Appearing in "Birth of Sub-Mariner"
- Sub-Mariner (Origin retold)
Synopsis for "Birth of Sub-Mariner"
Many years ago, an American exploration vessel is leaving the Antarctic region as the ice pack is threatening to trap them in the area, forcing them to leave behind one of their crew, Leonard McKenzie. Leonard was trapped in an ice cavern with his broken leg caught in a crevasse. Princess Fen eventually finds Leonard and helps to free him. With his ship gone, Fen brings Leonard to her kingdom. This decision is not popular among the Atlantean people, including member of the High Counsil, Brother Narvick, who demands Leonard to be executed for the "attack" their ship made on Atlantis, causing untold damage and death from their ice blasting. Fen refuses this, and as Emperor Thakorr is away on business, she uses her position as princess to forbid any executions, as she is seeking to protect her husband.
That night as Leonard rests, one of the guards tries to assassinate him as he sleeps, but is stopped by Princess Fen, who has stayed to guard her husband from such attempts. She meets with the ruling council and reinforces her wish to keep Leonard alive and warns them against any future attempts on his life. The ruling council denounces the marriage, saying it was not done under Atlantean law, but have no choice but to obey. Over the coming weeks, Fen helps to nurse Leonard to health and gets him outside on the ice to walk. She brings him to the edge of the water, where she tells him about the underwater portion of their kingdom. Fen dives into the water and realizes, that she is truly becoming fond of Leonard and begins thinking of a way for him to be able to breath underwater so that he can be better accepted as a member of their society.
This opportunity presents itself, when Fen comes across Doctor Bangal, who has just recovered diving equipment abandoned by the American ship. She uses this to allow Leonard to dive down and see the underwater kingdom, that she rules over, much to his astonishment. Talking to Leonard, she explains that her people are planning to go to war against the Americans for the destruction they have caused, but Leonard pleads on his people's behalf, telling her that they were unaware of anyone living under the ice they were blasting. Fen then uses her ruling power to legally marry Leonard under the Atlantean law, much to the protests of Narvick and the ruling council. However, this does nothing to ease hostilities, and Narvick orders the Emperor to be called back to Atlantis.
Thakorr returns, furious over what his daughter has done in his absence, and he orders McKenzie to be killed immediately. Leonard tries to plead his case to Thakorr, but the Emperor does not listen. However, at that moment, a new exploration ship has arrived and has begun blasting the ice above them, causing more damage and chaos. With everyone fleeing for safety, Fen assists Leonard in escaping Atlantis and gets him aboard the vessel and to safety. When Thakorr learns what Fen has done, he orders her to be locked up in the royal dungeon for the rest of her life.
Months later, it is learned that Fen is pregnant and she gives birth to son, Namor. Thakorr is furious that his daughter has given birth to a half-breed, but soon realizes that as his grandson, Namor will be his successor to the throne. He meets with his daughter and orders her into exile for 10 years to raise her boy and then return him. On his 10th birthday, Namor is presented to his grandfather, who dubs him the Sub-Mariner and expresses his intentions to use the boy in their coming war against the surface world. Years go by and Namor continues his education until one day another exploration ship comes and begins blasting the ice. The Sub-Mariner rushes out and sinks the vessel, saving his people from danger and decides that it is now time to go to war against the surface dwellers.
Appearing in "Wheels of Death"
Synopsis for "Wheels of Death"
Some crooks run over a squealer in their midsts and make it look like an accident when the police arrive to investigate. However, Detective Skip McCoy sees through this ruse and has them arrested. After getting a confession out of them, Skip points out that he knew they were lying when he noted that there were no tire marks at the scene of the crime indicating that they tried to stop from running over their victim.
Appearing in "Peril In New York"
- Atlantic Ocean
- Cape Anna Lighthouse
- New York City
Synopsis for "Peril In New York"
Namor is determined to begin his attack on the United States and gets his mothers permission. He meets with his cousin Lady Dorma and gets her assistance. The pair swims to the coast of the United States. There they attack a lighthouse and smash it's controls causing a ship to crash into nearby rocks. They then swim to New York City, where Namor is determined to destroy the entire metropolis. He sends Dorma back to Atlantis while he carries out his plans.
The Sub-Mariner swims into the Hudson River reservoir via intake pipe and begins kicking up silt, causing the water to become dirty enough for those at a water treatment facility stop the flow. Namor surfaces and sabotages the reservoir, stopping the flow of water into the city. When the police car tries to stop Namor, he trashes it and dives back into the water.
At police headquarters, the chief calls in officer Betty Dean and puts her on the case to stop the Sub-Mariner given her excellent swimming abilities. She leads a police boat out of the harbour to track down the Sub-Mariner. When they find him, Namor easily capsizes their boat and swims away. Spotting water bubbles rising out of the water, Namor dives down and comes across an air vent for a subway tunnel construction project. Namor busts through the vent, flooding the tunnel, causing water to flow through the entire New York subway system and flood much of the city. As city crew work hard to cap the flood, Namor returns to the harbour and gets a boy to deliver a message to city hall warning them that he will continue his attacks. The mayor decides to dismiss the warning as a crank, but the press takes the story and rolls with it, putting it on the front page.
The news gets to Leonard McKenzie, Namor's father, who is now a commanding officer in the Navy stationed in New York. Leonard then meets with the mayor to explain of his past experiences with the Atlanteans and the mayor gives Leonard the authority to track down and capture the Sub-Mariner. Meanwhile, Namor has come across some TNT and uses it to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. When a Navy ship pursues him, Namor easily trashes it and then swims down to the harbour floor and rips up the transatlantic cable, cutting off New York from the rest of the world.
Back on shore, Leonard McKenzie and Betty Dean arrive and Leonard calls out to Namor, using the Atlantean tongue. Leonard then pleads to the Sub-Mariner to stop his attacks on the city. When Namor refuses Betty tries to arrest him, but he easily swats the gun out of her hand. Attempting to escape, Namor is briefly caught in a net and tossed into a paddy wagon. However, Namor breaks free and manages to elude capture. Diving into the water and swimming back out into the ocean, Namor vows to return and make the American's regret trying to stop him.
- This issue features a number of flashback stories which take place during the early days of Namor's career. This is also the first issue to feature Princess Fen, Lady Dorma, Emperor Thakorr, as well as Atlantis in a number of years. Fen was last seen in Marvel Mystery Comics #37 circa November 1942, Lady Dorma in Marvel Mystery Comics #25 in November 1941, and Thakorr was last seen in Sub-Mariner Comics #1 in Spring of 1941.
- This issue is also the first appearance of Leonard McKenzie, who was only briefly referenced back in Marvel Comics #1. He is heavily featured in the first story this issue, which explains Namor's origins. These origin stories contradict other accounts of Namor's origins from Marvel Comics #1 and Saga of the Sub-Mariner #1.
- The second Sub-Mariner story is a retelling of the Sub-Mariner stories featured in Marvel Comics #1, Marvel Mystery Comics #2, Marvel Mystery Comics #3. However there are some major differences in this tale. In this version, Leonard McKenzie is part of the story and encounters his son and the authorities attempt to capture Namor, who escapes and vows revenge against the surface world. However, the original tales do not feature Leonard at all, and by the end of Marvel Mystery Comics #3, Betty Dean has convinced Namor to turn his aggression toward the Nazis. Review of the Marvel Handbooks state that Leonard did not meet his son until the modern era, as such this story should not be considered part of canon. As Young Allies Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 has identified, many stories from the 40s were fictional accounts of real events, this is likely such a tale. However, Marvel officially states this issue as Leonard's first appearance.
- This is the final issue of Sub-Mariner comics published in the 1940s. The series was cancelled and replaced with Best Love Vol 1 which continued it's numbering from this series. Sub-Mariner Comics was briefly revived in 1954 with Sub-Mariner Comics #33, continuing the series original numbering.
- Text story "Clue in Sepia" is included in this issue.
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- Images from Sub-Mariner Comics Vol 1 32
- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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