Sub-Mariner

Marvel // May 1968 - September 1974
Issue count: 72

Sub Mariner is Marvel's longest running anti-hero, created in 1939 and revived many times. This title started in 1968 and remains a fan fave, with key issues going for top dollar! He battles TIGER SHARK, THE HULK, THE THING, and humankind in general!

Sub-Mariner

Prince Namor, THE SUB-MARINER, created by Bill Everett in 1939, debuted in Marvel Comics #1 from that same year, and he has never really gone away...well, not for long anyway…

His personality was fully formed from the get-go; a fiery-tempered, super-strengthed, half human/half Atlantean that could exist in and out of water - with a serious beef against humanity, whom he blamed for the destruction of his undersea kingdom. He would quite often wreak havoc on humans just to mess with them, and was a generally surly presence when forced to interact with the surface people. He did however have some sense of morality, which puts him in the “anti-hero” category.

When WWII came along, he was quite content to beat up on the Nazis and then the Japanese, and indeed, Timely (Marvel) did tone down his anger significantly during this period - he had actual human friends, and could be charismatic and even humorous at times!

His Golden-Age books and appearances disappeared when heroes comics went out of vogue in the late 40’s. Yet, he would enjoy a brief revival in the early to mid 50’s when Marvel (now under the mantle of Atlas) unsuccessfully attempted to bring back the superhero-genre. It didn’t last long, but it did give us a new mild-mannered form of Subby, as well as some of creator Bill Everett’s best work.

He dropped out of sight for the longest period here, 7 years, until 1962 in Fantastic Four #4, when he was resurrected after Johnny Storm found him in a down and out Bowery flophouse, bearded, and suffering from amnesia. All it took was for Johnny (the “new” Human Torch) to drop him into the ocean for him to regain his memory - and suddenly, returning to the initial character concept, the original bitter, arrogant, human-hating Sub-Mariner was back! 

From here, he made great trade by appearing in the books of, and subsequently coming up against and doing battle with, virtually every hero in the Marvel canon! They just could not get rid of this pest!

Eventually he wound up co-featured in Tales To Astonish, beginning with issue #70, and resided there until the cancellation of that title.

It’s here where we come to 1968, when Marvel decided to give Sub-Mariner his own full-time title. This series, more than others before, seems to concentrate on Namor’s life below the surface of the water, where issues dealing with his role as monarch, and family come to the fore.

This series, which ran 72 issues up to 1974, was written largely by Roy Thomas, followed by Steve Gerber, Marv Wolfman and Steve Skeates. Ever faithful John Buscema drew lots of issues, followed by Marie Severin, and, most interestingly creator Bill Everett came back to finish his career where it started (issue #61 was his last work before his death), then silver-age staple Don Heck took over for most of the duration.

Very collectible issues include issue #5, which introduces Tiger Shark; #8 and #34, in which Subby fights the Thing and The Hulk respectively, and issue #50, the anniversary issue written, pencilled, inked and colored by the one and only Bill Everett!

Read More

Looking to sell your comic books?

Browse our selection of key issues from Sub-Mariner below to get an instant estimate of their value.

We have been buying and selling for 20 years and have tons of experience working with sellers just like you!

Get Your Free Appraisal

Key Art: Comic Book Price Guide

Issue #1

What's Sub-Mariner #1 worth in 2021?

Top grades for this issue are plentiful, with 63 registered at NM/MT 9.8. This kind of quantity created a rare top-end market with a lot of movement. The top sale price was $6,250 in 2019. That's fantastic profit compared to its $1,000 value in 2002! Other grades have also shown tremendous returns: FN 6.0 climbed from $40 in 2002 to today's $300, while GD/VG 3.0 went from $20 to $110. It's hard to beat that kind of return on investment!

Why is this comic book valuable?

Sub-Mariner gets a new series in the SIlver Age.

Price Guide Report

GD 2.0 VG 4.0 FN 6.0 VF 8.0 NM 9.4 RECORD SALE!
$150 $175 $275 $475 $1,375 $14,400

Sell Sub-Mariner #1

Issue #5

What's Sub-Mariner #5 worth in 2021?

There are two registered NM/MT 9.8 copies of this book with no sales data on file. Below this grade are sixteen at NM+ 9.6, with a top price of $1,620 in 2019. Like other issues in this Silver Age series, buying in early meant tremendous rewards. VF 8.0 increased from $40 in 2004 to today's $200. That's 400% in profit! FN/VF had the same rate of return over a shorter period, moving from $25 in 2010 to today's $100.

Why is this comic book valuable?

It's the debut of two notable villains in Sub-Mariner stories: Tiger Shark and Doctor Dorcas.

Price Guide Report

GD 2.0 VG 4.0 FN 6.0 VF 8.0 NM 9.4 RECORD SALE!
$10 $25 $50 $200 $750 $1,680

Sell Sub-Mariner #5

Issue #8

What's Sub-Mariner #8 worth in 2021?

There are six registered copies of book at NM/MT+ 9.8, with a top sale of $3,050 in 2012. Two years later in 2014, it dropped to $2,205. Other grades produced a profit a bit over double within a longer timeframe. VF 8.0 moved from $40 in 2002 to a current value of $90, while FN 6.0 increased from $15 in 2006 to today's $40.

Why is this comic book valuable?

Betty-Dean Prentiss makes her reappearance in the Marvel Universe, her first in the Silver Age.

Price Guide Report

GD 2.0 VG 4.0 FN 6.0 VF 8.0 NM 9.4 RECORD SALE!
$10 $25 $50 $100 $550 $3,050

Sell Sub-Mariner #8

Issue #34

What's Sub-Mariner #34 worth in 2021?

There are seven registered copies of this book at NM/MT 9.8, with a top price of $1,250 in 2012. It dropped to $717 in 2015 before stabilizing at $1,200 in 2018. Other grades have shown flat or modest growth. The best performers increased a little over double in value if you had patience: VF- 7.5 from $25 in 2004 to today's $65, and VF 8.0 from $40 in 2011 to $90.

Why is this comic book valuable?

It's the first formation of the Titans Three: a dream team of Sub-Mariner, Hulk and Silver Surfer!

Price Guide Report

GD 2.0 VG 4.0 FN 6.0 VF 8.0 NM 9.4 RECORD SALE!
$10 $20 $40 $100 $350 $1,250

Sell Sub-Mariner #34

Issue #50

What's Sub-Mariner #50 worth in 2021?

There are fifteen copies of this issue registered at NM/MT 9.8, with a top sale of $1,500 in 2019. No sales data exists below grade FN/VF 7.0, but the rest of the top end has produced excellent return on investment. NM+ 9.6 jumped from $90 in 2003 to a current value of $550 for over 500% profit! VF/NM 9.0 went from $20 in 2007 to $150 for an even better 650% return!

Why is this comic book valuable?

The first appearance of Namorita, a relative of Namor who would feature heavily in his storylines.

Price Guide Report

GD 2.0 VG 4.0 FN 6.0 VF 8.0 NM 9.4 RECORD SALE!
$5 $15 $35 $80 $325 $2,100

Sell Sub-Mariner #50