Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner!

Aquaman seems to be all the bomb diggity these days.  DC hacked off his hand and made him all moody and rude, and revived the character.  But back in my youth, if DC had a hero, Marvel had one to match.

Aquaman is an old character, created in 1941, but Marvel beat DC to the punch on the water breathing superhero, debuting their version, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner in 1939.

Namor hasn't been as popular recently, although there is a live action movie in development.  I wonder if he's going to swim like The Man From Atlantis...*shudder*

For those that love the Golden and Silver age however, Hard Hero has just the thing.  They are producing a series of statues showing off some of the classic characters of the Marvel Universe.  They're latest release is Namor, retailing at around $200.

If you'd like to see a review of the Hard Hero Thor, check out Azog's over at his site.

Packaging -  ***
You can't see Namor without opening the package, but the photos on the box are clear, and well done.  The product you're getting is just like what you're seeing on the package, so there's little to fear.

They've also used the 'good' styrofoam, the nice, tight, solid type.  None of that damn loose stuff tearing up and getting all over the place.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is an odd sculpt to photograph.  Sometimes a figure or statue looks amazing in photos, no matter what angle you take.  Well, almost no matter what angle.  Other times, it's tough to express the attractiveness of a sculpt through a photo - it just doesn't seem to work.  No matter how you play with the angles, lighting, and style, you can't impart just how cool the actual figure or statue is in person.

Namor is the latter.  This is a great sculpt, capturing the silver age comic book look perfectly.  The body is muscled and defined in a body builder way, but not in a 'no human could ever look that way' style.  There's realistic definition, but not excessive definition.

If I had one issue, it would be with the mouth.  The downturned, gritted style doesn't look great from every angle, but it is at least serviceable.  It's a fairly minor complaint with an otherwise terrific effort.

The wings are sculpted as part of the left foot, since that foot is used to hold him within the base.  The wings on the right foot are actually separate, and quite delicate. 

Size is about sixth scale.  He stands 14.5 inches tall with the base, but his height is really about 12 inches, if he was flat footed.

Paint - ****
This is one of the cleanest paint applications I've seen in ages.  Even the recent Gentle Giant Snape and Dumbledore busts, which I love, didn't have this clean and neat of ops.

There is absolutely no slop here - no bleed, no rough edges, no overspray.  The hair line is perfect, the edges of his speedos are perfect, and the skin tone is even and smooth.

They have used a bit of a wash for false shadowing of the muscles.  It's a very light application however, and works quite well.

Design - ****
Namor was usually pissed at us terra dwellers for one thing or another.  This is clearly one of those times.  He's rising straight up out of the ocean, one hand ready to grab you by the throat while the other rearranges your features.

The pose is tough to photograph, but looks amazing in person.  The base goes from a dark blue to clear color smoothly, and really captures the look of water well.  The engineering of the statue is also pretty nifty - there's no pegs or rods to attach Namor to the base.  His left foot simply slides down into the ocean base, and it holds him tightly in place.

Value - **
Hard Hero statues in this scale run in the $200 range, at least for SRP.  At that price, these are a two star value, coming in a bit below average.  It's not a terrible price, and considering the current market, not a surprising one.

However, there's even better news.  You can find these for as cheap as $150 online, and I have a suggestion below where you can pick it up at that price with free shipping right now!  Drop the price by 25% and get free shipping, and you can add another star to this category.

Things to watch out for - 
While the foot/base arrangement works well, be careful when placing him in or removing him.  It wouldn't be too difficult to chip or mar his leg.  And watch out for those wings - they're certainly the most fragile part of the sculpt!

Overall -  ***1/2
If you're looking for a modern version of this classic character, this one might not appeal to you.  You might also prefer more 'realistic' representations.  But for the fan of the Golden and Silver Age style, this statue is just what you're looking for.

The sculpting is great, the paint practically flawless, and the design reminiscent of Saturday morning with a great Marvel comic.  This statue has me checking out other Hard Hero work, including their Silver Surfer and Thor, both of which look terrific.

Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Design - ****
Value - **
Overall -  ***1/2

Where to Buy -
I got this from Fireside Collectibles, where you can pick it up for just $150 plus free shipping in the U.S.!  That adds quite a bit to the value score.

Related Links:
I haven't reviewed much in the Namor world, but there is the review of the Marvel Legends series 2 Namor, and of course, you'll want to hit Hard Hero's site to check out their current and upcoming products.

- and as I mentioned earlier, Azog has done a terrific review of the Hard Hero Thor as well.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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