SUB-MARINER: Page 8 of 19

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


When Namor heard rumors of Llyra resurfacing, he dispatched scouts to locate the murderer of his bride, Dorma. Llyra was located in New York City, working with the Wizard and the Frightful Four against Spider-Man. The Sub-Mariner tracked Llyra to her current location, unaware she had used her disguise powers to entice Spider-Man already as an innocent (and beautiful) woman. As the heroes quarreled, the Frightful Four used one of the Wizard's devices to transfer Spider-Man's spider-sense to Namor, leaving Spidey unprotected and Namor near madness by the constant buzzing in his head. They overcame the transference thanks to the assistance of Reed Richards, and Namor was able to reveal Llyra for what she truly was to Spider-Man. The Frightful Four were dispatched and Llyra was taken by Namor into Atlantean custody. [Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #214-215]

On one occasion, Namor was startled to come across the Lady Dorma on the ocean floor, alive and well but chained as a prisoner. Dorma wove a story about how the Dorma killed by Llyra was actually a clone, and she had been imprisoned where Namor found her for years. Accepting this implausible story, Namor brought Dorma back to Atlantis, where she proved equally convincing to Lord Vashti and the people of Atlantis. At Dorma's request, Namor renewed hostilities with the surface world and quickly conquered the city of London. His fellow Defenders arrived to question the Sub-Mariner's motives, but Namor would not be deterred. Namor's faith was shaken, however, when he saw Valkyrie and Dorma savagely strike out at each other, despite the spell that prevented Val from doing harm to another woman. Namor regained his senses and revealed Dorma for what she truly was, an old alien foe of the Defenders called Nebulon the Celestial Man, who intended to trick Namor into conquering the Earth for him. Nebulon's alien overlords came and took him into custody, but Namor's heart was broken once more over the loss of Dorma. [Defenders (1st series) #93]

Despite his antipathy towards the surface world, the Sub-Mariner still wistfully remembered his time amnesiac in the bowery of Manhattan. Seeking to revisit old haunts, Namor returned to New York to find Sunshine Mary, a homeless woman who befriended him during his lost days. He and the Thing uncovered a scheme by M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M. to use the homeless as bio-warfare test subjects, and rescued Mary and the others. Unfortunately, Sunshine Mary no longer wanted anything to do with Namor, for he was no longer "one of them." A crestfallen Namor left Manhattan behind once more. [Marvel Two-In-One #81]

The Sub-Mariner was drawn back into the orbit of the Defenders at the funeral for one of his fallen comrades. This led to a series of extra-dimensional adventures against the Enchantress, Overmind and Null, the Living Darkness. Namor grew increasingly perturbed by his forced prolonged absence from Atlantis, but found his anger quelled on several occasions by his longtime ally, the Valkyrie. Indeed, their camaraderie showed signed of blossoming into something more as they finally returned to Earth and Val offered to fly with Namor back to Atlantis. The two shared a wonderful night frolicking together in the ocean but, when Valkyrie kissed Namor, the sea prince pulled back and swam away. When she found him, Namor told Val that love for Dorma still rested in his heart, and he could not bear to open himself up again to love of anything but his cherished realm. [Defenders (1st series) #107-116] Not long after that, Namor and the other original Defenders were misled by the mysterious Tribunal into believing it was their karmic fate to destroy the Earth if they remained together as the Defenders. With that, Namor ceased any interaction with the Defenders, side-stepping any intentions Valkyrie had to change his mind. [Defenders (1st series) #122-125]

On behalf of Atlantis, Namor met with barbarian refugees from the northern seas, who claimed they had been driven from their waters by an unknown force. Investigating the area, Namor found the water inexplicably polluted enough to drain his strength and dissolve his metal bracelets. Seeking assistance, he traveled to New York and met with the Invisible Girl. Together they returned to the Arctic Circle and uncovered a colossal and ancient starcraft buried in the ice. Namor and Susan met Alpha Flight inside and learned the ship was Plodex in nature, like their own alien amphibian member Marrina. The Master of the ship was seemingly killed in the fight that followed, and Namor offered to host Marrina in Atlantis while she worked to explore her origins more fully. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #260-261, Alpha Flight (1st series) #3-4]

In the months that followed, Namor and Marrina grew very close. Taken with the innocent amphibian, Namor even proposed marriage to Marrina, offering to make her queen. She was quite surprised and uncertain if she was worthy to be Namor's consort. Marrina answered a call from her Alpha Flight teammates while sorting out her feelings, to her ultimate dismay. Namor tracked Marrina and found her under the influence of the Master and her feral Plodex breeding mate. While Namor and Alpha Flight's Puck defeated the Master and drove off the Plodex, Marrina felt her innate Plodex savagery and genetic conditioning made her too monstrous to ever be a queen. She disappeared beneath the waves without even saying good-bye to the Sub-Mariner, who grieved her loss. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #14-16]

On the anniversary of Father Neptune's time walking among the people of Atlantis, festivals and ceremonies were held in his honor. At the center of it all, however, Prince Namor was bored with the pageantry and tedious details of his kingdom's bureaucracy. Namor craved action, a quest or adventure of some kind to end his malaise, despite the needs of his kingdom. When his cousin Lord Dara mentioned his scheduled meeting with the United Nations about Atlantis seeking entrance, Namor jumped at the opportunity to replace Dara and attend to the negotiations himself, leaving behind his advisory council to deal with the consequences of his neglectful rule.

In Manhattan, Namor received one of the warmest receptions in recent memory by the surface dwellers and people seemed in good spirits about Atlantis' entry. He was cordial with his Swedish liaison Max Lindstrom and uncharacteristically tolerant of the U.S. State Department's negative Carl Bernhart, in part because of the third member of their planning committee. Jacqueline Trufaut was a French oceanographer appointed by the UN to assist due to her extensive knowledge of the seas and Atlantean customs, and she quickly caught Namor's eye.

The Sub-Mariner left Manhattan with great hopes for Atlantis' future, only to be attacked by the renegade Dragonrider and her sea beast on the way home. Namor defeated the assassin, but was shocked to recognize her as a member of his own royal guard. Worse yet, he returned to Atlantis to find Dragonrider had already been there, causing great destruction and loss of life. An injured Lord Dara was uncharacteristically blunt with his prince, screaming how Namor should have been present to defend Atlantis instead of running from his responsibilities. As Dara passed out in pain, a chagrined Namor conferred with Lord Vashti along with his chief warlord Thakos and high priest Shakkoth. They interrogated Dragonrider and learned she was part of the border guards for Atlantis' outlying territories, which had fallen into poverty and disrepair without the guiding hand of the crown.

Namor was furious at her accusations and ordered Dragonrider taken to the dungeons, but his council respectfully showed the prince that Dragonrider's picture of the border realms was a correct one. It seemed reports of their condition had piled up for Namor's perusal... he simply never got around to reading them. A humbled Namor took to the throne again, pouring over the detailed reports assembled for him by his advisors. Namor reasoned that he must put his own eyes on the condition of his realm and the council agreed. Before he left, however, Namor received a call from Jacqueline Trufaut, indicating that Carl Burnhart might have been behind the attack on Atlantis in order to prevent its entry into the United Nations. She feared for her safety and asked Namor to return to Manhattan, but the prince reluctantly put the duties of the crown before his heart and said he would reach her when he could.

In the colony of Amphitrite, Namor saw how his people suffered in polluted waters and lack of resources, far out of sight and therefore out of mind of the capital. He was captured by rebels led by the shape-changer Proteus, who impersonated the loyal Captain Jakka. Namor fought Proteus in an arena, holding his own against the shifter until Warlord Thakos arrived, investigating Namor's disappearance. Unfortunately, when he returned to Atlantis, Namor received word that Jacqueline had been kidnapped. This time, the council could do nothing to restrain the prince, as he again abandoned the responsibilities of the throne to race to Jacqueline's rescue.

After he rescued Jacqueline from a pair of giant Atlantean twins, she brought him back to the Trufaut Center for Undersea Studies. The two of them relaxed there together for a time until Namor's next scheduled speech before the United Nations. He was well-received and Atlantis appeared ready for entrance into the UN, before the Atlantean rebels crashed into the building and kidnapped Jacqueline again. Losing the chase, Namor furiously turned on Burnhart and leveled Jacqueline's prior accusations against him, only to learn Burnhart had actually been investigating claims that Jacqueline herself was involved in the attacks.

Not wanting to believe Burnhart's story, Namor followed Jacqueline's trail and discovered the lost city of Pontus, where Atlantean legend said the mortal shell of Neptune was laid to rest after his time living among his people. Namor's worst fears were confirmed as Jacqueline was responsible for all his woes, having used various mystical talismans from Neptune's resting place to empower Dragonrider, Proteus, the twins, and now herself by wielded a twin of Namor's own Trident of Neptune. Jacqueline hated Namor with a passion ever since her father was killed by bullets bouncing off of Namor's own body during Atlantis' last attempt to enter the United Nations. A heartbroken Namor defeated Jacqueline and her agents before turning her over to Burnhart's custody.

An even worse revelation awaited Namor when he finally returned to Atlantis for the first time since his rescue of Jacqueline weeks prior. Lord Dara met Namor and informed him the Atlantean council had led a vote of no-confidence in Namor's ability to rule. His frequent absences and lack of interest in the day-to-day affairs of ruling made him unfit to be monarch. The people of Atlantis supported the council and Namor was ordered to abdicate. A crestfallen Namor was only briefly enraged before quickly realizing what a sound decision the council made. He hugged his cousin before departing from the nation that no longer wanted him, free to seek his own destiny somewhere else. [Prince Namor, Sub-Mariner #1-4]

[Note: It is difficult to reconcile how Jacqueline Trufaut could have been a child in the 1950's and yet still appear as a relatively young woman in the present day 1984 publishing date, but that is the nature of Marvel's sliding timescale.]

Left adrift, Namor found himself in the company of friends, visiting with newlyweds Walter and Diane Newell during their oceanography research aboard Hydrobase. He was still aimlessly searching for a new purpose in life when the Avengers arrived, looking to lease Hydrobase to store their Quinjets. As the Avengers learned about Namor's current woes, Hercules took it upon himself to cheer up the fish-man... with the gift of battle! After the enraged Sub-Mariner learned Hercules' true intentions to raise his spirits, he genuinely laughed and invited the Avengers to a clam bake.

As the night went on, Namor and Captain America broke off from the others to speak privately. Namor confessed the depth of his problems to Cap, who surprisingly suggested Namor join the Avengers. The Sub-Mariner was shocked by the offer and considered his record of attacks on the surface world a major stumbling block towards acceptance. Cap countered with his memories of Namor's war-time record against the Nazis, and one further personal anecdote. Having learned the story himself from reports taken from an Inuit tribe, Captain America told Namor for the first time that he was responsible for thawing Cap from the ice after his decades-long sleep. With his oldest friend's staunch support, Namor accepted the offer of membership in the mighty Avengers. [Avengers (1st series) #262]

The Sub-Mariner served well with the team, although his nature as a headstrong loner occasionally conflicted with the chairwoman Wasp's instructions. He fought with his comrades against impressive foes like the Beyonder, Magneto and Kang. It wasn't all smooth sailing; Namor and Hercules had a habit of getting under each other's skin, with the conflicting arrogance of royalty and godhood leading to many minor arguments. Of greater concern were the public protests rallying against Namor's Avengers membership. The American people fell into two camps, those who supported Namor and his wartime record with the Invaders, and those who remembered his attacks on the surface world, seeing him as a TRUE invader. The fact that the Wasp fell behind on making an official announcement of Namor's membership also hurt matters, making it seem as if the Avengers were deliberately hiding the Sub-Mariner. As a result, when his public debut as an Avenger finally came, it was plagued with controversy. [Avengers (1st series) #263-269]

Atlantis' submission for membership to the United Nations came with a blanket amnesty to all outstanding criminal charges against Namor. However, this did not protect him from civil liability. An alliance of insurance companies took advantage of this fact to sue Namor for property damages caused during his various rampages and invasions over the years. Namor was prepared to face his accusers in court, but was soon distracted by other matters.

Atlantis had fallen into turmoil after Namor's abdication. High Priest Shakkoth started a civil war by trying to seize power from the other elders, Lord Vashti and Warlord Thakos. They were forced to seek assistance from Attuma and his barbarian hordes against Shakkoth. The wily Attuma positioned the loyal Atlantean troops to receive the brunt of the battle, defeating Shakkoth but leaving his own Sharkans fresh and posed to maintain occupation of Atlantis once the rest of the army was exhausted or killed. Attuma had essentially made a bloodless coup against Atlantis, but he feared the return of the Sub-Mariner. Seeking a trump card, he sought out and captured Marrina, still grotesque and misshapen after the activation of her Plodex heritage. He paraded "the beast" before Atlantis, announcing that their once-prince had intended to marry this monstrous alien over someone of Atlantean blood.

On behalf of loyal Atlanteans, Byrrah sought Namor at Avengers Mansion and informed him of Marrina's capture. Namor agreed to accompany Byrrah to Atlantis as a matter of honor, despite his upcoming court appearances. Although Byrrah wished to reinstall Namor on Atlantis' throne (thinking even a half-blood royal was better suited to rule than a Sharkan barbarian), Namor only intended to rescue Marrina and leave. Unfortunately, Namor misjudged his people's love for him. He arrived at Atlantis alone, expecting to rally the citizens and armies of Atlantis to his side against Attuma. Instead, poisoned by Attuma's speeches, none took up arms against him. Namor and Byrrah were forced to flee empty-handed. Namor swallowed his pride and went to retrieve the Avengers for assistance, while dispatching Byrrah to recruit Marrina's former teammates in Alpha Flight as well. [Avengers (1st series) #270, Alpha Flight (1st series) #36-38]

The two national super-teams were on shaky legal ground invading a foreign country, but maintained they were righteous since they only sought to free a hostage, not reclaim a throne. Namor joined the Avengers and Alpha Flight as they successfully overcame Attuma's armies and freed Marrina from the cage they held her in. At first, however, Marrina did not want a reconciliation with Namor. She still feared her Plodex heritage and believed she had been impregnated with alien horrors by her mate in their last encounter. She fled from Namor's side and the Sub-Mariner took official leave of absence from the Avengers in order to pursue her. [Avengers (1st series) #272, Alpha Flight (1st series) #39]