Okay, so I sped-read these issues and I think I can safely say that there’s no retconning going on. It’s just a recreation of a lot of Golden Age comics that, in 1989, had not yet been reprinted as collections. It’s all well-done and it’s a nice way to read the history of this character, who had been around decades before The Fantastic Four were even an idea.
Especially fun is the re-telling of the Namor/Doom comic Super Villain Team-Up.
Creators: Roy and Dann Thomas, Rich Buckler