Namor the Sub-Mariner has been a part of the Marvel Comics Universe since 1939, a seasoned and decorated character to say the least. The Atlantean King rules over the seas with an aggressive temperament, though he isn’t averse to assisting the surface world. However, when the actions of The Land are consistently to the detriment of his home, it is hard for Namor to keep the peace. Extremely hotheaded, the Sub-Mariner is unable to remain an ally to the surface dwellers for long.
An Atlantean, a king, a mutant, a hero and a villain, Namor is all of these things and more. His history is laden with conflict, much of the time with his supposed allies, and it has always been hard for Namor to coexist with a world that forces him into contention so frequently. Even Namor’s inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be a pain to orchestrate. So, be it in comics or in the movies… how do you solve a problem like King Namor?
Namor famously joined Captain America, Bucky and the original Human Torch during World War II, reasoning that the Axis forces would be just as big of a threat to the sea as they were to the allied nations. Namor joined with his fellow heroes to push back against the Axis, though he wasn’t exactly happy about it. Finding it hard to adjust to the customs of the surface world, Namor’s bravado brought him into contention with Captain America.
Arrogant, proud and stubborn, Namor would be a little too jovial in the face of the horrors of war. Steve Rogers admonished the Sub-Mariner, trying to get him to see the value of human lives and his fallen comrades. It turns out Namor did value his human allies, but elected not to get attached to them. In Invaders #1 (2019), Namor is shown to be conflicted, mourning the loss of his fellow warriors but despising how frail and easily defeated they were compared to his own people. Even in heroism, he proves to be a conflicted figure.
The problems didn’t stop after the war. The camaraderie he felt towards Cap made him an ally to the Avengers, but only when he felt like it. Namor flipped between a problem and a friend to the Avengers over the years, even getting himself involved in Civil War on behalf of the anti-registration forces.
Due to his power, influence and work with the Avengers, he was invited to join the clandestine Illuminati. The pattern of Namor’s combative personality, however, would once again repeat itself. This time, he stood against his Illuminati allies when they proposed exiling the Hulk, his longtime friend and ally, into space. So opposed to the plan was Namor, that he almost drown Iron Man in a scuffle after the debate got heated.
Next Page: X-Man, Villain… Savior of the MCU?