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Defenders Spotlight

Defenders Spotlight: Namor

The story of the Sub-Mariner, from his rebellious beginnings to his current status as an unlikely team player

By Ben Morse

On December 7, the most unorthodox team in history may be our only hope and reality’s last line of defense against insanity. Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson bring together some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe to face an ancient evil unbound in DEFENDERS #1!

Each day this week, we’ll closely examine one of the Defenders making up this new roster, giving a detailed rundown of their personal history and pointing you to digital comics containing the seminal stories that brought them to their current states.

Before they band together to safeguard existence, get to know the heroes we need more than ever with Defenders Spotlight!

Few in the entirety of the Marvel Universe have had so varied an existence as Namor the Sub-Mariner. From serving as an enemy of humanity to battling Nazis alongside the Invaders to serving with distinction as an Avenger, the monarch of Atlantis has swam in just about every current imaginable. One recurring constant has been his ever uneasy alliance with the Defenders, a membership he seems poised to resume shortly.

The offspring of an Atlantean princess and American sea captain, Namor developed an aggressive streak as an adolescent, declaring war on the surface world in Atlantis’ name and at the prompting of his grandfather, King Thakorr. The Sub-Mariner would however work past an early rivalry with the original Human Torch to join him, Captain America and others in opposing the Axis Powers, a common enemy, during World War II, and becoming a hero to those who formerly feared him in the process.

Suffering injuries and developing amnesia following WWII’s conclusion, Namor wandered aimlessly before ending up in the New York City Bowery where the new Human Torch of the Fantastic Four discovered him and restored his memory. Discovering Atlantis decimated by nuclear attacks, the enraged prince resumed his war against humanity, battling the FF, Avengers an others, though occasionally softening his stance out of unrequited love for The Invisible Girl.

The Sub-Mariner would once again settle down and broker a tenuous peace with his enemies after rediscovering his lost people and becoming engaged to the Lady Dorma. Though his intended bride met her demise at the hands of his enemy Llyra, Namor remained a hero to those both above and below the sea, founding the Defenders and battling villains like Attuma and Tiger Shark.

Tragedy would again visit Namor’s romantic endeavors when he married the alien Marrina, only for her to transform into a monstrous creature he found himself forced to slay, ending his brief stint with the Avengers in the process as he needed time to mourn. He would bounce back nonetheless, both becoming a successful businessman and environmentalist with Oracle Inc., and later retaking the throne of Atlantis. The Sub-Mariner also became involved with the Illuminati, a secret group also including the likes of Iron Man and Mister Fantastic that had taken on the burden of protecting the world in secret.

Recently, Namor aligned himself with Doctor Doom and Norman Osborn, seemingly returning to his villainous ways, only to turn on his Cabal allies and aid the X-Men against a Dark Avengers invasion of their home in San Francisco. The Sub-Mariner has since become a full-time member of the mutant team and relocated New Atlantis beneath their island nation, Utopia.


The first appearance of Namor the Sub-Mariner.

INVADERS (1975) #4

Namor leads the Invaders against U-Man!


The Sub-Mariner returns and fights the Fantastic Four for the first time!


Namor and his Defenders allies clash with the Avengers!


The Illuminati travels to the Skrull Empire in one of their first missions.

SUB-MARINER (2007) #1

King Namor must deal with internal strife amongst the people of Atlantis.


The Sub-Mariner joins the X-Men.


When vampires invade Atlantis, its king fights back!

Come back tomorrow when the Defenders Spotlight falls on the Immortal Iron Fist, and be sure to grab DEFENDERS #1 on December 7!

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Namor was great in X men but although he is also founding member of the Defenders I would rather not comment but its good to see him