By Ben Morse
In 2011, terror overtakes the Marvel Universe as Fear Itself envelops its heroes and villains.
To delve deeper into what lies at the root of this climactic event, each week in Fear Files we will speak with Marvel’s biggest creators about exactly what frightens the premier heroes and villains whose lives they guide.
This week, NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT writer Stuart Moore enlightens us on what causes even a king to tremble…
What is Namor most afraid of?
Stuart Moore: Namor would never admit this to anyone, but deep down, he's afraid of failing. Failing himself, failing his friends, failing a woman he loves, and most of all, failing his people. He harbors a deep-down fear of not living up to his predecessors, the kings of ancient Atlantis. That's one of the reasons he's so combative, so quick to anger. As ruler of the seas, he's got some big shadows looming over his shoulder.
Do you think this fear is something that fuels him to be a better ruler and hero, or does it hold him back in some way?
Stuart Moore: Both. It makes him defensive, which can lead him to act rashly and without thinking. But it also spurs him on to be better; to bring his A game to every battle, every situation. Sometimes our fears cripple us, and other times they spur us on to do great things.
Though again he might never admit it, what does Namor see as his greatest failure?
Stuart Moore: It's a tossup between his failure to keep the Atlantean people together and the death of his beloved Lady Dorma. In the current series, he's trying to reunite his people on one hand, and on the other...well, that would be telling.
Why is Namor not the type of person who will admit to having fears?
Stuart Moore: He's an alpha male, the king of his undersea domain. He doesn't dare show weakness—to him, that's just not what a ruler does. He believes a king should be in control at all times, otherwise his people will lose faith in him.
Do you think anybody knows his secret fears?
Stuart Moore: Emma Frost is a telepath, but even without that power, I think she knows Namor pretty well because she's a lot like him. Namor would like to think he can get close to people without them learning all his inner secrets; but he's actually not as hard to read as he believes.
How will fear continue to affect and challenge Namor in the months ahead?
Stuart Moore: The “Namor Goes to Hell” storyline is all about him facing his fears; mostly, the fear that he'll let down the people who rely on him the most. In the upcoming NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT #8, he overcomes some of his doubts, and believes he's ready to face the challenges ahead. In the next storyline, “The Fire Down Below,” he learns that getting over your fears doesn't instantly solve all your problems. And since New Atlantis is directly beneath Utopia, Namor's problems may have consequences for the X-Men as well.
Can the Sub-Mariner live up to his own lofty expectations? Find out in the pages of NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT and UNCANNY X-MEN as well as during Fear Itself.
For more information on Fear Itself, visit the official event page.