If ever there has been a consistent 100% all-beef thermometer in the Marvel Universe, it’s the Sub-Mariner. His frienemies call him Namor. He’s spent the last 60 years trying to bang Sue Richards as if he needed her for his Booty Badge in the Cub Scouts. When he wasn’t playing invisible grab ass, he was waging war on the surface world. Join up with Norman Osborne when he takes over our government? Sure. Why not?
Those aren’t the actions of a good person, but we seem to judge fish people on a sliding scale when it comes to being a chode. More often than not, The Sub-Mariner finds himself on the side of the angels, but he makes sure you know he isn’t happy about it. He’s the guy in your meeting at work that keeps pointing out how Sandy isn’t making her toner requisitions properly when everyone else just wants to go home. Sure, Sandy probably SHOULD make sure the PO number is listed, but you know what, Todd? Maybe we should talk about how you keep microwaving fish?
Shut up, Todd.
Even when I know a character fairly well, I try to look up any tidbits I didn’t know. In this instance, I was able to stop about two sentences in when I learned Namor has a last name (it’s not M-a-y-e-r, to my dismay), and it’s McKenzie. Namor McKenzie. I mean, I thought his name was Sub-Mariner until I was 12 so what do I know? Much like Aqua-Man, he has a human father. Unlike Aqua-Man, he cannot talk to fish or work with other sentient creatures in any meaningful manner. What he lacks in social skills, he makes up for with his lack of social skills.
He was born in 1915 and is often referred to as the “first mutant.” However, I think Apocalypse has him beat by 5000 years. He fought alongside Cap with the Invaders in WWII (which should tell you how dire the situation was if Namor could shut the hell up long enough to beat up Nazis). For some reason, the same Namor who fought alongside Cap in The Big One also became enraged when he saw the locals worshiping a Capsicle. So enraged, in fact, that he tossed his old ally into the ocean for the Avengers to find.
My BFF, Mark, was at his local Target and saw The Sub-Mariner just sitting there, chillin’. He texted me to see if I needed him and ironically, he was the only one I didn’t pick up at my Target the day before. He was gonna stash him so I could grab him the next day, but instead, he bought him for me. I’m lucky to have friends like him. He’s lucky to have a friend that all it takes to make that friend happy is the same thing that would make a 7 year old happy… buy him an action figure.
I’m a simpleton. But a simpleton with pals.
Yo, VIP. Let’s kick it.
What’s in The Sub-Mariner’s box?
Namor is a part of the Black Panther Okoye wave, so he comes with both of her arms, two sets of hands (gripping and swimming. No punching, which, again, is a sin for a line of superheroes), two head sculpts and what looks like the same trident that came with the Walgreen’s exclusive Namor.
What doesn’t work with The Sub-Mariner?
When I first picked up the Walgreen’s exclusive, I did it begrudgingly. I didn’t have a Toy Biz one and I wanted a Namor. I wanted the classic Sub-Mariner. So when I first saw the solicits for this figure, I remember being happy to see it. Yet, up close, the “classic head” looks like it’s a first appearance picture. Some may want that, but to me, it was a case of “be careful what you wish for.” The stock face looks flat to me.
As I mentioned earlier, no fists. For a character whose plans A, B and C involve shouting “IMPERIOUS REX!” and punching problems, no fists seems like an odd move. His right arm is loose. It’s either back or up. No in-between. At least mine was loose. His left thumb was attached to the other four fingers, so I had to gnaw my way through that in order to make him hold his trident. As is my standard nit-picky issue, I really dislike the harsh waist joint. Not a game changer as I accept it, but perfect world scenario, there would be something else there. Like a puppy or a tiny lizard.
In case you guys think I arbitrarily think of negative things to fill space, as I am doing photo shoots, I send myself emails with things that stick out to me to make sure to note them.
What works with The Sub-Mariner?
The bearded head that I associate with John Byrne for some reason is the better of the two sculpts by far. In my opinion, it gives him character. The green pearlescent speedo is eye-catching. With the standard Marvel Legends articulation scheme, it does everything I want from a Sub Mariner figure. The paint apps are strong, and I feel the pack-ins were about what I’d expect from this price point. He also looks strong next to his previous release and the royal family patriarchs of the Marvel Universe. I really need a good Dr. Doom.
Should you get The Sub-Mariner?
In the end, this review was about pals. My pal Mark being generous. Cap’s pal Namor, tossing him back out into the ocean to die. He’s a solid Marvel Legends figure. He’s not amazing but he’s also not bad. If you need a Sub-Mariner, pick him up. If you want to build Okoye, pick him up. However, if you’re in a hurry for neither, I’d say wait for the inevitable mark-down. Hasbro is busy pumping the next three waves into stores. That makes The Sub-Mariner and his wave-mates old news. That’s in spite of them only being out in stores for a relatively short amount of time. Prices are trending down. If you want him, start here:
Also, if you were wondering (and why WOULDN’T you be?) if the Walgreen’s Exclusive Namor head will fit on this peg, you’re in luck. This is how I am displaying him now. Here are some more pics for your eye-pleasure.