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Namor: Marvel's First Mutant Has Been Turned Into What He Hates Most

Captain America Namor feature

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Invaders #10,  by Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, Butch Guice, Alex Guimaraes and VC's Travis Lanham, on sale now,

Since his creation in the earliest days of the Marvel Universe, Namor the Sub-Mariner has always had a tumultuous relationship with humanity. Namor's early conflicts put him at odds with the surface world time and again, and his reintroduction in Fantastic Four in the '60s further solidified his anti-hero status, as he fought Marvel's biggest heroes as much as he's fought alongside them.

Now, in Invaders #10. Namor has turned into exactly what he's been fighting this whole time: human.

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Namor human Captain America

Although the King of Atlantis has cooperated well with his fellow mutants on the X-Men and the rest of Marvel's heroes for the past few decades, recent events in Invaders and Avengers have put him firmly back in opposition to the world of air-breathers. This Invaders series began  with him taking to his old ways and declaring war yet again in the name of Atlantis, empowered more than ever by the newfound ability of hydrokinesis, which gives him considerable water-manipulating abilities.

At the same time, these present-day stories are contrasted against flashbacks to Namor's service in the titular team the Invaders, where he fought alongside Captain America and the original Human Torch in World War II. Despite him fighting on the right side, the first issue highlights that his reasons for doing so aren't as simple as empathetic altruism. Namor compares mourning for humans to despair over a cracked egg, and expresses his annoyance and protecting the "bags of water" from getting punctured by other "bags of water."

However, Namor's outward actions, then and now, hide the fact that he's mourning a close human friend who died in the war. This detail fleshes out Namor's motivations in the present timeline, and that he still has at least smoe empathy for humans.

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While recent issues of the series introduced a weapon that can turn surface-dwellers into water-breathers unable to survive for long in the open air, the concept was flipped on its head when Namor himself was exposed to a process that had the reverse effect on him.

While Namor's half-Atlantean/half-human heritage has always allowed him to exist amphibiously, Invaders #10 ends with him marooned on an island with Captain America incapable of breathing the water he calls his home. His other powers may be gone as well, and he'll need to learn to cooperate with his old teammate in order to survive.

While it's not clear how Namor's war against the surface world will fare now that he's human, this could put Namor back on the road to being an outright hero or drive him further down the road to villainy.

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