The Defenders (Sort Of) Reunite in FEAR ITSELF: THE DEEP


Fear Itself, Marvel's impeding 2011 event series, has been characterized as a "global event." So it only makes sense that the tie-ins would thusly reflect the entire globe, including the seas. Which quite naturally draws in Marvel's First Mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner.

His role in the multifaceted storyline will be explored in Fear Itself: The Deep, a four-issue miniseries announced starting in July and first announced during Saturday's Fear Itself panel at C2E2, written by Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun; the recently announced Fear Itself: Black Widow one-shot) and illustrated by former Batgirl artist Lee Garbett, who makes his Marvel debut in April's Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38.

Namor isn't coming into the Fear Itself conflict alone, though. He's recruited some help from characters who, collectively, will look fairly familiar to long-time Marvel fans (as the headline for this story so strongly suggests). For more on that and all things Fear Itself: The Deep, Newsarama chatted with Bunn over email.

C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!
C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!

Newsarama: Cullen, Namor is one of Marvel's oldest characters — heck, one of the oldest characters in all of superhero comic books. So clearly he's endured. What is it about the character that appeals to you?

Cullen Bunn: Namor is haughty, proud, smug, overconfident, and arrogant — but the difference between him and most other people who exhibit these characteristics is that he can back it up. He's one of the most physically powerful mutants and one of the most influential characters in the Marvel Universe, and he has this deep-seated code of honor that's pretty appealing. It's his pride, his confidence, and his code that makes him a fun character to write about in Fear Itself: The Deep, because those are the pieces of his personality that are in danger of coming apart at the seams.

Nrama: Namor is also a character that's not only playing a prominent role in Uncanny X-Men, but is currently starring in his own ongoing series. Is this series going to be tying in to that at all, or is it acting as a mostly separate entity?

Bunn: There are some minor connections to the ongoing series, but for the most part this is a separate entity. A new reader could come onto this without needing a whole lot of knowledge of past or current events, I think. At least, I try to catch the readers up pretty quickly. However, once the story is done, there will be some impact to Namor's status quo, I think.

C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!
C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!

Nrama: No doubt you can't talk a lot about it at this point, but what can you say (however vague) about the threat facing Namor in this story?

Bunn: Namor and his allies are facing not one, not two, but five very powerful threats--some they have faced before, some that are new, and some that are simply ungodly.

Nrama: Looks like in this story, the X-Men are out of commission and Namor's wrangling up a new team — Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer and Lyra. That effectively looks like the classic Defenders lineup, but with Savage She-Hulk swapped in for the classic Hulk. It's probably a reasonable guess to say this is intentional, right?

Bunn: Intentional on the part of the creative team, yes. Intentional on Namor's part... sort of.

Nrama: Let's talk about each of those ally characters — Lyra, the aforementioned Savage She-Hulk, is one of the newest additions to Marvel's canon and doesn't have the type of history that the other main cast members have. How does all that alter the dynamic of the comic?

Bunn: Lyra helps to add some "new blood" to a group of long-standing characters who have worked together many times in the past. She can learn something from these "old pros," but there's more than a little that they can learn from her, too. As the story progresses, she has some keen insights — the kind of insights that can only come from someone with fresh eyes — about the way the team works together... and doesn't work together. The interplay between the old guard and the new really livens the scripts up for me, and I hope it will do the same for the reader.

C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!
C2E2 2011: Marvel: FEAR ITSELF - LIVE!

Nrama: Then we've got the Silver Surfer, who has been around a lot lately — Fantastic Four, his own miniseries, Chaos War, Annihilators — given that he must be busy with all that, plus being the herald of Galactus, does it take some convincing on Namor's part to get him involved?

Bunn: Because of the events of Fear Itself, the Surfer finds himself drawn to Namor's side. He doesn't take a lot of convincing, because he quickly realizes that the world is facing an extinction-level event and the most powerful of heroes are needed if humanity is going to make it through the storm.

Nrama: Dr. Strange and Namor not only have their history in the Defenders, but also as members of the recently-made-public Illuminati. (Not to mention they both have frequently arched brows.) Will all that history be coming into play?

Bunn: The frequently-arched eyebrows will definitely come into play, but I'm not delving too much into the Illuminati. The threats Strange and Namor are facing are keeping them way too busy for them to worry about clandestine gatherings.

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