Namor Seeks Aid Against the Surface Dwellers in Best Defense: Namor #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Namor has accepted that the surface world will be the death of Atlantis and all undersea life if left unchecked, and he decides to seek out allies from underwater. Vodan is an ancient offshoot to Atlantis, and Namor goes as a lone ambassador to mend tension between Vodan and Atlantis. His council is against it, but, after some struggle, the Sub-Mariner finds the Vodan kingdom. He tries to convince the king to ally himself with Namor and Atlantis, but the Vodani king is skeptical of this offer.

Best Defense: Namor #1 cover by Ron Garney and Richard Isanove
Best Defense: Namor #1 cover by Ron Garney and Richard Isanove

Namor #1 follows up on the Sub-Mariner’s recent clashes with the Avengers and his renewed war against the surface world. However, it tells it own tale that is tangentially related to the Avengers arc spotlighting Namor as to not leave the book feeling like nothing more than a hanger-on to the Avengers book or even the Defenders one-shot to come.
The premise reads something like a condensed version of Dan Abnett and Lan Medina’s Mera: Queen of Atlantis miniseries, wherein Mera solicited the kingdom of Xebel for help against Corum Rath. The differences are, of course, that Namor has no aid, is seeking for allies in the battle against the surface world, and has his boundless temper and arrogance.
Consequently, the plot plays out quite differently, with the climax being a Namor unbound by any attempt at diplomacy. It’s glorious; it just takes a while to get there.
Best Defense: Namor #1 art by Carlos Magno, Ian Herring, and letterer VC's Travis Lanham
Best Defense: Namor #1 art by Carlos Magno, Ian Herring, and letterer VC’s Travis Lanham

Carlos Magno’s artwork is quite fantastic too. It’s a heavily-detailed and heavily-lined style that evokes a fantasy aesthetic. It suits the Sub-Mariner so well, and there is something to be said about how unnerving Namor’s black and blue eyes look in the style. Ian Herring delivers an appropriately dark and aquatic color palette to truly immerse the reader in Namor’s world.
Namor #1 is a great one-shot that brings the reader back to the world of the Sub-Mariner and his struggles against the surface dwellers. The story is slow in parts, but the overall experience is quite engaging. Plus, Magno and Herring’s artwork is phenomenal. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Namor #1 comes to us from writer Chip Zdarsky, artist Carlos Magno, color artist Ian Herring, letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, cover aritst Ron Garney with Richard Isanove, and variant cover artists Marco Checchetto, Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart, Chris Stevens with Jason Keith, and Skottie Young.

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