The First Mutant: 15 Things Fans Didn't Know About Namor

Namor Steve McNiven

Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the First Mutant and the King of Atlantis. Namor McKenzie is the product of the union between the surface world and the briny depths. Though he certainly isn't the first mutant in terms of existence, he is the first published in Marvel Comics and the first to thrust himself into the public eye. Before the X-Men set out on their first adventure, Namor was fighting wars. Namor is also the second Marvel hero to be depicted with the ability of flight, the first being the original Human Torch. Though a very popular hero at one time, Namor's relationship with the world based on Earth's landmasses have been quite contentious. He trusts very few landwalkers, and even among the Avengers and X-Men, his respect is selective.

Namor isn't incapable of playing nice, though. He's shared allegiance with heroes and villains alike, with the best interest of his home nation of Atlantis always his priority. He began early on, in some of Marvel's first super-teams including the Invaders and the All-Winners alongside the likes of the Human Torch and Captain America. Namor is even familiar with vampires, having teamed up with the X-Men to defeat Dracula's son, Xarus. The links to the living dead don't end there, either, as Atlantis is where the first vampires of the Marvel Universe originate from! Through battles, international incidents and temporary friendships, Namor has made quite a name for himself. Dive on in as CBR takes a look into the King of Atlantis, unearthing factual treasures from his lore's depths!

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Namor X-Men
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Namor X-Men

Unfortunately for the King of Atlantis, his beloved city has been destroyed on a few occasions. After one such occasion, he formed a bond with the X-Men on Utopia. Both Atlanteans and mutants were operating out of sovereign nations at the time, so they were able to share resources and empathize with one another.

Namor, being part mutant, was ready to help both due to his heritage. He joined the X-Men's active roster and helped defend the island of Utopia. He would prove crucial to defending the mutants during Second Coming, helping to hold off the anti-mutant groups unified under Bastion's banner.


Namor has been a part of some of the Marvel Universe's most important teams. His resumé reads like that of an All-Star, with tenures on the X-Men, Defenders, Invaders, All-Winners and even the mysterious Illuminati. His work alongside Captain America historically afforded him the opportunity to become an auxiliary member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Namor is not one to ignore the call to action when the stakes are high. His power set makes him a valuable Avenger and a formidable foe for those who would oppose the heroes. During the events of Avengers: Disassembled, when the Avengers were at their lowest, Namor was among the former Avengers who returned to the mansion to help bolster the heroes.



Before the collapse of the Marvel Universe in Secret Wars, relations between Wakanda and Atlantis broke down. The two nations became engaged in a brutal, prolonged conflict that cost them both dearly. All the while, Black Panther and Namor reluctantly worked together with the Illuminati to resolve the collapsing multiverse issue.

When Shuri, who was leading Wakanda in the conflict at the time, found out T'Challa was working with Namor, she cast the former king out. T'Challa was made King of the Dead instead, tasked with protecting the area surrounding Wakanda. Having lost everything thanks to Namor, T'Challa's hatred for the Sub-Mariner only multiplied.


In the events leading up to Planet Hulk, the Illuminati took a vote on whether or not to exile Hulk into space. He had become too dangerous to deal with and so the group thought it best to jettison him off into the universe. Due to his friendship with Banner from their Defenders days, Namor opposed this.

Thinking the action to be outright wrong, Namor was furious with the group. He left the Illuminati in disgust, but not before making a bold statement. He slapped Iron Man into the sea and attempted to drown him. Had it not been for Dr. Strange's intervention, Iron Man may have perished in the disagreement.


Namor Infinity Gauntlet

Having escaped the initial changes Doom made to reality during Secret Wars, Namor and Black Panther found themselves once again on the same team. Though the two had recently been at war with one another, they needed to stop God-Emperor Doom. However, Black Panther promised to avenge his people once the deed was done.

Stephen Strange, who had been ended by Doom prior, left several powerful artifacts behind and led the heroes to them. One of the powerful artifacts was the Infinity Gauntlet, complete with all of the Infinity Stones. When deciding who would wield it, Namor told T'Challa: "Don't look at me. We both know I can't be trusted."


Namor Steve McNiven

On initial viewing, the laws of the surface rarely touch Atlantis and the Superhuman Registration Act shouldn't have bothered Namor too much. However, the events that triggered the Civil War event ensured that Namor had a personal stake in the conflict. Namorita, Namor's cousin, lost her life in the initial blast that began the event.

Pro-Registration forces attempted to gain his allegiance, but the pain Namor felt was a bit too raw, so he rebuked them. Namor activated Atlantean sleeper agents to help capture/destroy a returned Nitro, responsible for the blast that claimed Namorita. He arrived with his army at the final battle of the Civil War, to even the odds where Iron Man had bolstered his ranks with villains.


Namor Avengers vs X-Men

During the events of Avengers Vs. X-Men, the King of Atlantis got an upgrade. More used to dealing with water, the Sub-Mariner got a chance to wield cosmic fire. After a failed attempt to stop the Phoenix Force fragmented the entity, one of the fragments was taken by Namor. The power, and a little coaxing from Emma Frost, sent Namor on a warpath.

He took his power to the Avengers, seeking to capture Hope Summers from them. He managed to easily dispatch the likes of Red Hulk with his new power before he was eventually defeated. One highlight of the conflict was Iron Fist using the power of Shou-Lao(revealed to be an ancient enemy of the Phoenix) to try and punch the force out of the rampaging king.


Seeking to rebuild the ranks of the Hellfire Club after a few openings in their court arose, Shaw selected Namor as an ideal candidate. Namor scoffed at the idea, claiming it to be a waste of his time. The Club, never ones to let disrespect go, sent Emma Frost to brainwash Namor into joining. If he wouldn't cooperate, they'd force him to join.

Unfortunately for the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost became a little too attached to Namor. The two fell for one another and plotted to elope. The Hellfire Club caught up with the pair and managed to wipe Emma's mind of her and Namor's plot.


Despite being their king, Namor is not a full-blooded Atlantean. Namor is the son of the Atlantean Princess Fen and a human sailor by the name of Leonard McKenzie. The two fell in love out at sea and during their time together, McKenzie impregnated Princess Fen. Recently, in the pages of Avengers, Namor cited how hard it was to grow up not fully Atlantean.

He had to earn the trust of his people and those who wouldn't follow him he had to instill fear in. Namor also possesses the X-Gene, making him a mutant. This X-Gene was likely carried by his father, as it is a primarily human gene mutation, though it appears Leonard had no powers of his own.


Namor, and indeed all Atlanteans, enjoy an extended lifespan. Due to their aging process being more robust, Namor has been around for quite a while. He's been witness to some of modern history's biggest events and as the leader of an entire people, he has had to take part in that history, chief among them being World War Two.

During the second world war, the King of Atlantis answered the allied call against the Axis forces. Namor would join the likes of Human Torch, Captain America and Bucky to help wherever they were needed. He formed a lasting kinship with Steve Rogers and Jim Hammond during this time.


Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four

Namor has had an on again, off again relationship with the Fantastic Four over the years. He's been a villain for the heroic family and he has also been their ally. Though he often finds himself coming into contention with three-quarters of the team, he developed a soft spot for Sue Storm.

The two fell for one another for a time, though it appears the furthest they ever went was a kiss. Though it did not last long, Sue's influence on Namor remained for a time, with her being able to petition him for help. Namor has even told Reed openly that he has tried to get Sue to leave him.


Though Namor would leave the Illuminati twice under duress, he did contribute during his time on the team. He worked with the group to try and resolve the multiverse incursions, he was entrusted with the protection of one of the Infinity Stones and he worked to help investigate their disappearance when they were seemingly destroyed.

Namor's first exit from the group was due to his protesting against the exile of the Hulk. His second exit was after the Illuminati decided to stop destroying other worlds to resolve the incursion crisis. Believing his colleagues to lack the stomach to do what was right, he took the world-destroying device to the Cabal instead.


Namor Hyperion

It's not often that Namor is humbled, and this instance is no different. Following the reformation of the multiverse after God-Emperor Doom's defeat, Namor had a lot to answer for. He had helped eradicate entire worlds as part of the Cabal before the first multiverse was lost. Some of those worlds belonged to members of the Squadron Supreme, who were eager for revenge.

They confronted Namor and although he put up a fight, not many people can stand against Hyperion. He took out Namor with his eye beams, believing that to be the end of the Sub-Mariner. Hyperion would learn that this had cataclysmic repercussions on the timeline, and he was visited by an even more stubborn, disembodied astral version of Namor. Hyperion had to work to reverse Namor's end, and eventually succeeded.


Though nowhere near as dependable or versatile as Wolverine or Deadpool's healing factor, Namor does have a similar regenerative ability. When in water, the Sub-Mariner can heal from injury at a vastly accelerated rate. His healing diminishes, however, depending on how far he is from water and how dry he is.

The only part of Namor's body that appears to be exempt from his healing is the wings on his feet. In instances where they are damaged, they appear to take much longer to heal. Being that they are vital to his ability to fly, Namor's healing of these wings is always in his best interest.


Ultimate Namor

For someone who isn't a fan of those who walk on land, Namor sure knows a lot of their languages. This is likely because he has to engage with diplomacy with nations all over the globe. His kingdom, after all, touches every landmass on Earth. From his time on the X-Men, he will have also been privy to the alien languages that the mutants have encountered over the years.

Namor has also taken part in several wars, meaning he will have had to communicate with allies and interrogate enemies. In addition to this, a lot of trading across the planet relies on the sea, so the amount of cargo and information traversing the Sub-Mariner's kingdom is huge.

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