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Archrivals: Namor vs Everybody

Relive the savage Sub-Mariner's greatest battles against the entire Marvel Universe

By Jim Beard

Hero or villain? Concerning Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Avenging Son of Atlantis, the question's not only open-ended but may never truly be answered. To this day, the Prince of the Sea represents one of the Marvel Universe's most enigmatic and tragic figures.

February 10's THE MARVELS PROJECT #6 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting details Namor's first foray into fisticuffs with another super being-the original Human Torch-but most definitely not his last. For several decades the Sub-Mariner has teetered-tottered between being an amazing ally to our heroes and the most base of villains. The reasons for this vary but one thing remains true: you don't mess with Namor.

Jump with us now into the deep end of the pool for a brief swim through Subby's most cataclysmic clashes with Marvel's greatest superstars...


It had to happen: the ultimate contest between fire and water! The Human Torch found Namor wrecking the town and heroically pitted his flame against the Sub-Mariner's fury. The winner went undecided but a blazing rivalry began.


Lost in amnesia, the Sub-Mariner recovered his senses and reclaimed his hatred for the surface world. The Fantastic Four opposed him with force but in the end only a passionate plea from the Invisible Girl cooled Namor's unbridled lust for battle.


The Puppet Master pulled the strings and dispatched an unknowing Hulk to stamp out the Sub-Mariner. Namor fought as never before but discovered only a scrawny human washed to shore, signaling the mighty clash's end.


War once again bubbled to the top of Namor's thoughts and the only one to stand in his way this time? Spider-Man! The web-slinger pulled out all the stops to halt Subby's rampage and ultimately drove him off with a cool head and wise words.


The Sub-Mariner plays no favorites! After defeating the combined hordes of Hydra and the Maggia alongside Iron Man, Namor faced his own people as the Atlanteans unveiled their mission to conquer humanity. The result? The untimely demise of the Sub-Mariner!


Now the CEO of his own company, Namor sought the mystic city of K'un-L'un but found a wild and wooly Wolverine instead! Under the control of the Plant Man, Logan pit his claws against the savage Sub-Mariner in a ferocious fight, but the case closed all too soon-unresolved!


Now a reluctant member of a secret grouping of Earth's mightiest minds, Namor grew weary of Iron Man's plan to exile the Hulk to space. A desperate throwdown ensued between the two titans and only the mercy of the Sub-Mariner spared Tony Stark's life that day.


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Great list HOWEVER it is overshadowed by a glaring omission: STRANGE TALES #107 “The Master of Flame vs. the Monarch of the Sea!” First of all, the battle was epic, but the title takes top prize!  It sounds like a WWE promo of which Vince McMahon would be proud!  My fave moment was after Sub-Mariner bested Johnny by extinguishing his flame, he then adds insult to injury when he sends him home on the back of a dolphin, but that was not the end of this classic, Silver Age story by Marvel legend Stan Lee!