SUB-MARINER: Page 14 of 17

Publication Date: 14th Aug 2017
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Dean Clayton.


Running low on allies and options, Namor enacted a desperate play for attention. On the coast of San Francisco, Namor planted a series of devices which triggered a tsunami, bringing the deadly wave within a few yards of the shore and then holding it in abeyance. Having dramatically gotten the attention of the surface world, Namor emerged from the seas to negotiate on behalf of his scattered people. He deliberately presented himself to the Order of the California Initiative for custody, depriving Stark of the political victory of capturing Namor. The sea king hoped that, as a political prisoner of the United States, he would be able to do more for his people than as king of the refugees, wandering the globe. The Sub-Mariner conferred with Henry Hellrung, Anthem of the Order, while waiting for the Fantastic Four or someone else more important to show up and negotiate with. Hellrung surprised Namor, however, challenging his entitled sense of heroism and outmaneuvering him politically to force Namor into dropping his tsunami wall. When the Fantastic Four arrived, Namor announced publicly that Henry Hellrung had saved California. [The Order (2nd series) #6-7]

The Sub-Mariner received some unexpected new allies after the Skrull invasion. The attack crippled Iron Man and the Initiative in terms of resources and popularity, allowing Norman Osborn to rise to the top with his new Thunderbolts Initiative and replace S.H.I.E.L.D. with H.A.M.M.E.R. Norman reached out to Namor, along with Doctor Doom, Loki, the Hood and Emma Frost of the X-Men to create their own version of the Illuminati, dubbed the Cabal. One of Norman's first acts was to order Namor released from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, free to return to his people. [Uncanny X-Men Annual (2nd series) #2]Norman offered his resources to, among other things, restore Doom and Namor to their respective thrones. In exchange, these men and women of power would secretly shape the world to their benefit. Namor and Victor privately renewed their own personal alliance, agreeing to go along with Osborn until he inevitably self-destructed. They would reap the benefits of his "patronage" until it no longer suited them to be associated with the man. [Secret Invasion #8, Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1]

Namor also arranged for another secret alliance with Emma Frost. Unknown to all those present, the Sub-Mariner had met the White Queen years ago when Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club attempted to recruit Namor as their White King. When Namor refused, Shaw had sent Emma to Atlantis to seduce Namor, then spitefully dispatched a squad of Sentinels to attack the undersea country when Emma didn't return to him immediately. Shaw earned Namor's undying wrath that day, but was too well protected for the sea king to reach him.

In the present, Emma offered Namor her telepathic protection to keep his thoughts secret while dealing with the Cabal. In exchange, Namor would enter into an alliance with the X-Men and mutantkind in general when the time was right, shielding them from Osborn or any other threats that came their way. As a signing bonus, Emma also offered to serve him Sebastian Shaw's head on a platter. Intrigued, Namor witnessed Frost do just that when she lured Sebastian to a club and then beheaded him with an axe. With that offering, Namor secretly dedicated himself to Frost and the X-Men's cause. And, despite her relationship with Cyclops, Namor made it clear he intended to bed Emma again, just as he had done in Atlantis years ago. (Unbeknownst to Namor, Emma's murder of Shaw was a telepathic illusion. She instead captured him and kept him a prisoner in the X-Brig, away from Namor's prying eyes.) [Uncanny X-Men Annual (2nd series) #2]

And so, Namor began playing both sides against the middle as he pursued Atlantis' goals above all else. He eagerly assisted Norman Osborn in hunting down the now-fugitive Tony Stark for his role in Atlantis' deconstruction. [Invincible Iron Man (1st series) #11-12] On the other hand, he also became an ally of Bucky Barnes, now the new Captain America, despite Osborn actively hunting the man. Bucky and "Subby" stopped a scheme by Professor Zhang Chin to harvest cells from the body of the original Human Torch, turning his incendiary physiology into a virus. Namor arranged for his oldest friend and rival to finally receive a hero's burial, instead of being used as a science experiment. [Captain America (5th series) #46-48] He also attended to the final remains of Captain America himself, a burial at sea in a glass coffin to preserve Steve's body away from any who would desecrate his remains for the Super-Soldier Serum. [Reborn #3]

The Sub-Mariner also interacted with the Agents of Atlas through his adopted cousin, Namora, who had been resurrected in recent months. While most of Namor's people remained scattered on the lands and seas, a collection of elders and statesmen were collected in the Pacific at the new colony of Oceanus. Atlas was trying to manipulate Osborn into seeing them as a criminal empire and Namor had no interest in informing his "partner" of their true motives. In fact, spurned on by Venus' song of love, Namor and Namora finally gave into the passion they had felt for each other since childhood. Namora's father had been adopted into the royal family, so there was no blood between them, but their engagements to Dorma and Talan had always kept them apart. The two sub-mariners even began planning a royal wedding, a union of strength that would express their love and provide a symbol for the scattered Atlantean people to rally around. However, revelations came out that Tulem of the Atlantean Elders had deliberately engineered Namora's birth as part of a eugenics program to mate her with Namor and advance the Atlantean geneology with a race of sub-mariner hybrids. This revelation tainted their love, and Namor and Namora ended their engagement, unable to stomach advancing the Elder's agenda, even if their feelings were true. [Agents of Atlas (2nd series) #6-7]

Cracks began to show in the Cabal's alliance when Namor and Osborn clashed over an Atlantean terrorist cell that attacked California. Osborn wanted Namor to stop the Atlantean rebels and publicly declare them terrorists in support of the American people. In response, Namor made it very clear to Osborn that he took no orders from the man and would govern the affairs of his people as he saw fit. Osborn therefore sent the Sentry to California, and Sentry killed all but one of the Atlanteans in minutes as he quelled the attack. Namor vanished from the Cabal meetings after that. [Dark Avengers (1st series) #6]

At Emma Frost's request, Norman Osborn had left the mutants off his agenda when the X-Men relocated most of their surviving people to San Francisco, California. A conflict with the anti-mutant political activist Simon Trask, however, led to public demonstrations, rioting and civil unrest. Using this as a pretext, Osborn declared Emma had failed to manage her people and brought in his Avengers and H.A.M.M.E.R. to institute martial law in San Francisco. Osborn intended to paint the mutant riots as the failures of Cyclops as X-Men leader, and worked with Emma to create his own team of official X-Men to supplant Cyclops's followers. While the initial roster was assembled by Osborn alone, Emma brought her own addition to the team's dynamic: Namor, Prince of Atlantis, the first mutant.

Emma, Namor and the "Dark X-Men" were politically opposed to Cyclops' X-Men at first. Although they didn't clash directly, Osborn's martial law kept the X-Men off the streets while HIS Avengers and X-Men dealt with Trask and kept the peace. Furthermore, Osborn used the shape-changer Mystique to pose as Charles Xavier, denouncing Cyclops while throwing "his" support behind Osborn. Once Cyclops was ready, however, his teams rescued the various X-Men and mutants Osborn had arrested or "disappeared" in the past week while Emma and Namor led several defections from the Dark X-Men to join Cyclops. The X-Men had risen Asteroid M from the depths as a newly established mutant homeland Utopia in international waters off the coast of San Francisco. Osborn was furious at having been played by his allies, but Namor and the X-Men stood united against Osborn's people, and H.A.M.M.E.R. was forced to withdraw. [Utopia crossover]

To seek revenge on Namor, Norman Osborn uncovered the long missing Marrina and mutated her further, restoring her Leviathan form and making her a creature of pure instinct, driven to feed solely on Atlantean blood. Several nomadic settlements were attacked before Namor reluctantly sought the aid of the X-Men. The Atlantean people were brought to Utopia as a lure, and Namor then killed the Leviathan again. He returned the head of the sea monster to Osborn in Avengers Tower, as a reminder of what he would do to those who opposed him in the future. [Dark Reign: The List -- X-Men #1] As their alliance became more solid, Namor became part of Cyclops' council of advisors on Utopia. The mutant race fought to establish ties to the mainland for food and supplies, while also shoring up the unstable space station turned makeshift island. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #515]

Magneto had come to Utopia to pledge himself to the new mutant leader, Cyclops, and renewed his association with Namor. The two old allies and enemies came to an agreement for their mutual benefit. A central pillar would be established under Utopia, supporting the island down to the sea floor. This pillar would also act as a hub for a new underwater colony of New Atlantis. Utopia and Atlantis would support each other and a mutually beneficial alliance between their leaders would now extend to the people as well. The idea was a success, improved upon by the engineering assistance of the X-Club fringe science team and Atlantean immigrants began arriving from all corners of the globe. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #519-522]

The X-Men wouldn't be themselves without being constantly under attack, however, and Namor's early tenure with the group was no exception. He stood in defense of Utopia when it was attacked by techno-organic zombies resurrected by the true first mutant, Selene of the Hellfire Club. [Necrosha crossover] When the mutant messiah child Hope returned from the future, the X-Men immediately went on war footing. Cyclops established Sub-Mariner as Utopia's rear guard while search teams set out to retrieve Hope. After the anti-mutant cyborg Bastion encased Utopia and most of San Francisco in an impenetrable sphere, Namor became the front line of defense as Nimrod Super-Sentinels from the future began to pour through a portal on the Golden Gate Bridge. Namor held the line until X-Force stopped the Sentinel manufacturing Master Mold in the future, and the war for Hope concluded. Namor was steadfast in his dedication to the X-Men and the alliance. He even made a point of chiding Hank McCoy for abandoning the X-Men in their time of need, merely because of his personal falling out with Cyclops. A man who doesn't stand with his people, Namor stated, deserves none of his time or respect. [Second Coming crossover]

The Sub-Mariner continued his half-hearted flirtation with Emma Frost as Utopia rebuilt after the Sentinel attack. Although he remained confident he would one day claim her from Scott Summers, Namor seemed to be in no hurry to do so. In the meantime, New Atlantis underneath Utopia continued to grow. Returning civilians were also supplemented by returning military, including the reinstated Warlord Krang. Krang and his second, Selach, began testing Namor's limits, questioning his dedication to the X-Men while also pressing him to denounce Atlanteans who had yet to respond to New Atlantis's summons. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #527-528]

When Xarus, son of Dracula, killed his father and created a united Vampire Nation, he targeted the mutants of San Francisco as his first conquest. Utopia and New Atlantis came under attack from traditional vampires as well as a unique tribe of Atlantean vampires called the Aqueos. When the X-Men decided Dracula was preferable to Xarus, Cyclops instructed Namor to retrieve the head of Dracula. Namor sought word of the Aqueos' movements from Old Atlantis, only to learn his loyal General Kadar had been brutalized when the Aqueos entered the catacombs and stole the Vault of Law, an enchanted chest empowered by the royal Logomancer that could only be opened by those of royal blood. With the military in disarray, Namor called upon a civilian militia known as the Tridents to assist him, including Husam and Husni, sons of the late Kadar, and Abira, Husam's lover. Inside Black Smoker's Trench, Husni was claimed by the Aqueos, but Dracula's head was recovered from inside the Vault of Law and returned to the X-Men for Cyclops' plan.

The Shallow Peace between Atlantis and Aqueos was violated by Namor's insertion into their territory, as the Aqueos highlord intended, and he led the Atlantean vampires to rise up against New Atlantis. Loa, one of the X-Men's students and an amateur Atlantean scholar, voiced the unpleasant truth Namor had been avoiding: Dracula's head was hidden in the Vault of Law by the Aqueos so that only he, of royal blood, could retrieve it. But who of royal blood opened the Vault to hide Dracula's head in the first place? Namor recognized his own grandfather, Thakorr, had been turned by the Aqueos vampires during the fall of old Atlantis and had become their highlord. In the absence of a greater military, Namor commandeered the Tridents again to help him deliver a ritual to repel the Aqueos. Husam died in order to kill his now-vampire brother Husni, but Abira remained at Namor's side. Royal blood was needed for the ritual, and so Namor drew from Thakorr, killing the Aqueos ruler and most of their population with a salt-based spell designed to dry and destroy their supernatural forms. The Shallow Peace was restored as the remaining Aqueos were consigned back into the murky dark. [X-Men (3rd series) #1-6, Namor: the First Mutant #1-4]

Namor's duties and responsibilities remained as complicated and varied as ever. The Illuminati were reunited by the threat of Parker Robbins attempting to reunite the Infinity Gems. The greater membership of the Avengers learned about the Illuminati for the first time during these events. Namor, Thor and the Red Hulk battled Robbins directly for control of the Gems, but it was ultimately Iron Man who claimed the full Infinity Gauntlet, defeated Robbins and seemingly wished the Gems out of existence. In fact, the Illuminati and the Gems continued to exist in secret, with Steve Rogers now added to their number as one of the Gem holders. [Avengers (4th series) #8-12]

Life with the X-Men kept Namor busy as well. A weaponized pathogen that targeted the X-Gene brought Namor low and forced him into quarantine on Utopia for a time. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #530-531] He also experienced the altered reality of the Age of X, where the surviving mutants of Earth held off anti-mutant armies for 1000 days, defending their single stronghold. In this reality, Namor and Ororo Munroe engaged in a romantic relationship. After David Haller reversed the effects of his reality-altering powers, the X-Men's psychics offered to remove the complicated and troubling memories of the Age of X from anyone who wished. Namor and Ororo both agreed to this mental cleansing, in order to maintain peace between Atlantis and Wakanda. [Age of X crossover]