Namor: The Sub-Mariner Annual 1991
Four out of five stars
There are four stories in this collection, the first is a three-page recapitulation of the origin of Namor as well as his shifting positions regarding his alliances with the heroes and villains. Given how short it is, this section is at best a refresher, it is not enough to serve as a primer for readers unfamiliar with the character.
The second is installment five of the subterranean wars, where Namor reluctantly joins forces with Stingray, but only after giving him a powerful punch that drives him into the floor of the sea. The actions of the Doradians towards the subterranean Moloids causes Namor to experience a flashback to his time battling the Nazis in World War II.
The third story features the World War II era team of the invaders. Namor, Captain America and the Red Guardian from the Soviet Union accompany British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, American President Harry Truman and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin to the peace conference at Potsdam shortly after the end of the war in Europe.
Amidst the near total devastation of the German city, there is a die-hard Nazi with a plan to kill all the delegates to the conference. In an amusing error, while the conference is taking place in Potsdam, the villain cackles, “Most of Berlin will perish in the psychic backlash ...” as he triggers the mechanism lodged under the delegates.
The final story is one that makes no sense until the last caption. For reasons that are unexplained, a sequence of heroes is determined to capture and hold Namor as he simply walks out of a building. From Captain America to the Fantastic Four to the Hulk and Dr. Strange, none are able to do more than delay Namor. However, at the end, all is revealed and the battlers join together in a common effort.
The stories cover a great deal of the history of the Sub-Mariner, he has been a main comic book character for many decades, a fact not as widely known as it should be. While they are not great, they are good stories about a conflicted, yet genuine hero.