In this edition of Comic Cover Corner, I’m looking at the cover for Namor: The First Mutant #3, drawn by Jae Lee. The short-lived series focused on The Sub-Mariner’s mutant heritage and his time working with the X-Men. Lee came up with a gorgeous cover that shows off the regal nature of the character.
The cover displays Namor floating up through the ocean and watching over the body of an Atlantean woman. It makes me picture a funeral, with Namor carrying the woman up to the surface. Alternatively, the woman could be unconscious and Namor is carrying her to safety. There are other floating bodies in the background, which suggests something bad has happened. The sombreness has a certain beauty to it. It’s as if the reader is watching a private moment where Namor can show respect to his people.
Lee has drawn Namor in an elegant way. He gives off a regal aura and his body isn’t overly muscular. Also, the details of his costume are subtle. The red X on his belt shows his allegiance to the X-Men and highlights the duality of the character as someone who’s pulled between Atlantis and the surface world. Namor’s eyes are closed and the expression on his face could be taken in a number of ways. Perhaps he’s mourning the loss of his people, or he could be trying to think of a good memory to lift his mood.
One of my favourite parts of the cover is the shimmering effect of the water. It blends well with the blue of Namor’s costume and makes the cover seem otherworldly. Lee’s colouring is beautiful because there are two shades of blue for the water. The light blue creates the image of the sun sparkling from above, while the darker colouring represents hidden depths.
The best covers are the ones that can tell a story and Namor: The First Mutant #3 captures a king in mourning.