The Quest For Neptune’s Trident (1965) Reading Order

Another flashback to the ‘60s Marvel overview from our friend Marvelman901!

Following a classic clash with Daredevil, Namor the Sub-Mariner finally lands his own regular spotlight feature in the pages of Tales to Astonish (sharing the series with the Hulk). And the first arc meets the theme of… well, pretty much every Namor stories that follows it. Someone wants the throne of Atlantis, so Namor has to prove himself worthy!

Minor Crossover: The Sub-Mariner’s appearance in Daredevil is used as a launchpad for his solo stories in Tales to Astonish.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

Anthology Issues: When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example, [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Daredevil #7
  • Tales to Astonish #70 [1/2]
  • Tales to Astonish #71 [1/2]
  • Tales to Astonish #72 [1/2]
  • Tales to Astonish #73 [1/2
  • Tales to Astonish #74 [1/2]
  • Tales to Astonish #75 [1/2]
  • Tales to Astonish #76 [1/2]

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Daredevil #7
Warlord Krang presses on the matter of Atlantis’ claim to the surface world, but Namor the Sub-Mariner wants to take a more peaceful approach. He barges into New York office of lawyers Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson, demanding they help him sue all of mankind for exploiting the oceans. When Matt and refuse, Namor goes on a rampage to force the public to listen to him. Daredevil tries to stop Namor, despite being outclassed, but the ruler of Atlantis has already succeeded in ebign heard. Namor’s time in court is interrupted by Lady Dorma who comes to the surface to tell him that Krang has made a play for the throne in his absence. Both Daredevil and the US Army try to stop Namor from returning to the sea, but are unable to contain him…
Tales to Astonish #70 [1/2]
When Namor returns to Atlantis to find Krang had already taken the throne. Namor is captured. Lady Dorma helps Namor escape as he tells how, long ago, Neptune‘s Trident was hidden by the legendary king himself who decreed that only the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis would find it. Namor fights a giant killer squid to obtain the first clue… a shell marked with the symbol of Neptune.
Tales to Astonish #71 [1/2]
In Atlantis, Krang makes it clear that he intends to make Lady Dorma his queen. Pinned by the squid, Namor uses the sacred shell to defend himself, unleashing the spirit of Neptune who steers him toward the Forbidden Depths. On the way, Namor meets the loyal Vashti who warns him of further betrayals within Atlantis. TO obtain his next clue, Namor must face the gigantic Seaweed Man

1st appearance: Vashti
Tales to Astonish #72 [1/2]
Namor defeats the Seaweed Man and finds a door which delivers his next clue. He journeys to the Diamonds of Doom, only to fall to their radiance. Meanwhile, Krang imprisons Lady Dorma for rejecting his hand in marriage. She’s imprisoned and Zantor the Merciless banishes to the Faceless Ones

1st appearance: Faceless Ones
Tales to Astonish #73 [1/2]
Namor faces the Demon of the Diamonds in combat. He summons electric eels to help sway the battle. Through the eels, Neptune tells Namor of the vague final clue. He also hears that Dorma had been sent to the Faceless Ones and must decide where to go first. Namor chooses to save Dorma unaware that there are riots in Atlantis opposing Krang’s rule…

Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Tales to Astonish #74 [1/2]
The riots in Atlantis grows more violent. Krang turns his Robo-Tank against the population. Namor fights through the swarm of vicious Faceless Ones to reach Dorma. He just barely managed to get to her, but she lies unmoving in his arms while the Faceless Ones surround them both…
Tales to Astonish #75 [1/2]
Neptune stops the battle between Namor and the Faceless Ones and reveals that this was the last part of the mission. Namor is given the Trident by the Faceless Ones. Vashti locates Namor and tells him about the dire situation in Atlantis. Namor carries the injured Dorma to Atlantis where he uses Neptune’s Trident to sabotage Krang’s final attempt to claim the throne.
Tales to Astonish #76 [1/2]
Namor easily overpowers Warlord Krang and defeats him. After the Revitaliser restores Dorma, Namor is crowned the rightful Ruler of Atlantis. Vashti is dubbed the Grand Vizier of Atlantis, while Krang is exiled. The celebratory mood is shattered, however, when an earthquake decimates the undersea kingdom. Beliving humanity to be the cause, Namor realises he’s not done with the surface world.

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Tales to Astonish #77-80 (1966)
Hank Pym’s drilling operation is revealed to be the cause of the earthquakes rocking Atlantis; the quakes release the monstrous Behemoth from beneath the aquatic city; Krang allies with the Puppet Master in an effort to control the Behemoth and use is against Namor the Sub-Mariner; Krang manipulates Dorma into agreeing to marry him.
Tales to Astonish #87 (1967)
Namor eventually learns Dorma was forced to betray Namor as part of Krang’s schemes.
Tales to Astonish #97 (1967)
Lord Vashti’s loyalty is revealed to be to the throne and the good of Atlantis itself when his loyalty to Namor is tested; Vashti suggests Namor step down from the throne for the good of Atlantis during the Plunderer’s attack on the undersea kingdom.
Sub-Mariner #36-37 (1971)
Lady Dorma is murdered by Llyra of Lemuria on the day she was due to marry Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Rom #34-35 (1982)
The Seaweed Man is used as a pawn against Namor and Rom by the Dire Wraiths.
Namor the Sub-Mariner #33-34, 36-40 (1992-1993)
The Faceless Ones return during Suma-Ket’s attempt to claim the throne of Atlantis; it’s suggested that Suma-Ket controlled the Faceless Ones, though they were also known to oppose him.
Namor: The First Mutant #2-3 (2010)
A Faceless One is among the vampiric Aqueos – undersea vampires – who attack New Atlantis.

Notable collected editions featuring this story:

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner vol.1

Daredevil #7

Tales to Astonish #70-76
Mighty Marvel Masterworks: Namor, the Sub-Mariner vol.1: The Quest BeginsDaredevil #7

Tales to Astonish #70-76
Namor, the Sub-Mariner Epic Collection: Enter the Sub-Mariner (vol.1)Daredevil #7

Tales to Astonish #70-76

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Best Marvel Stories by Stan Lee OmnibusDaredevil #7
Daredevil Epic Collection: The Man Without Fear (vol.1)Daredevil #7
Daredevil Omnibus vol.1Daredevil #7
Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil vol.1Daredevil #7
Marvel Visionaries: Stan LeeDaredevil #7
Mighty Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil vol.1: While the City SleepsDaredevil #7
Stan Lee: Marvel Treasury EditionDaredevil #7

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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