SUB-MARINER: Page 5 of 19

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

Biography - Page 5

The fury of Namor would not be quenched until Krang and Dorma were brought to justice. However, his search for Krang's warship was interrupted when the warlord did battle with Iron Man and lost. The Golden Avenger drove Krang away just as Namor spotted his foe, infuriating Namor to no end that his vengeance had been delayed. Namor temporarily turned his rage on Iron Man and Stark Industries until once again pursuing Krang. [Tales to Astonish #81-82, Tales of Suspense #79-80]

Namor dealt with several more delays on his path to vengeance, as the Secret Empire's Number One attempted to redeem his organization by manipulating Namor into battle with the Incredible Hulk. Krang also used his warship to begin a series of tidal waves in New York City and, when Namor was spotted in the city limits, the authorities naturally assumed he was responsible for another attack on the surface world. Namor had to oppose the local police while searching for Krang, and then again when Krang and Dorma were captured as his "accomplices" and used to draw Namor into the open.

Ultimately, Namor retrieved his countrymen and brought them back to Atlantis for justice. Krang was allowed trial by combat to defend himself against Namor. Despite his use of an armored battle suit and electrified weapons, Krang failed to beat Namor and was again sent into exile. Dorma was finally given the opportunity to explain her actions, and Namor forgave her for the perceived slight. Out of respect for Lady Dorma and her love, Namor raised her up to become a citizen without peer in the realm, no longer required to bow in the presence of the monarchy. [Tales to Astonish #83-87]

Although he had been quiet for some time, Namor's cousin Byrrah had continued to scheme for the throne. He waited patiently, allowing Namor to assume his plotting was in the past while building the trust of the common people and establishing himself in Atlantis' defense industry. His long wait over, Byrrah finally struck, launching a series of public statements about Namor's alleged warmongering ways that threatened the sanctity of Atlantis. Backed by concealed hypnotic rays, Byrrah managed to sway large groups of the population into calling for a vote of no-confidence in Namor as a monarch. Although the people called for Byrrah to become the new ruler, he initially rejected their pleadings. When Namor took to the airwaves to defend himself, Byrrah seized on Namor's words as besmirching his honor and challenged him to a duel to redeem himself. Bound by the laws, Namor accepted the challenge but was beaten by trickery, thanks to the drugged weapons Byrrah had planted in the arena in advance. In defeat, Namor was on the verge of being ousted from his kingdom, while Byrrah made deals with Krang and Attuma to share power over the population. Fortunately, the suspicious Lady Dorma uncovered Byrrah's hypnotic rays and reversed the effects, allowing the population to think for themselves again. Namor returned to save Atlantis from the weapon unleashed by Krang and Attuma when Byrrah's spell ended, and the people of Atlantis reclaimed their chosen monarch. [Tales to Astonish #90-91]

Namor's enmity with the surface world was soon rekindled by underwater weapon testing near Atlantis. In short order, Namor confronted the Avengers over possession of the Cosmic Cube, battled a radioactive monster he mistakenly believed was a product of the US Navy and fought Gnome and Dragorr, deceitful rulers of a small surface nation. [Avengers (1st series) #40, Tales to Astonish #92-94] With the fires of his anger stoked, even peaceful intrusions under the seas enraged Namor. Scientist and oceanographer Walter Newell had constructed an early Hydropolis to study the ocean floor and preserve resources needed by both air-breathers and water-breathers, but Namor was in no mood for inter-species cooperation. Still, he fought against the Plunderer when the pirate attempted to murder and loot Newell's installation. For his part, Newell saved the life of Lady Dorma during the exchange, earning him Namor's begrudging respect. [Tales to Astonish #95]

These encounters placed the Sub-Mariner on a war-footing, ready to attack the entire surface world. Lady Dorma was unable to calm him, and so Lord Vashti merely directed Namor's rage towards the Plunderer, as the underwater pirate was a threat to Atlantis and the surface world alike. Although Namor agreed Plunderer was the imminent threat, this delay did little to calm him, for the Plunderer's sanctuary was on Skull Island, near the ruins of Old Atlantis in Antarctica. Namor stopped at his old home on the way to Skull Island and paid homage to the grave of his mother, Princess Fen, killed by explosions Namor believed were set by surface-dwellers.

In his encounter with the Plunderer, Namor was captured temporarily by the pirate. A scrambled video feed observed by Dorma and Vashti made it appear as if Namor had joined forces with the Plunderer against the surface world, a madness which led even Namor's most stalwart supporters to declare him a potential enemy of the realm and a war-monger Atlantis could not tolerate. They pled their case before the Council of Elders and it was declared that Prince Namor was banished from the realm of Atlantis. Namor was unaware of these charges when he chased the Plunderer's pirate submarine to Atlantis, which the villain planned to destroy and loot. A complicated fiasco unraveled as a passing US Navy submarine was also drawn into the conflict between Namor, the Plunderer and the Atlanteans. At this point, Namor learned of his banishment and pledged to redeem himself in the eyes of his people. After the Plunderer was disposed of and the Americans driven off, though, Namor was believed dead in an explosion reported by the valiant Warlord Seth after he stopped an experimental super-weapon from ending innocent lives. With Atlantis destroyed by the Plunderer's attack, Namor's people once again became nomads, wandering the ocean floors and leaving him unable to relocate them. [Tales to Astonish #96-99]

Drawn by a psychic lure back to Antarctica, Namor once again encountered the man called Destiny. Paul Destine spent the last few years of Namor's amnesia finalizing his great power using the machines of the Ancients. With this encounter, Namor fully recalled the events that led to his amnesia for the first time, and was filled with rage at the man responsible for the death of his mother and grandfather. Destiny toyed with Namor for a time before burying him in the icy caverns where the Ancients dwelled. The Sub-Mariner eventually freed himself and pledged to seek vengeance on his hated foe. [Tales to Astonish #101, Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner #1, Sub-Mariner (1st series) #1]

The Sub-Mariner's quest for vengeance on Destiny had the unlikely effect of softening his hatred of the surface-dwellers. Putting a face to the unknown "surface people" responsible for Old Atlantis' destruction narrowed the focus of Namor's rage. He was prepared to put aside old grudges and his own pride to seek assistance from Reed Richards to locate Destiny. In his quest, Namor also met and befriended the heroic Inhuman amphibian Triton, a true ally of Atlantis in the years to come. However, while he helped defend the nomads of Atlantis from another attack by Attuma, Namor was not destined to reunite with his people yet. A cruel jest by Attuma left Namor convinced Dorma, Vashti and Seth were already killed by the barbarian before the Sub-Mariner intervened, and the distraught Namor left Atlantis to willingly continue his exile before learning the truth. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #2-4, Captain Marvel (1st series) #4]

After a confrontation with Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree, the Sub-Mariner washed ashore on the island laboratory of Doctor Lemuel Dorcas, and was captured in his robot net. When he awoke, Namor was greeted by a girl named Diane Arliss, who was there on behalf of her brother Todd. Todd had been an Olympic swimmer before an accident and Doctor Dorcas promised to restore his fitness. Dorcas intended to use a device called the Morphotron to bond tiger shark genes to Arliss, and took Namor prisoner to add his amphibian genes to the mixture as well. Todd Arliss emerged from the procedure as the super-powerful Tiger Shark, but he also suffered from a madness that turned him against Dorcas and his sister. Namor broke free from Dorcas' restraints and battled the newborn super-villain. In a twist of fate, however, Lady Dorma had been searching for Namor and came across the battlefield. Tiger Shark buried Namor in rubble before kidnapping Dorma and forcing her to take him to Atlantis, which he intended to conquer.

Diane Arliss donned a wetsuit and tried to pull Namor free from the debris, but the battle-ready Sub-Mariner mistook Diane's grasp for Tiger Shark's and struck out forcibly, causing her injury. After intimidating Doctor Dorcas into providing Diane medical attention, the Sub-Mariner pursued Tiger Shark to the current site of the Atlantean nomads. Tiger Shark had humiliated Warlord Seth in single combat to claim the throne of Atlantis for himself, but Namor dispatched him in the same manner, reclaiming the Trident of Poseidon. Additionally, by ignoring the cheers of the crowd to execute Arliss, Namor passed the test of the Atlantean council. Namor proved himself willing to seek peace instead of war, ending the circumstances which led to his exile many months ago and redeeming him in the eyes of his people. Namor the First and Atlantis were reunited and the prince ordered the construction of a new city for the Atlanteans, who would be nomads no more. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #5-6]

Once construction was underway, Namor intended to call upon Diane Arliss, both to check on her recovery and inform her of her brother's imprisonment in Atlantis while the royal scientist Ikthon worked to cure his madness. Feeling a twinge of jealousy, Lady Dorma insisted on accompanying her prince to Diane's apartment in New York City. She employed Warlord Krang's oxygen pills to transform into an air-breather as well. While in Manhattan, Sub-Mariner crossed paths again with the man called Destiny, who was using his Helmet of Power to build a political campaign as Paul Destine, subverting the wills of anyone who heard his hypnotic voice. Destiny was prepared to take over the nation through a live television broadcast when Namor arrived to stop him. Destine had always teetered on the edge of madness, though, and when Namor survived his physical and mental assaults, Destiny finally lost his wits completely. Foolishly believing himself to be all-powerful even without the magnifying effects of his helmet, Destiny cast it aside and tried to levitate off a building to greet his crowd of followers. Instead, Paul Destine plummeted to his death and, in an indirect fashion, Namor finally had his revenge for the deaths of King Thakorr and Princess Fen. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #7]

The Sub-Mariner believed the Helmet of the Ancients was too powerful to leave in the hands of surface-dwellers and tried to retrieve it from the authorities, only to begin a struggle with the Thing of the Fantastic Four. Their conflict rampaged across the city until Diane Arliss (using stories Namor recently told her) located the long-retired Betty Dean, now a widowed Betty Dean Prentiss, to stop Namor's brawling just as she stopped his attacks on the surface people decades earlier. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #8]

Namor and Dorma returned to Atlantis with the Helmet of Power, which he turned over to Ikthon for study. The royal scientist suggested Tiger Shark's madness could be cured by the legendary Herbs of Healing found deep in the Abyss of Doom, and so Namor and Seth journeyed to where none had ever returned. In battle with the deadly Lethe-Beast, however, Namor was struck senseless and spent many days wandering the oceans in a daze. When he finally recovered, the Sub-Mariner returned to Atlantis and found it under the sway of pagan worship. The Helmet of Power had cracked open like an egg and revealed the sinister Serpent Crown, seducing Dorma as its high priestess and drawing the other Atlanteans to dark worship. Namor's will was strong enough to resist the Serpent Crown's influence and he separated the dark totem of Set from his people. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #9]

While trying to dispose of the Serpent Crown, however, Sub-Mariner was accosted by Karthon the Questor. A mighty warrior from Atlantis' sister colony of Lemuria (separated by thousands of years and the Pacific Ocean), Karthon was charged with retrieving the Serpent Crown for his king, Naga. Namor and Karthon battled for the Serpent Crown from the Atlantic to the Pacific, across the Panama Canal and through conflicts with Captain Barracuda and the U.S. Navy. Karthon finally brought Namor and the Crown to the gates of Lemuria. Naga was a cruel king, however, addicted to the crown and its power. His alchemists had treated the Serpent Crown to make Naga immortal while he wore it, but after more than a century of separation King Naga was withered in body and cracked in the head. He showed no gratitude to Karthon for his successful quest, and spent time instead tormenting Namor with illusions and attacks to force him to admit Naga's superiority as a "living god." One of his illusions was the death of Dorma, but the victim was actually a disguised Lemurian girl... Karthon's sister. Finally recognizing the mad king for what he was, Karthon stabbed Naga in the back and ended his insane rule. Namor and Karthon threw Naga's body and his Serpent Crown into the bottomless chasm he had crafted for Namor's tomb, sealing them both tightly underground. Namor departed Lemuria in peace with its new king. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #10-13]

On his way back to Atlantis, Namor was assaulted by a man claiming to be the original Human Torch. The man was a slave to the Mad Thinker, who was working with Puppet Master and Egghead on a plan to conquer the world. Namor broke the Thinker's hold on "the Torch" and learned he was actually Thomas Raymond, the Torch's old sidekick Toro who had been brainwashed by the villain. Namor and Toro joined forces against the Mad Thinker and disrupted his part of the evil trio's schemes. When the Thinker tried to escape, Toro launched himself into the fleeing rocket and propelled it into the side of a mountain, seemingly killing both of them. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #14] The Sub-Mariner mourned the loss of his wartime brother-in-arms and briefly returned to Toro's widow Ann Raymond to offer counsel and explain the circumstances of her husband's demise. [Avengers West Coast #50]

While Namor had been otherwise occupied, Dr. Dorcas contacted Diane Arliss and manipulated her into believing Namor wished nothing but harm to her and her mad brother. Tiger Shark had escaped captivity in Atlantis during the Serpent Crown affair and so, when Diane called Atlantis to learn about Todd's condition, Dorma could only inform her Tiger Shark was gone. Feeling this confirmed Dorcas' venomous words, Diane helped lure Dorma out of Atlantis, where she was captured by Dorcas' allies, Professor Gregory and Dragon Man. When Namor returned to Atlantis from Lemuria, he found Dorma missing and received a ransom video from Diane soon after. Namor tracked the rogues to Empire State University and engaged Dragon Man in battle to rescue Dorma. Diane remained conflicted in her feelings -- she saved the lives of both Namor and Dorma from Dorcas during the exchange, but cursed them when the battle destroyed the new Morphotron Dorcas and Gregory had constructed to potentially cure Todd. With Diane beside herself with tears over her brother's fate, Namor resolved to locate Tiger Shark. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #15]

After an Atlantean cruiser spotted Tiger Shark entering the mysterious Sargasso Sea, Namor and Dorma set out to confirm the reports. When they arrived, the couple met Walter Newell on an expedition from the U.S. government. Newell warned the Atlanteans of a recently uncovered Nazi submarine in the area that contained a deadly viral-warfare torpedo, and its second torpedo had yet to be uncovered. Namor entered the Mists of the Sargasso to discover Tiger Shark had taken command of the People of the Mist, shipwrecked sailors from as far back as the Egyptian dynasties who were rendered immortal by the mists. One such Sargassan was from the Nazi U-Boat and directed Tiger Shark to the torpedo. In the struggle that followed, the People left the mist and died as they returned to their true ages, but Tiger Shark escaped and Newell seemingly died ramming the torpedo to destroy its virus-laden warhead. A furious Namor renewed his vow to end the threat of Tiger Shark at any cost. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #16]

Palace intrigue also threatened Namor's rule. The deceitful high priest Kormok desired the throne and conspired with aliens from Alpha Centauri to eliminate the Sub-Mariner. Exercising his power to call for a ritual of renewal, Kormok announced it was time for Namor to return the Trident of Neptune to Old Atlantis in the Antarctic and bathe it in the living flame that burned there eternally. Although Namor was suspicious of Kormok, he could not defy the law. Along his quest, Sub-Mariner was confronted by Dynorr the Stalker. The Alpha Centaurian hailed from an aquatic people who wanted to study Namor's amphibious talents to surgically improve his own race. Unknown even to Kormok, however, the Stalker's race also planned to steal Earth's oceans using a subspatial vortex, funneling up the waters to replenish their homeworld's own dry and diminishing waterways. Namor and his fellow captive, Triton of the Inhumans, fought the Alpha Centaurians and turned their machines against them. As he returned to Earth, however, Namor learned that the exploratory surgery performed on his body by the Centaurian scientists had sealed his gills and weakened his ankle wings, leaving him inextricably land-bound. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #17-18]

A true fish out of water, Sub-Mariner found his troubles grow as the American government wanted him for questioning regarding the vortexes. A self-involved bureaucrat wanted to capture Namor and blame him for the vortexes to advance his career, and had the authority to force Walter Newell to help him. Newell had survived the torpedo in the Sargasso and created a deep-sea diving suit to continue his research as Stingray, but was forced into striking out at his ally Namor for the suit's test run. Namor had insisted Triton return to Atlantis with the Trident of Neptune to implore his people not to go to war over his plight, but actions by the American authorities made the situation increasingly tense. Newell and Diane Arliss were both reluctantly involved in Namor's capture, and Stingray was forced to hunt Namor down when he escaped. When the Sub-Mariner risked his life to support a bridge damaged by Stingray's electrical blasts during their battle, however, Newell refused to continue hunting him. The manhunt in Manhattan for their prince was finally too much for Atlantis to absolve, and Atlantean battle cruisers surfaced around New York City demanding the return of their sovereign. The impulsive Warlord Seth sought to redeem his honor by unleashing the monsters summoned by the Horn of Proteus, but only succeeded in making matters worse. Namor made his way to the coast, battled the monsters and saved Dorma and the U.S. naval officers imperiled by the Horn. Ultimately, Seth sacrificed himself and the Horn to send the beasts back below the waves. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #19-21]

Back in Atlantis, the ministrations of Ikthon restored Namor's gills and wings to full functionality. As he slept and recovered, though, Namor's mind was intruded upon by the mystic called Doctor Strange, who alerted him to the threat of the Nameless One, demonic leader of the Undying Ones. Compelled by Strange's summons, Sub-Mariner arrived in Boston and battled one of the Undying Ones in human form, who wished to use a cursed statue to summon their leader to Earth. Strange arrived in person to help defeat the beast, but the heroes missed a second Undying One who acquired the statue and opened the dimensional rift. Doctor Strange and the Sub-Mariner confronted a horde of the Undying Ones swarming towards the breach to Earth, and Namor prepared to give his all in battle with the demons. Instead, Strange cast Namor back through the breach and closed it from the far side, sacrificing himself and saving Namor in the process. The Sub-Mariner left Boston, vowing that he owed a debt of honor to the one called Doctor Strange. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #22]

Several of Namor's enemies soon threatened Atlantis again. The exiled warlord Krang and Doctor Dorcas joined forces, using Dorcas' Morphotron equipment to transform Krang's simple-minded soldier Orka into the Human Killer Whale. Dorma and Vashti were captured and used as leverage against the Sub-Mariner as he fought against his foes. Dorma was forced to promise marriage to a passing Tiger Shark to get aid for an injured Vashti and secure Arliss' strength in defense of Atlantis. A three-way war began for control of Atlantis between Namor, Tiger Shark and the other villains. Fortunately, Orka's simple mind led him to attack Tiger Shark when he believed the amphibian threatened Warlord Krang. The two undersea titans unleashed such a fury that they buried themselves in a rockslide and seemingly perished, so Krang and Dorcas fled. Namor returned to Dorma's side and gratefully embraced her, for with Tiger Shark's death her promise to the villain was null and void. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #23-24]

Conflict with the surface world was renewed when deadly chemical gas canisters were dumped overboard by an American warship, unwittingly near an Atlantean outpost. Fearing the canisters were some form of depth charge attack, the seaborn soldiers fired upon the canisters and unleashed the gas, wiping out the outpost. Namor and Dorma were furious when they learned of the tragedy, and Namor began a campaign to end the intrusion of surface-dwellers in Atlantean affairs. Although he stopped short of actual war, the Sub-Mariner ordered the patrolling of Atlantis' territorial borders, turning back merchant and military vessels that crossed the waves over Atlantean settlements. When a Russian submarine attempted hostile action, Namor turned them back and beached the sub, leaving the sailors alive with his warning.