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Remember When Namor Could Expand His Body Like a Puffer Fish?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Remember When Namor Could Expand His Body Like a Puffer Fish?

In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, we look at the amusing way that Roy Thomas got rid of some odd powers that Namor used to have,

When Namor was first introduced in the Golden Age, he had pretty much your basic Aquaman powers. Essentially super strong but also could talk to sea life.

When he showed up in the pages of Fantastic Four with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, however, Kirby and Lee decided to give him some really weird new powers in Fantastic Four #9 (an issue that, interestingly enough, is the first FF issue to explicitly credit Lee and Kirby. Dick Ayers inked Kirby on this issue). Now he had, for some reason, all the powers of all the sea life in the ocean! Because…why not, I guess?

These new powers carried over into the pages of Strange Tales #107 (by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Dick Ayers)…

And then Strange Tales #125 (by Stan Lee, Dick Ayers and Paul Reinman)…

Weird stuff, right?

Now, either Stan Lee forgot about these new powers or he just decided it wasn’t a good idea (I could see either one being realistic), because after 1964 (when Strange Tales #125 came out), Namor doesn’t exhibit any of these powers anymore.

Finally, in Marvel Tales #7, a book that reprinted old Marvel comic books (Even in the late 1960s, there was a market for people who wanted to see stories from the early days of Marvel – there were not very many back issue dealers, so this was actually a common thing for YEARS. Marvel kept a reprint division going well into the very early 1980s, when they cut almost all of them, except for Marvel Tales), the Human Torch/Namor fight from Strange Tales #107 is reprinted, only this time, Roy Thomas added a little bit at the end to explain that Namor no longer has these powers!

How hilarious is it that a plot was abandoned on the last page of a REPRINT comic book?!

Other writers (years later) would still occasionally show Namor with his old powers, but very rarely.

That’s it for this installment. If anyone else has a suggestion of an interesting abandoned comic book plot, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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