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First Look: Marvel's King in Black crossover event spawns a 'scary fun' new Namor series

By Jeff Spry
namor hero

Swimming out of Marvel's epic crossover event King in Black and its heralding of the God of the Symbiotes comes a new 5-issue miniseries beaching itself in comic shops this December starring that Golden Age undersea superhero, The Sub-Marinerand SYFY WIRE is paddling in to shore with an exclusive look at the first two covers of the premiere issue.

Written by industry stalwart Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Batman: Creature of the Night) and injected with intense artwork by Ben Dewey (The Autumnlands) and Jonas Scharf (Bone Parish), King in Black: Namor #1 is a dark, penetrating story of the genesis of Atlantis’ most nefarious villains. The young players in this compelling teenage melodrama are Namor, Lady Dorma of Atlantis, the outsider Attuma, and The Swift Riders, all comprising the Atlantean Empire’s legacy of legendary heroes.

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The plotline starts with loyal alliances and optimistic possibilities, as Attuma’s people consider joining the Empire. But what lies in the future is nothing but tragedy, betrayal, and the unleashing of potent, deadly magics. It's a deep plunge into Marvel Comics history, and the origin of a wicked danger that will only multiply in menace across time.

"Tom Brevoort roped me in on this one, telling me about the big King In Black event, which sounds big and earthshaking and amazing," Busiek tells SYFY WIRE. "And specifically about a new group of villains — an ancient, dangerous Atlantean threat — that figured into the story, and Marvel wanted to do a special project for them, to flesh out just who they are and where they came from and all that."

For the veteran writer and co-creator of Astro City, the creative challenge was extremely appealing.

"Getting to establish a new set of villains, to work them into Atlantean history, and to get to write Namor back when he was still a teenager, and not the imperious monarch we know today," Busiek adds. "Namor is Marvel’s first hero, going back even to before there was a Timely Comics, and he’s such a vivid, visceral character that he’s always fun to write. But writing teenage Namor in the 1930s, dealing with alchemists in Murmansk, and worse — it’s been too much fun."

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"Plus, I get to work with Ben Dewey again, who I’ve been lucky enough to work with on our co-creation, The Autumnlands, and on the recent Fantastic Four: Marvels Snapshots, and I’m always eager to work with Ben," Busiek says. "The designs he’s done on these new characters are just great, and he’s bringing them to life on the pages beautifully.

"So hey — we get to be part of a big, sprawling, dramatic new event, we get to play with Marvel history, to build a dramatic new threat for the Marvel Universe — and we get to show you the Sub-Mariner (and other familiar undersea faces) like you’ve never gotten to see them before. What’s not to like? The whole thing is going to be some pretty scary fun, as much horror and epic fantasy as it is superhero adventure.”

Marvel Comics' King in Black: Namor #1 arrives this December.