PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of the SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1 from Marvel Comics. Available Wednesday, March 11th, the creative team for this issue features writing from Alan Brennert, art from Jerry Ordway, colors by Espen Grundetjern, and lettering from Travis Lanham.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1
Main Cover Artist: Alex Ross
FC • 33 pages • $4.99
It begins here — a series of specials that show us Marvel’s greatest characters from the Golden Age to today, all through the eyes of ordinary people! Project curator Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Astro City) has brought together an amazing assemblage of talent to bring you a total of eight new and unusual viewpoints on Marvel history and Marvel heroes, two per month for the next four months. To kick it all off, best-selling novelist and Emmy Award-winning TV writer Alan Brennert (L.A. LAW, TWILIGHT ZONE) and superstar artist Jerry Ordway (All-Star Squadron, Crisis on Infinite Earths) to tell a story of Marvel’s debut superstar: Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
It’s 1946, and the boys are back from World War II. But they haven’t left the battlefields behind, as reporter Betty Dean discovers when she and Namor reunite for an outing at Palisades Park, only to find themselves under attack. Also featuring the All-Winners Squad.
A dramatic, unexpected and revealing tour through the Marvel Universe by a cornucopia of amazing creators.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1
26 years ago, Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross gave the world Marvels, a look at the Marvel Universe through the eyes of an ordinary person. Now Busiek is spearheading a fantastic series of one-shots from various creative teams, exploring the same themes. Alan Brennert and Jerry Ordway have teamed up to tell an engaging story of war, and how it affects everyone involved. Even someone as mighty Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
Writing: Alan may not be the most active writer in the comics industry, but when he does write, it’s pure four-color delight. Crafting a story about Marvel’s most volatile and well-know monarch, he presents a topic that is familiar to anyone who has gone to war – that of moving forward when the fighting is done. Alan does a magnificent job of writing Namor, conveying the same majesty and, at times, arrogance that has been a mainstay of the character since the Golden Age of Marvel.
Art: Jerry Ordway is a veritable household name in comic books. Known primarily for playing over in the DC pool of heroes, Jerry has occasionally dipped his toe in the waters of Marvel. Now he’s back again and making a splash-down with artwork that is once again pure Jerry goodness. His talent for facial expressions, on civilians, heroes, and villains, is one that cannot be overstated. And his layouts for battle scenes and bare-knuckle super brawls are second to none, especially with a vaunted figure like Namor.
Colors: Espen Grundetjern’s work as a colorist has shown up in a variety of books. Many of them straight from the House of Ideas at Marvel. It is no surprise that he was tapped to be colorist on this fine one-shot of wet wonderment. The colors he chose compliment Jerry’s artwork nicely. Not overly flashy, but matching the graceful style of the art that is also meant to be a callback to the Marvel comics of yesteryear.
Letters: Travis is a talented letterer, of that this reviewer can be sure. His lettering is in a number of Marvel comics, from Savage Avengers to Conan the Barbarian. However, while it is a great style of lettering, it just feels a touch out of place here with Jerry’s artwork and Espen’s color choices. There is almost a computer-like quality to the lettering, as if it was digitally inserted instead of put in with pen and ink. There is nothing wrong with it, per se, just that it takes away from the story a bit.
<Editor’s note: It’s possible the contrast between the lettering and the illustrations will not appear the same as they do for our digital review copy of SUB-MARINER: MARVELS SNAPSHOT #1>
With Kurt Busiek as the mastermind of this extraordinary series of Marvel Snapshots, readers and True Believers are in for a treat. This first outing is a fun, exciting, and interesting look at the world of Marvel right after the horrors of WWII ended. How soldiers, heroes, and other people are adjusting now that the fighting is done. Even with a lettering style that contrasts the art and colors, this one-shot is a must read for all who love Namor and call Marvel Comics home.