Stingray's Seven Best Stories
After his latest appearance in "Avengers #9," Stingray deserves an encore.
Ed. Note: This post contains spoilers for AVENGERS #9!
Today we pay tribute to one of the greatest unsung Super Heroes of the Marvel Universe, the late, great Stingray. Though he met his seeming demise in the pages of AVENGERS #9, on sale now, he will never be forgotten.
Stingray played it cool through his career, never one to hog the spotlight, but content to stand as a stalwart supporting player in other heroes’ sagas. Nonetheless, he managed to rack up an impressive list of credentials over the years: oceanographer, Avenger, friend and confidant, loving husband… the list goes on, but suffice to say his like may never be seen again on this or any other shore.
We fished around for examples of his finest moments and hope you’ll enjoy these seven stories we reeled in.
Oceanographer Dr. Walt Newell felt compelled to obey the government’s order to bring in Namor for questioning about a supposed alien invasion, so he designed and constructed a suit to not only allow him to operate deep underwater, but also to glide along effortlessly and discharge devastating electrical bursts. Dubbing himself Stingray, Newell subdued the Sub-Mariner but regretted his actions once he realized the sea monarch’s innocence.
Stingray rushed to his friend Namor’s side when the Sub-Mariner’s quest to find his long-lost father ran up against a toothy barrier called Tiger Shark. Newell engaged the villain directly to allow Namor to collect his father, but watched in horror as Tiger Shark killed the old man in cold blood.
Dr. Newell admitted his growing love for adventure in his costumed persona when he approached Reed Richards to consult over a mystery concerning a scientist transformed into an aquatic being. In lieu of help, what Stingray received instead stood as total immersion in the Thing’s efforts to recover the infamous Serpent Crown, a quest that led to more danger than the good doctor ever bargained for.
When Tony Stark discovered his own stolen armor designs filtering through the underworld and enhancing Super Heroes and Villains alike without his permission, he began to seek them out and shut them down. Stingray held his own against Iron Man, and the Armored Avenger soon realized Newell’s incredible underwater suit encompassed none of Stark’s technology. Embarrassed over attacking a fellow crusader, the millionaire industrialist distanced himself from Iron Man by “firing” him.
A good commander knows what resources to utilize in any given circumstances, and Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp, knew to call in Stingray when she needed a specialized talent for a particular mission. Newell plunged down deep into the ocean to cut off Atlantean warlord Attuma’s supply lines for a nefarious scheme, and when Attuma’s lackeys discovered the hero in their midst, Stingray gave them the shock of their lives -- literally.
The Avengers became criminals at a time when an “inversion” occurred that swapped heroes’ and villains’ motifs and motivations, and the fallout from it produced Doctor Doom’s Avengers. The Latverian gathered together a special team in those dire days and Stingray ended up Avengering once again, but with such diverse companions as Valkyrie, USAgent, and the 3-D Man… not to mention Doom himself.
On the surface, it might not seem much like a shining moment for Walt Newell, but despite appearances -- and by that we mean Stingray joining Deadpool’s “Mercs for Money” -- we could all enjoy a huge sigh of relief when the truth was revealed: Stingray’s real boss answered to the name Captain America and the doctor operated as a double agent to filter news of the Deadpool’s hijinks to the Star Spangled Avenger. Whew!
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