Nowhere will be safe this summer as the effects of Marvel’s “Fear Itself” event are felt everywhere in the 616, including underwater. Namor the Sub-Mariner finds himself faced with a threat so overwhelming that even the arrogant king of the seas thinks he might need some backup and recruits some familiar friends: the Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange and She-Hulk. Announced earlier at C2E2, writer Cullen Bunn (“The Sixth Gun”) and artist Lee Garbett (“Batgirl”) will launch the four-issue “Fear Itself: The Deep” this July to explore just how this conflict plays out. CBR News spoke with Bunn about the line-up, how they play off of one another and a threat scary enough to need such a powerful team of heroes to stop it.
“The Defenders vibe is intentional,” Bunn told CBR. “The story kicks off with Namor calling upon his old allies to help him face an enemy that he cannot defeat on his own. For various reasons, the team that comes to his aid is a slightly different take on the classic Defenders line-up.”
Even with Dr. Strange no longer holding the title of Sorcerer Supreme, his power combined with She-Hulk, the Silver Surfer and Namor — who Bunn posits might be the most physically powerful of all the mutants — makes for an impressive squad. This begs the question, who could possibly give them any trouble?
“At this point, the villains — there are several — must remain a secret,” Bunn said. “Suffice it to say, there is a villain Namor has faced before, a powerful group of villains with ties to the Defenders and some new threats who will be harrowing our heroes.”
As if the threats weren’t enough to deal with, Bunn also found himself juggling the egos and personalities of some classic characters.
“When I first started looking at it I was kind of sweating of it because I’ve got to cement this team together when they have such different personalities,” Bunn remembered. “Readers aren’t just going to accept ‘Let’s all work together’ anymore. At first I was sweating a little bit, but then when I got into the scripting of it I had a ton of fun with playing almost against type in some cases. You’ve got Namor and he’s smug, he’s the guy you love to hate sometimes, but it was a lot of fun to play with that arrogance. He’s facing a foe in this book that he doesn’t stand a chance against and that’s something that takes him aback a little bit. Here’s a foe that Namor, who is arguably the most physically powerful of the mutants, can’t face on his own. His arrogance and power aren’t going to win this battle for him.”
While arrogance might be the trait he’s most well known for, it will be Namor’s fear that gets played up as well in “The Deep” as it ties into the greater story of “Fear Itself.”
“The primary villain of the piece has direct ties to the greater Fear Itself storyline, but it’s the rising level of fear that opens the doorway, so to speak, for an otherwordly threat to spill into our world,” Bunn said. “Over the years, Namor has had to contend with all sorts of opponents and obstacles. But this time, his biggest obstacle is his own fear and his most lethal opponent may just be himself.”
While no stranger to the world of comics having kicked off his career with creator owned books like “The Damned” and “The Sixth Gun” before moving on to “Deadpool Team-Up,” “Superman/Batman” and “Captain America” stories, “The Deep” marks Bunn’s first foray into the world of event comics, but it’s an experience the writer enjoyed.
“It was a lot of fun,” Bunn said of scripting the issues. “It’s obviously a different experience now because there are so many moving parts that I have to be aware of. You have to be aware of what’s going in [your] series and the one next to you. There were characters I wanted to use and they said, ‘Well you can’t use them and here’s why.’ [Marvel] showed me the outline to ‘Fear Itself’ and it made perfect sense.”
“Fear Itself: The Deep” surfaces in comic shops this july from Cullen Bunn and Lee Garbett.