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|Namor the Sub-Mariner|
Prince Namor. Cover art for Sub-Mariner #1 (Aug. 2007), by Michael Turner
|First appearance||Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939)|
|Created by||Bill Everett|
|Alter ego||Namor McKenzie|
|Species||Atlantean/Human Mutant hybrid|
|Place of origin||Atlantis|
Heroes for Hire/Oracle, Inc.
|Notable aliases||Namor the First, the Avenging Son, Imperius Rex, the Sub-Mariner|
Superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, and longevity
|Namor the Sub-Mariner|
Prince Namor. Cover art for Sub-Mariner #1 (Aug. 2007), by Michael Turner
|First appearance||Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939)|
|Created by||Bill Everett|
|Alter ego||Namor McKenzie|
|Species||Atlantean/Human Mutant hybrid|
|Place of origin||Atlantis|
Heroes for Hire/Oracle, Inc.
|Notable aliases||Namor the First, the Avenging Son, Imperius Rex, the Sub-Mariner|
Superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, and longevity
Namor the Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Debuting in early 1939, the character was created by writer-artist Bill Everett for Funnies Inc., one of the first "packagers" in the early days of comic books that supplied comics on demand to publishers looking to enter the new medium. Initially created for the unreleased comic Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, the Sub-Mariner first appeared publicly in Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939) — the first comic book from Timely Comics, the 1930s-1940s predecessor of the company 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. Everett said the character's name was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". Everett came up with "Namor" by writing down noble sounding names backwards and thought Roman/Namor looked the best.
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 alternately portrayed as 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, and the X-Men as well as serving as a foil to all of them on occasion.
Namor was the first comic book hero with the power of flight.
Namor the Sub-Mariner first appeared in April 1939 in the prototype for a planned giveaway comic titled Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, produced by the comic book packager Funnies Inc. The only eight known samples among those created to send to theater owners were discovered in the estate of the deceased publisher in 1974. When the giveaway idea fell through, creator Bill Everett used the character for Marvel Comics #1, the first comic book by Funnies, Inc. client Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. 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. The series Marvel Comics was retitled Marvel Mystery Comics with issue #2 (Dec. 1939).
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." 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. When the U.S. entered World War II, Namor would aid the Allies of World War II against Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers. Supporting characters included Betty Dean, a New York City policewoman introduced in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (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). 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. 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). 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.
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. 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.
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. 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). 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!".
He was spun off into his own title, the 1968-74 series Sub-Mariner. The super-villain Tiger Shark was introduced in issue #5 by writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema and the super-hero Stingray in issue #19 by Thomas and Bill Everett. 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." 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. 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. After the cancellation of Sub-Mariner, Namor co-starred with Doctor Doom in the Super-Villain Team-Up series. The series suffered from mediocre sales due to its lack of a stable creative team, and following issue #13 Namor was dropped from the co-star spot.
Following a four-issue miniseries a decade later, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner (Sept.-Dec. 1984), by co-writer J. M. DeMatteis, penciler/co-writer Bob Budiansky, and inker Danny Bulanadi, 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. 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. From #26-38, the series' penciler and eventual penciler-inker was then-newcomer Jae Lee, with Bob Harras scripting from #33-40. Thereafter came a variety of artists and writers. 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.
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.
Never fundamentally either a hero or a villain, Namor has protected his kingdom and sought vengeance on the surface world only when he feels his realm is threatened. Although he has served alongside, or even as a member of, superhero teams — most notably the Defenders, a "non-team" in which he was allied with Doctor Strange, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer; the Avengers; and both the World War II and modern-day versions of the Invaders — Namor remains an outsider.
He became one of main characters, along with the other Illuminati members, in the third volume of New Avengers beginning in 2013.
As related in Marvel Comics #1 (cover-dated Oct. 1939) and subsequent, expanded retellings of his origin story, Namor was born 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." He became friends with New York City police woman Betty Dean in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (Jan. 1940), and when World War II broke out, he began fighting the Axis powers. In flashback stories beginning in the 1970s, he was retconned as a member of the Allied superhero team the Invaders, consisting originally of himself; Captain America and his sidekick Bucky; and the original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro.
Namor was injured after the war, and in Fantastic Four #4 was shown living in the flophouse Bowery district of Manhattan as an amnesiac derelict. Regaining his memory in this story, he became enraged upon learning that the original site of Atlantis had been destroyed by nuclear testing, its inhabitants evacuated. Namor vowed 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 found his people and launched an unsuccessful invasion of New York City in Fantastic Four Annual #1 (1963).
Namor is on his way back to Atlantis when he is stopped by Lady Dorma, who warns Namor that in his absence, Warlord Krang has seized the throne of Atlantis. When Dorma tries to touch Namor, he tells her to unhand him, angering her. Upset at being rejected by Namor again, she calls the guards, who easily over-power and capture Namor. She accompanies the captured Namor in the hopes that upon seeing Krang on his throne, he will give up his royal status and finally marry her.[volume & issue needed]
Krang gloats at Namor's loss of power and orders the fallen prince to be locked in the dungeons. Consumed with guilt, Dorma comes to Namor's side and he convinces her to let him free. He hopes to seek out Neptune's Trident so that he may rightfully regain the throne of Atlantis. He recounts how long ago, when Neptune used to rule over Atlantis, he hid the trident someplace under the sea. In the event someone attempted to usurp the Atlantean throne, one who is truly worthy might reclaim it by finding the trident. Dorma steals the Vibra-Key needed to free Namor from his cell and Namor begins his quest, seeking out the clues that will lead him to the trident.[volume & issue needed]
Sneaking out of Atlantis, Namor swims off into the sea. Dorma watches on and is suddenly intruded upon by Krang. Krang gloats that this is exactly what he had plotted all along, hoping that Namor would be destroyed trying to find Neptune's trident.[volume & issue needed]
This becomes apparent as Namor heads to the location of the first clue, which is defended by a giant killer squid. Spotting a shell that has Neptune's mark on it, Namor attempts to battle the squid. Slipping past the monster he grabs the shell, but he doesn't get away fast enough and the squid is approaching too close for comfort.[volume & issue needed]
Namor is trapped by a giant killer squid that is protecting the cave that has the first clue to Neptune's Trident. With nothing else to defend himself, he uses the clue, a shell with Neptune's mark, to slay the creature. With the monster dead, Neptune's spirit appears before the Sub-Mariner and congratulates him for passing the first test. The spirit tells Namor that he will have to travel to the Forbidden Depths in order to find the next clue to the Trident's location.[volume & issue needed]
Boring his way out of the cavern, Namor is attacked by minions of Warlord Krang in an attempt to kill Namor. The Sub-Mariner easily defeats them and swims off to his next location. Monitoring this from afar is Krang who is furious but has not given up destroying Namor. Lady Dorma, his helpless prisoner vows that if Namor dies her heart will die with him as she truly loves him.[volume & issue needed]
As the Sub-Mariner approaches the Forbidden Sea he sense that he is being followed. Turning, he finds an elderly Atlantean who pledges allegiance to Namor despite the fact that Krang has usurped the throne. The Sub-Mariner is touched and thanks the ancient one for his faith in him, resuming his quest. While, back in Atlantis, Lady Dorma is consumed with guilt—if she allows Krang to marry her she could be queen, but she is in love with Namor who refuses her advances. With Krang in full control he begins ruling Atlantis as a dictator, demanding high taxes and having his minions kill whoever opposes him.[volume & issue needed]
Namor meanwhile arrives at the Forbidden Sea and faces his next challenge: The Seaweed Man, a creature made entirely out of seaweed. Namor's initial attack appears to have no effect on the creature who then begins to impose its strength on him.[volume & issue needed]
Searching for the second clue to the location of Neptune's Trident, the Sub-Mariner is forced to fight the Seaweed Man of the Forbidden Sea. Getting leverage to break free of the Seaweed Man's grip, Namor manages to get away by causing a whirl pool and swimming past his foe. Finding an iron door with the mark of Neptune, Namor opens it up. Inside he finds a fish that speaks in the voice of Neptune urging Namor to go on. Noticing a diamond in the creature's mouth the Sub-Mariner heads off to the Diamonds of Doom, the location of the third and final clue.[volume & issue needed]
Furious that Namor continues to survive his trials, Warlord Krang decides that he must wed Lady Dorma as quickly as possible. Going to her room he demands that she marries him, but she flat out refuses stating that she loves only Namor. Furious, Krang gasses her and places her in a glass chamber. For her refusal Krang has Dorma publicly exiled to the cavern of the Faceless Ones. Brought there she is lowered into the realm by the Faceless One's keeper Zantor.[volume & issue needed]
Namor meanwhile arrives at the Diamonds of Doom, however due to the diamonds' properties their cascading kaleidoscope radiance causes him to lose his strength and vitality.[volume & issue needed]
Having to face the Diamonds of Doom in order to collect the third and final clue leading to the location of Neptunes Trident, Namor must also face battle against the Demon of Diamonds who is immune to the diamonds weakening rays. in their initial fight, Namor is still able to hold his own and even manages to knock off the Demon's crown which protects him from the diamonds effects. The Demon however recovers the crown but as he is distracted Namor summons electric eels to incapacitate the Demon. The eels then absorb the energies from the Diamonds of Doom making it safe for Namor to collect the final clue. Speaking through the eels, the spirit of Neptune once more congratulates Namor for his on going victory. Watching this over his monitors Warlord Krang is furious that the Sub-Mariner continues to succeed on his quest.[volume & issue needed]
Learning from the eels that Lady Dorma has been cast to the Faceless ones as punishment for not agreeing to marry Warlord Krang, Namor has to make a decision on if he should continue on for the Trident or save Lady Dorma. Meanwhile, the people of Atlantis, fed up of Krang's totalitarian regime stage a revolt in an attempt to overthrow Krang's rule. Despite the armed guards and high tech weapons that Krang has to keep the rebels away, they manage to make it to his throne room.[volume & issue needed]
Namor has decided to rescue Lady Dorma, finding her survival more important to him than obtaining the Trident of Neptune. As he speeds toward the cavern of the Faceless Ones, the self-same creatures approach the plasti-cage that Lady Droma has been trapped in. Prince Namor has given up his quest for Neptune's Trident in order to rescue Lady Dorma from the Faceless Ones. He arrives in the Faceless One's cavern just as they are about to break through the plati-cage that she is trapped in. As the Sub-Mariner fights through the horde of seemingly mindless creatures there is a revolt going on in Atlantis against the tyrannical Warlord Krang. As the rebellion enters his control room he manages to escape capture by closing an impenetrable wall in the way of himself and his attackers.[volume & issue needed]
In punishment for the rebellion, Krang sends out his robot-tank to bring down mutineers of his rule. As this is happening Vashti the Elder escapes on a specially bred sea-horse to seek out the Sub-Mariner while Krang calls back his robo-tank. As Namor continues to battle the Faceless Ones, Vashti approaches their caverns and is accidentally dropped in when his sea-horse frightens, throwing him off. Namor manages fight off the Faceless Ones as they burst the pasti-cage, however Namor finds that Dorma has been injured by the resulting combustion of the plasti-cage. Finding her inches to death, Namor now has finds that he is surrounded by the Faceless Ones.[volume & issue needed]
The Sub-Mariner hold the nearly lifeless Lady Dorma in his hands ready to defend her from the army of Faceless Ones that now approach him. Just before he thinks they are about to attack, they suddenly stop and Namor is visited by the spirit of Neptune. He tells Namor that he had forsook his task of claiming Neptune's Trident the key to reclaiming Atlantis from Warlord Krang. However, when Namor explained that he did it to rescue the life of Lady Dorma, Neptune is touched that the Sub-Mariner gave up his quest for the love of another and deems him worthy of the Trident. Vashti the elder watches as the Faceless Ones suddenly disappear and Namor is bequeathed the Trident of Neptune.[volume & issue needed]
Revealing himself to Namor, Vashti praises the Sub-Mariner on his success and tells the true prince of Atlantis what is transpiring in his oppressed nation. With not a moment to lose, Namor swims off toward home in hope of reviving Lady Dorma to health with a Revitalizer Ray, with Vashti trailing behind carrying his trident.[volume & issue needed]
Arriving outside Atlantis quickly, Namor's superior swimming skills allow him to dodge the guards ray blasts and smash through the main gates. Once within the kingdom's walls, Namor is attacked by Krang's robot-tank however Namor makes short work of it. Taking Dorma's unconscious body to the medical facilities he preps he from the Revitalizer Ray. Krang in an attempt to stop Namor from saving his lover's life attempts to short circuit the device, however Namor spots him and, having Vashti toss him his trident, pins Krang's hand with it.Finally face to face with his foe, Namor prepares for the final battle.[volume & issue needed]
Failing an attempt at preventing Prince Namor from using the Revitalizer Ray on Lady Dorma, Warlord Krang faces the wrath of the true prince of Atlantis. The Sub-Mariner beats the cowardly Krang into unconsciousness before turning the Revitalizer Ray on to heal Lady Dorma. Turning the device to full power, Namor succeeds in revitalizing his true love.[volume & issue needed]
With Krang dethrowned and locked up, the people of Atlantis celebrate the return of their true ruler. During the celebrations, Namor asks Lady Dorma to sit by his side and asks Vashti the Elder to work as his adviser in the future, making him a Lord of Atlantis. After the festivities, Namor asks that Krang be brought to him for punishment. Much to Krang's shock, Namor orders him exiled from Atlantis forever and is thrown out of the kingdom.[volume & issue needed]
Just after Krang's departure, Atlantis is suddenly shook up by a powerful quake. When the crisis is over, Namor believes that the damage was wrought by the surface men's nuclear bomb tests and decides that it is time that he returns to the surface to fight for his kingdom of Atlantis.[volume & issue needed]
Following an undersea earthquake, Prince Namor The Sub-Mariner believes that the surface men have resumed their nuclear bomb testing and meets with his Royal Council on what to do. After much debate, Namor decides to err on the side of diplomacy and go alone so as not to start a cataclysmic war between the two races. Before Namor can depart on his mission Atlantis is rocked by another earthquake. Saying his farewells to Lady Dorma, she asks if she might accompany him, to which he declines. He explains that he needs her to stay in Atlantis should the earthquakes revive the Behemoth, a giant creature that was made by Atlantean scientists to defend Atlantis from any devastating attacks that was buried beneath Atlantis years ago because it proved too dangerous for even the Atlanteans to control.[volume & issue needed] Venturing out into the vast ocean, the Sub-Mariner comes across a gigantic drill that is boring into the ocean floor. This device is being controlled by a group of surface scientists attempting to learn the origins of life on the Earth. The science team is led by none other than Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne, formally Giant-Man and the Wasp. Namor uses his massive strength to stop the drill and soon finds himself attacked by frog-men that are part of the military security that have been installed on the project. Out swimming them and rising to the surface, the Sub-Mariner warns them not to attack further.[volume & issue needed] The soldiers chose to ignore this warning and open fire, prompting Namor to climb aboard the vessel. Despite the fact hat he is surrounded by gunmen, Namor warns them from continuing their experiment further. However none of the soldiers and least of all Henry Pym are willing to listen to the Atlantean prince's threats, Pym warning Namor not to interfere with their project.[volume & issue needed]
The Sub-Mariner has come to stop a deep sea drilling operation led by Henry Pym that has been causing underwater earthquakes in Atlantis. US military soldiers have been stationed on the platform now have their guns trained on the prince of Atlantis. When a soldier tries to shoot Namor, Pym spoils the soldiers aim making the shot hit a gas tank causing a fire. While the Sub-Mariner is forced back by the flames, Pym, his lover Janet van Dyne and the soldiers try desperately to put the fire out.[volume & issue needed] Monitoring this from his secret base is the Puppet Master who takes this opportunity to create a doll that will allow him to take control of the Sub-Mariner again. He takes control just as the Sub-Mariner is about to get into fisticuffs with Pym, making Namor suddenly stop and head toward New York. Henry attempts to follow after him but the flames block his path. Pym then orders Janet to change into the Wasp and she heads toward New York to try and catch up with Namor.[volume & issue needed] Meanwhile, Namor has arrived at the Puppet Master's lair and he orders the Sub-Mariner to go out and steal more money from a nearby bank before he uses his new slave to exact revenge against his foes. After knocking out a bored security guard, Namor attempts to break open the bank fault. However he has been weakened from being out of the water too long and starts a small fire so that the fire sprinklers turn on. With renewed strength,Prince Namor rips the bank vault off its hinges and grabs a number of bonds. When the Puppet Master realizes that Namor didn't steal cash money, he sends the Sub-Mariner back to get it.[volume & issue needed] Upon his arrival back at the scene of the crime he finds that the military has been called in and they surround him with guns raised. The Puppet Master orders Prince Namor The Sub-Mariner to battle them to the death or die trying.[volume & issue needed]
While returning to a bank he just broken into by orders of the Puppet Master, the Sub-Mariner finds himself surrounded by the military who have come out searching for him following the break-in. Swatting the soldiers away from a lamp post Namor climbs up the side of a building. There the soldiers open fire on him striking his shoulder. In anger the prince of Atlantis then throws an entire billboard down on the soldiers before and escapes.[volume & issue needed] Wounded, Namor makes his way to the George Washington Bridge where he dives back into the water. While back in Atlantis, Lady Dorma and Lord Vashti wait for Namor's return. Matters become more pressing as the Behemoth finally breaks free from its years-long imprisonment beneath Atlantis and is now rampaging through the underwater kingdom. Dorma goes out to find Namor and finds him cresting the water below the bridge, checking on him he tells her that there is something wrong with his mind, and by force of will alone causes the Puppet Master's puppet of him to suddenly explode, freeing him from the villain's control.[volume & issue needed] The whole situation has been monitored by the exiled Warlord Krang who decides to seek out the Puppet Master. Arriving at the Puppet Master's lair, Krang forces him to begin constructing a puppet of the Behemoth so that Krang might use it to destroy his hated enemy the Sub-Mariner. Namor and Dorma meanwhile arrive just outside Atlantis where they find the Behemoth waiting for them.[volume & issue needed] This story is continued next issue... Returning to Atlantis, Lady Dorma and the Sub-Mariner find themselves confronted by the Behemoth, a giant creature that has broken free from its prison below Atlantis and is now on a rampage through the ocean. Unknown to them the creature is under the control of exiled Warlord Krang who is using a puppet created by the Puppet Master to control the beast. Namor sends Dorma ahead to Atlantis while he battles the monster.[volume & issue needed] As the Sub-Mariner struggles in battle against the Behemoth, the puling Puppet Master reminds Krang that he would allow him to go unharmed if he gave him a puppet to control the creature. Finding the Puppet Master beneath him, Krang angrily dismisses him. This proves to be his undoing as at that moment Namor summons electric eels to shot the Behemoth. This shock transfers back to the doll, causing a jolt of electricity that makes Krang drop the puppet breaking it and relinquishing his control over the gargantuan beast.[volume & issue needed] While the Behemoth is distracted, Namor swims around the creature as fast as possible, luring it to the Quagmire of Doom where the monster sinks to its apparent demise. As the Sub-Mariner heads back to his kingdom, Krang arrives there before him and confronts Lady Dorma. Showing her the useless puppet of the Behemoth, he bluffs her into believing that he is still in full control of the creature and that if she wishes Namor to live, she is to leave with him to get married at once. Not wishing harm to come to her true love, Dorma agrees and leaves.[volume & issue needed] Before going she contacts Lord Vashti to tell him that she is leaving to marry Warlord Krang, but doesn't explain why and terminates the video call. This leaves Vashti to tell Namor the bad news when he arrives from his successful battle against the Behemoth.[volume & issue needed] Namor is furious at the news that Lady Dorma has gone off to marry the exiled Warlord Krang, unaware of the fact that she has been blackmailed to do so, left to believe that Krang has control over the Behemoth creature, unaware that Namor had recently defeated the creature. Lord Vashti tries to talk sense into Namor, attempting to get him to realize that she must have had a reason to go with Krang. the Sub-Mariner however is too furious to listen to any of Vashti's advice.[volume & issue needed]
His anger getting the better of him, Namor decrees that to speak Lady Dorma's name is forbidden and then has one of her known living relatives to be locked away in the dungeon for nothing more than being related to Lady Dorma. Vashti becomes more concerned as Namor completely loses his temper, making the elderly adviser wonder if this will spell the end of Atlantis. The Sub-Mariner attempts to calm his rage by using his strength to smash things but cannot shake his desire for vengeance. Deciding that he must have it, he attempts to track Krang's submarine but finds not trace, instead ordering his armies to go out and seek and destroy Lord Krang on sight.[volume & issue needed]
Warlord Krang has managed to block the detecting rays of Atlantis' Observa-Coils with a special blocking device. Deciding that they need to retreat to the surface, Krang and Droma expose themselves to a special gas that allows them to breath outside of water and head to the surface, giving away their cover. Learning that Dorma and Krang intend to go to the surface world, the Sub-Mariner races after them in the hopes of getting the vengeance he believes the deserves.[volume & issue needed] The Sub-Mariner has come to seek revenge against Iron Man for interfering in his quest to get revenge on Lady Dorma for leaving him to marry Warlord Krang. Their fight has taken them outside of Stark Industries manufacturing plant where the two duke it out. With his power supply running low, Iron Man soon begins to lose the struggle until he manages to have the Sub-Mariner lead the fight to a nearby recharging receptacle and recharges his armor to full power.[volume & issue needed]
This allows Iron Man to gain the upper-hand against the unsuspecting Sub-Mariner. As the battle rages on, police arrive on the scene and prepare to attack. Noticing this move, the Sub-Mariner turns his aggressions on them, sending the officers at bay. While shouting threats warning the officers from striking him again, Namor is distracted long enough for Iron Man to recover and jump the Atlantean prince from behind.[volume & issue needed]
As Namor and Iron Man struggle, the monarch's keen eyesight allows him to spot Warlord Krang's submarine out at sea. Breaking off from the fight the Sub-Mariner dives back into the ocean and swims after his hated enemy Warlord Krang. With the battle over, Iron Man leaves the scene as well.[volume & issue needed]
Returning to his home and changing out of his armor, Tony Stark ponders over if he has the right to keep the secret of Iron Man's armor from the government when the technology could be vital for the American governments vital interests. He decides that it is time to call Senator Byrd and sort things out once and for all.[volume & issue needed]
Namor Mackenzie returned to Atlantis to marry his royal cousin, Lady Dorma. In Sub-Mariner #37 (May 1971), the evil princess Llyra of Lemuria, another undersea culture, kidnapped and replaced Dorma at the wedding, hoping to usurp Namor's kingdom. Though Namor's marriage to Dorma was still official, she died as a result of Llyra's machinations. Namor quickly went through another trauma in issues #43-44 (Nov.-Dec. 1971) when he finally met his father, long thought dead, only to lose him when McKenzie gave his life in battle against the supervillain Tiger Shark.
Namor allied 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 joined the superhero team the Avengers. He was briefly married to Marrina, an aquatic alien and a member of the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight. She was later presumed killed, but she was later revealed to be in a coma, of which Namor is unaware.
Father-daughter oceanographers Caleb and Carrie Alexander, theorizing that Namor's propensity toward rage was due to his half-human half-Atlantean blood chemistry, equipped Namor with a monitor to warn when Namor had to seek either air or water. This allowed Namor to control his metabolism. In his 1990-1995 series Namor, the Sub-Mariner, he collected sunken treasures to finance his secret purchase of a corporation he renamed Oracle Inc., which he turned to conservation and environmental purposes. Later, Namor lost his ankle-wings during a battle with the animated garbage-monster Sluj, but they were later restored.[volume & issue needed] While continuing his business endeavors, Namor traveled to the dimension of K'un-L'un, where he found and brought back the superhero Iron Fist, who had been presumed dead for many months. He reunited with his mother, Fen, who died defending her son from an attack.[volume & issue needed] Namor once again ruled Atlantis, and Oracle began sponsoring the charitable super-group Heroes for Hire.
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.
When the X-Men relocated to Utopia off the coast of San Francisco, Namor decided to assist them due to his sympathy with their status as outsiders. As a result, he sided 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 was fractured between himself, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus and Magik. Captain America attempted to arrange a meeting of the Illuminati to talk with Namor, but the rest of the group left before Namor arrived, and Namor refused to stand down when Rogers tried to appeal to him. He was eventually defeated by a mass attack from the Avengers when he attacked Wakanda, becoming the first of the Phoenix Five to fall.
|This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (October 2011)|
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's a hybrid of human and Atlantean DNA, his ability to fly can't be explained by either side (Atlanteans are an off-shoot 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 #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 possesses wings on his ankles to which he attributes his power of flight. On occasions when they have been lost or badly damaged, he has experienced a loss of flying ability. He could not fly as a child, and the power only manifested when the wings developed in adolescence.
Namor has the ability to swim at superhuman speeds, even by Atlantean standards.
Namor has greater longevity than a normal human being. He is well over 90 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.
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."
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. 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.
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". and artists such as Salvador Larroca have drawn him with gill slits on either side of his neck. 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.
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. 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.
Namor was educated by the royal tutors of the Atlantean court, and speaks English, Atlantean, and Lemurian. He is a highly skilled business executive.
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 telepathic 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.
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 in 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. Later writers in the 1960s and 1970s described him as a hybrid, not a mutant, in order to distinguish him from the mutant X-Men. 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.
Namor has joined forces with the X-Men. He claims to have done so out of respect for Scott Summers and because "while there are some who would stand with the many against the few, Namor will never be among them".
In the Marvel Noir reality, Namor is a Captain of a ship named "Dorma". 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.
In May 1939, Namor was hired by Stark in finding 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.
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 Infinty.
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.
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.
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.
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. Because Bensaylum is not underwater, its inhabitants are portrayed as basically human although they retain the pointed ears.
Namor assisted Doctor Doom, Hulk, Magneto, Red Skull, and Ultron in a plot to take over New York.
To follow up on Scarlet Witch's alteration of reality, Namor was considered the "first mutant" in the reality that she created under Quicksilver's approval. He represented Atlantis when he was meeting with Magneto.[volume & issue needed]
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.
On September 13, 2006, Universal Pictures announced that director Jonathan Mostow was attached to rewrite and direct Marvel Studios' The Sub-Mariner. Kevin Misher would produce the film through his company, Misher Films, along with Marvel Studios. The screenplay had initially been written by David Self. In 2012, Marvel CCO Joe Quesada thought Namor's film rights had reverted to Marvel, but it was later revealed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige in August 2013 that this was not the case, and the rights remained at Universal Pictures.
Namor was listed as the 88th greatest comic book character by Wizard magazine. 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."
|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|
|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 Visonaries - 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|
|Namor: The First Mutant||1||Namor: The First Mutant #1-6||144||February 2011||9780785151746|
|2||Namor: The First Mutant #5-11||160||September 2011||9780785151760|