X-POSITION: Stuart Moore Swims with "Namor"

The X-Men's long history as persecuted mutants that dates back to their first appearance in 1963. The truth of the matter, however, is that they weren't the first Homo Superiors running around the Marvel Universe. There were others -- both known and unknown -- that were leaving their mark prior to the sixties, they just did so without a large "X" on their belt buckle.

The individual credited with being the "first" mutant is actually someone who is still around the present day Marvel U, though he has only recently embraced the "mutie" portion of his heritage by joining the X-Men. We are naturally talking about Namor the Sub-Mariner who headlines a new comic series launched late last year written by Stuart Moore -- "Namor: The First Mutant."

Readers appear to have loads of questions about this character and his book and X-POSITION is here to get you answers! Moore is joining us as we dive into the murky waters surrounding Namor's past, present and future. So toss on your speedos, grab your Trident and let's go for a swim!

Marcus M. kicks things off with a logical question that ties in to Namor's first Silver Age appearance. Moore's answer, unfortunately, will undoubtedly leave Namor fans wanting, um, more:

Given Namor's ties to the team, will we see any members of the new FF pop up in his book? And given Johnny's role in bringing Namor into "modern day," might we see Namor's reaction to his death?

Well, first off, it's my sad duty to report that "Namor: The First Mutant" will end with issue #11, so we're not going to get around to Fantastic Four guest stars. I expect you'll see some of that, eventually, in Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting's terrific new "FF" title.

And while I'm on the subject, "Namor" #9-11 form a storyline called "The Fire Down Below" that pulls together all the threads we've been building and brings them to a big, splashy, hopefully surprising conclusion. I'm very pleased with these issues -- as much as anything I've ever written -- and tag-team artists Carlos Rodriguez and Sergio Ariño are bringing them brilliantly to life. Their detail work on New Atlantis is stunning and the storytelling is both crystal clear and splashy as hell. If you've been reading, I think you'll like where we're going. If you've been thinking of jumping on, this is the perfect time.

You heard the man, people -- grab your solo Namor fun while you can! At least we'll still be able to see the Sub-Mariner in other books...that is, if he survives his final encounter in "Namor: The First Mutant."

Patrick D. wrote in because he's concerned that Namor might be a tad lonely, so he wants to check and see if our sea king should expect company soon:

Now that the Agents of Atlas are more "underground" than ever, what role will Namora play in Namor's court and his life?

With both "Atlas" and "Namor" ending for now, that's an open plot thread, as is the question of Namorita, who's recently returned. We'll have to see.

HypeStyle has something else he'd like to see more of -- Namor's powers. Can you lay out the odds for what he's proposing?

1) Will we be seeing more of Namor's little-used powers, like sea animal-mimicry or sea creature telepathy?

Animal mimicry is a very little-used one, that's not too likely to return. As for telepathy, I think I stumbled a bit in issue #1, where Namor refers to controlling fish. That's not quite right; he doesn't command them, but he can communicate with them through some mixture of telepathy and ancient mysticism. One thing we've explored throughout this run of "Namor" is the idea that there's something very, very special about the King of Atlantis. His very blood carries age-old power that can't be used casually, but is extremely potent. I think the creatures of the deep understand that on a primal level and respond to his will.

You'll see more of this in issues #9 and 10 and the question of logomancy and royal blood comes to a climax in issue #11. 

2) How about giving Namor some Atlantean tech gadgets to work with, like a high-tech trident or something?

He has a high-tech trident! It shoots light-beams. He used it against the Aqueos in issues #3-4 and he'll definitely use it in the next few issues.

3) Will we be seeing any more new villains? And how about upgrading some forgotten villains, like Dr. Dorcas, Destiny or Captain Barracuda?

We have our hands full right now with the rebellion led by Commander Krang and his loose-cannon sidekick, Selach. That's about to come to a head as well.

AcesX1X is up next and he sent in a ton of quality queries. Since this is going to be his only chance to get them answered, I decided to just let him go for it:

1) You've had Namor battle the Aqueos and travel on his own personal journey to Hell -- and so far, he's maintained a fairly cool head throughout. But, for years, Namor was headlined with the adjective "Savage" in his title. Are there any plans to bring out more of that "savage" nature in this book?

That's an interesting question. To me, he seems always on the edge of turning savage -- of losing control, giving in to the primal, ancient-warlord part of his nature. But Namor's determined to forge a new, more civilized Atlantis, so for now he's keeping that part of himself in check.

That said, Namor does one pretty savage thing in issue #11, our big finale. It's a direct response to the death of a supporting character, which kicks off this storyline.

2) Loa's taking up the role of "sidekick" pretty well for Namor and she reminds me a lot of Namorita from John Byrne's "Namor" series. How does Namor view Loa? Is he ready to take on the responsibility of being a mentor again?

Loa has become part of the Royal Court of Atlantis, which means Namor has taken her under his wing. I don't think things have slowed down long enough for him to consider whether he's ready to personally mentor her, but in issue #8 he stood up to Cyclops and insisted that Loa stay in New Atlantis.

3) What's going on with the other underwater realms? The Invisible Woman is now Queen of Old Atlantis and we've yet to see anything from Lemuria. Any plans to have Namor deal with this, or are his attentions going to mostly focus on Utopia's Atlantis colony?

"The Fire Down Below" focuses mostly on New Atlantis, beneath Utopia. But we are dealing with the Lemurians, who -- like other Atlantean and Atlantean-affiliated races around the world -- have answered Namor's call to form a new colony under Utopia. Unfortunately, they've become an oppressed class, viewed as uncivilized savages by the Atlanteans...which makes them the perfect foot soldiers for Krang's rebellion.

4) Marrina's back with the new Alpha Flight relaunch after having to kill her (for a second time) over in "The List: X-Men." How will he react to her return and will that be seen in this series?

Not in this series. See "Namora" and "Namorita" above.

5) Besides Namor's flirtations with Emma, are you doing anything to strengthen Namor's ties to the X-Men? Are there any potential friendships out there to be built?

I don't think the ties need strengthening, particularly, because the sheer geography of New Atlantis vs. Utopia means their fates are intertwined. But I love the triangle of Emma/Namor/Cyclops. We dealt with that a bit in issue #8, when Namor returned from Hell.

6) What's the status of Namor's old Eco-Corp, Oracle, Inc.?

Trading down, but received some government bailout money last year. If you're considering investing, consult a financial expert; Comic Book Resources is not a qualified investment advisor.

7) What do you think Namor brings to the X-Men's table in terms of pure assets? Experience? Why is he tolerating the X-Men right now and why hasn't he beaten up Dr. Nemesis yet? Doesn't he remember fighting Nemesis from his Invaders days?

Namor tolerates Nemesis, as he tolerates many people, so long as Nemesis is useful. Don't forget that Nemesis was primarily in New Atlantis to figure out what was happening to Loa, whom Namor (a) likes and (b) feels a certain responsibility for, because the amulet that turned her into a water-breather was Atlantean in origin. But it's probably a good thing Nemesis was gone by the time Namor came back from Hell.

What does Namor bring to the X-Men? A lot of things: strength, flight, determination and a knowledge of what goes on beneath the seas that cover three-fourths of this planet. He's also the only X-Man with an army of warriors at his personal command. But mostly, it's that fierce, unstoppable determination that lets him do great things -- and that leads him into big trouble sometimes, too.

8) Many fans think New Atlantis relies on Utopia for survival, but everything I have seen shows that the situation is actually the opposite. As a writer, what is your take on the Utopia/Atlantis partnership? Who needs whom exactly?

That is one of the major points of issues #9-11. You've hit it exactly: very literally, it's not Utopia holding New Atlantis up -- it's the other way around. New Atlantis is built around the Pillar, the metallic column built to keep Utopia from sinking into the Pacific Ocean. A threat to Atlantis is definitely a threat to Utopia.

At the same time, the X-Men's presence casts an (also literal) shadow over Namor and his people. Not all Atlanteans like that, or think it's a good idea. And can you blame them?
Til also was curious about the Atlanteans' mindset and asked the following:

Ever since Atlantis was destroyed, the Atlanteans have been all over the place. We've been told they live in secret across the surface world, in the open in Latveria and even in a new underwater city (Oceanus) in "Agents of Atlas." With the establishment of New Atlantis, what is the status of these Atlanteans? Did they come when Namor sounded the bell for their new home, or did they stay where they were at?

Some of them came, some of them didn't. We dealt with this a little bit back in issue #2: some Atlanteans no longer trust Namor's leadership, others had formed their own colonies (like Oceanus, in 'Atlas') and still others were afraid to travel because of the marauding Aqueos vampires. Gradually, more and more of Namor's people have joined him in New Atlantis, but not all. And some of the ones who have come aren't happy about the way he's running things. We saw some of that when Krang was recruiting allies in issue #7 and we'll see more soon.

By the end of "The Fire Down Below," some of the problems in New Atlantis will be resolved. But sadly, the King himself will pay a heavy price. 

That's all from the readers and now it's my turn for some get-to-know-you fun with today's "Behind the X" question. It's a query I've tossed out to other guests, but I love hearing the variety of answers. So if you don't mind...what has been your most interesting/strangest con experience?

Just recently there was a scary limo ride with Garth Ennis and John McCrea, but it's probably legally unwise for me to discuss the details. So how about this: the first time I went to the San Diego ComiCon, I spent five days eating, drinking and hanging out with comics people. On Sunday night, my friend Tom Peyer and I decided to just get a drink by ourselves and decompress -- no comics people, no comics anything. We went to a "divey" Mexican joint, ordered two Coronas and then a friend of ours stuck his head out from the back room and yelled, "The drinks are free back here!" So we joined the party. The lesson: you can't escape comics...but sometimes the drinks are free.

We conclude today's X-POSITION on those words of wisdom, but we'll return next week with adventures and mysteries galore courtesy of "X-Factor" writer Peter David. Read up, write up and send me those questions just as soon as you can. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll share my family's secret recipe for making ice (just don't share it with anyone else). See you in seven!

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