Namor vs Black Panther, Earthworm Jim, Marvel’s Multiverse and More!
Endgame concludes a run going all the way back to the 2008, underrated Hulk film and it does so in epic fashion. That new Spidey trailer sure feels like an Epilogue to me and had some surprisingly poignant moments.
One might think there would be a lull in the speculative action after Endgame but that just isn’t the case. The fear of missing out is real folks and books are in play for some interesting reasons. Don't get left behind.
First Wakanda/Atlantis War, first cover battle between the two and first 616 meeting
That sneaky little mention of some underwater drama in Endgame has lead many to speculate that Namor could be the villain in the next Black Panther film. That all depends on Marvel owning the rights to use Namor. I suspect Disney's deep pockets can handle that issue. If it gets announced look to these two issues no one currently cares about. Here is a brief history of the two character’s earliest interactions.
The next time they actually interact, even though they don't come to blows, was in the much sought after Avengers 71, Endgame! The only problem here is that Panther and the Avengers throw down with Cap, Namor and Torch from 1941 who were brought in to fight by Kang. This comic is a key for sure for other reasons but not a 616 encounter. Narratively speaking they have little interaction or development throughout their interactions never formally meet but technically it is the first time they are opposed.They do appear in a few other issues but do not interact or appear on the same panel again which leads us here. These issues are the showdown that could easily be used as film material and the story is their first fight. 84 is their first cover fight as well.
There is one other book to note, The Avengers did fight the Defenders thanks to some trickery from Dormammu and Loki in Defenders 10. Unfortunately in the Avengers vs the Defenders war Panther and Namor never actually meet. Marvel danced around it in only one issue from the crossover. This one is just too weak to count.
Covers are still king around comics and if Black Panther/Namor books are your thing this is probably the best of the best.
NOTE: This issue was later collected and the image above does appear again on a weird, collected cover.
This one has a solid chance at getting adapted in some way if the go the Atlantis route. I include it mostly for the idea that Atlantis would return to the surface and is more in line with Namor not BP and Namor.
The latest Spider-Man trailer is a whopper. Introducing the multiverse concept seems more like a DC thing but Marvel has used the events of Endgame to establish a new reality in the MCU. While time travel and multiverses just prove that even the House of Ideas rarely has new ones, I am more confident in them entering the multiverse than anyone else currently making comic films.
The first appearance of the multiverse in Marvel was in What if, where the Watcher explains that worlds outside our own reality can exist along with worlds withing worlds. Though the Quantum Realm first appeared much earlier this book is the genesis on the Marvel multiverse and the first time such a concept is mentioned.
But in reality the most important books are these next few.
Fantastic Four 54
This book is the first appearance of Avalon, alternately called The Omniverse. It is the home base for Merlyn, founder of the Multiverse police, The Captain Britain Corps. I don't know if we can have a first appearance of the multiverse but Avalon/Otherworld is the access point.
Marvel Two in One 50 makes it clear that time travel, ( see endgame! ) can really mess things up. Screwing with timelines and changing history are exactly what happened in comics and on film. This is issue is key as it fleshes out the concept and consequences, establishing rules for time travel that the Captain Britain Corps still utilize.
and finally this rare issue ( already coveted by Miracleman fans ) designates the main Marvel universe as Earth 616, supposedly the true name of the beast?! This book may be the hardest non Miracleman comic to find. Considering it names the 616 it is also an under appreciated book with some true historical value. It is not without controversy though. If you want to know Moore about the coining of the term E-616 googling it can be a fun rabbit hole!
NOTE: The first appearance of the Captain Britain Corps was here. Considering there was a rumor of a Cap film and that they police the mulitverse it might be worth a look, though high grade copies are rare.
It is important to note, as many sources have already, that the entire thing could be a back tricks. Mysterio is a liar after all.
First appearance of Earthworm Jim
Rumor has it we are getting a new Jim game and from the original creators. That has some looking for the comic first. Marvel did release a short-lived comic series but issue one is not the first comic appearance. That’s a first for this article! I don't think I have ever had a first in a game manual before. Sonic anyone? That one is also a rabbit hole, a deep and treacherous one.
The earliest printings of the Earthworm Jim game are rumored to contain an actual mini comic. I cannot confirm this. But some of the manuals actually contain the same comic. Be warned, not all game manuals have it. I can confirm that Game Gear does and SNES does not. That doesn't really matter though because the first game release was for Mega Drive and it does NOT have the comic. That means the first comic published was in the original Genesis game. Later productions have a black and white manual. They have the comic but are reprints. All the games were released around the same time but not on the same dates putting the Genesis cart number 1.
There is also a rare artbook that was published and it is very hard to find.
Earthworm Jim comics have a sort of cult status so you can also look for the UK series which ran for 6 issues but they are quite rare.
There is also a comic in this,
BETA RAY BILL
You are gonna hear a lot about Bill over the next week. Here are few Beta Ray Bill items that might be worth a look that I have not seen featured elsewhere!
I think 339 might be key for another reason. It's the first appearance of Beta's hammer, the same one Thor created in Infinity War. I can see the movie scene coming already where Beta gets to hold his comic book weapon and I suspect it will be epic.