On the pages of Marvel Comics, Namor the Sub-Mariner has a long and rich history. One of his oldest characters, Namor has been both a hero and an antagonist, a member of many squads, the cause of conflict and the seeker of solution for decades, but even then, one thing about Namor has always been constant: a complex relationship with the surface world. This relationship is central Namur: occupied beachesa new Marvel miniseries by writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Pascual Ferry, and if the first issue is any indication, this series may not be the best exploration of Namur as a multifaceted character yet, but it does open up a lot of questions about the human condition itself.
Set more than 100 years in the future, Namur: occupied beaches #1 finds the Earth—or at least its surface—almost uninhabitable due to ecological collapse, caused by both humanity’s misuse of the environment and Cree’s actions that benefited the scenario. This land is almost completely submerged with Namur ruling the seas – and thus the world – for decades. But now, Namur is older, a little more thoughtful, perhaps a little wiser, and as Atlantis flourishes, he also sees the suffering of the humans who survived and with this change of perspective comes a change of purpose.
Although the comic is compared to “Old Man Logan”, this isn’t really accurate and doesn’t do the comic justice. This is a classic Namur story and something completely new is happening to bring out an old version of the classic Marvel character – a more thoughtful person. On the script side of this issue, Cantwell not only built a solid world in creating this dashing setting that feels authentic to our reality and the history of the comics as well.
Cantwell also tapped into the character’s core. It is clear, both in how Namur’s perspective and actions are structured in this first issue, that he has a rich understanding of the character and his history. This is the impetuous, conceited and powerful Namur readers who first met decades ago, and were only moderate, fanatical and wise. Cantwell’s writing lends the same quality to the other characters we encounter in the case, giving a special edge to Luke Cage’s appearance, all while carefully setting the tension—in terms of the situation and the characters’ personalities alongside their history.
On top of this – or perhaps even in support of this – there is fairy art. Ferry’s art has a very special quality to it, which sometimes feels almost incomplete or jagged and is an excellent representation not only of this world but of the passage of time in general. However, it simultaneously dates back to some of Namur’s earliest appearances. The character’s pointy ears are at their most extreme, his ankle wings are diminutive, and all the angles in between evoke those early looks. Ferry has also managed to bring a spirit to this devastated world and do the same for Atlantis below. To put it simply, the art does a great job of showing what Cantwell is saying, making it a comic book where every page feels balanced and authentic while pushing the story forward.
Namur: occupied beaches #1 It reads like the beginning of an incredible story and is easily one of Namor’s best stories so far in a long history. By honoring the character’s history and roots, Cantwell and Ferry bring this beloved character to life in an accessible and thoughtful way, all to enhance a story that contains real questions about the human condition, reasoning, and compassion. To put it succinctly, Ferry and Cantwell present readers with Namur in its purest form – and this first issue is an absolute gem.
Posted by Marvel Comics
on me October 12 2022
written by Christopher Cantwell
art through Pascual phrase
Colors Matt Hollingsworth
Messages by Joe Karamagna
cover by Pasquale Ferry and Matt Hollingsworth