Posted Saturday, May 15th, 2021 by Barry

Motion Picture Funnies Weekley (1939) 1

Forget the beach body; just grab the trunks and water wings, today is National Learn to Swim Day.

The master of ceremonies is Namor, the Sub-Mariner, originally slated to appear in the innocuously named Motion Picture Funnies Weekley number one. When the book failed to reach newsstands, he was moved to the more appropriate Marvel Comics issue one.

The ruler of Atlantis may be the first comic book mutant. He’s a hybrid of a human sea captain and princess from the undersea capital.

As the Golden Age faded, Namor floundered until Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought him back to the fold in Fantastic Four (1961) issue four. His return was popular enough, Subs made frequent cameos in the FF’s book as well as others in the Marvel U.

He began cohabitating with the Hulk in Tales to Astonish issue 70. The Hulk settled into his own book when the title ended, but Namor shared the one-shot Iron Man and Sub-Mariner number one before landing his own title.

Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner ran a respective 72 issues. After, he would co-star in the Super-Villain Team-Up title for it’s first 13 issues before becoming a guest in his own universe again.

In 1984, Namor returned to the spotlight with a four-issue mini written by J.M. DeMatteis and penciled by Bob Budiansky. Four years later his mini was expanded to 12 issues, titled The Saga of the Sub-Mariner. In 1990 he was given his second ongoing book. This one ran five years and 62 issues.

In 2003, he returned for a 12-issue maxi-series and a six-issue mini in 2007.

His next ongoing book, Namor: The First Mutant, lasted less than a year.

Following that, Sub-Mariner shared titles such as The Defenders in 2011 and the New Avengers in 2013.

Marvel’s legacy books and clean sweep beginning in 2017 have moved him around like a pawn, but has yet to return him to a self-titled book again.

Anyway, back to today. National Learn to Swim Day is recognized on the third Saturday in May. It is designed to bring water safety awareness to the forefront before summer and swimming begin.

Swimways Corp founded National Learn to Swim Day in 2014.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply