Namor McKenzie, Emperor of the Deep and ruler of Atlantis, strives to be a brave and noble leader. He looks after his people and watches over his kingdom valiantly. However, his dedication to protecting those under his guard led to frequent clashes with land-dwelling supergroups like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.
He’s swam along the fine line between hero and villain status for decades, willing to do the difficult – and occasionally horrific – deeds required to ensure Atlantis and the seas remain safe, even if it involves hurting others... or worse! Let’s dive into a rundown of some of the most shocking deeds Namor the Sub-Mariner has ever committed.
10 He Has Regularly Joined Forces with Doctor Doom
Namor has shown no qualms in establishing questionable relationships over the years, despite considering himself a hero. While he’s fought alongside some of the most villainous leaders in the Marvel Universe, his most consistent and long-lasting friendship is with Fantastic Four nemesis, Victor von Doom (a.k.a. Doctor Doom).
The pair became so close, Marvel launched their own Super-Villain Team-Up special series in the 1970s after the Sub-Mariner’s own solo series was cancelled. Together, they fought side-by-side to wreak havoc on land and at sea. The dreadful duo eventually parted ways once Namor found his subjects alive, but they would continue to plot and work together for years to come whenever opportunity for domination over land and seas arose.
9 He Joined Norman Osborn's Cabal
When Norman Osborn gained control of S.H.I.E.L.D. following ‘Secret Invasion’ and formed his villainous Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men teams, he also pulled together his own secret society called the Cabal, devised to work against the Illuminati’s peace-keeping intentions. Promising those who joined the opportunity to act out their nefarious plans, it became an incredibly powerful group featuring Namor, Emma Frost, Loki, the Hood, and Doctor Doom.
Of course, backstabbing is bound to happen in a group of tight-knit supervillains, and Namor was one of the key instigators. Reunited with his old friend Doctor Doom, they plotted against Osborn to ensure they'd achieve their goals of obtaining complete control over land and sea. In the end, Namor left the Cabal after Norman asked him to denounce and execute Atlantean secret agents, instead joining Emma Frost and X-Force in their plan to take down Norman and his Dark X-team.
8 He Destroyed Wakanda
Siding with the X-Men during the ‘Avengers vs. X-Men’ event, Namor joined Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, and Colossus on their quest to the moon to try and find Rachel Summers. Instead, the five were possessed by the power of the Phoenix Force and returned to Earth with an aim to create a Utopia for all mutantkind.
Mutants fueled with notoriously unstable power concerned the Avengers, threatening conflict. Namor took it upon himself to fight against the superhuman team with a view to destroying them completely. With his powers enhanced by the Phoenix Force, Namor flooded Wakanda with an enormous wall of water from a nearby lake, flattening the kingdom and drowning the inhabitants.
7 His Relationship with Sue Storm is... Complicated
Namor is notoriously unlucky when it comes to love. His most persistent romantic interest, however, is the Invisible Woman, Sue Storm. He has been smitten since they first crossed paths and has repeatedly offered to make her his queen. While Sue has occasionally admitted to being attracted to Namor and the pair have had a turbulent romantic relationship, she more often than not rejects his advances in favor of Reed Richards.
With his ego unable to cope with rejection, the Atlantean king has taken things a little too far on several occasions in an effort to win her affections, believing it’s his right to “claim” her.
6 He Pledged Allegiance to Thanos
While Namor is happy to work with supervillains if it means keeping his kingdom safe, there was far more nefarious reasoning behind his allegiance to intergalactic heavyweight, Thanos. When Proxima Midnight arrived in Atlantis to claim the Cosmic Cube, she discovered Atlantis had already been destroyed by a Wakandan army dispatched by Shuri. She promised the devastated king that he and his people would be spared if they pledged allegiance to the Mad Titan and told them where the Cube was.
Namor accepted, revealing the gem was hidden in Wakanda; a lie to trick Thanos’ Black Order and their immense army into attacking the unsuspecting African kingdom for him. Wakanda was ruined and countless lives were lost.
5 He Unleashed Giganto on New York City
Having teamed up with Captain America, Bucky, and the Human Torch to fight against the Third Reich in World War II, a devastated Namor with no memories of who he is found himself wandering the streets of New York City. When the Human Torch returned him to Atlantis, the underwater Prince recalled who he was and found his kingdom had been destroyed by atomic tests. He immediately sought revenge, angrily vowing to turn his might against mankind.
Using the Horn of Proteus, Namor summoned the enormous sea monster, Giganto. Able to direct the beast to carry out his attack, the Sub-Mariner sent him to ruin New York City, flattening buildings and killing innocent bystanders. This was just the first of many attacks Namor launched on New York, but perhaps the most devastating due to Giganto’s immense power.
4 He Destroyed an Entire Inhabited Earth
As the Incursions threatened to destroy Earth-616, the Illuminati developed various ways to try and save their planet. The group found themselves standing against another supergroup from Earth-4290001 who had been previously successful in saving their planet. As the two groups argued about the best way to proceed, Namor decided to strike first, instigating battle. The Illuminati consequently slaughtered Earth-4290001’s team and planted a device designed to destroy the planet that threatened to collide with theirs.
With both T’Challa and Reed Richards struggling to detonate the device, Namor took control once again and triggered the weapon, consequently decimating the planet and all of its inhabitants.
3 He Created a New Murderous Cabal
With the Illuminati dissolving after Namor destroying Earth-4290001, the Sub-Mariner realized he needed a new strategy to stop the oncoming Incursions. Teaming up with Maximus of the Inhumans, Thanos himself, and the Black Order, he created a new Cabal who would have no qualms in destroying other Earths as needed – a team that Doctor Doom himself didn’t approve of. Together, they killed planets and their inhabitants with a cold ruthlessness.
However, Namor soon became fed up with the glee his fellow teammates displayed when on their murderous missions and plotted to assassinate the very team he assembled, forcing him to return to the Illuminati for help in dispatching these supervillains.
2 He Sparked a War with the Surface World
While declaring war against the surface world isn’t unusual behavior for the Atlantean ruler, The Invaders’ ‘War Ghosts’ arc recently saw a more determined and deadly Namor vow to destroy all life on dry land. When a group of orphaned Atlantean children found their way to the ocean’s surface and suffocated in the unfamiliar atmosphere with nearby humans simply watching, Namor executed a captured crew of illegal whalers and declared war on the surface.
Not only did the Sub-Mariner turn upon old friends, brutally attacking Captain America with his own shield, but it was revealed that his scientists were developing missiles to be used against the surface. He also threatened those under the sea, evicting residents of Hydropolis.
1 He Became a Tyrant
Namor’s actions during the ‘Secret Empire’ series saw him turn his cruel hand towards his own people. In an effort to keep Atlantis safe from Hydra, he isolated his kingdom completely and launched a tyrannical rule over his people. With the kingdom on lockdown, Atlanteans were forbidden from venturing outside of their home or even questioning this new way of life.
A rebellion was eventually led by Namor’s cousin, Namora. Namora was fortunately saved as the crowd rebelled, overthrowing their previously beloved king. As a man determined to protect his people at all costs, forcing them to live under his iron-fisted rule and murdering those who didn’t comply is undoubtedly the cruellest thing Namor has done.