Namor: The First Mutant Annual #1

Issue Date: 
July 2011
Story Title: 
Escape from the Negative Zone – part three

James Asmus (writer), Max Fumara (pencils), Max Fumara & Norman Lee (inks), Jim Charalampidis (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letterer), Black Frog (cover), Irene Y. Lee (production), Jordan D. White & Jake Thomas (assistant editors), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

A crazed Namor has injured Hope and is now battling Blastaar. While Cyclops remains behind, he asks Steve Rogers to take care of Hope and find a way out. Steve stabilizes Hope and they go looking for the portal but find it trashed. Dr. Nemesis, in the meantime, has forced Blastaar’s scientists to create another portal device and flees with it. He meets up with the other heroes. Rogers offers to hook the portal up to a router with the coordinates which are sure to get them home. However, there is still the problem of Namor. While the monster that attacked Namor and Nemesis before is now battling Blastaar. Hope syncs up with Namor’s powers and fights him until they get through the portal and drop him into water where his madness abates. As they all recover from their injuries, Namor thanks Hope and Rogers, while Cyclops promises Hope he will be less overprotective in the future. Back in the Negative Zone, a humbled Blastaar vows revenge…

Full Summary: 

After hours in the Negative Zone without any water, Namor has gone berserk, attacking friend and foe alike and injuring Hope Summers in the process. Steve Rogers, the former Captain America, keeps Namor away from himself with his energy shield and asks Cyclops for help. Scott crouches over the bleeding Hope, telling him he can’t! Hope’s bleeding out! Great, Steve mutters as he dodges another blow of Namor and tries to reason with him. Namor hits him in return and Steve lands hard. Namor gets ready for the killing blow, announcing Imperius--

Scott orders Steve to stay down but, before he can use his optic blast, Blastaar blasts Namor, satisfied at having found a worthy combatant.

While Blastaar goes after Namor, Steve hurries to Scott’s side, telling him he has never seen Namor that bad. He was worried that would happen, Cyclops recalls while trying to press Hope’s wound closed. From the moment they got here… Maybe it’s the atmosphere or distorted physics, Steve ventures. They are running out of guesses, Scott shoots back and asks Steve to get Hope out.

While Namor and Blastaar battle, their fight damages the portal. Steve tells Cyclops to drive them off. Maybe they can still salvage something for a ride home. And Hope? Cyclops asks. As if she’s one of his, Steve promises. Wishing each other good luck, they part.

In a lab, Dr. Nemesis is getting impatient as he forces the scientists there to work. One of them snarls at him to stop. They tolerate his abuse! They do his work! Another hands him the device he wanted. It is as finished as it can be without testing. How does he know they are not trying to pull one over him? That moment, the one whom he shot before awakes and the others realize that his gun shoots only tranquilizers. “Sorry rubes, but thanks for the gizmo!” he shouts as he runs away and the scientists presses the alarm. Soon, guards shoot at him. Why can’t he ever end up in sexy dimensions? he complains.

Namor throws Blastaar to the ground. Cyclops offers a plan but Blastaar orders him to bite his tongue. He does not fight at his side! He is just crushing the strongest of them first!

Hope awakes, after Steve has bandaged her injuries, causing Steve to remark jokingly they didn’t kill the future of mutantkind after all. Looking around and seeing all the unconscious warriors, she marvels that they are still out. Steve explains that while she was unconscious, he had to fight them all again. Is he joking? she exclaims. He reminds her that the important thing is she’ll be okay for now. But she lost a lot of blood. So she should take it easy until they get her…

Angrily, Hope insists she is strong, but then screams in pain. Steve tells her to relax. She can manifest other people’s powers, right? That’s pretty amazing. But he might still ask her to stay out of harm’s way. Is he kidding? she snarls. She doesn’t know what Cyclops said to him… Nothing! he interrupts. But she’s in bad shape. And his number one priority is to make sure she gets home safe. After all, he might need Hope to be an Avenger one day.

That’s nice of him to say, she admits. But if Scott has his way, she will never leave Utopia. Steve tells her she is too hard on Scott. He is an astonishing guy and he really cares about her. And he can tell her from personal experience you need to let people care about you. You need to care about them. She did, Hope admits. She loved someone a lot. But he died. Steve knows. But that kind of love is what they are fighting for and she is surrounded by it. The sooner she welcomes that fact, the sooner she’ll find herself happy again. He helps her get up. This may be a funny thing to say in the current scenario. But she survived. Now’s her chance to live.

Outside in space, Nemesis rides one of the space bikes, chased by guards. He shouts the shooting is pointless; they both want the same thing: to get him out of this cosmic devolutionary stain they call home. The guard whom he shot before gets ready to shoot him. Want another dose of tranquilizer? Nemesis offers, he hears it can be addictive…

Suddenly, the guard screams as the giant squid monster Namor fought before attacks him and then turns towards Nemesis… Impressed, he swears.

Elsewhere, in the complex Cyclops tries to talk reason into Namor, telling him to stop fighting, so they can get back to Earth. To water. That word reaches him. “How?” Namor asks. That moment, Blastaar strikes him. He can’t leave now, he declares. He was just about to teach him how to beg. Blastaar throws him away.

That moment, Nemesis comes close on his flying bike. He admits it’s fun to see Princess Namor get a little humility, but he and these kids really need to head out!

Blastaar gets ready to hit him, only to be attacked by the giant monster that followed Nemesis and which now squeezes the tyrant’s body. Nemesis lands and explains to Namor that he owes his life to the monstrosity they wrestled with. After the tranquilizers wore off, it started following him like a desperate junkie trying to earn another fix.

Scott tries to shout a warning but too late, as Namor strikes Nemesis. Cyclops blasts Namor and orders Nemesis to get to the throne room and find them a way home. Turning to Namor, Cyclops announces he’ll ask him once more…

In the other lab, Hope and Steve find that the portal is thrashed. They are joined by Nemesis, who announces it is a good thing he is smarter than them and had another one built. Seriously, was fighting to the center of a military stronghold their only plan? Or did they just go with the most asinine? With his usual charm, he asks Steve what the hell he is doing here and, more importantly, why did the seaman just break his ribs?

Steve explains that Namor is drying out; he’s chemically imbalanced. Complicated by time passing faster here than in their dimension. Somehow, he is losing his mind faster than his strength.

Nemesis shows them his device, which should open another portal to Earth. The bad news is that it might make their atoms explode. Not if they route it to the stabilizer he used, Steve explains. He jotted down the coordinates, just in case. Disgusted, Nemesis pronounces him a boy scout.

They are interrupted as Scott unleashes his full optic blast on Namor, shooting them in their direction. Nevertheless, Namor hits him back. A concerned Hope runs to Scott’s side. Not dead yet, he tells her. Sorry to disappoint. Hope explains they think they can get Namor to water. Nemesis can open a portal. He’s trying to send their signal to the Earthside portal.

Cyclops points out that Namor is on a rampage. They’d be putting innocent lives at risk. They can’t send him through like this. What the hell? Hope begins to explode, then pulls herself together, apologizes and asks Scott what he suggests they do next. He asks her to use her powers. He knows it’s not easy on her… That’s the point of being an X-Man, isn’t it? she interrupts. They sacrifice. So is she gonna need a visor like his, or what? No, she won’t, he tells her with a smile.

In the meantime, Steve tries to reach Namor, telling him they are his friends. They want to take him home. As he reaches out, Namor grabs Steve’s left arm and breaks it. Steve hits him with the shield in his other hand, still trying to reason.

Namor grabs a giant slab of rock, intent on bringing it down on Steve. “Sorry, lady brows,” Hope announces, having synced into Namor’s powers. She apologizes as she kicks and hits him, but it’s only because they love him. Namor goes for her throat.

Scott orders Nemesis to open the portal. With a detonation it opens and the struggling Hope and Namor fall through to Utopia. Gasping for air, Hope reminds herself to keep on flying. She finally passes out but at that point they are above the ocean into which they fall.

Hours later, Hope is in the infirmary, her wounds treated. Cyclops assures her how proud he is of her and explains he didn’t mean to insult her when he was afraid of relying on her. He just doesn’t want her to have that pressure. Hope explains it’s what she trained for. He agrees and now he sees how capable she is. The whole mutant messiah thing may have been a tad overprotective. He’ll work on that.

“Hey soldiers”, Steve greets them as he enters, arm bandaged. Hope asks if he is all right. He will be, he promises and tells her she was remarkable. He’s just glad she is on their side. And he hopes after all this they know they can count on each other. As far as the government’s concerned, the X-Men are heroes. For a second, he was afraid he was going to say Avengers, Scott jokes.

Over a doctor’s protests, Namor refuses more testing, announcing he is fine. He threatens the doctor to run off or he’ll break the next hand that touches him. He thinks Namor has done enough breaking, Rogers points out. Namor replies he was just dismissing these lampreys in order to… He trails off, then admits that Steve saved him. Brought him back from the worst parts of himself, which he supposes is what he’s always done for him. But what Namor all too often fails to say is he is humbled by Steve’s friendship and thanks him.

They have been joined by Emma, Pixie and Nemesis. Emma remarks she’s glad she made it in time to see that. Almost made the whole disaster worthwhile, Nemesis agrees while Pixie adores Steve and Namor thanks Hope. Emma kisses Scott, then slaps him. She will have him know that these events were completely unacceptable, she announces haughtily and drags him off. As such he is in serious need of some discipline…

In the ruins of the fortress in the Negative Zone, Blastaar shakes off the rubble he was buried under and orders to have the thinkers brought. He needs to know how best to kill an entire planet…

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Namor, White Queen (all X-Men)


Pixie III (X-Men student)

Dr. Nemesis (X-Club)

Steve Rogers


Blastaar’s troops


Story Notes: 

The story is continued from Uncanny X-Men Annual (2nd series) #3 and Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier Annual #1.

Issue Information: 

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