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Comic Legends: That Time Namor Was a Guest Star in His Own Comic Book!

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and twenty-fifth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's Namor-themed legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week's Namor-themed legends.

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COMIC LEGEND:

Captain Marvel's series sold poorly enough that an issue was released as an issue of Sub-Mariner

STATUS:

True

In 1969, Captain Marvel was having some trouble, sales-wise. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane decided to dramatically revamp the series. Thomas came up with a clever twist by playing on the name "Captain Marvel" by introducing a new take on the character that was informed by the original Captain Marvel from Fawcett Comics. Rick Jones joined the cast and Jones and Captain Marvel would switch places by clanging their wrists together. So just like how Billy Batson would turn into Captain Marvel, so, too, would Rick Jones turn into Captain Marvel. Plus, Kane gave Marvel a bright and awesome looking new costume...

Sadly, despite two legendary creators working on the book, the sales didn't pick up much and after just three issues, the book was pulled from the schedule...

It was off the schedule for seven months before returning with the next issue, now on a bi-monthly schedule...

However, after Captain Marvel #21, the book was pulled from the schedule again, with the cancellation a bit more permanent this time (the book would not be revived for another two years).

When books are canceled, it is often when they have future issues already planned. Sometimes those issues were then re-worked into other comics. That's what happened to Captain Marvel. There was an upcoming issue on the books featuring Sub-Mariner guest-starring. Once the book was canceled, then, Marvel then took that Captain Marvel issue and released it instead as an issue of Sub-Mariner!

Rick Jones is walking on the beach when he comes across the Sub-Mariner, and Rick quickly switches places with Captain Marvel and they battle...

However, once Rick switches bodies again, he realizes that Sub-Mariner is dealing with some stuff...

This then leads to a bit telling the readers who Namor is...

That was the best sign that the issue was not meant as an issue of Sub-Mariner (as why would readers of Sub-Mariner's own comic book need to know who Sub-Mariner was, right?), although THE best indication is that the Sub-Mariner #34 letter column confirmed that the issue was meant as a Captain Marvel issue (presumably #22, but it might have just been a fill-in story period. That's what Sub-Mariner's letter column suggested).

It's so odd to see such a great run like Thomas and Kane's run not be accepted by readers right away.

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Did Zack Snyder Almost Make Martha Wayne and Martha Kent The Same Person?

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don't even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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See you all next week!

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