Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Partners in Crime

Years before they helped found the Defenders, the Hulk and Sub-Mariner tried teaming up on their own. Things didn't work out as planned.

Feeling like an outcast among the Avengers and in society as a whole, Hulk sought refuge on a small island when the Prince of Atlantis first approached. After the obligatory slugfest, the Hulk listened to Sub-Mariner's criminal proposition (Avengers #3).

Namor: We both share a burning hatred for the human race! If we act together, we can bring humanity to its knees!

Hulk: You mean you want me to team up with you? Well, maybe it ain't such a bad idea at that! You're pretty tough for a little guy!
The misanthropic Hulk and snippy Sub-Mariner bickered constantly as they battled the Avengers. The conflict came to a hedge when Namor fell injured.
Namor: Hulk, where are you?? I need you now! To my side, you lumbering oaf!

Hulk: You'll never call me names like that again, Namor! I'll help you, all right … and when we've beaten the Avengers, I'll finish you next!
Just then, Hulk involuntarily reverted to the form of Bruce Banner, gaining the sympathy of the Avengers. Exclaiming that he had been betrayed, Sub-Mariner used his remaining strength to escape.

Over time, Dr. Banner became less intelligent and more rampaging as the Hulk. Meanwhile, Sub-Mariner retained his antagonism toward surface-dwellers. Yet both characters were tolerated, even moderately liked, within the Defenders.
Avengers. Vol. 1. No. 3. January 1964. "The Avengers Meet … Sub-Mariner!" Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (illustrator), P. Reinman (inker), S. Rosen (letterer).

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