The Sub-Mariner Revelations In Invaders #4

by Josh Davison

Namor just left in a rage, leaving Captain America and the Torch with Nay. Steve and Jim want to fill in the gaps of what they know about Namor’s life on the surface world, and Nay is the only one alive who is able and willing to do so. She acquiesces; it began with Namor visiting Randall Peterson after World War II. He returned frequently, and even came back after losing his memories to Destine. Eventually, he is found by Professor Charles Xavier, and the two men begin searching the world for other mutants to join their cause.

Invaders #4 cover by Butch Guice and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Invaders #4 cover by Butch Guice and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Invaders #4 gives an extended story of Namor, the Sub-Mariner after World War II but before the Marvel Age as we know it. He struggled with his lack of belonging to the surface world or Atlantis, and Randall Peterson and his family is the only place he truly felt at home.
There is also the Professor X factor (badum-tss), which sort of makes sense now that Namor is canonically a mutant. This gives Namor a new place to belong, but his violent tendencies and at-the-time lost memories made him too volatile for the purpose.
Retcon is generally considered a dirty word in the comics community (often for good reason), but Invaders #4 gives a compelling story that fits well into the Namor canon–especially as time itself moves farther and farther from World War II. It’s an interesting and at-times genuinely emotional tale. You can’t help but feel for Namor, and any chance of emotional melodrama is restrained by Namor’s arrogance. By the time the emotional climax comes, the comic more than earned it.
The conclusion is a slightly confusing solution reached by Cap and the Torch that could potentially give the story a too-easy resolution to the conflict with Atlantis. Also, the Winter Soldier gets an ending in the issue that better not be what it seems.
Invaders #4 art by Carlos Magno, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and letterer VC's Travis Lanham
Invaders #4 art by Carlos Magno, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and letterer VC’s Travis Lanham

Carlos Magno and Butch Guice continue to provide the art, with the latter getting the lion’s share of the issue since it’s mostly presented in flashbacks. Both artists continue to show themselves as immense talents–though Guice is already known to be an artistic powerhouse in the industry. Alex Guimaraes’ color work sets the perfect tone and atmosphere for the issue, lingering between superhero bombast and genuine solemnity.
Invaders #4 is another phenomenal issue for Chip Zdarsky’s take on Marvel’s first generation of heroes. It’s emotional, compelling, and gives more depth to the already great character of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
Invaders #4 comes to us from writer Chip Zdarsky, artists Carlos Magno and Butch Guice, color artist Alex Guimaraes, letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, and cover artist Guice with Romulo Fajardo Jr.

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