Namor the Sub-Mariner
Prince Namor. Cover art for Sub-Mariner #1 (2007 limited series), by Michael Turner
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939)
Created by Bill Everett (writer & artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Namor McKenzie
Species Atlantean/Human hybrid mutant
Place of origin Atlantis
Team affiliations Invaders
All-Winners Squad
Deep Six
The Cabal
Dark X-Men
The Order
Oracle, Inc.
Notable aliases Namor the First, the Avenging Son, Imperius Rex, the Sub-Mariner
Abilities Aquatic adaptation, Superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability and longevity

Namor the Sub-Mariner is a fictional comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe, and one of the first superheroes, debuting in Spring 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".[1] Everett came up with "Namor" by writing down noble sounding names backwards and thought Roman/Namor looked the best. [2]

The mutant son of a human sea captain and of 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, Fantastic Four, the Invaders, and the X-Men as well as serving as a foil to all of them on occasion.


Publication history

Golden Age

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 Everett used the character for Marvel Comics #1, the first comic book by Funnies, Inc. client Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel.[3] 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).

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

In his first appearances Namor was an enemy of America. Everett's antihero would eventually battle Carl Burgos' android superhero, the Human Torch; however, as the U.S. entered the Second World War, Namor would ally himself with the Torch and the allies against Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers. Other friends included Betty Dean, a New York 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 not long after the end of World War II and the decline in popularity of superhero comics. He also 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. Some issues of the 1975-1979 series The Invaders reprinted Golden Age Sub-Mariner stories.

The Sub-Mariner experienced a brief revival in the mid-1950s, starting with Young Men #24 (which also briefly revived Captain America and the original Human Torch) and then in Sub-Mariner Comics #33-42 (April 1954 - Oct. 1955). During this time, Namora had her own spin-off series.

Silver Age and after

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.[4] 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 also showing a great deal of noblesse oblige to individuals."[5]

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. After various early guest-appearances — including in Daredevil #7 (April 1965), a rare superhero story drawn by comics great Wally Wood — Namor receives his own 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, "Imperious rex!"

He was spun off into his own title, the 1968-74 series The Sub-Mariner.Some of the later issues of this 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."[6]

Following a four-issue miniseries a decade later, Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner (Sept.-Dec. 1984), by co-writers Bob Budiansky and J. M. DeMatteis and art by penciler Budiansky and inker Danny Bulanadi, 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 through mystical means he was forced to ally 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.


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, however, 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. (It was later established[where?] that by this point he went by the name "Macin".)[citation needed] 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 & 14 (Sept. & 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)[7]

Sub-Mariner #67 (Nov. 1973), introducing the short-lived mid-'70s costume. Cover art by John Romita & Mike Esposito.

Namor eventually called off his vendetta[volume & issue needed] and 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 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.

After being deposed from his throne, Namor joined the superhero team the Avengers and was compelled to ally himself with the "non-team" the Defenders (initially in Marvel Feature #1-3, Dec. 1971 - June 1972, then in the series The Defenders). He was briefly married to Marrina,[volume & issue needed] an aquatic alien and a member of the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight. She was later presumed killed,[volume & issue needed] but she was later revealed to be in a coma,[volume & issue needed] 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,[volume & issue needed] 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.[volume & issue needed]

In a retcon 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 supervillian Nitro.

Powers and abilities

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. The exact limit of his speed is unverified, but must at least be an excess of 70 knots.

Namor has greater longevity than a normal human being. He is well over 80 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.

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. However, 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 Namors 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."[8]

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.[9] 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 also 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.[10]

Some stories have mentioned that Namor has gills for breathing underwater,[11] and artists such as Salvador Larroca have drawn him with gill slits on either side of his neck.[12] 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; however this is more a sense of regal noblesse oblige rather than snobbishness.

Namor was given possession of the Time Gem.[13] This gem allows the user total control over the past, present, and future. It also allows time travel, can age and de-age beings, and can also 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.[14]

Namor was educated by the royal tutors of the Atlantean court, and speaks English, Atlantean, and Lemurian. He is a highly skilled business executive.

Formerly depicted abilities

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 also manifests the power to inflate his body like a puffer fish. These extra powers were ignored, however, 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 also 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, however, 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 his first battle against the original Human Torch, Namor twice spouted water from his body in a manner explicitly likened to a sprinkler system.[volume & issue needed]

"Marvel's First Mutant"

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. However, he is not the oldest mutant in the fictional Marvel Universe timeline. A number of mutants predate him, including Apocalypse (born in the 30th century BC), Selene (active since at least 10,000 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.[15] 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, his strength (which is several times that of an Atlantean), and other seldom seen (since the early 1960s) abilities including electricity generation, radar sense, and telepathic rapport with marine life.

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.


  • 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 although. In recent years, 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 as 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 died in a battle with Namor.
  • Fathom Five - Led by Llyron, the son of Namor's enemy Llyra and supposedly Namor himself (later, we instead learn Namor's half-brother) 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. However, 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 his repeatedly, in time becoming high priestess of Set.
  • Magneto - Sometimes allies as enemies, Magneto 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.
  • 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 Dr. 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 Dr. 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 Dr. 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


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.

Ultimate Namor

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.

Namor reappears at the end of issue 55, rescuing an unconscious Sue after she was attacked by the Ultimate version of the Salem Seven.

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.


In the Marvel 1602 limited series Fantastick Four, Namor is reinvented as Numenor, Emperor of Bensaylum, a city beyond the edge of the world. 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, however, 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. However, 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.[16]

Marvel Zombies

Namor can be seen as a zombie who is attacking Black Bolt. He is later killed in battle when the Marvel Zombies try to attack and devour the Silver Surfer who manages to kill the zombified Namor in the ensuing crossfire.[volume & issue needed] However, a zombified Namor appears in an alternative zombified Marvel Universe in Marvel Zombies Return as one of the few surviving zombies.[volume & issue needed]

House of M

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.


In Exiles issues 14 & 15, Namor appears as a king who has taken over Latveria.[17] Another version of Namor is black and is married to Sue Storm and has a son Remy.[18]

Earth X

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.[19]

Earth 9602 (Amalgam Comics)

Namor is combined with DC comics King of Atlantis, Aquaman to create Aqua Mariner.[volume & issue needed]


A Namor from another time appears with the three original Defenders to battle the forces of the Red Hulk and his Offenders, due to a bet made by the Elders of the Universe.[20]

In other media


  • In the 1950s, a television series was planned starring Richard Egan, but it never went into production.[21] 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.[22]
  • The Sub-Mariner, along with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk, had his own segment in the 1960s animated series The Marvel Super Heroes.
  • Sub-Mariner appeared in the Spider-Man episode "Wrath of the Sub-Mariner", attacking New York in response to pollution caused by The Kingpin.


On September 13, 2006, Universal Pictures announced that director Jonathan Mostow was attached to rewrite and direct Marvel Studios' Sub-Mariner. Kevin Misher is producing through his Misher Films, along with Marvel Studios. The screenplay had initially been written by David Self.[23][24]

Video games


Namor was listed as the 88th greatest comic book character by Wizard magazine. [25] IGN also 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.[26]


  1. ^ Peter Sanderson (1996). Marvel Universe. Virgin Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85227-646-0.
  2. ^ Giant-Size Super-Stars Vol. 1, #1 Marvel Comics (1974)
  3. ^ "Okay, Axis, Here We Come!" The Invaders #20 (Sept. 1977).
  4. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 17–18. ISBN 1-14653-141-6. 
  5. ^ Benton, Mike (1991). Superhero Comics of the Silver Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 98. ISBN 978-0878337460. 
  6. ^ Benton, p. 100
  7. ^ [ Sub-Mariner (character) at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ The Invaders no. 35 (Dec. 1978), letters page
  9. ^ Hulk & Submariner '97
  10. ^ Incredible Hulk Vol 1 #118
  11. ^ e.g., Namor #4-5 (1990); in the latter, Namor thinks "this New York river water burns my gills and scalds my lungs".
  12. ^ Namor vol. 2 (2002–2004)
  13. ^ New Avengers: Illuminati #2
  14. ^ Avengers Vol 4 #12
  15. ^ As explained in the letters page of Sub-Mariner #31 (Nov. 1970)
  16. ^ Fantastic Four: Big Town #1-4
  17. ^ Exiles #14-15
  18. ^ New Exiles # 2
  19. ^ Earth X #2
  20. ^ Hulk 10-12 (2009)
  21. ^ Tipton, Scott. "Under Pressure". Comics 101. May 12, 2004. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  22. ^ "Will Michael Phelps play "Namor the SubMariner" on film?". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  23. ^ Superherohype News (Sept. 13, 2006): "Jonathan Mostow to Helm Sub-Mariner", quoting Variety[dead link]
  24. ^ "(Sept. 14, 2006): "Jonathan Mostow to Helm Sub-Mariner", quoting ''Variety''". Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
  25. ^ "Wizard's top 200 characters. External link consists of a forum site summing up the top 200 characters of Wizard Magazine since the real site that contains the list is broken.". Wizard magazine.. Retrieved May 07, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Namor is number 77". IGN. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 

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