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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Namora Died?

All throughout December, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at one of the more unconvincing and yet long-lasting comic book “deaths”…

Namora was introduced in the late 1940s as part of Marvel’s attempt at the time to try to make more female superheroes (I wrote about this movement in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed here).

She was pretty much forgotten entirely for years until well after her cousin, Namor, returned during the Silver Age. She made an appearance in his ongoing comic sometime around his 30th issue.

Well, roughly 20 issues later, Namora suffered one of the worst deaths that comic book characters CAN suffer – an off-panel death!

In #50 (written/drawn by Namor creator Bill Everett, Namor comes across a dead Namora in a coffin…

Her daughter, Namorita (who made her debut in #50) explains her mother’s passing in Sub-Mariner #51…

You’d think that this would be easy to overturn, but no one bothered for decades until a few years back, when Jeff Parker brought Namora back in Agents of the Atlas.

Here, the group visits her grave from the Sub-Mariner issue…

but the next issue, we discover that all is not as it seems…

Yes, Namora was actually in suspended animation – not dead! And she’s been back ever since!

24 Comments

Taken out of the fridge, yeah!

Well, considering that the original story was done to replace her with Namorita, it’s just fair that, with Namorita dead (is she still? We never know with Marvel/DC stuff…), she is brought back.

And man, Bill Everett could draw! Gorgeous stuff! Always thought he was an underrated artist.

Of course, Leonard Kirk isn’t too shabby either…

So she got poisoned because she and Llyra wanted the same man? I bet they’d never eliminate a male character off-panel (or even on panel) for a reason like that.

Hot damn, look at that Bill Everett art! That is tasty.

Poisoned, preserved in an ice coffin…the original story was practically begging for a retcon.

Hi Brian!
What was the publication year for Namor 50 & 51, and which Agents of Atlas comic is that? I can do the footwork on my own, but it would be cool if you could add footnotes to future articles that list year of publication.

Bill Everett’s art is remarkably modern !!! If it weren’t for the dot-matrix coloring of his era, I’d be hard to tell his work goes back to the 60s or 70s.

Bill Everett’s art is BEAUTIFUL!

If IIRC, Everett had plans to bring back Namora shortly after revealing her ‘death,’ but he passed away before he could do so, and the writers following had no interest in Namora.

Just when I get over grieving for AoA, you pull this? *runs away sobbing*

Loved _Agents of Atlas_.

Loved _Agents of Atlas_.

Everyone loved Agents of Atlas!

Well, everyone that actually read the series, I mean. Not nearly enough people…

Life is unfair.

Tim, Bill Everett was already kicking all kinds of arse in the 30s when he started!

He was certainly the best artist in the Timely stable and one of the best of the Golden Age of comic books. He didn’t do much (and what he did was below par) in the 60s for many reasons, but came back with a vengeance in the 70s. Sadly he died much too young, before he could become a star like Kirby or Ditko.

What I was saying about life being unfair?

Wait what? The cliffhanger is that they find her rotten body, and then next issue “it’s just an holographic (and telepathic) illusion”. What a lame way to fool the readers!

Nobody in comics renders water as well as Bill Everett. Class act.

Parker is da man! His Agents of Atlas was amazing!! And anyone who loved it owes it to themselves to pick up his Thunderbolts!!

In fact, one of his first Thunderbolts stories featured the Agents of Atlas Vs the Thunderbolts! A great 3 part story! ;)

I wonder if Namora was originally depicted in the 1940s as a blue-skinned Atlantean, as she appears here in the coffin, or as a white woman? I thought only Namor and Namorita had pink skin because they are part human. I don’t know anything about Namora herself, or what her background is.

@Ganky … Unlike Namor, Namora was born with blue skin, and turned white at puberty, IIRC. Which is an interesting thought, now that I type it, as it would tend to imply their skin color was also part of their X-gene mutation. Anyway, in the 1940s, Namora, like Namor, was the offspring of an Atlantean and an airbreather and was white. She only looks light blue in Everett’s pages, because she’s in ice / dead.

Namorita is a clone of Namora, so she’s only as ‘human’ as Namora. Originally, Namorita was the daughter of Namora and an Atlantean, and her air breather aspect and abilities was still through Namora.

@Sijo – the cliff hanger is a better read than it sounds. In issue 3 M11 (who is meant to be pretty smart) tells the whole team she is alive, but when they do find her, its like, no sorry, you were wrong. Until issue 4 – when it ends up being – ok, you were right all along!

Both Namora and Namorita are currently alive and active, however Namorita’s resurrection is pure comics: she’s a temporal anomaly left over from a battle between the Sphinx and Nova and is currently in outer space.

The anomaly return of Nita is okay but I would have gone with Nita being lied to by the man who supposedly cloned her originally and the Nita that died, and all of a sudden started mutating every other story arc, was an unstable clone he subbed in for her…

The One and Only

January 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

Namorita has returned. Basically. During the Sphinx story-arc in the cut-off too soon NOVA series a year or so back. Nova ended up with Darkhawk in a dimension reseembling ancient Egypt ,and ended teaming up with Black Bolt, Reed Richards, and Namorita, all of whom plucked from various points in history. Namorita when she was a member of the New Warriors, just when she and Nova were getting a bit close. So when the Sphinx was defeated at the end, and the realm he created was falling apart. Nova managed to bring Namorita back with him to his time. Last seen during THE THANOS IMPERAITIVE at Nova’s memorial, she’s a bit in limbo right now.

Fraser: that’s because our methods are different. we just punch each other out. ;)

Reverend Meteor

March 5, 2012 at 7:41 am

I used to love Namorita…I felt like I grew up with Fabian Nicieza’s New Warriors run.

How good was Bill Everett?

Very good.

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