THE BREWER REPORT: Scarlet and ivory: The forgotten fish tail of Tamara & Namor
Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 12:56
THE BREWER REPORT
Scarlet and ivory:
The forgotten fish tail of Tamara & Namor
(Editor’s note: With Namor: The First Mutant #1 slated to hit stores in August, Contributing Editor Byron Brewer thought a look back at a little-remembered cosmic female in the Avenging Son’s life apropos. Dorma, Sue Storm and Emma Frost were not the only gals that made our noble Sub-Mariner shout, “Imperious Rex!”.)
By Byron Brewer
As I may have mentioned somewhere in these writings, there was a magic time in modern comics when, but very briefly, Sub-Mariner creator Bill Everett was both plotting, drawing and sometimes scripting the adventures of his Avenging Son anew. It was during that time, based on a story that had come before (I think by Dan Adkins) that Bill created Tamara Rahn, whom I think he meant to serve as a latter-day Lady Dorma for his Prince of Atlantis. Alas, Bill Everett passed away during this stint and his long-range plans for Tamara, if any, were for naught.
I doubt few even know of Tamara today, but although her life has been undersea here on Earth, Bill made her origins cosmic!
The red-skinned Tamara Rahn and other members of the Banari journeyed to Earth from the aquatic planet of Laab. Their vessel landed in the Antarctic Ocean and, thinking them invaders, all of the Banari except Tamara were slain by the Atlantean military. Alone, she eluded the water-breathers for weeks before being captured and brought before Lord Vashti. (This was one of those periods where Namor had left the throne.)
Namor’s trusted adviser Vashti was truly saddened by the needless deaths of the Brotherhood, and sought to make amends to Tamara. She asked for Atlantis’ aid in repairing her craft so that she could return to the planet Laab. Not long afterward, Namor found a surviving Haab (a water-breathing race created by the Banari to serve them) that was placed into Tamara’s care. After her vessel was repaired, instead of returning home, she attacked the city of Atlantis. While the Sub-Mariner battled and defeated the Haab, Tamara tried to ram her newly-repaired ship into the dome protecting Atlantis but was unable to do so.
After being swiftly defeated by Namor, Tamara was taken captive and she threw herself upon Lord Vashti’s mercy once more, and again she was permitted to remain in Atlantis as their guest. (That Vashti was a saint!) She lived in Atlantis for some time, taking up its defense as a warrior and also serving for a time as Namor’s lover. But for some unknown reason – duty to his peeps and the realm, perhaps – Tamara’s affections eventually turned from the wing-footed Defender to the dynamic Tiger Shark!
Meanwhile, on the planet Laab, Tamara’s people were conquered by the Fomalhauti race. These aliens forced the Banari and the Haab into servitude. Several of the survivors came to be utilized by Xlyym, a member of the marauding Starblasters. In an attempt to destroy Earth, Xlyym sent the Haab to install two large thrusters on the Earth’s ocean floor. His plan was to tear the planet in half! Fortunately, the Haab’s actions were witnessed by Triton of the Inhumans and the Atlantean Remora.
Xlyym dispatched the Banari and Haab to attack Triton, while Remora set out after Tamara to inform her that her people were back on Earth. Tamara arrived with Tiger Shark and aided the Banari against Triton, who was finally defeated by the Haab Zun. Tamara along with the Sub-Mariner, Tiger Shark, Stingray, the Thing and the Invisible Woman set out to destroy Xlyym’s destructive device and found it guarded by the Sisterhood and the Haab. They later deployed a bomb which destroyed it.
Tamara later joined the At’la’tique, a group of mostly Atlantean terrorists as a spy for Namor. She was also a member of the Fathom Five, where she had an altercation with the newly-reassembled Thunderbolts.
While her Earth-based adventures have been few and far between, perhaps this member of the Sisterhood should set her sites on the stars once more. What beautiful music could Tamara and, say, Triton and his water-filled explorer ship make? And then again, there is – Namor!
Namor: The First Mutant #1hits stores August 25!