Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Namor the Asshole

What Marvel character is arrogant, has tiny wings and smells like fish?  If you guessed Namor, you got it right.  (If you guessed Captain America, give yourself some laugh points.)  The first mutant, Namor is every bit the badass Aquaman wishes he could be all without Aqua's better personality.  He's fought everyone from Daredevil to Wolverine, along with a host of various villains (he's been portrayed as both hero and villain), and he's spent a good part of his life trying to get a peek at Sue Storm's vagina.

I thoroughly dislike the character.

I don't loathe him because he's an asshole.  There are plenty of characters who are assholes that I like (Batman comes to mind).  It has everything to do with how he is portrayed.  Granted, he's among some of Marvel's most three dimensional characters who is as complex as he is wet.  I just have problems with whiny people in power. 

Anakin Skywalker started out as an innocent kid who became a whiny teen.  This whiny teen (who acted as all teens do, and had every reason to turn against the Jedi) became one of cinema's most loved villains who, it so happens, left the whining behind.  Namor has power, prestige and the ability to actually put his plans in place, but his arrogance usually fouls him up somehow, and then he starts whining about it.  He also doesn't learn from his mistakes.  The "surface dwellers" have screwed him over roughly two billion times, yet he still deals with them instead of handing them their heads.

This can be looked at as complex writing in the hand of Marvel's creators, and normally I'd agree with that.  I see it as kind of lazy, though.  It seems as if the writers are afraid to really make this guy grow in any substantial way.  Yes, his character has had marginal changes throughout the decades, but they aren't significant enough.  Such is the nature of comics, I suppose, but that shouldn't stop someone from complaining about it especially when you see how other characters have changed (Guy Gardner, Daredevil, and Steve Rogers come to mind).

I understand that Namor's fans will have issue with a lot of this, and I accept that.  I will contend, however, that the character will be so much better if the writers would really cut loose with him, and that's something I don't think anyone will argue against.

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