Marvel continues to give Jeff Parker the luxury of exploring the characters from "Agents of Atlas" in depth. This story takes Namora to the Barents Sea, where she rescues the crew of a Russian submarine. A short conversation with a blue whale later (luckily she speaks whale), and Namora has found her lost brethren. From there, Parker throws in some intrigue, but buttons it up in fine fashion by the end of this issue.
Pichelli is not an artist I am familiar with, but after this issue, I'd like to see more work from her. Her style is realistic and expressive, evocative of Craig Rousseau and Cully Hamner. Pichelli fills her story with detail, but also backs off significantly when the focus should be on characters. Pichelli delivers an undersea colony that is vibrant, alive, and thriving. She is also given the chance to draw whales, submarines, and Krakens, all of which she does with equal aplomb. The only gripe against the art I can provide is that I am unclear how, exactly, Namora escaped the clutches of the Kraken. This development is lost between the turn of a page, but assumptions can be made, especially with regards to the Kraken's origins.
Rosenberg's colors are bright and bold, counterintuitive to what I expected for an undersea adventure. Most of the brightness is the direct result of the settings: a sinking submarine and a mineral vent that induces hallucinations. The rest of the book is colored in the expected blues, greens, and occasional purples. This is a beautiful book, and I'd like to see this creative team come back for more adventures of Namora, whether it be in future issues of a "Namora" title or in the backup tales of the current "Atlas" book.
My biggest complaint with this issue -- and I know I should just get over it and accept what the comics pricing model is becoming -- is the price. I know there's plenty of complaining about the pricing of comics lately, but this would have been a fantastic four-plus-star book at $2.99. As a $3.99 book, the twenty-two pages really left me wanting more for my money. The story is twenty-two pages (no recaps) and there are no other extras to rationalize the extra buck: no background material, no reprinted tale from yesteryear, not even so much as a sketch or a pin-up.
The "Atlas" brand is a alive and kicking, and Parker has no problem providing additional tales of the individuals from the team. We've already seen solo tales of Marvel Boy/Uranian and now Namora. Gorilla Man has a mini coming up as well. Parker has done a fabulous job of making these characters relevant and marketable and I hope it continues.