Fantastic Four Annual #1: Sub-Mariner Versus the Human Race opens with Namor, having finally located his people, receiving his coronation as the rightful emperor of the Atlantis Empire. In addition, we’re introduced to Lady Dorma, who sees Namor as her true love, and Warlord Krang. who was previously promised Lady Dorma and would be in line for the throne. Meanwhile, Namor immediately continues his war against the humans by proclaiming that seven seas and the skies above them are off limits to humans and any kind of trespassing would lead to war.
Boy did this issue have so much potential, which it sadly never lives up to. At the beginning, with the introduction of Lady Dorma and Namor, there are hints of subplots introduced, such a potential love triangle and Krang trying to usurp Namor’s throne and trying to win back Lady Dorma. Unfortunately none of those things materialize at all. In addition, the pacing of this issue is just plain awful as things move at a break neck speed and the invasion is pretty much over in a couple of pages. Lame.
In fact, I think more time is spent on exploring the concurrent development of Homo mermanus alongside homo sapiens than there is to the actual invasion. However, I thought that this disposition was interesting. In addition, the technology and sea monsters are also excellently designed. Unfortunately there are also a lot of spares panel featuring no sort of background, which makes the characters feel like they are existing in a background.
In the end, this issue promises so much potential in its first couple of pages, but is unfortunately bogged down by pacing issues and a lack of fleshed out panels. In addition, there are about twenty pages(!!) of filler dedicated to villain bios and retelling of Spider-Man’s first encounter with the Fantastic Four. These pages could have gone a long way in improving the Namor story. This issue is also notable for being the first appearance of Warlord Krang and the first silver age appearance of Lady Dorma.
- Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
- Writers: Stan Lee
- Pencilers: Jack Kirby
- Inkers: Dick Ayers
- Colorists: Glynis Wein (Oliver)
- Letterers: Artie Simek
- Editors: Stan Lee