Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #225: Stingray

I have some of a running gag in the Gabbing Geek virtual office where I say something about how the MCU will be running out of ideas when they make a team-up movie featuring Stingray, Foolkiller, and Nightwatch.

I see no reason not to cover those guys now.  Let’s start with Stingray.

Look at this guy in action! No, seriously, look at him!

Stingray began as one Walter Newell, an oceanographer with his own ocean-based lab.  He has a chance encounter with perennially grumpy Marvel Golden Age hero Namor during a period where Namor was believed by Newell’s employers, the United States government, to be behind some some attacks on the sea dome city Newell was at the time supervising construction for.  Newell believes Namor innocent, and the two eventually become friends.  After two years or so of appearances, Newell adopted his own superhero identity of Stingray through the use of a suit of armor.  Said suit allowed Newell to fly, glide through the ocean depths, shoot off electrical blasts, and increase his strength quite a bit.  As Stingray, Newell could help his buddy Namor whenever the Prince of Atlantis was framed for some crime or other, particularly against a foe called Tiger Shark, a man who became not only Stingray’s archenemy, but also Stingray’s brother-in-law when Newell married Tiger Shark’s sister.

And you thought your Thanksgivings were awkward.

Now, for me, my general observation was Stingray, who joined the Avengers at some point, was the guy who showed up whenever some Avengers needed to do something under the ocean and Namor was being pissy again.  Plus, I always liked how some artists drew his helmet to look like an arrow pointed down towards his torso or something along those lines.  I was actually surprised Stingray was as old a character as he was, first appearing in 1967 and adopting his superhero guise in 1969.  He’s one of those guys who seems like a good guest star for lots of different Marvel heroes, always on the edge of being a big name guy but never quite getting there.  In fact, it looks like his best known appearances were team-ups with other heroes, most prominently but not by any means exclusively Namor.

But, more recently, Stingray joined a different team:  Deadpool’s Mercs of Money, a group made up of various Marvel anti-heroes and mercenaries that Deadpool dubbed the “Mercs for Money” when “Heroes for Hire” filed a lawsuit against the Merc with a Mouth for trying to use their name first.  If Stingray seems like an odd choice for such a team, there was a good reason for that:  Captain America asked Stingray to join so the Star-Spangled Avenger could keep an eye on Deadpool and his team.

And apparently Deadpool knew and didn’t mind too much.

But then came the most recent Avengers comic series when Namor went on the warpath against the surface again, trying to recruit all the aquatic-based Marvel characters he could find for his Defenders of the Deep team.  Stingray tried to reason with his old friend, but then Namor decided he didn’t want to be reasoned with, punching through the Stingray helmet and siccing some war-sharks on his longtime friend and partner.  No doubt Namor will be shouting things like “Aquaris!” in the near future at this rate.  Fortunately, despite initial appearances, Captain America later tells Namor in passing that Stingray survived the attack.

What condition he survived it in we don’t know yet.

Well, that’s depressing.  Maybe this Foolkiller guy is a jollier fellow.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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