyone on the surface is wary of him, and most probably think he needs to be contained, but that doesn't mean they are looking forward to going head-to-head against him." Unfortunately for Namor, a war with America would have his former friend Tony Stark leading the charge. Together Stark and Namor have been through battles and made decisions that have affected the entire Marvel Universe. Whether it was as comrades in the Avengers or figureheads in the Illuminati, these two have serious history together. CIVIL WAR may have ended that friendship forever, and with the situation brewing in SUB-MARINER, the fresh wounds of betrayal may sway their course of action with each other. With Tony on the warpath for abuses of power, this could be a crisis of conscience for them both. Is the tension heightened given their history? "Absolutely," agrees Cherniss. "Stark has had quite a bit of experience with Namor over the years as friend and foe. No matter how he feels about him at this moment in time, Stark know that the biggest mistake that he and S.H.I.E.L.D. could make is to underestimate Namor. He knows that there is no margin for error, no matter what approach they decide to take." Knowing how each other operates may or may not accelerate the tanks rolling down into the depths to take on Atlantis. Despite the chaos above, Namor has his own people to worry about. With the Atlantean sleeper cell seemingly acting without Namor's knowledge, the Prince may have a mutiny on his hands. Treason is clouding the waters and Namor may be losing his grip on his throne. However, Namor has been known to attack the surface world at will before. Who are we to believe? "That is really at the core of our story," says Cherniss. "Whether or not Namor called for the attack on Kansas, he definitely bears some of the responsibility for the outcome. In most cases he would take matters into his own hands. But in this case there is a large contingent that doesn't trust him enough to give him the chance. In their minds, Namor is either guilty, in which case he should be brought to justice; or he has lost control of his people, which potentially makes Atlantis an even larger threat." But the mystery goes even deeper than even Namor is prepared for. "Not to give too many of our secrets away, but lets just say that this cell is not your 'typical' cell, if there is such a thing, and Namor is in for a whole lot more than he bargained for." Cherniss teases that there is a traitor in Atlantis, and that a coup may be brewing right under Namor's royal nose, but refuses to give details. "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. I think it is fair to say that there are a number of people in Atlantis that believe Namor is spending far too much time concerned about the affairs of the surface, and not enough time concerned with his own people and the issues within Atlantis. That feeling has been simmering for quite a while and is about to come forth in a big way." With all the traitors, death and superpowered government agents seemingly against him, Namor is going to be more hot-tempered than usual. War is on the horizon, and this water breathing warrior king might have to waste a few folks in the name of kingdom and his throne. Cherniss assures us that once Namor has an attack plan he can't be shaken from it. "Once Namor decides to do something I don't think that I would want to get in his way!" he proclaims. "Anyone who does will have hell to pay. Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. are clearly in his crosshairs, but that is only the beginning. Keep in mind, if Namor was to start an all out war, that would be easy to do. He is trying to solve a number of problems at once without all hell breaking loose. As the flash-forwards in issue #1 hint at, he may not be successful, but that is his initial goal." Get ready for a battle fit for a king with the return of Namor in SUB-MARINER #1 by Matthew Cherniss and Peter Johnson with art by Phil Briones on sale June 13. SUB-MARINER #1 (of 6) (APR072332) Written by MATT CHERNISS & PETER JOHNSON Penciled by PHIL BRIONES Cover by MICHAEL TURNER 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99 FOC—5/24/07, On Sale—6/13/07 SUB-MARINER POSTER - Art by MICHAEL TURNER (MAR072162) 24X36 Color Poster...$6.99 On-Sale NOW!

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