RECOMMENDED (*** stars)
a MARVEL/TSUNAMI ongoing series

CREDITS: Written by Bill Jemas/ Andi Watson. Art by Salvador Larroca.
SYNOPSIS: The first mutant's life as a teenager is explored in this new series.
RELEASED: 4/30/03


 "...mood set with the spectacular atmosphere"

Review by Lawrence Evans

All controversy over whether Larocca wanted to do this book or not, the art is gorgeous. For those of you who don't keep up with the news the art chores on this book were assigned to another artist then all of a sudden Larocca was given the book for at least six issues. On a message board Salvador expressed a disinterest is this title and hinted that his exclusive contract wasn't going to be renewed if he refused the assignment. This was reported in Rich Johnson's Lying in the Gutters column at Comic Book Resources but later found out that Salvador was disinclined to draw this title before seeing what the full plans were. We also found out that Larocca always bitches whenever he gets another assignment even if it's a higher profile book.

The story here begins with a young girl playing on the beach in the 1920's (Namor's younger life has never been filled in before) and in doing so she encounters a very young Namor. The two play on the beach (he's naked but nothing is made of it) before the girl's worried mom finds them and whisks her away. After the area is cleared because of jellyfish the young prince walks back into the ocean and his life.
We meet up with his mother and the two swim into Atlantis in a wonderful two-page spread that damn near takes your breath away. Here we see an open water market with tridents and stuff for sale and get more of the sense of the young prince's inquisitive nature. As the pages flow by we meet his grandmother, the queen and hear of his grandfather's duties. Jemas and Watson then jump us up in time to his teen years where we see that he has aged but little has changed. It is here we also get our first look at Namor's quick temper before something bad happens that we have to wait until next issue to see how bad.
People bitch about Bill Jemas but he can write when he has to (with the help of Andi Watson who will take over full duties at some point). The story moves wonderfully and most of the time allows the art to convey the message.
The Larocca/Danny Miki (I still can't figure out why he was wasting his time on Spawn) combination is a winning one. The detail in each panel, the mood set with the spectacular atmosphere, this is impressive stuff. Colorist J.D. Smith also deserves praise here for his Technicolor work. The images almost jump off the page.

NAMOR 2003 MARVEL Entertainment.
All Rights Reserved.

Review 2003 Alternate Reality, Inc.