Powers and Abilities
Because of his unusual genetic heritage, Namor is unique among both ordinary humans and Atlanteans; he is sometimes referred to as "Marvel's first mutant," because, while the majority of his observed superhuman powers come from the fact that he's a hybrid of Human and Atlantean DNA, his ability to fly can't be explained by either side (Atlanteans are an off-shoot of "baseline" humanity); though, in terms of in-continuity chronology, there were many mutants in existence before Namor. Namor possesses a fully amphibious physiology suited for extreme undersea pressures, superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, flight, and longevity. Namor has the ability to survive underwater for indefinite periods, and specially developed vision which gives him the ability to see clearly in the murky depths of the ocean.
Bill Everett, in his first Sub-Mariner story, described the character as "an ultra-man of the deep lives on land and in the sea, flies in the air, has the strength of a thousand men". No other powers were mentioned. When the series was revived in 1954, Namor lost his ankle wings and with them the power of flight; they, and his full strength, were restored in Sub-Mariner #38 (Feb. 1955), in which Everett additionally wrote a flashback story, "Wings on His Feet", detailing their appearance on Namor at age 14. This story was twice reprinted during the Silver Age of Comic Books, in Marvel Super-Heroes #17 (Nov. 1968), and in the book Comix by Les Daniels.
Namor possesses wings on his ankles to which he attributes his power of flight. On occasions when they have been lost or badly damaged, he has experienced a loss of flying ability. He could not fly as a child, and the power only manifested when the wings developed in adolescence.
Namor has the ability to swim at superhuman speeds, even by Atlantean standards.
Namor has greater longevity than a normal human being. He is well over 80 years old as he was born in 1920 in the Marvel timeline, but has the appearance of a male in his prime. His identity as a pre-World War II superhero is well-established, making him less subject to the sliding timescale of the Marvel universe.
After he was revived yet again in the 1960s by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Namor demonstrated powers of various sealife that had not been shown in earlier stories. However, an editorial note in Marvel Tales #9 (July 1967), stated explicitly that "nautical Namor has since lost his power to imitate the characteristics of fish..." According to one of Sub-Mariner's scripters, Roy Thomas: "As for Namor's electrical and other sea-creaturely powers. They were used in one or two stories in F.F. and the Human Torch series in Strange Tales, then dropped - as one of Stan and Jack s early (and quite forgivable) mistakes. The explanation, given in a reprint of a Torch/Namor bout a few years later, was that he had these powers only for a short time and then lost them."
In all his incarnations, Namor possesses superhuman strength and, with the possible exceptions of Orka and Tyrak at their full sizes, is the strongest Atlantean ever known. The exact level of his strength is dependent upon his physical contact with water, in which he needn't be submerged. It has been shown as sufficient to effortlessly toss a water-filled ocean-liner, despite the underwater viscosity. His strength diminishes slowly the longer he is out of contact with water, though an extended period on land does not result in his death, as it would for a typical Atlantean, and his power is retained in full as long as he keeps himself wet. Namor also possesses superhuman stamina and resistance to injury due to his hybrid nature. Namor's strength level is such that he has held his own in hand to hand combat with beings as powerful as the Hulk in the past.
Some stories have mentioned that Namor has gills for breathing underwater, and artists such as Salvador Larroca have drawn him with gill slits on either side of his neck. In The Sub-Mariner #18-22 (1969–70), beings from outer space surgically closed Namor's gills for a time, leaving him with the ability to breathe air but unable to breathe underwater. Other sources have stated that his lungs contain oxygen diffusing membranes that allow him to breathe underwater.
Due to a unique aspect of his hybrid nature (not shared by Namorita), it was theorized that Namor is vulnerable to oxygen imbalances in his blood that trigger manic-depressive mood swings; he can prevent imbalances by regular immersion in water.
Namor gives off a sense of charisma which most women tend to find captivating. Many of the ladies that have entered his life made clear their attraction to his masculine, slightly alien personality in ways both subtle and blatant. He reacts to such advances with gratitude tinged with a slight distance born of monarchical etiquette.
Namor is a natural leader, trained by the royal family of Atlantis as befitting an heir to the throne. He has historically led troops into battle with expert success. His typical interpersonal behavior with both subject and friend borders on the aloof; however this is more a sense of regal noblesse oblige rather than snobbishness.
Namor was given possession of the Time Gem. This gem allows the user total control over the past, present, and future. It also allows time travel, can age and de-age beings, and can also be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire worlds in unending loops of time. After the Hood attempted to steal the Gems, Namor briefly helped Thor recover the Gem from the bottom of the ocean to prevent the Hood acquiring it, before being entrusted with the Power Gem as the Gems were divided amongst the new Illuminati - Steve Rogers replacing Black Bolt - once again.
Namor was educated by the royal tutors of the Atlantean court, and speaks English, Atlantean, and Lemurian. He is a highly skilled business executive.
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