SUB-MARINER: Page 6 of 19

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

Biography - Page 6

The Sub-Mariner finally addressed the surface nations of the world directly by appearing before the United Nations main assembly. He decried the pollution done in the name of progress and the cataclysmic after effects felt both on land and under the seas. Namor pronounced a new campaign of environmental diligence and asked the UN to both recognize Atlantis as a sovereign member state and give deference to its borders. The delegates refused, however, and Namor was confronted by the authorities as he returned to his vessel. Diane Arliss met Namor with a fresh supply of water to replenish him with enough strength to reach the seas, avoiding further conflict with the military. A raging Namor ordered a missile strike on the harbor as they departed but, when he saw Diane was still among the onlookers, Namor regretted his actions and physically intercepted the missile to turn it back. This act of mercy strained his relationship with the heartsick Lady Dorma, and led the Atlantean people to question their hybrid prince's dedication to Atlantis over the surface world. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #25]

Namor's strained relationship with the surface world led him to continue seeking allies in his crusade. Although he awakened an environmental champion in businessman Tony Stark, his attempt to forge an alliance with the Bird People of Sky Island led to disaster. While Namor also found kindred spirits in the environmentally responsible youth groups of Manhattan, his relationships with Dorma and Diane continued to deteriorate due to unspoken feelings between them. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #26-28, Iron Man (1st series) #25]

After saving Magneto from near-death, Namor hesitantly considered renewing their old alliance against mankind. Magneto sought to force Namor's hand and launched a series of discreet magnetic assaults on the Baxter Building, pressing the Fantastic Four until the Thing launched a deterrent missile back at Atlantis, the source of the magnetic attacks. Unaware of Magneto's doings (and the fact that the concussion missile was non-lethal), Namor was easily goaded into responding to this "first strike" by the surface world. Namor, Magneto and the armies of Atlantis were met over the open sea by the Fantastic Four, and Magneto took advantage of the situation to kidnap both Dorma and the Invisible Girl, securing his dominion over all. The Master of Magnetism overplayed his hand, however, for Namor and the Fantastic Four joined forces against him, and Richards' anti-magnetic inverter captured the mutant. Namor acknowledged there was no need for further war... this day. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #102-104]

Namor's perceived aggression against the surface world led his friends Triton and Stingray to investigate the sinking of a pleasure yacht, allegedly by Atlantean forces. They found Namor, who proclaimed his innocence, just before the true culprit, the barbarian Attuma, appeared and captured the three heroes. Using earth-borer technology stolen from the scientist Ikthon, Attuma planned to devastate the surface world from below, leaving Namor to take the blame and drawing Atlantis into never-ending war. Namor and his allies destroyed the machine and prevented Attuma's scheme. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #31]

In search of allies, Namor returned to the Pacific undersea nation of Lemuria to forge an alliance with his old ally, Karthon. Instead, Namor discovered Lemuria ruled by Empress Llyra, a former priestess of Set. Llyra was a human half-breed like Namor, possessing a greater power over the creatures of the deep than Namor himself. Llyra and her sister Laurie Morris claimed to be twins, one air-breathing and one water-breathing, produced from the marriage of their oceanologist human mother and Lemurian father, Llyron. It was only after Llyra was beaten and seemingly killed by the forces unleashed by her own creatures that Namor learned Llyra and Laurie Morris were the same girl, thanks to Llyra's limited shape-changing abilities. The lifeless Llyra was left with her grieving mother, and Lemuria returned to Karthon's control. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #32]

On his way back to Atlantis, Namor's realm was rocked by a nuclear explosion set off miles from the city, shaking the populace into a state of panic. The exiled royal Byrrah chose that moment to return to his "beloved" people, further shaking their faith in Namor and rallying for war against the surface worlders, who were surely responsible for the nuclear attack. Namor returned to Atlantis and momentarily calmed his frightened people, securing 24 hours to prove it was in fact Byrrah who was responsible for the incident. Sure enough, Namor traced the detonation to Doctor Dorcas' laboratory and found the air-breather and Warlord Krang there scheming. Once they were returned to Atlantis, Byrrah admitted the trio had initiated the blast to discredit Namor. Concerned by his people's lack of faith in the crown in his absence, Namor was finally moved to officially ask Lady Dorma for her hand in marriage, to ensure Atlantis had a true princess in residence when he was away and not merely a noblewoman. Dorma of course accepted, and the betrothed royal couple began preparing for their wedding day. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #33]

As the royal wedding preparations continued, Ikthon alerted Namor to a nuclear-powered weather station being prepared on the surface by the United Nations. Studying it from afar, Ikthon feared the station may become violently unstable once powered up. The Sub-Mariner decided to confront the surface-dwellers so that Ikthon could examine the station and confirm his fears, and chose to do so from a position of strength. Namor recruited the aid of both the incredible Hulk and the space-riding Silver Surfer as his envoys to contact the UN. These "Titans Three" assumed control of the weather station's remote island under threat of force so that Ikthon could perform his tests. The United Nations called out the Avengers to respond to this threat and soon Earth's Mightiest Heroes were assembled against Namor's allies. The aggressive Hulk ended any chance of peaceful dialogue and conflict broke out among the heroes. Ultimately, however, Ikthon successfully proved his point to the UN delegates and the weather station was shut down for further testing. Namor's uneasy allies went their separate ways after that, but this loose alliance was destined to meet again in the future. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #34-35]

On the wedding day of Prince Namor the First and the Lady Dorma, peace was declared. On Namor's behalf, Triton of the Inhumans brought word of the nuptials to the United Nations as an olive branch to the surface dwellers, although they remained unmoved by Namor's ecological crusade. A horde of Sharkan raiders led by Attuma attacked Atlantis with increasingly advanced technology, but were driven back by the Sub-Mariner and Karthon's delegation arriving from Lemuria for the wedding. The immortal sage Proteus officiated the ceremony, as the names of Namor and Dorma were inscribed in the sacred scrolls, confirming the marriage in the eyes of Father Neptune. Triumph became tragedy, however, when Namor's new bride shifted before his eyes, revealing herself to actually be the Lemurian half-breed Llyra! [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #36]

Lemurians loyal to Llyra had kidnapped the Lady Dorma to allow their deposed empress to impersonate her. Llyra gloated in triumph at her deception, proclaiming herself princess of Atlantis and Namor's bride, but Proteus disputed her. Because Namor and Dorma had previously spoken the promised vow of betrothal when they got engaged, and it was their names inscribed before Neptune, it was Namor and Dorma who were married; Llyra had merely acted as Dorma's proxy in the ceremony. Infuriated, Llyra fled the enraged Sub-Mariner before he could capture her and learn Dorma's true location. A dark day turned darker when Namor raced to Ikthon to see if the royal scientist could help locate his bride, and instead learned Ikthon was a secret ally of Attuma, providing the barbarian with his technology. Attuma now threatened Atlantis with a second earth-borer like he had "stolen" from Ikthon weeks earlier. Forced to choose between the lady or the land, Namor delayed his search for Dorma to ensure Atlantis was safe from Attuma and his barbarians.

Returning to Dorma's plight, Namor tracked Llyra down to the oceanarium owned by her mother. Llyra kept Dorma imprisoned in a tube of water on the surface, while tracking Namor's progress using underwater cameras. Llyra shattered Dorma's tube and left her drowning on dry land while turning her marine telepathy on the creatures barring Namor's path. Gasping for air, Dorma could have used her dwindling strength to reach the seas. Instead, the asphyxiating noblewoman struck down Llyra from behind, ending her control of the leeches consuming Namor, but leaving Dorma too weak to move. Namor raced to Llyra's lair to find the murderess gone, and held Dorma in his arms just long enough to hear her final words as she passed away. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #37]

Choked with grief after Dorma's passing, Namor came to blame himself for her death as he chose the crown over love more than once. He also saw his people's entire animosity with the surface-dwellers as his fault, dating back to his first encounter with surface men in the 1940's. With a heavy heart, Namor abdicated his throne after Dorma's state funeral. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #38] Hoping to find a life among his father's people, the Sub-Mariner flew to New York City and renovated the abandoned Prison Island into a citadel fit for a prince in exile. Although he publicly announced his grief to the Manhattan authorities and offered to compensate them for the seized land, they would not accept. The National Guard was called out and a combination of tanks and submarines completely destroyed Namor's island to prevent him from remaining. On the edge of depression, Namor was met by Diane Arliss and Walter Newell, who provided him with newfound hope. Diane had uncovered evidence that Leonard McKenzie did not die on the Oracle decades ago when Atlanteans came to retrieve Princess Fen. Namor's human father might still be alive. Thrilled at the possibility, the Sub-Mariner's determination was restored and he set off on a quest to find his father. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #39]

This "father quest" had numerous interruptions and tangents, including a request for aid from an old ally. Doctor Strange appeared before Namor in his astral form, warning the sea-prince of world-wide nuclear Armageddon threatened by Yandroth, Scientist Supreme, and his sentient doomsday computer, Omegatron. Strange, Namor and the incredible Hulk joined forces against Yandroth's creation at Point Promontory, Maine. Although Omegatron tricked Namor and Hulk into charging his doomsday sequence by unleashing their mighty power against his absorbing systems, the danger was averted when Doctor Strange encased the machine in a temporal spell, arresting the doomsday countdown almost indefinitely. Departing as allies, if not friends, these three stalwarts found the name "Defenders" suitable, should they ever have need to gather again. [Marvel Feature #1]

Namor finally made his way to Boston, the city where his father lived. Unfortunately, so did Llyra and Tiger Shark. Seeking Namor for their own nefarious purposes, the villains kidnapped Leonard McKenzie to force Namor to submit to them. Newell, as Stingray, located the Lemurian seaship where Namor and his father were being held, battering his way inside. The ship began filling with water, though, putting Namor's father at risk. The Sub-Mariner joined Stingray in battle with the villains. As they tried to overpower Tiger Shark, Llyra aimed her ray gun at Namor's unprotected rear. Leonard McKenzie leapt to his son's aid, striking the gun from Llyra's hand. The commotion caught Tiger Shark's attention and he grabbed an iron pipe, hurling it at the back of McKenzie's head. Namor rushed to his father's side as the villains fled for their lives. In his final moments, Leonard McKenzie acknowledged Namor as his son and said he had no regrets losing his life to preserve that of his son's. Grief once again overwhelmed Namor and he sped away from the Lemurian ship before Stingray could offer any consolation. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #40-46]

Namor's shock and grief caused him to once again fall into a state of amnesia, his mind abandoning him in an effort to avoid processing the loss he had just suffered. Riding the boxcars as a hobo, Namor arrived in Chicago and befriended a surface girl named Cindy Jones. They became traveling companions when Doctor Doom recruited the confused Namor as his ally in an effort to retrieve the Cosmic Cube from M.O.D.O.K. and AIM. Doom was unsuccessful, but parted genially with Namor. Cindy also said her good-byes, not ready to be a part of Namor's crazy world. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #47-49]

Still uncertain of his own identity, Namor instinctively returned to the seas and found himself drawn back to the Antarctic ruins of his grandfather Thakorr's Atlantis. Many of his memories began to return as he was confronted with his vengeful cousin Byrrah, in alliance with the deceitful Llyra. Namor learned his favored cousin Namora had survived the destruction of old Atlantis decades ago, and sought refuge at a Lemurian outlying city with her infant daughter Namorita. However, Llyra had poisoned Namora to remove her as a rival for the heart of the city's prince, Llyra's next step on the way to the throne of Emperor Naga. Namorita had become an unwilling ward of Llyra after the death of her mother (and the death of the Lemurian prince once Llyra was done with him). Namor rescued his cousin's child from the villains, driving off Byrrah and seemingly leaving Llyra to her death in an undersea oil bog. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #50-51] In need of a guardian, Namor arranged for Namorita to stay with Betty Dean Prentiss, his old surface friend from the 1930's. Nita and Namor remained in touch thanks to a pair of earrings that allowed instant communication between the two who wore them. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #52-55]

Having recovered from his broken heart over time, after the loss of Dorma and his father, Namor still hesitated to end his exile and return to Atlantis. He found himself an outsider looking in, often venturing close to Atlantis' walls, but never entering. He was nearby when a citizen named Coral sought his aid on behalf of Vashti. A starship had landed in the seas near Atlantis, carrying unknown dangers, while the armies of Atlantis fought elsewhere against the Sharkan hordes of Attuma. Namor sought the ship and found the monstrous Haab breaching the walls of Atlantis. He defeated the Haab before meeting their masters, the Banari. The travelers promised Namor and Coral they were peaceful and the Haab were beasts of burden who escaped their cages in the ship's crash. Namor was satisfied by the Banari's words, and suggested they meet with Vashti about seeking refuge on Earth. In his haste to abandon the dark memories he still held of Atlantis, however, Namor left it to Coral to escort the delegation to the regent's chambers. As Namor departed, the soldiers of Atlantis returned from their grueling struggle with Attuma and found a gaping hole in the city's defenses caused by the Haab. The battle-hardened soldiers saw the unfamiliar Banari as invaders and Coral as a collaborator, killing them all in a battle frenzy before reason could set in. Hearing the cries, Namor raced back to the scene, but was too late to stop the massacre. The Brotherhood of Banari and Coral were all dead. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #56]

Atlantis fell under a cloud of guilt and shame after it became clear what their warriors had done. Their shame soon confronted them in person when scouts discovered Tamara Rahn, widow of the First Brother and last survivor of the Banari. Vashti took pity on the girl and responsibility for Atlantis's ill-conceived actions, and volunteered the city's services in repairing her ship so she could return to her Sisterhood on Banari. Namor visited Atlantis during the construction and found Vashti's actions to be honorable. Unfortunately, Tamara nursed a desire for revenge in her heart, despite her respect for the empathy Namor and Vashti showed her. Once the ship was finished, she turned her weapons on Atlantis and prepared for a kamikaze strike against the city. Namor pulled her free from the craft before it exploded and brought her before the regent Vashti. Tamara collapsed in tears of grief and hatred before the throne, and Vashti could not bring himself to order her execution after Atlantis' part in her rage. At Vashti's recommendation, Namor accepted the role of Tamara's guide and patron as she was reluctantly accepted as a new citizen of Atlantis. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #58]

Even after forsaking vengeance against Atlantis, however, Tamara continued to inadvertently cause strife for the kingdom. While swimming, she was caught like a mermaid by passing fishermen and taken before the United Nations in New York City so the surface nations of the world could decide what to do with her. When he learned of her fate, Namor attempted to rescue Tamara from the tank she was being held in, but was rebuked. A furious Sub-Mariner tried to rally the people of Atlantis to rescue their new citizen, but received a lukewarm response at the idea of going to war for an outsider and potential enemy of the people. Namor was forced to rely on the assistance of Lorvex, mercenary and scout, to drum up support for his invasion.

The Sub-Mariner intended the Atlantean military to launch a surgical strike on New York, creating managed chaos in various areas without actually harming anyone, diverting the authorities so that Namor could rescue Tamara undeterred. Unfortunately, Lorvex had his own plans and ordered an all-out attack on Manhattan while kidnapping Tamara for himself. Namor intercepted Lorvex's flagship after learning of his treachery and defeated the barbarian rogue in combat. He then ordered the full-scale retreat of the Atlantean forces. Realizing he could no longer straddle the line between prince and exile, Namor presented himself to the council of elders in order to retake his crown. With that act, Namor the First was restored as monarch of Atlantis. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #59-60]

Meanwhile, Namor, the Hulk and Doctor Strange had continued to have occasional alliances as the dynamic Defenders. Their infrequent association became more regular after a battle with the Enchantress. Their ally, the Black Knight, had been left frozen as a stone statue by the sorceress, prompting the Defenders to continue meeting with Strange for updates on his restoration. They also made a new ally in the Valkyrie, whose desire to function as a full-time member of the Defenders pushed the men into actually acting like a full-time team. [Marvel Fanfare #2-3, Defenders (1st series) #1-5]

The destiny of Atlantis changed with the threat of Doctor Hydro, a surfaceman dedicated to returning mankind to the seas. He had been kidnapping airplanes full of test subjects and subjecting them to his bio-chemical process, turning them into green-scaled amphibians like him. Hydro wanted a kingdom under the sea and decided to claim the already existing Atlantis instead of building a new one, launching an attack on the nation from his mobile island of Hydrobase. Namor first became involved when Namorita and Betty Dean Prentiss were on one of the planes hijacked by Hydro, and soon led Atlantis to victory over Hydro and his private army of amphibians. [Sub-Mariner (1st series) #61-63] Atlantis faced dangers from other currents as well, when Attuma joined forces with the Red Ghost and his cosmically-controlled army of sea creatures. Fortunately, Namor's allies in the Defenders stood by his side and defended the realm from outside attackers. [Defenders (1st series) #7-8]

It was after this encounter that the Defenders and their new ally Hawkeye finally stumbled upon a cure for the Black Knight's condition -- an immensely powerful mystical object known as the Evil Eye, which had been split into six component pieces around the globe. However, this information had actually been planted for the Defenders to find by the Dread Dormammu, who wished to use the Evil Eye for his own purposes and take revenge on Doctor Strange and the Defenders for past slights. The situation grew more complicated as Dormammu's ally, Loki of Asgard, decided to undermine the Dread One's schemes by alerting the Avengers. A habitual liar, Loki told the Avengers that the Defenders were willing perpetrators of evil acts and sought the Eye for nefarious purposes. The Avengers' past encounters with the likes of Namor, the Hulk and a previous Valkyrie made them inclined to believe Loki, and a brutal contest began between the two teams to find the Evil Eye.

For his part, the Sub-Mariner journeyed to the Land of the Rising Sun to grapple with Captain America for possession of the Evil Eye component there. Their conflict was interrupted by the mutant hero Sunfire, delaying the search long enough for the heroes to exchange words. Namor gave his oath that the Defenders fought for the Eye to save the Black Knight, Cap's fellow Avenger, and that Loki had misled the Avengers. Cap accept Namor's word of honor and it was Namor who assembled the Avengers at Doctor Strange's sanctum to broker a peace between the two groups. The Knight was saved, the evil-doers defeated and the Avengers and Defenders parted ways with a peaceful accord between them. [Avengers / Defenders War crossover]