Fear Itself: The Deep #2

Issue Date: 
September 2011
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Lee Garbett (penciler), David Meikis (inker), John Rauch (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Lee Garbett with David Meikis and Frank Martin (cover artists), Jody Lehup (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)


Brief Description: 

In occupied New Atlantis Atlanteans are held prisoner by Attuma’s forces. His generals - Aradnea, Tigershark and Tyrak - plot against Namor. Namor currently battles alongside Dr Strange, the Silver Surfer, Loa and Lyra. They fight the monstrous creatures that have been unleashed to taken Namor down. Dr Strange is able to cast a powerful spell that destroys any of the remaining creatures. The Silver Surfer reveals how he witnessed seven hammers fall from the heavens, and Namor recalls Attuma had a hammer when they battled, and Loa senses Namor’s fear, she reminds him that she saw what Attuma did and tells him that it is okay to be afraid - but Namor boasts that he is not. Dr Strange examines the remains of one of the monsters, and realizes there is a connection to the Undying Ones. Even Loa reveals she knows about the Undying Ones, surprising her new companions. Before the heroes can barely catch their breath, three enormous monstrous beasts rise from the depths. Working together, the heroes battle the creatures, beating the odds. However when Lyra falls into the water, she feels something brush against her - as a now two-headed Tigershark swims towards her!


Full Summary: 

Occupied New Atlantis, where the generals of Nerkkod - formerly Attuma - Aradnea, Tyrak and Tiger Shark - observe Namor through a jelly-fish viewing globe:

‘Look at him… putting on the brave face even though he knows the battle is lost’ Aradnea remarks. She declares that New Atlantis belongs to them, and that it will serve as the staging ground for their dominion of the world - beneath and above the surface. ‘In this time of conquest, Namor’s subjects will prove to be valuable resources… raw material for us to use as we will’. As Nerkkod’s forces round up the civilian Atlateans, Aradnea declares that this is the will of Lord Attuma and it will be carried out. Tyrak tells his sister that it would be unwise to underestimate Namor and his allies. Tiger Shark frowns and stands with his arms folded, and looking at Namor’ sallies fighting alongside him though the jelly-fish viewing globe, Aradnea tells her brother that he may be right, which is why it is time for the next stage of their plan.

Aradnea asks Tiger Shark if he is prepared for his role. ‘Prepared? How does anyone prepare for something like this?’ Tiger Shark replies. Aradnea assures Tiger Shark that she sees his point, but points out that he has little choice in the matter. ‘A promise is a promise, after all’. As Atlanteans cower in fear, Aradnea declares that the Sub-Mariner can rage against his own fear, for all the good it will do for him, as this is now a world of terror - there is no room for hope’.

Above the water, Dr Stephen Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, Lyra the She-Hulk and the young mutant Loa are doing battle with demon-sea creature hybrids. The Silver Surfer blasts them with cosmic energy, as Dr Strange attacks with a mystic spell. Lyra combats hers with physical prowess and Loa breaks her foe up with her mutant power, as Namor looks on. ‘Let’s go, Namor! Are you going to join this fight or what?’ Lyra calls out. Dr Strange casts another mystic spell and calls out ‘If we can hold them off just a while longer, I should be able to gather the -’ before he cries out in pain as his opponent strikes him with a sharp claw. ‘Does this buy you the time you need?’ Lyra asks as she comes to his aid, smashing the creature’s claw. ‘It…certainly helps, Lyra’ Strange replies, while urging his allies to take care in dealing with these monsters, as some of them appear to be venomous.

‘Venomous… great… as if the gnashing teeth and claws weren’t bad enough’ Loa mutters, when suddenly, two creatures loom over her. ‘LOA!’ Namor calls out, but the Silver Surfer swoops down on his board and grabs her. ‘I have the girl, Sub-Mariner’ Silver Surfer replies, and Loa grins as she clutches the edge of the board, declaring that if you are gonna flee from hideous monsters, it is best to do it in style. Lyra struggles against her opponent, which wraps some tentacles around her. She tells Dr Strange that if he is going to put the magical smack-down on these creatures, now would be as good a time as any. ‘Begone, blight! Begone pestilence! In the names of Galigothiel and Baelroth, I abjure thee…begone!’ Strange shouts, casting energy into the air, the energy then disperses down over the demon-sea creatures, taking them out. ‘It’s nice to know I still have a few surprises left up my sleeve’ Dr Strange tells his allies.

The heroes regroup, ‘You did it, Stephen! You’ve banished them!’ Namor exclaims. ‘Yes… but it took quite a bit out of me’ Dr Strange admits, explaining that the spell was intended to drive goblins from village grain stores, not meant to be adjusted to exorcise demonic entities. ‘Goblins, demons…potato, potato. Either way I’m none-too-happy about using the last of those Atlantean potions to breathe air on this vacation’ Loa announces. ‘Whatever you did, it’s given us a little breathing room’ Lyra remarks, but hovering above the others on his board, the Silver Surfer tells the others that he fears they are not out of danger yet. He reports that a powerful malevolent force is at work on Earth, and that he first became aware of it as he surfed the depths of space - seven vile weapons - hammers - streaked towards Earth’s solar system, and their passing threatened to tear the very stars out of alignment.

Dr Strange remarks that word of these hammers is already spreading across the globe. ‘Hammers?’ Namor asks, pointing out that when he fought Attuma, when he razed Atlantis, he wielded a hammer. ‘I have never seen anything so…it was an ungodly weapon’. He recalls the battle, and Loa reminds Namor that she was there, she saw what that guy could do. ‘It’s all right to be scared -’ Loa begins, to which Namor declares ‘I am the King of Atlantis, girl! I am not afraid!’

The Silver Surfer asks Dr Strange what he thinks, and Strange replies that he thinks their situation is even more grave than they feared. ‘The panic spreading amongst the people of Earth is an almost palpable thing. Those emotions are so overwhelming that they’ve weakened the veil between dimensions’. He examines one of the fallen demon-sea creatures before him and adds that when they are provided with host bodies, the demons are slipping into this world. ‘I’d recognize their foul aura anywhere. The Undying Ones!’ He reminds his allies that they have dealt with them - and their leader, the two-headed Nameless One - before.

‘The Undying Ones?’ Loa asks, adding that she thought their powers faded centuries ago. ‘Isn’t that why they fled this world?’ she points out. Dr Strange pauses, as everyone looks at her. ‘What?’ Loa asks, shrugging her shoulders. ‘You think you’re the only one who’s read the Necronomicon?’ Dr Strange smiles and tells Namor that he likes Loa. ‘She has potential’. Lyra whispers into Loa’s ear: ‘Wow. If you were thirty years older, he might -’, to which Loa goes wide-eyed and exclaims ‘Gross’.

Dr Strange tells his companions that it would seem that whoever attacked Atlantis has also struck a bargain with the Undying Ones, and that such an alliance could cement their sovereignty - usurped though it may be - over the seas. There is a strange noise, and the heroes look around. ‘What is that? It sounds almost like whale song’ Namor announces. And, with that, three giant demon-sea creatures in the forms of a squid, whale and sharp-toothed fish burst forth from the depths.

‘Well… that’s something you don’t see every day’ Loa exclaims, while the Silver Surfer remarks that it would appear their brief respite has come to an end. With Loa on his board, the Silver Surfer takes to the air so that they can strike the huge monsters at their heads. ‘If those creatures reach land, the damage could be catastrophic’ the Silver Surfer points out. ‘Then we cannot let that happen!’ the Sub-Mariner declares as he flies upwards, bringing Lyra with him. Enclosed in a bubble of mystic energy, shouts ‘Defenders - take them down!’ Dr Strange adds that he senses the Undying Ones have a strong grasp on the beasts. ‘But if we weaken them, I might be able to banish the spirits’ he adds. ‘Weaken them, he says. Do we have a plan as to how to do that?’ Loa asks. The Silver Surfer blasts the squid-monster with cosmic energy, ‘In a case such as this…the old standbys tend to work well’ he points out.

Namor flies Lyra over to the whale monster and tells her that her father would relish such a battle. ‘Can we say the same for you?’ he asks. ‘Just get me close to that thing’ Lyra replies, and as Namor lets her loose, she falls towards the creature. ‘And leave the rest to me!’ the powerful young woman boasts, dropping closer to the creature, she grabs one of the tendrils on its face, and swings herself around, ‘I’ll show you what a savage She-Hulk can do!’ she declares as she kicks and punches the monster, causing it to fall back into the ocean. Lyra falls too, and Loa calls out to her. ‘I’m all right! Stay focussed on what you’re doing and - WATCH OUT!’ Lyra shouts, as the squid monster lashes out, grabbing the board from under the Silver Surfer, Loa falls backwards, but the Silver Surfer manages to cling to the board. ‘Such a base attack will not stop me, creature!’ he exclaims. The Silver Surfer declares that he has faced gods and devils alike. ‘And you - as have they - will taste my true might…the might of a Herald of a Galactus!’ as he pulls his board free, smacking the monster with it, the monster falls back.

‘Two down… let’s see about the third’ Dr Strange calls out, energy around him, he causes a spout of water to rise from the ocean, striking the creature with a large mouth of sharp teeth. ‘Now, while they are weakened!’ Dr Strange remarks, casting one final surge of energy which takes the creatures out. ‘The behemoths have been defeated’ the Silver Surfer declares, adding that he surmises there are more threats to come. He, Strange and Namor move towards the water where Loa and Lyra are bobbing up and down. Strange tells the Surfer that he agrees, adding that the Undying Ones will not give up their foothold on this reality so easily. ‘Nor will the conquerors of New Atlantis abandon their aspirations’ Namor points out. He adds that if they control the oceans, they will control the vast majority of the Earth. ‘We have no choice but to take the fight to them’ he remarks.

The Silver Surfer tells Stephen that Namor does not seem himself, and asks if they can win such a battle without him. Dr Strange replies that he is not sure, and adds that before they do anything, they should return to land and regroup. ‘Perhaps I can try once more to reach out to our allies’ he hopes. But Namor asks ’What’s the point? Haven’t you realized that no one else is coming to our aid?’ The silver Surfer pulls Loa out of the water onto his board and states ’Regardless, we need a plan before we invade a undersea kingdom’ he adds, telling the others that they have encountered nothing thus far that compares to what comes next. He reaches down to pick Lyra out of the water, but as she reaches up, she tells him ‘Wait a second. I thought I felt -’ and an instant later, Lyra is pulled under water, several demon-sea creatures grabbing for her, as a two-headed Tiger Shark swims towards her, Lyra looks very scared….

Characters Involved: 

Dr Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer (all former Defenders)




Attuma / Nerkkod

Aradnea, Tiger Shark, Tyrak


Written By: