MORE INSIDEMAN-LOVE FOR JEFF PARKER!
Any JUSTICE in the world and this would be a MONTHLY. Unfortunately, there is NO justice in the world.
Recommended by my personal comic GURUS– (Who else but the dynamic duo of Jose Melendez and Elliott Serrano at CCW*TV?)– I couldn’t wait to crack open this comic. I had high hopes– especially when considering its’ pedigree.
Let me just write up front, “I was never disappointed.”
Jeff Parker is definitely one of the “go to guys” for people looking to read quality comics. His name is currently a brand you can “trust” to deliver. If you spend money with Parker, you can expect excellent treatment within his pages. Namora #1 is no different. Another solid effort by a quickly rising star.
Namora’s often shitty– holier than thou attitude– is actually one of the book’s many highlights. She is Princess of Atlantis after all… So she makes no apologies for acting the royal pain in the ass. Namora doesn’t need your love, fanboy. What love she does need can come only from her daughter, Namorita… A tough request considering she is long dead– murdered in the devastating Stamford explosion that ignited Marvel’s Civil War.
Princess Namora Saving Submariners
Motherly urges consume Namora in a very unique way as the story unfolds. Amazingly, Parker displays the soft side of his hero– not by a revealing any weakness– but by showing how strong Namora’s love is for her child. It’s a brilliant conceit and a welcome change from the normal female comics archetype… Where a female super-hero can only be seen as vulnerable if she reacts hysterically at some devastating revelation. Not Namora, thank you very much. Not a weak bone in this woman’s body.
The art by Sara Pichelli is stunning. I would kill to see the original black and white boards. You probably think that’s a really strange thing to wish for– especially in this glorious age of gorgeous digital coloring… And with the emergence of so many fantastic color artists. But if you look at the Pichelli’s art examples reproduced here… I’m afraid you just might agree with me.
Sadly, I believe Rachelle Rosenberg’s coloring often DETRACTS and OBSCURES Pichelli’s fine line work. To be blunt– there was way too much blue/green ocean.
I know! What a fucking weird thing to upset me in a book that takes place PREDOMINANTLY UNDERWATER, right? But there was just TOO MUCH of the murky depths for me. In fact, there is so much of this blue/green madness– the mixing colors turned some of the art into a bland hodgepodge. (Strangely, Rosenberg’s style also successfully made other color combos leap off the pages… Go figure.)
Release the Kraken!
I make this observation with sadness– as I have never been the least bit displeased with Rachelle’s color work before. Quite the opposite– I have always enjoyed it!
So don’t let my critique of the coloring throw you off this book. Many of you may actually like it and believe it is a very accurate portrayal of what undersea life would look like if such a world actually existed. (And who’s to say it doesn’t?) In fact, look at the Kraken (to the left). Isn’t he/she/it gorgeous?
I only have one other– relatively minor– nitpick. What idiot at Marvel thought it would be a great idea to place a full page Honda Insight auto advertisement on the book’s third page– before the splash? What a monumental eyesore!
For those who may not know, “BIG TIME” advertisers often demand front-of-the-book, third page placement in magazines… But the ad maven who demanded this spot had to be a certified asshole and an obvious comic hater.
Actually, I just made up that last part about the ad agency being “comic haters”… Agency employees probably won’t even see the whole book– so they won’t know the massive wrong they did to Namora’s creative team… As advertising agencies normally only require a “tear sheet” from a magazine as proof their ad ran in the publication. That means they’ll see only the one ad page (with the splash page on the back) and be completely satisfied– blissfully unaware that their product placement was more of a jolt than an enticement to buy a Honda Hybrid.
So no– the real assholes here are not the folks from Honda’s ad agency. The real assholes here are the people in Marvel’s editorial and art departments that didn’t raise hell when the ad placements fucked up the artistic flow of the different books. Believe me when I tell you that Honda would have been perfectly satisfied with their ads appearing on the 4th or 5th pages of some of the Marvel books. They would have understood the need for artistic integrity. Too bad nobody at Marvel apparently felt the same way– or had the balls to stand up for Parker, Pichelli and the rest of the book’s crew.
Yet, this is a quibble that only appears 3 pages in. There’s a lot of book to love afterward… And you’ll be doing a great disservice to yourself if you don’t search this one out. There are times when everything meshes beautifully within and Parker’s words seem to sing off the page. Don’t believe me? Then read Namora’s last thoughts on Namora #1′s final page… But remember, to experience the full impact of that final page, you’ll have to read the whole book– which means you’ll have to buy the book.
No fair peeking at the comic store!