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To Rule Atlantis
Review By Arsenal, Media by Stu

Episode Episode #7 - To Rule Atlantis
Original Airdate December 18th, 1999

The Avengers travel to Atlantis and come up against Prince Namor as Tygra struggles to cope with the water.

Written By: Len Uhley
Directed By: Ron Myrick
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Sae Rom
Guest Starring: Martin Roach as The Falcon, Ron Rubin as The Vision, Rod Wilson as Ant-Man, Linda Ballantyne as The Wasp, Stavroula Logothettis as Scarlet Witch, Lenore Zann as Tigra and Raoul Trujillo as Prince Namor.

Review: This episode, if nothing else, gets Namor right. Namor is a jerk, even when he’s on the right side. He condescends, he bullies and he will hit on your woman right in front of you. (Just ask Reed Richards.) He’s regal in the worst sense, but that is what makes him such a fun character. He’s not the wussified, sissified Aquaman. He’s Namor—the Rick James of the depths. Respect his gangsta.

Namor tries his darndest to save “To Rule Atlantis.” (Whose plot, for the record, bears an astonishing resemblance to “The Enemy Below.” But, in all fairness, the Avengers preceded Justice League, just as Namor preceded Aquaman.) Every time he’s on screen he is ripping something in two, throwing something, threatening to whoop someone (hero and villain) or macking on Wanda.

Yes, Avengers makes Namor pretty cool, which is impressive since none of the Avengers come off half as well. Without Namor, “To Rule Atlantis” is a bunch of B- and C-list superheroes in a predictable plot. Not only does Namor steal every scene. No one is fighting him for it.

I am not an artistic connoisseur. I rarely have an intelligent comment regarding storyboarding, character designs and the like. But I will say the “underwater effect” that is used liberally throughout this episode. At first, the effect adds a touch of realism. Then, it becomes distracting. Finally, you wonder if the video you’re watching needs to have the tracking adjusted.

This is not a bad episode overall, but it is Namor’s show. The primary cast of Avengers often received lower billing than their guest stars. (Note: Thor, Captain America and Iron Man are on top of the pantheon during the opening credits.) This episode confirms why.

Oh yeah, how come no matter where Tigra is—jungle, underwater, outer space—her costume never covers her navel.