Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sub-Mariner: The Depths #2-3

Tons of SPOILERS BELOW. That's all I do this whole post: Spoilery McSpoiler.

I said after the first issue that I didn't miss the Sub-Mariner. I do now. After all, I also said that I didn't want to read four more issues without the title character's appearing. And so far, that's exactly what's going on.

Milligan's teasing the heck out of this thing. Most of the story focuses on Stein's continued disbelief in Namor, even as he has to question his own senses to maintain that position. As his submarine goes deeper and deeper into the Marianas Trench, tensions rise higher and higher between Stein and his Namor-believing crew. It's a tense, psychological drama, but I'm ready for the tension to ease already. Assuming a satisfying ending, this'll read much better as a collected book. Right now, it feels like there's a lot of repetition and endless waiting for Namor to appear.

Issue #2 is especially cruel. There are a couple of scenes that look like Namor's about to make an appearance.

Are those claws at the end of those fingers? Is that Namor outside the window or something else?

It gets even more confusing once the sub gets close to the Marianas Trench Outpost (an awesome concept that gets more focus in the third issue). Witness these two pages:

We only see his silhouette, but that looks like more claws and something clinging to the intruder's body (seaweed? some kind of slime?). His face looks rather amphibious too as he's coming through the pipe. Is this the Sub-Mariner or something else? What's that stuff stuck to Stein's shoe?

A little later, Stein comes face-to-face with whatever it is. Or does he? Is it all a figment of his imagination?

Whatever it is, it ain't Namor.

Right after seeing that, Stein wakes up in the infirmary, surrounded by crewmen. He's assured that he's just had a dream. But if it's a dream...

So it was salt water oozing off Stein's shoe? That's some pretty sticky salt water. What's going on here?

Unfortunately, issue #3 doesn't have any answers for us.

In this issue, there's lots more of Stein questioning his sanity until the sub finally reaches the Outpost and things start to happen. No mysteries are revealed, but Stein and his crew discover the entire outpost team dead, torn apart by something horrible. They also find more puddles of sea water and a video log.

And that's the one shot of Namor this issue.

If I'd known it was going to go like this, I'd have waited for the book collection, but I'm more than halfway through now, so I feel committed. I still trust Milligan to satisfy at the end; I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to get there.

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