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Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – Hercules Gives Namor a “Gift”

All month long we will feature brand-new Cool Avengers and X-Men Comic Book Moments in celebration of their fiftieth anniversaries this month. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

Today we look at Hercules giving Namor a “gift” in Avengers #262 by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer…

The basic set-up of the issue is that the Avengers lost their rights to keep their quinjets and all of their various other weaponry in Manhattan. So they had to find other places to store their stuff. Stingray offered the use of Hydrobase. The Avengers headed out there to take a look. While there, Hercules spied Namor, a friend of Stingray’s who was sulking on Hydrobase because of a recent revolt/coup/whatever in Atlantis that had deposed him. Hercules had an idea…

You have got to love Hercules. That dude is just flat out NUTS. But in a lovable sort of way. Of course, this is all part of Stern’s plan to show how Hercules often leaps before he looks, which causes problems during the Under Siege storyline. Clever one, that Stern!

23 Comments

Thanks for this, Brian. I’ve always been consistent in my adoration of Stern’s Avengers. This “moment” is a great example.

There’s so much here to enjoy, but I think my favorite is the throwaway line in the last panel. BK remarking about CM being from New Orleans encapsulated everything that was great about this era. They were warriors and friends and it made the hard times that came later much more involving.

Great stuff.

That is an extremely well drawn fight scene.

Great art by John Buscema. The Namor and Hercules drawn by him are my favorite.

As the story was amazing. Great history by Master Stern.

This scene certainly drives home what is wrong with the main Avengers book for me right now. Stern was able to show the heroes’ personalities while still being able to ‘world-build’ his continuity. Hickman has brought in so many interesting characters but focuses too much on story and has hardly gotten into character interaction.

In the hands of a lesser writer this moment could have really been cliched and corny. The whole “I just picked a fight with you to get you out of a funk” thing has been done so many times (a recent example on this very blog is the Cyclops and Wolverine moment from Claremont/Byrne). But Stern, as usual, knocks it out of the park. My favorite Avengers writer ever, with the possible exception of Stan and Jack.

Man, Stern just nails both those characters’ personalities. And why I love Herc so damn much.

The New Orleans line is great as it represents Monica opening up a bit with her Team mates about her life outside the Avengers.

It might not be as “cool” a moment, but Hercules pulls a similar stunt in #211 when he’s casually talking to Wonder Man about what he can do, and Wondy mentions he’s as strong as Thor and Hercules basically says, “Really?” Then decks him. And after a few panels of fighting basically says, ‘cool, you are strong’ and puts his arm around him and they march off into the sunset.

All of which is to say, I agree, Hercules is nuts (but lovably so).

I remember that encounter between Herc and Wondy. It’s in Avengers #211. Jim Shooter wrote Wonder Man off the series on that occasion by getting Herc to hook him up with some acting gig contacts.

This is such an awesome issue. For a guy that supposedly didn’t enjoy drawing superhero comics, Big John Buscema sure could choreograph a fight! At their best, The Buscema/Palmer team easily rivaled Byrne and Austin in masterful storytelling. I loved Herc as well during this, his best term with the Avengers and this issue was the first I read of how he much enjoys “bestowing the Gift.” I also love Stingray, and his association with the team started here. Lastly, it was cool to see Cap recruit his old WWII buddy Namor into the Avengers after so long. It’s too bad that Namor’s stint wasn’t as memorable as Herc’s in the long run.

But the crown jewel here is Roger Stern. Nobody ever wrote or has written the Avengers as such a tight family unit Ala Claremont and Byrne’s X-Men’s. Marvel is doing an Omnibus of Roger’s Spidey work. They need to do one of the Stern Era Avengers as well.

There’s a short from one of Marvel’s tabloids (I think) where Wolverine and Herc get into a bar fight. It’s hysterical.
I wasn’t impressed by Stern’s run when it was happening, but I’ve no idea why as I thoroughly enjoyed it on rereading it this year. A shame he got bounced off the book as he did.
I did greatly love the protesters coming out in support of Namor’s membership (people whose lives he saved in WW II, for instance) rather than the usual Everyone Hates Muties/Heroes/Masked Vigilantes cliche.

Heh, “Namor always brings the best seafood.”

The moral of this story is that there’s no problem that can’t be solved with a clambake.

(I wish all Avengers stories ended that way, just like all Asterix stories end with a boar roast.)

I want that image of Namor hurling through the air ploughing through the sand on a t-shirt. I remember crying with laughter at the visual when I first read it, I think my favorite part is his arms being stuck so helplessly by his side. Great stuff

Namor is always calling himself “The true Sub-Mariner”. Why does he say that? Is there a false Sub-Mariner? Is he talking about Aquaman? I must know.

@emac: Strangely enough, when he said that, all I was reminded of was the way I pronounced that word(?) as a kid. Until I was a teenager, as far as I was concerned, his name was “The Submarine-er”.

Admittedly, even as a kid, I was like “Why do they call him that? He doesn’t even HAVE a submarine!”

@TJ

I’m pretty sure Namor has a submarine. He doesn’t use though. A true Sub-Mariner doesn’t need a submarine. Imperius Rex!

I’m totally with TJ as to how I used to pronounce the word as well, and I believe it took me even longer to catch on.

There’s a bit in Marvels 1 that plays on that pronunciation, in the “man on the street” interviews. It might even be Popeye that says it

I assume Namor just likes sammiches on long bread.

I also used to think it was Calvin and Hobbies, but that’s another story.

Actually, to riff off a Mitch Hedberg bit, they could call him Name-er. He could work at the Kitchen Appliance Naming Institute.

Namor totally commands the underwater sea dweller animals to offer up the best of themselves for his friends to chow down. “Get in mah belly!”

Man, based on the title, I thought this might be some sort of slash fic thing. I’m both perfectly ok that it wasn’t and slightly disappointed at the same time.

All of the best West Coast Avengers battles ended in a barbecue. It was awesome. Hawkeye in an apron, flipping burgers!

I always loved the Herc & Namor thing. They were bro-ey waaaaaaay before it was cool. Best Herc and Namor moment was when they fought over the bedroom in Hydrobase. I think it was Submariners and Herc just walked in and said that it was just the way he liked it and decided he was moving in. Hillarious!

OOOPS! Actually, it was Submariner moving in and wanting Hercs room… dunno which issue yet… someone wanna help with this one?

Count me as another one who loved the Stern/Buscema AVENGERS era. Still my favorite, bar none. So many great moments like this one…

I know his little wing feet is supposed to make him a mutant and all but I thought Namor always fit better with the Avengers. He used to be an Invader and fought alongside Cap. His run there was way too short and I never understood why somebody else didn’t bring him back. Heck, why Marvel doesn’t mandate it before Fox tries to put him in an X-Men movie….

And we can all get into how to say “Magneto”….

Is it just me, or does everyone else hear Brian Blessed (aka Vultan from the 1980 Flash Gordon movie) voice when reading Hercules dialogue?

JC Lebourdais

June 3, 2014 at 12:20 am

This is a classic comic book trope, Cyke pulled one like that on Wolverine after his team got buttkicked by Proteus.

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