Sub-Mariner #61-62 (1973): 1st Dr. Hydro, 1st Hydrobase

In these issues, a mad scientist named Dr. Hydro, who operates out of the Hydrobase, starts hijacking airplanes and turning the passengers into amphibians.  Namorita fights them.  It’s nice to see her getting a lot of screen time, and I like how Gerber writes her.

These are unmistakably Gerber stories, by the way.  Before Namorita can board the plane, she has to go through security and makes comments about her civil liberties and freedoms (question: do non-human Atlanteans have Constitutional rights?)

And then, in the end, Namor ponders what to do with the amphibian-people, wondering whether his own Atlanteans could handle having another race live with them.

It’s a little odd, though, since Atlantis is willing to be led by a guy who is half-human.

Bill Everett became fatally ill before he completed penciling issue #61.  He was a titan of the Golden Age, but I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of his Silver Age work.  At least he got to do what he loved until he died.

Creators: Steve Gerber, Bill Everett (part of #61), Winslow Mortimer (rest of #61), Sam Kweskin (#62)
Grade: C+.
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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