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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sub-Mariner Key Comic Issues Part 4

Diving right into Part 4 of this Sub-Mariner key comic issues, and quite a few of these are over-looked in the current market. Quite a few of them are scarce as well.

We are still in the Golden Age of Sub-Mariner comic issues, but this part will wrap it up with this era and we shall move swiftly and surely into the Silver Age and Bronze Age. There should not be too many keys in that era worth listing in this series.

Enough beating around the bush. Click this Part 3 link if you missed it. If not, let's continue on with the last remaining Golden Age Sub-Mariner key issues.

3rd appearance of Namora
2nd Namora crossover
Ah, and here we are with the 3rd appearance of Namora, who did survive into the Silver Age mind you. I think that's pretty cool since only a few Golden Age characters from Timely were actually revived during the next important comic book era.

Of course, Overstreet notes this as another Namora crossover. I'm noting it as the 2nd Namora crossover if that's the case since it's the 3rd appearance of the character, right?

If Subby does make it to the big screen, I would expect Namora to be introduced as well. Maybe not a significant role, but at least one with a few speaking lines in it. Another Golden Age Sub-Mariner key issue to consider. I'm pretty sure lower to mid-grades of this one aren't ridiculously expensive.

Sub-Mariner Comics #24 was published December, 1947.

eBay - None here at the moment, but I'll leave the link to eBay's search results for this comic in case it one day pops up. Maybe one day you'll find yourself on the hunt for it.

1st Namora self-titled series

The only supporting Sub-Mariner character to get their own self-titled comics series is Namora during the last vestiges of the superhero genre during the Golden Age. Needless to say, this series would only last three issues before being cancelled and Atlas Comics moving into the Western, Horror and Romance genre.

Sub-Mariner would team up with Namora in this titled series, and Namora #1 was published August, 1948.
eBay - Limited selection for this one. There are CGC copies for this one. Highest is a 9.0 VF/NM and the 2nd is an 8.5 VF+ concerning slabbers. Last option is a 7.5 VF-. There are two raw copies available as well. Not a cheap key issue at all in any grade on eBay at the moment.

ComicConnect - Four copies here with two of them being CGC copies. They are a 7.5 VF minus and an 8.5 VF+. There's also two raw copies, and they are an 8.5 VF+ and a VG+.

Revamped origin of Sub-Mariner
1st full appearance of Leonard McKenzie

This origin is a retelling and revamp from the origin story first seen in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 and the expanded version in Marvel Comics #1. Both of those earlier issues only referenced Leonard McKenzie, but in this issue, he is actually shown and heavily within this story.

The origin of Namor in this issue heavily contradicts the other in Marvel Comics #1 and later retellings of Namor's origin in later comic eras. When an American vessel leaving the Antarctic region is forced to leave behind a crew member, Leonard is trapped inside in ice cavern with a broken leg.

Princess Fen later finds him and brings him to her kingdom. Of course, his arrival is met with some hostility among the Atlanteans. They marry but some Atlanteans try to kill him.

Of course, Namor is born in the story, and even though Thakkor is furious that his daughter has given birth to a half-breed, he soon realizes that Namor will be the successor to his throne. Thus, he accepts Namor and claims his full intention is to use his grandson in a war against the surface.

Namor is seen growing up in the story, learning Atlantean education, and at the end of it, he sinks an exploration ship that was blasting ice near his Atlantean home. He then decides it's time to war against the rotten surface dwellers.

Re-telling and expansion of Namor's origin in this issue, and it's pretty important as other re-tellings would build off this and the original very brief origin in Marvel Comics #1.

The origin story would be retold and expanded in Sub-Mariner Comics #33. However, this series was cancelled with issue #32 until Atlas tried to revive their Big 3 almost 5 years later. Issue #32 is deemed scarce in the market and was published June, 1949.

eBay - Only saw one PR raw copy on eBay at the time of this writing.

mycomicshop - Same PR raw copy is at mycomicshop. Only copy there for this one and it is on consignment.

ComicLink - One CGC 3.5 VG minus copy here. Only one though.

1st appearance of Byrrah

Namor has a child-hood friend? Hard to imagine he has any friends back in the day since he's inclined to try to kidnap other guy's women constantly. On the contrary, Byrrah is a childhood friend who tries to kidnap the throne of Atlantis from Subby.

What comes around goes around, my friend. Byrrah is a foe of Namor, and he is actually royalty. Yes, unlike Namora, he is actually a blood cousin of Namor.

Openly friendly towards Namor as children, Byrrah secretly resented him. And people dream of being royalty? Pfffff. 

Princess Fen, Namor's momma, is Byrrah's step-sister. This foe would be one of the few that would carry over into the Silver Age as well. 

Sub-Mariner Comics #35 is one of the comics that first came out when Atlas Comics tried the unsuccesful revival of superhero comics during the very late Golden Age of comics.

Sub-Mariner Comics #35 was published August, 1954.

eBay - One CGC 8.0 VF Apparent (Restored) copy. Apparent and Restored mean the same thing to me. Cover was trimmed. There are raw copies located though, and they are not ridiculously expensive.

ComicConnect - Three raw copies here only. Highest is a FN followed by a VG minus. Last option is a VG minus.

Origin of Sub-Mariner's wings
Last pre-code issue

Still continuing with the Superhero revival initiated by Atlas Comics, the origin story of how Sub-Mariner gets those little feet wings is told in this issue. The story is Wings on Feet, and is the 2nd story feature in this issue.

At 14 years of age, Namor and his mother Princess Fen rise to the surface to explore Antarctica when a sudden Earthquake causes the ice to slit open and creates a chasm. Princess Fen falls into it, but Namor hangs on as best as he could until he finds himself falling as well.

Before he hits the ground, little wings sprout from his ankles and give him the ability to fly. He rescues his mother with his new found ability.

Not exactly the most dramatic or intriguing tale of how Namor gets his wings, but it is an origin story that further expands on the character. I am not sure whether the later origins of Namor completely disregard this story, but it's possible.

February, 1955 was when Sub-Mariner #38 was published and it would not be until a few issues later when the Golden Age Sub-Mariner was cancelled again.

eBay - Only three copies spotted. Two are raw copies and one is a CGC 5.5 FN minus. Raw copies are in the mid-grades and highest is advertised as a FN/VF.

ComicConnect - Two raw copies here and they are a FN and FN/VF.

Last Golden Age appearance of Sub-Mariner
Last issue to Golden Age series

If you're into the last Golden Age appearances of characters before the Silver Age revival was spearheaded successfully by DC Comics, Sub-Mariner Comics #42 is the last appearance of Golden Age Sub-Mariner. 

It was during this time when Golden Age characters like Captain America and Sub-Mariner fought against Communists instead of Nazis. It would not be until 7 years later when Namor would enter the world of comics again. October, 1955 was when the last of the Golden Age Sub-Mariner comics was published.

eBay - Three raw copies, all are at decent grades. There are two VF minus copies and one FN/VF.

ComicConnect - Only one FN/VF raw copy here at the moment.

I'm going to make this outro short and sweet since I've said all there is to be said in the actual listings. Ignore these if you want. Perfectly fine with me and some of the others on here. Less competition in hunting them down.

Silver Age Sub-Mariner key issues are coming up in the next part for sure, and many of them I've already listed on here in other various key issues. I will just be copying and pasting them into whatever parts they fall into as it saves time.

Click the PREVIOUS link if you want or missed Part 3. Otherwise, Part 5 is ready so just click the link below to discover more Sub-Mariner key comics.


  1. Howdy Mayhem,

    just flipped through an "old" Marvel comic from 2001 where they wanted readers to
    vote "THE 100 GREATEST MARVELS" -
    Mayhem, would be so cool if you could na-
    me your TOP 5!



    1. Hmmm...interesting but what would it be based on...investment wise? story wise? Just flat out fanboy wise?

      If we're simply talking fanboy wise...meaning personal favorite stories without any value or monetary five would be:

      1. X-Men #151 and 152 Days of Future Past
      2. The entire Kraven's Last Hunt crossover story starting from Web of Spider-Man #31
      3. Wolverine #1 limited series
      4. Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men limited series
      5. Amazing Spider-Man #300

      As for significance or historical significance, my humble personal opinion would be:

      1. Action Comics #1
      2. Detective Comics #27
      3. Marvel Comics #1
      4. Showcase #4
      5. Fantastic Four #1

    2. Tough nut to crack Mayhem. Would need me a few days for this one, but right out of my belly comes this:

      Storywise and overall significance:

      - Fantastic Four 48
      - Amazing Spiderman 121
      - X-Men 94
      - X-Men 137
      - Daredevil 158

      Personal List

      - Amazing Spiderman 135
      - X-Men 129
      - Conan 24
      - Daredevil 168
      - The Incredible Hulk 340

      Well, these are my listings, at least for
      today ;-)


  2. Did you see the news that Valiant is spending $100 million on movies? I've heard lots of chatter about which Valiant books are the key ones and I've seen prices on ebay go crazy but would love to see you run through the key books

    1. Hi there,

      Mayhem seems to be way to busy with Subby, so I have a recommendation for you: has a great priceguide and list of first appearances of main characters. I think they even have some print numbers and cgc listings - quite a devoted kind, these Valiant fans...
      Happy hunting!

      Speculation Jones

  3. See Mayhem, there ' s another one. Like someone said before , "we need your help"! Happy I made my investments when Valiant was in the cellar and no one cared...

    Sy Snootles

    1. Sy name...that is definitely a comic book character name. Valiant keys are coming soon so don't worry, and yes I did hear of the news plenty of times. Not all that impressed with $100 million investment for a movie. That's not a very big budget for even one superhero movie. Captain America Winter Soldier's production budget alone was $170 million and that does not include marketing expenses.

      Valiant and those investors better hope they score a huge hit with their first Valiant comic movie, or we could see that train run out of steam very fast.