Just in time for the Sub-Mariner’s debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forevermarvel released Namor: conquered shores #1 (by Christopher Cantwell and Pasqual Ferry). The creative team has prepared an excellent opening number that gives Namor its own post-apocalyptic mythology in the same vein as Old Man Logan and is full of exciting and promising ideas.
Namor: conquered shores #1 imagines an alternate future where an ecological disaster has swept the surface world, with most land submerged by the sea. Atlantis has thrived under these conditions, transforming into a vast, technologically advanced society. But on the other hand, humanity is locked in a bitter struggle for survival, starved of supplies and subjected to dire living conditions. Namor is torn between his home in Atlantis and helping what little remains of the human race, raising the question of his loyalty.
Namor is Marvel’s new “Old Man Logan”
Cantwell and Ferry’s extensive world-building throughout this first issue is particularly impressive. The story spans multiple locations, with Namor traveling from the utopian kingdom of Atlantis to an underwater human colony and the ruins of New York. Each scene adds to the comic’s rich lore, with Namor encountering older, more weary versions of Steve Rogers and Luke Cage, both clearly grappling with the impending threat of human extinction. Cantwell and Ferry effectively situate Namor in Earth’s troubled future, where the impact of environmental catastrophe is felt everywhere.
Another notable strength of this issue is Namor’s characterization. Cantwell’s writing perfectly conveys how his brash personality belies his vulnerability, troubled by the deteriorating state of the surface world. Ferry’s cover depicts the submarine in a pose eerily reminiscent of the Thinker statue, and perfectly encapsulates this futuristic version of him. Cantwell and Ferry’s grizzled Namor is completely weighed down by his thoughts, providing an incredibly fascinating angle to the issue.
The past and the future collide Namor: conquered shores
The story does a great job of building on Marvel’s extended continuity, as Atlantis’ longstanding rivalry with the surface world plays a big role in Namor: conquered shores #1. This tension reappears at the comic’s climax, with Luke Cage attacking Namor, angered by the Atlanteans’ neglect of humanity in their time of crisis. Luke also alludes to the Undersea Kingdom’s invasion of New York during the Atlantis Attacks crossover, showing he’s not ready to let go of the past.
Namor’s comic book story is the driving force behind this issue, with its tantalizing cliffhanger featuring the return of the original Human Torch. Essentially, Namor: conquered shores #1 offers a whole new spin on the submarine, finding itself at the center of an environmental crisis threatening the world. With such a solid setup, it will be interesting to see what the future of Earth holds for the rest of the series.