Episode #17: Impreious Rex
Original Airdate: June 9th, 2007
Susan and Johnny witness the arrival of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who bans humankind from using the oceans of the world. Susan takes Johnny (who hates the water with a passion) under the sea, hoping to reason with Namor. Instead, the siblings become prisoners of Namor in the fabled city of Atlantis. Reed and Ben fight their way through a swath of undersea monsters to come to their rescue, but Namor proves to be a formidable foe. And even worse, impressed by Susan's eloquent pleas for peace, he decides to keep her in Atlantis as an ambassador.
Story By, Chris Yost and Craig Kyle
Written by Len Uhley
Directed by Franck Miohel
Music by Noam Kaniel
Animation By Sunmin/ The Animation Studio/ Fantasta
Mr. Fantastic - Hiro Kanagawa
Invisible Woman - Lara Gilchrist
The Thing - Brian Dobson
Human Torch - Christopher Jacot
Screw On Head-
"Imperious Rex" marks the first FF:WGH to air in a while, and while it doesn't pack much spectacle, it's still a pretty solid to episode to return to the series with.
If you're familiar at all with the Sub-Mariner this episode shouldn't be much of anything new to you. Having said that, "Imperious Rex" is such a faithful depiction of Namor and his relationship with the Fantastic Four and the surface world that it stands very strong.
The episode nails everything about Namor's character so well that there's little for me to complain about concering him. I thought they pinned an excellent character design for him which feels true to the character but still stands on its own legs. He appears formidable and I think that's the most successful part of the design, as the classic Namor in green-scaled underwear doesn't quite scream "intimidating." Character wise the writers hit all the right beats, touching on Namor's decided attitude, his distaste with the surface world and most immediate to the FF, his attraction toward Sue Storm.
Though the episode is a very faithful introduction to Namor, it certainly does feel a bit dragged out.\. This felt most evident once the FF were imprisoned in Namor's palace, where a lot of discussion took place. That certainly isn't a bad thing, as discussion is the logical thing to happen as the Four sorted out their gameplan to approach Namor, but that span before the action kicked in certainly did feel a bit drug out. The action that did take place in the episode was decidedly mediocre by the series' standards thus far.
I enjoyed the characterization of the entire team but I was particularly impressed with Reed, who gets some amazingly on character moments that really shine. Reed's fascination with the sea life is worth mentioning, but what most got me was Reed's appreciation of the Atlantian's weaponry as the Atlantians attacked Reed and his family, and Reed's emotional detachment to the chance of Sue staying with Namor. I loved those little moments of Reed admiring the Atlantian technology as they that is "So Reed Richards". Also "So Reed Richards" is that bit with Sue, because it displays how logical Reed's thinking is and how he interestingly holds the logical value of Sue being ambassador more important over the emotional value of losing her.
This certainly isn't an episode to skip over, but long time Namor fans should be prepared for the same old same old that comes along with such an introductory episode to the character. For anyone unfamiliar with Namor's history with the Fantastic Four, this is an excellent way of being introduced to the character, one who I hope we see again in the series
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