Namor

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Namor the Sub-Mariner
NAMOR1cover-CMYKcrop.jpg
Cover of Sub-Mariner (2007) #1, textless variant.
Art by Michael Turner.
Publication information
PublisherTimely Comics
Marvel Comics
First appearanceMotion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 (April 1939, unpublished)
Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939, official)
Created byBill Everett (writer/artist)
In-story information
Full nameNamor McKenzie
SpeciesAtlantean / Human Mutant hybrid
Place of originAtlantis
Team affiliations
PartnershipsNamora
Namorita
Fin
Dorma
Stingray
Notable aliasesNamor the First, The Avenging Son, Imperius Rex, The Sub-Mariner
Abilities
  • Aquatic adaptation
  • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, senses and reflexes
  • Mild invulnerability
  • Flight via tiny wings on his ankles
  • Telepathic control over sea creatures
  • Longevity
  • Hydrokinesis
  • Ability to copy the powers of oceanic lifeforms
  • Bodily water generation
  • Marine life empathy

Namor the Sub-Mariner (/ˈnmɔːr/) (Namor McKenzie) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Debuting in early 1939, the character was created by writer-artist Bill Everett for comic book packager Funnies Inc.. Initially created for the unreleased comic Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, the character first appeared publicly in Marvel Comics #1 (cover-dated Oct. 1939), which was the first comic book from Timely Comics; the 1930s–1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics.

During that period, known to historians and fans as the Golden Age of Comic Books, the Sub-Mariner was one of Timely's top three characters, along with Captain America and the original Human Torch.

The mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, Namor possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the Homo mermanus race, as well as the mutant ability of flight, along with other superhuman powers. Through the years, he has been portrayed as an antihero alternately from a good-natured but short-fused superhero or a hostile invader seeking vengeance for perceived wrongs that misguided surface-dwellers committed against his kingdom. The first known comic book antihero, the Sub-Mariner has remained a historically important and relatively popular Marvel character. He has served directly with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Invaders, the Defenders, the X-Men and the Illuminati as well as serving as a foil to them on occasion.

Publication history[edit]

Creation[edit]

Namor was created by writer-artist Bill Everett.[1] The character first appeared in April 1939 in the prototype for a planned giveaway comic titled Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, which was produced by the comic book packager Funnies Inc.[2] The only eight known samples among those created to send to theater owners were discovered in the estate of the deceased publisher in 1974. Allegedly, Everett created Namor because he was informed that Carl Burgos had created the Human Torch, who can manipulate fire, and he wanted to play on the notion of "fire and water".[3] His interest in "anything nautical, [and having] to do with the sea", also factored in Namor's creation and origin.[4]

Everett stated that the inspiration for creating the character was Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798),[5][4] and came up with "Namor" by writing down noble-sounding names backwards and thought Roman / Namor looked the best.[6][5][7] He described the character as an "ultra-man of the deep [who] lives on land and in the sea, flies in the air, [and] has the strength of a thousand [surface] men".[5]

When the giveaway idea with Motion Picture Funnies Weekly fell through, Everett used the character for Marvel Comics #1, the first comic book by Funnies, Inc. client Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics.[8][9] The final panel of the earlier, unpublished eight-page Sub-Mariner story had included a "Continued Next Week" box that reappeared, sans lettering, in an expanded 12-page story.[2]

Golden Age[edit]

Namor's first cover appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb. 1940). Art by Alex Schomburg.

In his first appearances Namor was an enemy of the United States. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "Namor was a freak in the service of chaos. Although the Sub-Mariner acted like a villain, his cause had some justice, and readers reveled in his assaults on civilization. His enthusiastic fans weren't offended by the carnage he created as he wrecked everything from ships to skyscrapers."[10] Everett's antihero would eventually battle Carl Burgos' android superhero, the Human Torch, when in 1940 Namor threatened to sink the island of Manhattan underneath a tidal wave.[11] When the U.S. entered World War II, Namor would aid the Allies of World War II against Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers.[12] Supporting characters included Betty Dean, a New York City policewoman introduced in Marvel Mystery Comics #3[13] (and later known as Betty Dean-Prentiss), who was a steady companion, and his cousins Namora and Dorma.

Namor starred in the Golden Age comic book Sub-Mariner Comics, published quarterly, then thrice-yearly, and finally bimonthly, from issues #1–32 (Fall 1941 – June 1949).[14] A backup feature each issue starred the detective-superhero the Angel. Along with many other Timely characters, Namor disappeared a few years after the end of World War II and the decline in popularity of superhero comics.[15] He briefly fought crime as a member of the post-war superhero team the All-Winners Squad, and, through a 1970s retcon, was given a history of having fought with the Allies during World War II in the superhero team the Invaders. Both these super-groups were built around the core of Namor, Captain America, and the original Human Torch.

The Sub-Mariner experienced a brief revival in the mid-1950s at Atlas Comics, the 1950s iteration of Marvel. Along with Captain America and the original Human Torch, he was revived in Young Men #24. Soon afterward, Sub-Mariner Comics was revived with issues #33–42 (April 1954 – Oct. 1955).[16][17] During this time, Namora had her own spin-off series.

A planned live-action television program starring Namor did not appear and the revival of the comic book series was cancelled a second time.[18][19]

Silver Age[edit]

Namor returned in Fantastic Four #4 (May 1962), where a member of the titular superhero team, Johnny Storm, the new Human Torch, discovers him living as an amnesiac homeless man in the Bowery section of Manhattan.[20][21] Storm helps him recover his memory, and Namor immediately returns to his undersea kingdom – identified, for the first time in the Marvel canon, as Atlantis. Finding it destroyed from nuclear testing, Namor assumes his people are scattered and that he will never find them. He again becomes an antihero during this period, as two elements – a thirst for vengeance and a quest for identity – would dominate the Sub-Mariner stories of the 1960s. He was both a villain and a hero – striking against the human race who destroyed his home, but showing a great deal of noblesse oblige to individuals.[22]

Silver Age Sub-Mariner #1 (May 1968). Cover art by John Buscema and Sol Brodsky.

Initially, Namor variously finds himself allied with the supervillains Doctor Doom and Magneto, but his royal nobility and stubborn independent streak make these alliances-of-convenience short-lived. Namor's revival was a hit with readers, but Marvel could not give him his own title due to publication and distribution restrictions that would not be lifted until 1968.[23] Instead, Namor was given numerous guest-appearances – including in Daredevil #7 (April 1965), a rare superhero story drawn by comics great Wally Wood – and a starring feature in the split-title comic Tales to Astonish (beginning issue #70, Aug. 1965).[24] By now, during a period fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comic Books, he is more authoritative, arrogant and solemn than the impetuous youthful character of the 1940s and mid-1950s, speaking in neo-Shakespearean dialogue rather than the more colloquial speech of his youth, often shouting his battle cry, "Imperius Rex!".

Bronze Age[edit]

He was spun off into his own title, the 1968–74 series Sub-Mariner.[25] The super-villain Tiger Shark was introduced in issue #5 by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema[26] and the super-hero Stingray in issue #19 by Thomas and Bill Everett.[27] Some of the later issues of this Sub-Mariner series are notable for having been written and drawn by the character's creator, Bill Everett, shortly before his death; as well, they reintroduced a now-older Namora, and introduced her daughter, Namorita Prentiss. By now more of a reluctant superhero "the Sub-Mariner was perfect for the Marvel Age of angst-ridden protagonists. Noble yet misunderstood, powerful yet thwarted ... [he was] portrayed as a regal monarch – a king without a country."[28] The final issue, #72 (Sept. 1974), was written by Steve Skeates and featured an unofficial intercompany crossover with the last issue of DC Comics' Aquaman series.[29] A five- to six-page backup feature, "Tales of Atlantis", chronicling the undersea kingdom from its ancient origins, appeared in issues #62–66 (June–Oct. 1973), written by Gerber, with penciling by Howard Chaykin and later Jim Mooney.[25] After the cancellation of Sub-Mariner, Namor co-starred with Doctor Doom in the Super-Villain Team-Up series.[30] The series suffered from mediocre sales due to its lack of a stable creative team,[23] and following issue #13 Namor was dropped from the co-star spot.

Marvel published a four-issue miniseries a decade later, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner (Sept.-Dec. 1984), by scripter/co-plotter J. M. DeMatteis, penciler/co-plotter Bob Budiansky, and inker Danny Bulanadi.[31]

Modern Age[edit]

The 12-issue maxiseries The Saga of the Sub-Mariner (Nov. 1988 – Oct. 1989) provided a retrospective of Namor's past adventures while tying up loose plot threads and resolving contradictions that had accumulated over the character's decades of published history.[23] Namor again received an ongoing series in 1990. Namor, the Sub-Mariner, which ran 62 issues (April 1990 – May 1995), was initially written and penciled by John Byrne who took over the inking as well from issues #4–21.[32] Unlike all of Namor's previous series, the cover logo emphasized the character's name rather than the "Sub-Mariner" epithet.[31] From #26–38, the series' penciler and eventual penciler-inker was then-newcomer Jae Lee, with Bob Harras scripting from #33–40. After three fill-in issues, the remainder of the series was written by Glenn Herdling and pencilled by Geof Isherwood. This series followed Namor as CEO of Oracle, Inc., a corporation devoted to reducing pollution, particularly in the oceans, and provided the stage for the return of the 1970s martial artist superhero Iron Fist, who had been presumed dead. Whereas J. M. DeMatteis saw his series as an opportunity to explore Namor much more deeply than he had been able to in the team book The Defenders, John Byrne felt that the character did not work well outside of a group context and accordingly gave Namor, the Sub-Mariner a massive supporting cast.[31]

The 12-issue miniseries Namor (June 2003 – May 2004), credited to co-writers Bill Jemas (then Marvel's president) and Andi Watson, and penciled initially by Salvador Larroca and later by Pat Olliffe and others, explored Namor's youth, charting his teenage romance with a young American girl in the early 20th century. A six-issue miniseries, Sub-Mariner vol. 2 (Aug. 2007 – Jan. 2008), by co-writers Matt Cherniss and Peter Johnson and, primarily, artist Phil Briones, introduced Namor's heretofore undisclosed son, Kamar.

Namor was featured in his own ongoing series, Namor: The First Mutant, in 2011.[33] The series was cancelled after less than a year into its publication.[34]

Namor has also served alongside, or even as a member of, superhero teams – most notably the Defenders,[35] which included Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer. Other groups he was associated with included the Avengers; and both the World War II and modern-day versions of the Invaders.

Marvel revived The Defenders, with Namor on the team, in December 2011.[36] The series was cancelled after 12 issues.

He became one of the main characters, along with the other Illuminati members, in the third volume of New Avengers beginning in 2013.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Namor was born in 1915 in the capital city of the initially unnamed Atlantean empire, then located off the Antarctic coast. His mother was Emperor Thakorr's daughter, Fen, and his father an American sea captain, Leonard McKenzie, of the icebreaker Oracle; they had fallen in love and married aboard ship while she was, unbeknownst to him, spying on the human intruders. When Fen did not return, Atlantean warriors attacked the Oracle, evidently killing McKenzie, and returned Fen to her kingdom. The pink-skinned mutant Namor was subsequently born among the blue-skinned Atlanteans. He became the Prince of Atlantis, and a warrior for his people against the "surface-dwellers".[37][38]

At some point, when Namor was a child, the people of Atlantis relocated and built a new kingdom near the Pacific Northwest. There, Namor would befriend a young girl named Sandy Pierce, the daughter of wealthy businessman Henry Pierce.[39] During this time, Namor would also meet his cousin Namora, who was named after him.[40] Years later as a teenager, Namor would reconnect with Sandy, revealing his identity to her and starting a relationship. Due to oil leaking from the ground into Atlantis, and Sandy's father facing financial ruin due to problems with his oil rig, Namor struck a deal with Henry to help each other out.[41]

In an attempt to discredit Namor in the eyes of the Atlanteans, his cousin Beemer first attacked Sandy and her father and destroyed the oil rig. With the oil threatening to poison them, the Atlanteans had to relocate to back to the South Pacific Ocean. Sandy decided to join them, but would disappear.[42]

World War II[edit]

In 1939, Namor became friends with New York City policewoman Betty Dean, who pleaded with him to help the Allies' effort against the Axis powers during World War II.[43] Despite originally denying her pleas, and attacking New York on multiple occasions due to their provocations, Namor decided to join the Allies' cause against the Nazis in September 1940.[44]

After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the US officially joining the war in 1941, Namor formed superhero team the Invaders, alongside Captain America, Bucky, the original Human Torch, and Toro.[45] In 1934, Namor and the Invaders would go to Wakanda, where they encountered T'Chaka, the king and Black Panther of the nation.[46]

Namor would later find both contention and companionship in youthful monarch T'Challa; the Black Panther, hailing from a secret African Nation of Wakanda.[47] The pair of kings would briefly work together to track down traitors and enemies along with missing subjects of their respective kingdoms for a time. Succeeding in their mission, Namor and T'Challa would part on friendly terms afterwards, the former being dismayed after hearing of his land-born counterpart's opening suzerainty's to the rest of the world later on.[48]

The Submariner would befriend the family of fellow second world war veteran; Randall Peterson some time after the war, yet long before losing his memories during the fight with Destine.[49] While living amongst them after losing and regaining himself once more in their company, Namor would soon be approached by Professor Charles Xavier, later joining him in search of other mutants like them for a time. Travels which would reveal his emotional imbalance due to wartime PTSD, in an attempt to heal the former's mental trauma. Xavier would instead worsen it, causing the manifestation of a delusion modeled after Thomas Marchen; another war buddy Mr Mckenzie had lost to the Nazi Party many decades prior, to short out his memories again.[50] The Submariner flying off in a rage that would solidify the bipolar disorder he would suffer from throughout his life to date.[51]

The Fantastic Four and modern world[edit]

Namor was soon injured after the Genus incident in Stony Plain, Alberta. Having been found in Fantastic Four #4 living in the flophouse Bowery district of Manhattan as an amnesiac derelict. Regaining his memory in this story, he becomes enraged upon learning that the original site of Atlantis was destroyed by nuclear testing, its inhabitants evacuated. Namor vows revenge on humanity, but after several attacks thwarted by superheroes, including in Fantastic Four #6, 9, and 14 (Sept. and Dec. 1962, May 1963), Strange Tales #107 (April 1963), he finds his people and launches an unsuccessful invasion of New York City in Fantastic Four Annual #1 (1963).[52]

Sub-Mariner #67 (Nov. 1973), introducing the short-lived mid-1970s costume. Cover art by John Romita and Mike Esposito.

Namor Mackenzie returns to Atlantis to marry his royal cousin, Lady Dorma. In Sub-Mariner #37 (May 1971), the evil princess Llyra of Lemuria, another undersea culture, kidnaps and replaces Dorma at the wedding, hoping to usurp Namor's kingdom. Though Namor's marriage to Dorma is still official, she dies as a result of Llyra's machinations.[53] In issues #45–46 (Nov.-Dec. 1971) Namor finally meets his father, long thought dead, only to lose him when McKenzie gives his life in battle against the supervillain Tiger Shark.

Namor allies with the "non-team" the Defenders initially in Marvel Feature #1–3, Dec. 1971 – June 1972, then in the series The Defenders. After being deposed from his throne, Namor joins the superhero team the Avengers.[54] He is briefly married to Marrina,[55] an aquatic alien and a member of the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight. She is later presumed killed,[56] but she is later revealed to be in a coma,[57] of which Namor is unaware.

Father-daughter oceanographers Caleb and Carrie Alexander, theorizing that Namor's propensity toward rage is due to his half-human half-Atlantean blood chemistry, equip Namor with a monitor to warn when he has to seek either air or water. This allows Namor to control his metabolism. He collects sunken treasures to finance his secret purchase of a corporation he renames Oracle Inc., which he turns to conservation and environmental purposes.[58] Unbeknownst to the Sub-Mariner, the Marchen guilt apparition would secretly influence his actions. Using his company's resources, Namor/Marchen would conduct work using the deceased mutant Genus's, whom he'd met with Xavier in the past, DNA for chemical experiments that would change species at the flick of a switch. Turning willing Atlantean soldiers full human for the purpose of infiltrating governments and militaries for later implementation.[59] Later, Namor loses his ankle-wings during a battle with the animated garbage-monster Sluj,[60] but they are later restored.[61] While continuing his business endeavors, Namor travels to the dimension of K'un-L'un, where he finds and brings back the superhero Iron Fist, who had been presumed dead for many months. Namor once again rules Atlantis, and Oracle begins sponsoring the charitable super-group Heroes for Hire.[62]

In the one-shot New Avengers: Illuminati (May 2006), Namor is revealed to have been a member for several years of the clandestine policy group the Illuminati, with Mister Fantastic, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Professor X, and Black Bolt. In the series Sub-Mariner vol. 2, #1–6 (Aug. 2007 – Jan. 2008), he discovers his long-lost son Kamar, who attempts to usurp the throne of Atlantis but is killed by the supervillain Nitro.

Avengers vs. X-Men[edit]

In 2011, Namor joined the mutant superhero team the X-Men.[34][63] Namor helped with the Curse of the Mutants,[64] and Avengers vs. X-Men events,[65] before joining the Illuminati,[66] and All-New Invaders.[67] That same year, during the "Fear Itself" storyline, Namor enlists the aid of Lyra, Loa, Silver Surfer, and Doctor Strange after he is ousted from his kingdom by Attuma, who was transformed into Nerkodd: Breaker of Oceans. They later get attacked by the Undying Ones, demons who break through Earth's dimension as a result of the global panic weakening the barriers between the dimensions and who make a deal with Nerkodd to help them take over Earth.[68]

When the X-Men relocated to Utopia off the coast of San Francisco, Namor assists them due to his sympathy with their status as outsiders. As a result, he sides with the X-Men during the subsequent war with the Avengers over the coming of the Phoenix Force to Earth, eventually becoming one of the 'Phoenix Five' when the Phoenix Force is fractured between himself, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik.[69] He is eventually defeated by a mass attack from the Avengers when he attacks Wakanda, becoming the first of the Phoenix Five to fall.[70]

Marvel NOW![edit]

Having recovered his senses after his time as one of the Phoenix Five, Namor rejoins the Illuminati when Black Panther calls for their aid – Beast replacing the deceased Professor X – in dealing with an incursion event as an alternate universe threatens to collide with their own.[71] Although they are forced to destroy the other Earth to protect their own, the Illuminati resolve to continue protecting their Earth from such events, only for Namor to detonate an anti-matter device to destroy another Earth when the others could not bring themselves to do it.[72] Believing that the Illuminati's morality is holding them back, Namor assembles a new Cabal to deal with the incursions,[73] but despite the team achieving legitimacy as Earth's protectors, Namor grows weary of the wholesale slaughter they carry out in the name of preserving their universe. Although he collaborates with the Illuminati in a plan to destroy the Cabal by trapping them on the next Earth to be destroyed, the Black Panther and Black Bolt leave him behind to die with the Cabal, disgusted at his earlier actions.[74] A second simultaneous Incursion allows Namor and the Cabal to escape to the third Earth, in the Ultimate Universe.[75]

All-New, All-Different Marvel (2015-2016)[edit]

The members of the new Squadron Supreme evacuate and destroy Atlantis after deeming it a threat to world peace. Hyperion decapitates Namor in retaliation for the worlds destroyed by the Cabal.[76] Due to a mishap with Mister Fantastic's magically-enhanced time machine, the time distortion phantoms of Doctor Spectrum and Hyperion are sent back in time where this incident resulted in Namor being revived.[77]

Marvel NOW! 2.0: Secret Empire (2016-2017)[edit]

During the "Secret Empire" storyline, Namor had been holding the Cosmic Cube shard and prepared to switch it with the fake one before HYDRA's invasion on Atlantis. Upon Hydra's Avengers finding the fake Cosmic Cube shard, they leveled the Atlantean temple that it was held in.[78] Captain America later puts Namor into a position where he will be forced to sign a peace treaty that would enable Hydra to access the Cosmic Cube fragment in Atlantis.[79] It is revealed that Namor also found and hid his old ally Winter Soldier, who survived from being launched by Zemo, and being offered to disguise himself as his unidentified bodyguard.[80] With the heroes finally finding a way to defeat Hydra by locating the remaining pieces of Cosmic Cubes before Hydra, Namor and Bucky finally join their allies for their final battle against Hydra at Washington, D.C.[81]

Marvel Legacy & Fresh Start (2017–present)[edit]

X-Men Red[edit]

Sometime after the fall of Hydra America, Jean Grey of the X-Men would implore Namor's support for backing a new mutant nation under her and her uncanny families care.[82] He would lend the support of his own nation to her cause as well as work with his fellow mutants in the battle against Cassandra Nova as she manipulated national powers against Homo Superior on a global scale.[83] Donning the colors of X once again to resist a nanorobotic sentinel attack instigated by Charles' evil shadow while allied with various groups to oppose her.[84]

Avengers[edit]

Namor crashes Tiger Shark's battle with Stingray where he demanded their allegiance. When Stingray tried to reason with Namor, he was attacked by the War Sharks summoned by Namor. This caused Tiger Shark to swear his allegiance to Namor. The two of them form the Defenders of the Deep with Orka, Andromeda, Echidna, the Piranhas, Fathom Five members Bloodtide and Manowar, and King Crab. Namor states that the surface-dwellers can have their land and the Avengers while the Defenders of the Deep will protect the oceans and those who live within it.[85] The Defenders of the Deep encountered the Avengers where Captain America voices his disappointment in Namor for Stingray nearly getting killed. Their fight is crashed by the Winter Guard who are also after the Defenders of the Deep. The Defenders of the Deep got away.[86]

War of Realms[edit]

As the forces of the Dark Council led by Malekith invaded Midgard, Namor simply kept to himself by ordering his forces to defend Atlantis from the mystical assault.[87] Needless to say, Namor was none to pleased to see Deadpool within his ocean territory when gutting one of Queen Cyndr's fire-breathing shark's from her kingdom of Muspelheim. As Carol and her acquaintance Lady Sif make their way to Atlantis to retrieve their teammate, Captain Marvel proposes a temporary alliance with him in order to deal with the current threat. Namor adamantly refuses as he blames the surface world for bringing their problems to his doorstep again. To that, the War Avengers head back up while leaving the jaundiced king behind to fend for himself.[88] After the invasion of realms had been repelled by the various heroic factions of Earth, Captain Marvel and the Ghost Rider roll out around the waters that Avengers Mountain occupy. It's made evident that Namor has corralled any and all leftover Muspelheim Fire Sharks towards their base of operations in the arctic circle.[89]

The Best Defense[edit]

The maddened Namor would venture to seek other avenues of consolidating a solid war power while defending the oceans from surface dwellers. While the Defenders of the Deep deal with Hydropolis, Namor would seek out a long defected splinter sect of Atlanteans known as the Vodani to fortify his war on the hated airbreathers, but they had long since sequestered themselves far from the Earth's oceans and onto another planet. Something Namor wouldn't find out til after he went searching for them, unknowingly stumbling onto a plot by demons to destroy the earth for profit. Namor would seek to make an alliance with the Atlantean castaways to bolster his armies. He was lead to believe by vanquishing an old foe of their society, they would consider Namor's proposal. But the task of slaying a creature to gain their trust was a snark hunt. A ruse set up by the Vodani King Okun to leave him more vulnerable to a sneak attack they had in store for Namor whether he succeeded or failed. As the Vodani and Okun had grown to despise anything related to what they came to see as impure Atlanteans, opting to kill them on sight rather than parley with them. A furious Namor would do battle with Okun, but found himself to be quickly outmatched and was on the verge of dying. Until he took advantage of certain insights he learned using a portal which lead to the Vodani's homeworld from Earth, flying his hateful adversary into the vacuous depths of space where he would suffocate and die, as would have Namor himself if not for the unexpected arrival in the form of a cosmic godsend. Finding aid in an old colleague from his days on the Defenders, Namor learns from Silver Surfer about an old enemy having become a universal threat which is now heading towards the Sol Star System. To feed a cosmic entity known as the Conductor's engine of destruction Nebulon who has parasitically latched onto it via a devils deal conducted by rogue agents of hell, is directing its cosmic furnace towards Vodon to use it to stoke its fire.[90] Unbeknownst to Namor however, a time-tossed Doctor Strange and Hulk were also involved with the calamity sparked by hell and the demon possessed adversary. While on their end, Namor would make a sacrifice to Okun's daughter Kataw he had killed. Both to save the planet after it was hurled from its orbit as well as undermine its new queen and forge the alliance he had sought in the first place. But the scorned Kataw rebuked his request and uses her power over bio-electricity to fuel the Silver Surfer for the purpose of sending the planet Vodan into a star system with no planets to keep it from freezing to death. His plan now despoiled by his exile from their world, Namor returns to Earth to resume his war with the land dwellers after jokingly citing how the Non-Team up of the Defenders had saved it from annihilation. He then quotes to Silver Surfer that they should all get together and eat shawarma sometime.[91]

Invaders[edit]

Namor would again prep to assimilate Atlantean outliers into his military outfit, this time seeking a sect of shock-troopers known as the Sea Blades whom defected from Atlantis over a decade ago due to their future king's surface heritage. They found yet another separatist sect whom they had intermingled with while sequestered away from the main city. As the Sea Blades prepped to assail their returned leader, Namor showcased his newfound water-shifting abilities by parting the oceans and leaving the Sea Blades and their leader to asphyxiate unless they ceded leadership to him. After said altercation, he would go over his war plans with the ingratiated marine admiral Karris as the rest of his forces made their pilgrimage back to Atlantis. So awestruck was the once disavowing naval enforcer that he immediately signed on with Namor's plan to change the world.[92]

Revealing that in secret with his guide Marchen which only Namor can see and interact with. Namor's Atlantean technicians have been fabricating some kind of bomb that will target specific human DNA. To that end, he would incarcerate the metahuman criminal Hydro-Man to siphon his power over water into himself.[93]

When his former friend Captain America presented himself to the Atlanteans to broker an agreement with Namor, he attacked Captain America in a rage while ranting about how Atlantis has taken the heat of the surface world's battles time and time again. Once more showcasing his power over the water by parting the oceans after shattering Roger's breathing helmet, Namor lets Steve go while telling him the next time they met, there would be no mercy.[94]

The now deranged sea king is further coaxed by his mental instability, secretly conversing with Roman Peterson; Nay Peterson's only son, both of whom are working as a covert agents in Namor's employ. Deploying his long secreted biochemical weapon transforming countless homo sapiens into homo mermanus genetics through private channels.[95]

Marchen continually coaxing Namor to dispatch the Peterson's to tie up loose ends after hearing about Steve and Jim's chasing leads as to what his plans are.[96] When he reached the Peterson abode however, they were already there inquiring about Namor's past with their family and Professor X. He immediately went on the warpath dispatching Cap by tossing him into the deep ocean, simultaneously dealing with Hammond whom went to save him, but as he Saw Randall dying of geriatric complications the two had a short conversation before the senior citizen passed away. Causing the former to fly away in tears.[97]

With everything prepped and ready Namor's plan begins to unfold, intercepting Hammond over the skyline of Boston, Maine where he summarily decapitates the android to so Roman can launch a missile strike against Atlantis.[98]

Captain America makes it onto the scene too late while the Avengers make a failed incursion attempt on the sunken city, while battling his former friend Namor reveals this was all part of his grand plan however. Using Atlantean spies within the American government to instigate a retaliatory response, Atlantis launching their own missile strike as an intended consequence.[99]

Unleashing the chemical dispersal he and other's had been working on for decades turning many across the seaboard into water breathers while the Avengers act in defense of the kingdom in his absence.[100]

Namor sits alone with his thoughts while the world assembly debates the threat his kingdom and their latest designs presents. Machan continues to push the addled ocean lord to pursue his demented quest, but Namor is baffled by news of transformed Russian citizens into Atlanteans making their way to his domain as he never sanctioned it.[99]

The weary Namor questions Machan as the mental manifest was working without Namor's consent again, Namor argues with his mania just as an emissary of the search team return with an item of interest his liege might require. The latter saying that the Serpent Crown will stabilize the fragility in his fractured psyche as they prepare to strike down approaching enemies before they can attack.[101]

Feeling uncomfortable in his own skin, Namor would make contact with his former associate Bucky. Inviting him to meet at a local tavern to discuss things. The latter is naturally untrusting, given that Namor's infiltrators shot Barnes in the back of the head with his own gun, all while stealing necessary components for his latest doomsday project. Namor comes clean about his mental problems and how he's barely in control of his actions anymore, revealing to the Winter Soldier that for the longest time. The psychic apparition of Thomas Marchen has been indirectly pushing his latest agenda for decades since his abrupt falling out with Charles X. Using the DNA of a mutant gene morph to fabricate the chemical agent which he and his soldiers used to convert people across the globe in various cities into Atlanteans whom he'd suborn into his underwater nation. But after Namor had another violent episode, Bucky reveals he'd brought support in the guise of Susan Storm of the Fantastic Four to subdue him. Namor then revealed his newfound power bestowed by his latest acquisition, using the Serpent Crown to weaken Sue's hold on him with her powers. He would regain a second wind, telekinetically flinging the Invisible Woman aside while snaring Bucky in a water bubble. Whispering the full extent of his plan before flying off to parts unknown.[102]

Somewhere in the Atlantic Trench, Namor has his forces tear into seaside cliffs in order to extract tons of rock for an unknown purpose. After sending his faithful ward Roman back to Atlantis for wartime preparations Marchen shows his increasing distaste in his liege's way of doing things particularly when the master plan is so close to fruition. But the submariner rebukes his mental haze stating that he is king and so long as he has the Serpent Crown, his war ghost will continue to do as he is told. While attacking a Roxxon oil rig, he questions why Atlantean forces are slaughtering indiscriminately when he'd only ordered them to dismantle the mining facility. To his shock & agitation, Marchen has been secretly using the Crown broadcast other orders behind Namor's back again. After fighting against the Invaders for a little bit Namor retreats back into the sea in order to confront his apparition, but is surprised to find Roman Peterson waiting for him instead. The hallucination of Thomas reveals to his lesser half that he was no longer a manifestation of Namor's guilt and rage but was now his own entity. Despite his influence however he could not completely subsume Namor's humanity which is why he secretly ordered the acquisition of the Serpent Crown, so he could transfer himself from Namor's mind into that of his protege; Roman Peterson, to act upon what his king will not.[103]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Because of his unusual genetic heritage, Namor is unique among both ordinary humans and Atlanteans; he is sometimes referred to as "Marvel's first mutant" because, while the majority of his observed superhuman powers come from the fact that he is a hybrid of human and Atlantean DNA, his ability to fly cannot be explained by either side (Atlanteans are an offshoot of "baseline" humanity); though, in terms of in-continuity chronology, there were many mutants in existence before Namor. Namor possesses a fully amphibious physiology suited for extreme undersea pressures, superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, flight, and longevity. Namor has the ability to survive underwater for indefinite periods, and specially developed vision which gives him the ability to see clearly in the murky depths of the ocean.

Bill Everett, in his first Sub-Mariner story, described the character as "an ultra-man of the deep [who] lives on land and in the sea, flies in the air, [and] has the strength of a thousand [surface] men". No other powers were mentioned. When the series was revived in 1954, Namor lost his ankle wings and with them the power of flight; they, and his full strength, were restored in Sub-Mariner Comics #38 (Feb. 1955), in which Everett additionally wrote a flashback story, "Wings on His Feet", detailing their appearance on Namor at age 14. This story was twice reprinted during the Silver Age of Comic Books, in Marvel Super-Heroes #17 (Nov. 1968), and in the book Comix by Les Daniels.

Namor has the ability to swim at superhuman speeds, even by Atlantean standards.

Namor has greater longevity than a normal human being. He is nearly 100 years old as he was born in 1920 in the Marvel timeline, but has the appearance of a male in his prime. His identity as a pre–World War II superhero is well-established, making him less subject to the sliding timescale of the Marvel universe.

During Namor's original fight with the Human Torch in Marvel Mystery Comics #8 (June 1940, and the first fight between superheroes to appear in any media), Namor was able to forcibly expel water from his body to extinguish fires, although it proved useless against the Torch.[104]

After he was revived yet again in the 1960s by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Namor demonstrated powers of various sealife that had not been shown in earlier stories. An editorial note in Marvel Tales #9 (July 1967), stated explicitly that "nautical Namor has since lost his power to imitate the characteristics of fish..." According to one of Sub-Mariner's scripters, Roy Thomas: "As for Namor's electrical and other sea-creaturely powers. They were used in one or two stories in F.F. and the Human Torch series in Strange Tales, then dropped – as one of Stan [Lee] and Jack [Kirby]s early (and quite forgivable) mistakes. The explanation, given in a reprint of a Torch/Namor bout a few years later, was that he had these powers only for a short time and then lost them."[105] He sporadically showcases enhanced senses having eyesight that enables seeing in the deepest ocean depths, hear when a school of fish turn a corner from a world away and even feel when the deepest currents change by the slightest degree.[106]

In all his incarnations, Namor possesses superhuman strength and, with the possible exceptions of Orka and Tyrak at their full sizes, is the strongest Atlantean ever known. The exact level of his strength is dependent upon his physical contact with water, in which he needn't be submerged. It has been shown as sufficient to effortlessly toss a water-filled ocean-liner, despite the underwater viscosity.[107] His strength diminishes slowly the longer he is out of contact with water, though an extended period on land does not result in his death, as it would for a typical Atlantean, and his power is retained in full as long as he keeps himself wet. Namor possesses superhuman stamina and resistance to injury due to his hybrid nature. Namor's strength level is such that he has held his own in hand-to-hand combat with beings as powerful as the Hulk in the past.[108]

Some stories have mentioned that Namor has gills for breathing underwater, e.g., in Namor, the Sub-Mariner #5, Namor thinks "this New York river water burns my gills and scalds my lungs".[109] and artists such as Salvador Larroca have drawn him with gill slits on either side of his neck.[110] In The Sub-Mariner #18–22 (1969–70), beings from outer space surgically closed Namor's gills for a time, leaving him with the ability to breathe air but unable to breathe underwater. Other sources have stated that his lungs contain oxygen diffusing membranes that allow him to breathe underwater.

Namor possesses a telepathic rapport with all forms of marine life. He is able to mentally communicate with most forms of Ichthyoid, Cephalopod, Plankton, Anthozoa, Csnidarian, etc; and can mentally persuade them to do his bidding. Namor can mentally communicate with other Atlanteans and give mental-telepathic orders to all his men.[111]

Due to a unique aspect of his hybrid nature, not shared by Namorita, it was theorized that Namor is vulnerable to oxygen imbalances in his blood that trigger manic-depressive mood swings; he can prevent imbalances by regular immersion in water.

Namor gives off a sense of charisma which most women tend to find captivating. Many of the ladies that have entered his life made clear their attraction to his masculine, slightly alien personality in ways both subtle and blatant. He reacts to such advances with gratitude tinged with a slight distance born of monarchical etiquette.

Namor is a natural leader, trained by the royal family of Atlantis as befitting an heir to the throne. He has historically led troops into battle with expert success. His typical interpersonal behavior with both subject and friend borders on the aloof; this is more a sense of regal noblesse oblige rather than snobbishness.

Namor was given possession of the Time Gem.[112] This gem allows the user total control over the past, present, and future. It allows time travel, can age and de-age beings, and can be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire worlds in unending loops of time. After the Hood attempted to steal the Gems, Namor briefly helped Thor recover the Gem from the bottom of the ocean to prevent the Hood acquiring it, before being entrusted with the Power Gem as the Gems were divided amongst the new Illuminati – Steve Rogers replacing Black Bolt – once again.[113]

Later publications depict Namor being vastly more powerful than ever before. He is shown to be physically strong enough and tough enough to battle the all-new roster of Avengers and win singlehandedly.[114] Easily able to physically match the might of Thor and Iron Man, take a direct cosmic charged blow from Captain Marvel, survive a point blank gamma blast from the newly empowered She-Hulk and recover from getting run over by the Hellcharger of Ghost Rider almost instantly. Another addition to his abilities is his power over water itself, having somehow absorbed the abilities of Hydro-Man and put them to better used than he ever did. Using his hydrokinesis to flood a prison cell of Roxxon enforcers miles away from the ocean through the facility complex's sewage line,[115] and again when he went to conscript a long since defected Atlantean sect in preparation for war on the surface world, literally parting the seas around their own kingdom only to drop the waters back into place.[116]

Namor was educated by the royal tutors of the Atlantean court, and speaks English, Atlantean, and Lemurian. He is a highly skilled business executive. On top of having a slew of vast Atlantean technologies available to him and his forces,[117][118][119] Namor also has a slew of powerful mystical relics in his national treasury he regularly makes use of; like the Trident of Neptune, patron weapon of his kingdom's founding sea god Poseidon.[120]

The weapon supposedly comes with many replicas as an adversary whom held the sea king in resentment due to prior infractions he had in the past utilized a true oceanic scepter while Namor held only a ceremonial copy.[121] Said recipient would study up on the lore of Atlantis's mythical, mystical background and discovered a hidden treasure cove pertaining to numerous magical relics in the ocean deity's possession. One that would enable he and all others who wielded it power over the waters of the world and the vast metaphysical might of its namesake to which they could accomplish a great many feats.[122] Stemming to physical transformation; literally changing a human into merefolk and whatnot, firing destructive energy beams, commanding the creatures of the brine to act on its wielders behalf as well as influence both weather and the tides of the world to do their bidding.[123][124] Like all weapons and reliquary crafted by and for the Olympian Pantheon, such as Heracles' Adamantine Mace, the trident too is composed of said indestructible metal belonging to the gods, able to battle it out against multiple enforcers of the Thor Corps and their legions of Mjolnir hammers without taking any damage.[125]

In the past Namor has interacted with the Serpent Crown throughout his adventures, in later publishing he has regained access to all of its supernatural facilities in order to augment his own powers.[126]

Formerly depicted abilities[edit]

In The Fantastic Four #9 (Dec. 1962), Namor states, "I have the powers of all the creatures who live beneath the sea! I can charge the very air with electricity – using the power of the electric eel!" In the same issue, "the radar sense of the cave fish from the lowest depths of the sea" enables him to sense the presence of Sue Storm when she is invisible. He uses "the power to surround himself with electricity in the manner of an electric eel" again in Strange Tales #107 (April 1963), and #125 (Oct. 1964); in the former he manifests the power to inflate his body like a puffer fish. These extra powers were ignored, when Marvel gave Namor his own feature beginning in Tales to Astonish #70 (Aug. 1965).

Another ability unknown in the Golden Age and rarely displayed is his empathic rapport with many forms of marine life. He had a limited empathic rapport with Namorita, but only as a result of being given one of her "magic earrings" (which has long since disappeared).

An editorial note in Marvel Tales #9 (July 1967), which reprinted the story from Strange Tales #107, stated explicitly that "nautical Namor has since lost his power to imitate the characteristics of fish..." His electrical abilities were seen out of comic continuity in 1991's Spider-Man: The Video Game. Furthermore, Namor employed these "lost" powers semi-regularly in his 1990s series, under John Byrne's pen. In Marvel Mystery #2 (Dec. 1939) Namor once boasted a personal hydration function of his physiology, once extinguishing a pedestrian had been set on fire by cigarette light. His body excreted water from his individual pores, dousing the flames.

"Marvel's first mutant"[edit]

Marvel has repeatedly identified Namor as "Marvel's first mutant", which is true with regard to the order in which the character appeared in print. He is not the oldest mutant within the fictional Marvel Universe timeline. A number of mutants predate him, including Selene (active since at least 10,000 BC), Apocalypse (born in the 30th century BC), Exodus (born in the 12th century AD), Wolverine (late 19th century AD), Mystique and Destiny (dates of birth unknown, but known to have been active at the "Dawn of the 20th century"), the demonic mutant Azazel, and a group of mutants known as the Externals.

In X-Men #6 (July 1964), X-Men leader Professor Xavier and antagonist Magneto each suspect Namor is a mutant and make efforts to recruit him. Later writers in the 1960s and 1970s described him as a hybrid, not a mutant, to distinguish him from the mutant X-Men.[127] When the series was revived in 1990, the series title logo carried the subtitle "Marvel's first and mightiest mutant!".

Namor is actually a hybrid of Atlantean and human physiology, although he has principal characteristics that neither Atlanteans (Homo mermanus) nor humans (Homo sapiens) possess. These include his ability to fly, and possibly his durability and strength (which is several times that of an Atlantean).

In the first issue of the five-part Illuminati miniseries, after being experimented on by the Skrulls, it was confirmed that Namor is not only an Atlantean/human hybrid but also a mutant.

Enemies[edit]

  • Attuma – Leader of the Atlantean barbarians, Attuma would threaten Atlantis repeatedly; conquering it on several occasions, and became Namor's nemesis.
  • Byrrah – Childhood friend and rival to Namor, Byrrah was Atlantean royalty that lost the throne to Namor and observed him as unfit for the position. For many years, he would challenge Namor's rule and ally with his enemies to usurp him. Eventually, he appears to have made peace with Namor and stands by his side as a brother.
  • Captain Barracuda – A modern-day pirate employing advanced technology that frequently crossed swords with Namor (and several other heroes).
  • Deep Six – A group formed by Attuma to maintain his rule of Atlantis during one of his periods as its conqueror. His subordinates included Tiger Shark, Orka, Piranha, Sea Urchin, and Nagala (bearing the Serpent Crown).
  • Doctor Doom – Sometimes allies, sometimes enemies, Doom and Namor use each other but inevitably turn against each other when their ultimate sensibilities override the benefits of working together. This has been their perpetual relationship since first meeting years ago.
  • Doctor Dorcas – A brilliant scientist that created several of Namor's greatest threats such as Tiger Shark, Orka, and Piranha, often working alongside the likes of Attuma and Byrrah. He appeared to die in a battle with Namor, but later turned up alive with starfish-based abilities.
  • Fathom Five – Led by Llyron, the son of Namor's enemy Llyra and supposedly Namor himself. Later, it is revealed that Llyron is the grandson of Namor's half-brother[128] that was passed off as Namor's successor who usurped his throne, Fathom Five sought to wipe out humanity. Its members include Dragonrider, Bloodtide, Manowar, and Sea Leopard.
  • Great White – An albino villain and shark trainer. He ambushed Loa and her father while they were surfing. Loa managed to use her ability to kill the sharks while Great White was defeated by Namor.
  • Karthon the Quester – A faithful servant to Lemurian ruler Naga that sought the Serpent Crown for his master from Namor. His sense of honor conflicted with his master and after Naga's rule was toppled, Karthon became king and an ally to Namor.
  • Llyra – A Lemurian that usurped Karthon's rule of his kingdom and became Namor's enemy when he tried to restore his friend and ally. She would return to face him repeatedly, in time becoming high priestess of Set.
  • Magneto – More often amicable allies than anything else, Magneto would approach Namor during his Brotherhood's first outing as Supervillains to join forces against humanity. Initially the later refused seeking to work alone, but having worked with the X-Men; Magnus included, Namor still respects the mutant revolutionary nonetheless.
  • Naga – Longtime wielder of the Serpent Crown, Naga would rule Lemuria until he was murdered by his staunchest aide Karthon.
  • Orka – An underling of Krang empowered by Doctor Dorcas to be massively strong and grow stronger in the presence of orca. He would return repeatedly as a minion for Namor's enemies.
  • Piranha – Created by Doctor Dorcas, the Piranha is an ever-evolving enemy of Namor to return again and again.
  • Puppet Master – Using Namor as a pawn on several occasions, such as against the Fantastic Four and in obtaining funds, the Puppet Master would garner the ire of the sea king. On one occasion, when Namor considered befriending the Hulk, Puppet Master took the green behemoth over and forced him to battle Namor.
  • Tiger Shark – An Olympic swimmer transformed by Doctor Dorcas into a hybrid of Namor's DNA and a tiger shark. He battles Namor repeatedly over the years, at one time an ally to the sea king, though today he has again chosen to be his enemy.
  • Tyrak – A powerful warrior in Attuma's army that can grow to monstrous size and bears incredible physical strength.
  • U-Man – Meranno was a childhood rival to Namor that joined the Third Reich and took the name U-Man. Leading the Nazis to Atlantis, their attack left its emperor in a coma with Namor succeeding him. During World War II, he would be Namor's frequent sparring partner.
  • Warlord Krang – One-time military leader of Atlantis' forces, Krang tried to usurp Namor's power and became an enemy to the kingdom. He would return repeatedly to challenge Namor.

Other versions[edit]

Marvel Noir[edit]

In the Marvel Noir reality, Namor is a captain of a ship named "Dorma".[129] Captain Namor is a widely infamous pirate of the seven seas and an associate of Tony Stark, who pays him for the numerous voyages on his adventures. Namor considers himself as a man of the sea and doesn't share any allegiances to any countries or nations. As part of his tradition as a pirate, Namor marks himself and his crew by slicing their ears to look like shark's fins. He is the captain of the Dorma, an advanced submarine while taking the guise of a fishing trawler.[130]

In May 1939, Stark hired Namor to find the location of Atlantis. He traveled with Stark, James Rhodes, and Pepper Potts on the submersible, the "Happy Hogan", in locating Atlantis and finding the valuable Orichalcum. Upon returning to the surface, Namor and his friends were immediately captured by the Nazis led by Baron Zemo and Von Strucker, and the Orichalcum stolen by them. Namor and his allies were then left to die on his trawler by torpedo; Namor took action in having everyone quickly board the Dorma and escape before the torpedo destroyed the trawler. Namor later rescued Stark following the destruction of Von Strucker's airship fleet, as (in Namor's words) Stark owes him a boat for the destruction of his.[131]

MC2[edit]

Namor is still active in the MC2 future timeline, and still uniting occasionally for battle alongside the Hulk and Doctor Strange as "Defenders". His appearance, while slightly older looking, is unchanged save for growing a goatee. In Fantastic Five vol. 2 #1 it was revealed that he had held Doctor Doom captive for over ten years after the mad monarch destroyed Atlantis. Doom subsequently escaped, and in #4, Namor is seen being tortured by him. He is freed after Reed Richards sacrifices himself to send both his and Doom's consciousnesses to the Crossroads of Infinity.[132]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In Ultimate Fantastic Four #24, the team is surveying the ruins of Atlantis and finds an estimated 9,000-year-old tomb containing the hibernating Namor – an imprisoned Atlantean criminal, considered the worst villain of his time. Reed Richards' translation of the Atlantean language reveals Namor's claims of kingship to be false.[133]

His extreme intelligence allows him to become fluent in English in a matter of minutes merely by listening to S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the Fantastic Four talking. Confronting the human, Namor withstands full-strength flares from the Human Torch and is strong enough to fight the Thing, withstand Sue Storm's force fields, and stretch Richards (Mr. Fantastic) to near-breaking. He destroys machinery designed to contain the Hulk. Though beaten by the Fantastic Four, he creates a tidal wave in the shape of Poseidon, threatening to destroy Manhattan with it. He is appeased when he demands, and receives, a meaningful kiss from Sue Storm. He then returns to the sea.[134]

Namor reappears at the end of issue #55, rescuing an unconscious Sue after she was attacked by the Ultimate version of the Salem's Seven.[135] Later, he is seen in Latveria as Doom's prisoner.[136]

Ultimate Namor is a mutant Atlantean with amphibious physiology suited for high water pressure. He has vast super strength, durability, high-speed swimming ability, flight, and water manipulation.

1602[edit]

In the Marvel 1602 limited series Fantastick Four, Namor is reinvented as Numenor, Emperor of Bensaylum, a city beyond the edge of the world.[137]

When the characters arrive in his realm he is arguing with his cousin Rita (Namorita) about her reluctance to marry. She suggests that this is because he refuses to find a consort himself. Upon meeting the Four from the Fantastick, he is attracted to Susan Storm, and attempts to woo her, unsuccessfully. He later plots with Otto von Doom to win her, while "disposing" of Sir Richard Reed. Doom turns against him, and Numenor is stabbed with his own trident and dies.[138] Because Bensaylum is not underwater, its inhabitants are portrayed as basically human although they retain the pointed ears.

Exiles[edit]

In Exiles issues 14 and 15, Namor appears as a king who has taken over Latveria.[139][140] Another version of Namor is black and is married to Sue Storm and has a son Remy.[141]

Earth X[edit]

In the Earth X series Namor suffers from dementia. He is responsible for the death of Johnny Storm. As a result, Franklin Richards used his powers to cause half of Namor's body to be continually on fire.[142]

Earth 9602 (Amalgam Comics)[edit]

Namor is combined with DC Comics' King of Atlantis, Aquaman, to create Aqua Mariner.[143]

Sub-Mariner: The Depths[edit]

In the Marvel Knights mini-series set in an alternate 1950s, Namor is fabled among mariners, said to pursue and kill any searching for Atlantis. Randolph Stein, a man who makes a living debunking modern myths, encounters Namor in the ocean depths while trying to find Atlantis.[144][145]

Reception[edit]

During the period known as the Golden Age of Comic Books—generally agreed to last from 1938 to 1956[146]—Namor was one of Timely Comics' Big Three alongside Captain America and the original Human Torch.[147] Indeed, during this period, Namor's Sub-Mariner title was selling millions of copies.[148]

Moreover, Namor has also been described as the first comic book antihero.[23]

Namor was listed as the 88th greatest comic book character by Wizard magazine.[149] IGN ranked Namor as the 77th greatest comic book hero of all time opining that "With the Atlanteans and X-Men both seeking their place in a dangerous world, Namor's role as leader is more vital than ever",[150] and 14th in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers".[151] In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Namor as #16 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics".[152]

Collected editions[edit]

Classic Collected Editions

Title Volume Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Sub-Mariner 1 Sub-Mariner Comics #1–4 280 June 2005 9780785116172
2 Sub-Mariner Comics #5–8 280 August 2007 9780785122470
3 Sub-Mariner Comics #9–12 240 December 2009 9780785133513
Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes 3 Sub-Mariner Comics #33–42 272 September 2008 9780785129301
Marvel Masterworks: The Sub-Mariner 1 Tales to Astonish #70–87 224 May 2002 9780785108757
2 Tales to Astonish #88–101, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1, The Sub-Mariner #1 240 June 2007 9780785126881
3 The Sub-Mariner #2–13 272 August 2009 9780785134879
4 The Sub-Mariner #14–25 240 February 2011 9780785150480
5 The Sub-Mariner #26–38 & Hercules story from Ka-Zar #1 288 January 2014 9780785166191
6 The Sub-Mariner #39–49 & Daredevil #77 280 February 2015 9780785191841
7 The Sub-Mariner #50–60 240 January 2016 9780785199151
8 The Sub-Mariner #61-72 & Marvel Spotlight #27 280 January 2018 9781302909628
Essential Sub-Mariner 1 Daredevil #7; Tales to Astonish #70–101; Tales of Suspense #80; Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1; The Sub-Mariner #1 504 September 2009 9780785130758
Namor Visionaries – John Byrne 1 Namor, the Sub-Mariner (1990) #1–9 216 February 2011 9780785153047
2 Namor, the Sub-Mariner (1990) #10–18 232 September 2012 9780785160434

Modern Limited Editions

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
Sub-Mariner: Revolution Sub-Mariner (2007–2008) #1–6: February 27, 2008 978-0785127475
Sub-Mariner: The Depths Sub-Mariner: The Depths #1–5 December 2009 978-0785133377
Namor: The First Mutant – Volume 1: Curse of the Mutants Namor: The First Mutant #1–6 February 2011 9780785151746
Namor: The First Mutant – Volume 2: Namor Goes to Hell Namor: The First Mutant #5–11 September 2011 9780785151760

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Namor, from the Fantastic Four episode "Now Comes the Sub-Mariner".
  • In the 1950s, a television series was planned starring Richard Egan, but it never went into production.[18][19] Similarly, a Sub-Mariner television pilot was announced during the seventies but never filmed due to the similarity to the short-lived Man from Atlantis.[153]
  • In 1966, Namor (along with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk) had his own segment in the animated series The Marvel Super Heroes,[154] voiced by John Vernon.[155]
  • In 1967, the Hanna-Barbera Fantastic Four animated series had two episodes featuring characters based on the Sub-Mariner, as Grantray-Lawrence had already licensed the character a year earlier. "Demon of the Deep", based on Fantastic Four #4, featured the villain "Gamma", who uses a gigantic undersea monster to attack New York.[156] "Danger in the Depths", based on Fantastic Four #33, features "Prince Triton", voiced by Mike Road.[157]
  • In 1977–78 Man from Atlantis was aired. While it was loosely inspired by Namor it had no real relation to the character.[158]
  • In 1981, the Sub-Mariner appeared in the Spider-Man episode "Wrath of the Sub-Mariner", voiced by Vic Perrin.[159] He attacks New York in response to pollution caused by the Kingpin.
  • He appeared in the "7 Little Superheroes" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, voiced by William Woodson.[159] He appeared alongside the Spider-Friends, Captain America, Shanna the She-Devil, and Doctor Strange when they were invited by Chameleon to visit his home on Wolf Island.
  • In 1994, Namor had a guest-starring role in an episode of the 1994 Fantastic Four episode "Now Comes the Sub-Mariner", voiced by James Warwick.[159]
  • Namor appeared in The Avengers: United They Stand episode "To Rule Atlantis", voiced by Raoul Trujillo.[159]
  • In 2006, Namor appeared in the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episodes "Imperious Rex" and "Atlantis Attacks", voiced by Michael Adamthwaite.[159]
  • In 2013, Namor appeared in the Inhumans motion comic, voiced by Trevor Devall.[159]

Film[edit]

In 1997, Philip Kaufman had begun development on a film titled Namor: Sub-Mariner,[160] with Sam Hamm hired to write the script by 1999, though the project never materialized[161] Kaufman stated that due to his interest in environmental issues, he wanted to incorporate that into the movie and the character of Namor.[162] By June 2001, Namor was in development from Universal Pictures,[163][164] and David Self attached to write a new script. In 2002, Saban Entertainment became involved with the project in a joint-production contract with Marvel; while the script was written by Randall Frakes.[165] Principal photography was scheduled to begin in 2003, with an intended mid-2004 release.[166]

Chris Columbus entered talks to direct in July 2004[167] and the release date was subsequently moved to 2007.[168] Columbus departed in 2005,[169] and Universal replaced him with Jonathan Mostow in September 2006.[170] In 2012, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada thought Namor's film rights had reverted to Marvel, but in August 2013 it was revealed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that this was not the case, and the rights remained at Universal Pictures.[171]

On May 22, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter writer Borys Kit confirmed that Marvel, not Universal Pictures, now has the Namor film rights.[172] On July 18, 2014, Kevin Feige told IGN in an interview that the film rights are with Marvel Studios, not with Universal and Legendary Pictures, but that there are a number of contracts and deals that need to be sorted out.[173] On June 2, 2016, Marvel Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada told Kevin Smith on his Podcast that the Namor rights are now back with Marvel.[174] In April 2018, Feige stated in an interview with IGN that Namor's movie rights are "complicated" and in a similar situation to solo film rights for The Hulk with Universal holding distribution rights.[175]

Novel[edit]

A garbage man who discovers Peter Parker's discarded Spider-Man costume in Spider-Man 2, portrayed by Brent Briscoe, is identified as Namor in the film's novelization.[176]

Video games[edit]

  • Namor is a playable character in the 1991 Sega Spider-Man arcade game.[177]
  • Namor has a cameo role in Captain America and the Avengers.[178]
  • Namor is a boss in the 1997 Fantastic Four game.
  • In the 2000 Spider-Man video game, Namor has a cameo in the game's "What If?" mode during the underwater Carnage battle, and in the Character Viewer.
  • Namor appears as a non-player character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance in the Xbox, Xbox 360, PC, PSP and PS2 versions, voiced by Peter Renaday.[159] He is a playable character on the Game Boy Advance version. In the console versions, the heroes investigate Atlantis to find the Atlanteans rioting, having been driven mad by sonic weapons used by Attuma, Tiger Shark, Warlord Krang, and Byrrah to overthrow Namor. The heroes find Namor being tortured by being trapped in a bubble of oxygen. Saving him, the heroes are asked by Namorita to help stop the coup, as well as the optional task of finding rare Walek seaweed that can by used as one of the ingredients for a medicine to heal Namor which is within the Temple of Negrete. If the players obtain the Walek seaweed, Namor will grow to trust surface dwellers and eventually joining a worldwide organization of superheroes who will protect Earth from the dangers that would threaten it. Otherwise, Warlord Krang will usurp the throne from the weakened Namor, convince the Atlanteans to attack human warships, and use the stolen nuclear missiles to begin a devastating war on the surface world.
  • Namor appears in a slot machine based game licensed by Marvel.[179]
  • Namor was added to Marvel Strike Force in 2019.[180]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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