Namor - Character

Character

As related in Marvel Comics #1 (cover-dated Oct. 1939) and subsequent, expanded retellings of his origin story, Namor was born in the capital city of the initially unnamed Atlantean empire, then located off the Antarctic coast. His mother was Emperor Thakorr's daughter, Fen, and his father an American sea captain, Leonard McKenzie, of the icebreaker Oracle; they had fallen in love and married aboard ship while she was, unbeknownst to him, spying on the human intruders. When Fen did not return Atlantean warriors attacked the Oracle, evidently killing McKenzie, and returned Fen to her kingdom. The pink-skinned mutant Namor was subsequently born among the blue-skinned Atlanteans. He became the Prince of Atlantis, and a warrior for his people against the "surface-dwellers." He became friends, however, with New York City police woman Betty Dean in Marvel Mystery Comics #3 (Jan. 1940), and when World War II broke out, he began fighting the Axis powers. In flashback stories beginning in the 1970s, he was retconned as a member of the Allied superhero team the Invaders, consisting originally of himself; Captain America and his sidekick Bucky; and the original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro.

Namor was injured after the war, and in Fantastic Four #4 was shown living in the flophouse Bowery district of Manhattan as an amnesiac derelict. (It was later established that by this point he went by the name "Macin".) Regaining his memory in this story, he became enraged upon learning that the original site of Atlantis had been destroyed by nuclear testing, its inhabitants evacuated. Namor vowed revenge on humanity, but after several attacks thwarted by superheroes, including in Fantastic Four #6, 9 & 14 (Sept. & Dec. 1962, May 1963), Strange Tales #107 (April 1963), he found his people and launched an unsuccessful invasion of New York City in Fantastic Four Annual #1 (1963)

Namor eventually called off his vendetta and returned to Atlantis, to marry his royal cousin, Lady Dorma. In Sub-Mariner #37 (May 1971), the evil princess Llyra of Lemuria, another undersea culture, kidnapped and replaced Dorma at the wedding, hoping to usurp Namor's kingdom. Though Namor's marriage to Dorma was still official, she died as a result of Llyra's machinations. Namor quickly went through another trauma in issues #43-44 (Nov.-Dec. 1971) when he finally met his father, long thought dead, only to lose him when McKenzie gave his life in battle against the supervillain Tiger Shark.

After being deposed from his throne, Namor joined the superhero team the Avengers and was compelled to ally himself with the "non-team" the Defenders (initially in Marvel Feature #1-3, Dec. 1971 - June 1972, then in the series The Defenders). He was briefly married to Marrina, an aquatic alien and a member of the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight. She was later presumed killed, but she was later revealed to be in a coma, of which Namor is unaware.

Father-daughter oceanographers Caleb and Carrie Alexander, theorizing that Namor's propensity toward rage was due to his half-human half-Atlantean blood chemistry, equipped Namor with a monitor to warn when Namor had to seek either air or water. This allowed Namor to control his metabolism. In his 1990-1995 series Namor, the Sub-Mariner, he collected sunken treasures to finance his secret purchase of a corporation he renamed Oracle Inc., which he turned to conservation and environmental purposes. Later, Namor lost his ankle-wings during a battle with the animated garbage-monster Sluj, but they were later restored. While continuing his business endeavors, Namor traveled to the dimension of K'un-L'un, where he found and brought back the superhero Iron Fist, who had been presumed dead for many months. He reunited with his mother, Fen, who died defending her son from an attack. Namor once again ruled Atlantis, and Oracle began sponsoring the charitable super-group Heroes for Hire.

In the one-shot New Avengers: Illuminati (May 2006), Namor is revealed to have been a member for several years of the clandestine policy group the Illuminati, with Mister Fantastic, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Professor X, and Black Bolt. In the series Sub-Mariner vol. 2, #1-6 (Aug. 2007 - Jan. 2008), he discovers his long-lost son Kamar, who attempts to usurp the throne of Atlantis but is killed by the supervillain Nitro.

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