Comic Art Friday: She shelled Bombshells by the seashore

One of the many things I enjoy about my Bombshells! commission theme is the opportunity to spotlight heroines from long-ago comics history who’ve either been forgotten or are simply no longer as prominent as they once were.

Case in point: Namora, cousin of Namor the Sub-Mariner.

Namora, pencils and inks by Tim Tyler

The late 1940s and early 1950s were something of a dark period for superhero comics. After World War II ended in 1945, superheroes — a mainstay of American popular culture during the war years — quickly faded in popularity. Many of the hundreds of costumed characters who’d sprung up in the first half of the decade disappeared, and relatively few new superheroes popped up until Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, arrived in late 1956.

Namora made her debut appearance in May 1947, in Marvel Mystery Comics #82. She proved popular enough that she was promoted to her own title a year later, a book which lasted all of three issues. (I know what you’re thinking — three issues is not a very solid run. Still, it’s three more issues than either you or I have headlined our own comic book.) After her title was cancelled, Namora continued to appear as a regular supporting player in her better-known cousin’s adventures well into the Fifties.

The Namora series was part of a forward-thinking but short-lived initiative by Timely Publications (predecessor of what would become Marvel Comics by the early 1960s) to promote superheroines in their own eponymous titles. Two other female characters, Sun Girl (seen below in her Bombshells! appearance, drawn by Gene Gonzales) and Venus, also received ongoing series at the same time. Although Sun Girl, like Namora, only managed to eke out three issues, Venus sailed along for a total of 19, a run that lasted into early 1952.

Sun Girl, pencils and inks by Gene Gonzales

As for Namora, she’s still around the Marvel Universe in the 21st century. She turned up as a key member of the super-team Agents of Atlas a decade ago, and also played a role in the World War Hulk storyline.

Artist Tim Tyler, usually a horror specialist, turns in a nice nostalgic effort for Namora’s Bombshells! portrait. Tim’s style reminds me a bit of the EC Comics of the 1950s, so I thought he’d be perfect for an entry in my retro theme.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday for this Bastille Day.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Comic Art Friday, Hero of the Day, SwanStuff, That's Cool!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: