SUB-MARINER: Page 4 of 19

Publication Date: 9th Nov 2022
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Dean Clayton.

Biography - Page 4

Namor wandered the bowery of New York for decades, his noble Atlantean features hidden behind a thick beard and layers of dirt and grime. His great strength was still evident, and well known among the residents of the flophouses where he lay his head. When Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four visited one of the houses, the homeless men antagonized Namor into demonstrating his power. Johnny stepped in on behalf of Namor and used his pinpoint flame to burn away Namor's beard and long hair, revealing the true Sub-Mariner underneath. Thinking quickly, Johnny decided a dunk in the ocean would restore Namor's memories and proceeded to do just that.

Johnny's gambit was an unfortunate success. As his amnesia lifted, the first thing Namor did was speed away to find Atlantis, only to find its closest colony devastated and empty. His mind still clouded by amnesia, Namor remembered only that surface dwellers were responsible for Atlantis's fall. Filled with rage at the humans for destroying his home, Namor returned to Manhattan and confronted the Human Torch, declaring war on humanity once again. He used the Horn of Proteus to summon the beast Giganto, whose incredible mass drew immense flooding through the streets of New York. Namor and Giganto continued their attack until Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl, got close enough to steal the horn and call off the beast. Namor caught the young woman despite her power, and shocked her back to visibility. Instantly smitten, Namor offered to end his attacks on the surface world if Sue agreed to be his bride. Naturally, Reed Richards and the other members of the Fantastic Four leapt to Sue's defense, but the Invisible Girl was willing to sacrifice herself for the city. Namor balked at the idea, though, for he saw his proposal as an honor, not some horrible price to pay. In his anger, Namor was temporarily driven off by the Human Torch. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #4]

Namor's love for the Invisible Girl momentarily quelled his need for revenge against the surface world, and so instead he began searching the oceans for signs of his remaining people. Still, he allowed Doctor Doom to rekindle his wrath and joined the Latverian in an alliance against the Fantastic Four, so long as Doom promised Sue Storm wouldn't be harmed. At Doom's direction, Namor flew a magnetic grappler into the Baxter Building and then distracted the Fantastic Four from its presence. Unknown to Namor, however, Doom intended to eliminate both Namor and the FF as potential threats. The grappler allowed Doom's spacecraft to lift the entire Baxter Building off its foundations and transport it into space, where he intended to hurl the building into the sun. Forced into an alliance with the Four this time, Namor launched himself at Doom's craft and expelled the Latverian before returning the Baxter Building to its foundations on Earth. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #6]

When the Fantastic Four went bankrupt after Reed Richards played some bad stocks, Namor saw the opportunity for some amusement. Seizing the treasures of the deep, he bought out a Hollywood studio and renamed it S.M. Studios in his honor. Namor offered the FF a million dollars to star in a movie of their exploits. In fact, the "script" called for a series of death-traps to occupy Mister Fantastic, the Thing and the Human Torch while Namor wooed the Invisible Girl. Despite her affection for Namor, Sue remained loyal to Reed and her teammates when she learned his true intentions, and delayed Namor long enough for the others to escape. Sue then insisted Namor honor his bargain and the Sea King reluctantly paid the Four in full for their work. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #9]

In time, Prince Namor found his remaining people. The Atlanteans had returned to a previous colony in the North Atlantic and were overjoyed by the return of their prince...for the most part. Byrrah had assumed the role of Acting Emperor with the support of Warlord Krang with King Thakorr and Princess Fen dead in the Antarctic attacks. When he first saw Namor's approach, he ordered the military to fire on the prince before they recognized him. Once Namor was close enough to be identified, the army lay down arms and Byrrah was forced to welcome his royal cousin. As Lord Seth explained all that had happened in Namor's absence, Byrrah slunk away, abandoning his inferior claim to the throne. [Saga of the Sub-Mariner #7]

The prodigal prince was soon crowned Namor the First, Prince of Atlantis, Emperor of the Deep, Lord of the Seven Seas and Commander of the Undersea Legions. Namor's return was not universally cheered, however -- Warlord Krang had been engaged to marry the distant royal bloodline of Lady Dorma, and intended to ascend to the monarch-less throne of Atlantis in the absence of Thakorr's heir. With Namor back in Atlantis, Krang not only lost his chance at being king, but Lady Dorma ended their engagement on the spot to eagerly resume her role as royal consort to the Sub-Mariner.

With an army at his beck and call again, the Sub-Mariner prepared for all-out war with the surface world. He launched an attack on the island of Manhattan and his troops quickly corralled most of the population. After observing the troopers armor and helmets, however, Mister Fantastic correctly deduced that only Namor could last out of water for extended periods. He and the Fantastic Four constructed an evaporation ray which eliminated the water in the Atlantean soldiers' helmets, forcing the breathless troops to immediately flee back to the ocean. Furious at the setback, Namor captured the Invisible Girl as he departed.

The Fantastic Four chased Namor to rescue their teammate, and engaged the king and his royal forces out over open water. Back in the royal cruiser, however, Lady Dorma grew enraged at the affection Namor showed for the surface girl Sue Storm and cracked open the porthole, sending the rope-tied Sue to drift helpless on the ocean floor. Namor and the Four noticed Sue's plight and stopped fighting to rescue her. When it was clear the nearly-drowned Invisible Girl needed medical attention, Namor ordered Lady Dorma and the other Atlanteans out of his cruiser to achieve maximum speed to the surface hospitals. Once Sue was being cared for, however, Namor returned to Atlantis to find his people had abandoned him, for he put the life of a surface girl ahead of Atlantis. Namor was alone once more. [Fantastic Four (1st series) Annual #1]

The enraged Namor sought renewed hostilities with the surface world and propositioned the renegade Hulk for an alliance. Namor and the Hulk joined forces against the Hulk's former teammates the Avengers, for Namor also saw the powerful surface dwellers as a potential threat to his rule. However, their alliance didn't survive the Hulk's temper and Namor was driven into retreat by the Avengers.

Furious and alone, Namor strayed across a group of Inuit fishermen who worshipped a frozen man as an idol. Lashing out because of his defeat, Namor scattered the men and defiantly tossed their idol into the sea, cursing himself almost immediately afterwards for his pettiness. 

(It would be several years before Namor learned his actions that day were responsible for thawing the "idol" and bringing Steve Rogers, Captain America, back to the modern era.)

Namor struck again at the Avengers through a shipwrecked D'Bari alien, and was rejoined by Lord Seth and a cadre of Atlantean troopers who were willing to stand by his side despite the incident with the Invisible Girl. Even these allies were not enough against the Avengers, though, especially after they added Captain America to their ranks. [Avengers (1st series) #3-4]

At first, the two old comrades didn’t recognize each other. The Captain’s recent de-thawing had left his memories hazy, and Namor’s own mind was little better. After visiting Bucky’s grave and finding Atlantean flowers at the tombstone, though, Steve remembered Namor. He chartered a boat and floated over the site of Atlantis with flashing bulbs until Namor came to investigate. The two men embraced as the old friends they were and reflected upon their shared losses. Although they recognized they walked different paths for now, both men swore to always be true to their brotherhood as Invaders. [Invaders (3rd series) #11]

[Note: Because the Invaders were a retroactive creation from the 70's, Namor and Captain America did not have a long established history when they first met in Avengers. Future stories would establish that Namor's shaky memory and amnesia, along with the shellshock Cap was experiencing from his own recent revival, were responsible for their initial unfamiliarity.]

Despite his intention to reclaim his throne, Namor could not shake Sue Storm from his thoughts. On impulse, he returned to Manhattan and kidnapped her from the Baxter Building, demanding 24 hours to plead his feelings for her. Reed Richards was driven into such a fury by Sue's kidnapping (while he was out buying her wedding ring to propose, even), that Ben and Johnny actually recruited Doctor Strange to get them to Namor first before Reed lost it. Namor and Reed ended up battling tooth-and-nail while the other heroes diverted Namor's guards from intervening. Eventually, it was Sue Storm who ended the fighting by declaring her feelings for Reed over Namor. Doctor Strange wisely teleported the Fantastic Four from Namor's sanctuary before the livid sea-king had the chance to respond to this rejection. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #27]

The furious Namor found the chance for revenge against the surface world when Magneto invited him to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants against humanity. The imperious Namor was difficult to deal with, so Magneto tried to ease his cooperation with the beautiful Scarlet Witch. Professor Xavier and the X-Men were aware of Magneto's plot, however, and tried to stop him from forging an alliance with Namor. The Sub-Mariner and the Brotherhood opposed the X-Men together until Namor saw how poorly Magneto treated the Scarlet Witch, and his sense of chivalry led him to abandon the Master of Magnetism. Namor helped Wanda ensure her brother Quicksilver was safe from the X-Men and then departed, inwardly concerned about developing too strong an affection for another surface girl after Sue Storm. [X-Men (1st series) #6]

Eventually, Namor was welcomed back to the throne by the Atlantean people, just in time to confront the Sharkan barbarian known as Attuma and his ruthless hordes. Although Attuma was a dangerous foe, Lady Dorma proved equally dangerous when mistreated. After cruelly dismissing Dorma's feelings in time of battle, Namor earned her momentary wrath. Dorma called away guards from a key battlement, allowing the barbarian hordes to enter the city. Realizing her mistake, Dorma flew to New York where she begged the Fantastic Four to come to Namor's aid. They did so but, in deference to Namor's ego, fought in secret against the Sharkans. Namor defeated Attuma in combat and drove off his warriors, never learning of the Fantastic Four's assistance. Still, he did discover Dorma's actions and forgave her for her matters of the heart. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #33]

Warlord Krang naturally sought war with the surface world after their past misdeeds, but Namor desired peace. To pursue his people's needs peacefully, Namor decided to sue the surface world in their own courts, and traveled to Manhattan to find attorneys for his cause. At the firm of Nelson and Murdock, Namor explained his wishes. Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson were taken aback by their new client, but retained their composure and explained there was no single body representing the surface world they could sue in his name, even if they had a true cause of action to explore. Namor was insistent, however, and decided the best way to ensure his day in court was to go on a rampage through Manhattan, after which he was certain to be brought before the human courts. After a struggle involving Daredevil, the NYPD and the National Guard, Namor finally surrendered and allowed himself to be brought in.

Nelson and Murdock appeared on Prince Namor's behalf, and expressed his intent to file a counter-action against the system on behalf of Atlantis. Namor had little patience for the opposing counsel's objections or legal bureaucracy, however, and quickly angered the judge with his royal demeanor. A hearing on the merits of his case was delayed for several days while Namor was to be held in custody. Matters became even more serious when Lady Dorma arrived and informed Namor that Krang had used his absence from the realm to seize the throne of Atlantis. Infuriated, Namor broke out of jail against the advice of his counsel and began stomping back towards the seas, tearing through all opposition in his path. Daredevil attempted to prevent Namor from causing harm to anymore and fought to protect his city until finally passing out due to the injuries he sustained. In a moment of clarity, Namor recognized Daredevil's valor in defense of his people, and flew around the last few battalions of the National Guard instead of going through them, returning peacefully to the seas. [Daredevil (1st series) #7]

Back in Atlantis, Namor was seized by soldiers loyal to Warlord Krang and imprisoned. He was soon freed by Lady Dorma, but saw no way to reclaim his throne from the armies of Krang without great loss of life. However, Namor recalled a legend from the time when Father Neptune ruled Atlantis as a king instead of as a god. When he stepped down from the throne, Neptune promised that, if the throne was ever in peril, the true heir of Atlantis could undertake his quest and retrieve the Trident of Neptune, proving his merits to the people. Namor decided to begin Neptune's Quest in order to redeem himself in the eyes of Atlantis' people, hoping for a bloodless counter-coup against Krang. He was urged on his way by Vashti, an elder from the outskirts of Atlantis who saw Namor's escape and encouraged he do all he could to regain the throne.

In search of the Trident, Namor began at the Cave of Shadows, where he overcame the monstrous squid Neptune left to guard the first leg of the quest. From there, he moved on to battle the Seaweed Man of the hidden, forbidden deep and outwitted the Demon of the Diamonds who guarded the Diamonds of Doom. Krang dogged him every step of the way, despite the ceremonial law that none could help or hinder a voyager on Neptune's Quest. In the meantime, Krang also had Dorma kidnapped and sent to face her death in the lair of the Faceless Ones. When he learned of Dorma's plight, Namor was stricken, for it was written that abandoning Neptune's Quest once it had begun was the same as failing it. Nevertheless, Namor's heart compelled him to rescue Dorma from the Faceless Ones' wrath. Father Neptune then spoke to Namor and asked him if he had truly abandoned the quest for this woman. Namor admitted his failure, only for Neptune to correct him that it was no failure at all. Namor's heart and honesty were as important to a ruler as courage and cunning, and so Neptune declared the quest at an end and revealed the Trident, marking Namor as his one, true heir. Trident in hand, Namor returned to Atlantis and rallied the people to his name. He then exiled Krang from the borders of Atlantis, forcing the former warlord to wander alone in the depths, and named Vashti as Lord Vashti of the Atlantean Council of Elders and chief advisor to the crown. [Tales to Astonish #70-76]

Atlantis was soon threatened by undersea drilling being carried out by the surface world. With his kingdom in crisis, Namor rose to the surface to stop the drilling from causing further damage to Atlantis. Namor was too late, though -- the undersea quakes soon unleashed an Atlantean doomsday weapon called the Behemoth (with a little help from Krang), leading the uncontrollable monster to threaten the people of Atlantis. Despite Lady Dorma's fears, Namor confronted the Behemoth alone. The beast was given a supernatural cunning thanks to Warlord Krang directing its actions from afar. Namor defeated the Behemoth but, before word of his success could reach Atlantis, Krang raced to Lady Dorma's side and promised not to kill Namor with the creature if she consented to be his wife. Believing her prince was still in danger, Dorma reluctantly agreed and departed Atlantis with Krang before Namor's return. Lord Vashti was left to explain her departure to Namor, whose broken heart led him to conclude Dorma was a deliberate traitor to him and the realm. [Tales to Astonish #77-80]