Comic Book Trivia: Namor, the Sub-Mariner

So I've already written about characters like Batman, Flash, and Hulk. I thought I'd write the next take in this series about a lesser known character. Many of these facts will probably start with "He was the first character to...", but this is because he is one of the oldest superheroes.

10. He was the first superhero to get sexualized (and yes he's a male character).

This was him in his very first appearance. He's definitely a sexy beast!

I know he's only wearing speedos, but those were in style back then and even Superman wore his underwear on the outside. There was also a lot of pin-up art about him at the back of his early comics.

9. He was Marvel's very first superhero.

Actually, I lied. It's a tie between him and Human Torch. Both of them made their first appearance in the same issue, so they're technically both the first. But the reason I say that Namor came before him is because they both were announced before the issue was officially released, and Namor was announced first.

I also said that he was the first male superhero to be sexualized. So Marvel did sexualize their very first character.

8. He was the first superhero that could fly. (Sorry Superman 😥)

I'm aware that Superman came out before him, but Superman originally didn't have the ability to fly. I already mentioned this in my Superman take. Human Torch could fly too, but I already stated in #9 why I'm counting Namor over him.

7. He was arguably the most powerful superhero right after his creation.

Just like I said in #8, Superman couldn't fly in his first appearance. He also didn't have majority of the powers he has today. If they were to fight back then, Namor would easily win. Human Torch was just as powerful as Namor and there's been a debate about who would win between them. This is probably Marvel's oldest rivalry. I personally think Namor would win though.

Note that I'm only referring to Golden Age Superman here. It's pretty obvious that the Sub-Mariner would get his ass kicked if he fought current Superman.

6. He might have inspired Aquaman.

I've heard a lot of fans call him an "Aquaman rip-off", but he made his first appearance two years before Aquaman. Namor is actually even older than Batman.

DC and Marvel have many similar characters but I doubt if there are any that are as similar as these two. Even the name of their species is the same. They're both Atlanteans and their powers are hereditary. Namor is actually half-human and half-Atlantean. Aquaman is half-human too in some versions but full-blood Atlantean in others.

They also have all of the same abilities but Namor has two more:

• He can not only communicate with aquatic creatures but also channel some of their abilities to some extent. He rarely uses this though, and it's been left a mystery as to what extent he can use it to.

• He can fly. Although it was stated that this ability isn't because of his human or Atlantean genes. How he gets this power isn't fully known.

Their powers and how they get it might be similar. However, their backstories and personalities are very different. Overall, I'd say they're very different characters.

Who would win?

There's often a debate among fans as to who would win in a fight, so here's my opinion: Namor wins on land but Aquaman wins in the water.

Here's the reason for it: Namor can fly and that would easily give him an advantage on land. They do have the same abilities underwater but Aquaman has better fighting skills and also more resources.

5. He's considered Marvel's first mutant.

As I said previously, how he got the ability to fly is as of yet unknown. However, it has been stated that the reason is because of his unusual genetic heritage. Namor is unique among both ordinary humans and Atlanteans; While the majority of his observed superhuman powers come from the fact that he's a hybrid of human and Atlantean DNA, his ability to fly can't be explained by either side.

4. He was the second enemy of the Avengers.

The first one was Loki, who was the reason why the Avengers was formed. In the Avenger #3, Thor is seen holding off both Hulk and Namor at the same time (Namor was trying to manipulate Hulk).

3. He considers Captain America to be his wartime comrade.

He's physically older than Captain America and they knew each other before Cap got frozen in the ice. Namor once stumbled across the still-frozen body, which was being worshipped by a far-flung Inuit tribe. Enraged, the Sub-Mariner threw the ice block into the ocean. Even though he had been their enemy, he had won the Avengers' respect. When the team's original members took a leave of absence, they approached Namor to offer him a place with the Avengers, but he refused.

2. He was the only character that Hulk decided to spare in the World War Hulk storyline.

If you don't know what World War Hulk is, I have a take about that too here. Namor was the only member of the Illuminati who voted against sending Hulk to space.

The pic above isn't from World War Hulk though. I just wanted an excuse to add that :P

1. He's often considered the first anti-hero in comics.

He originally did start out as an anti-hero before he was known as a hero. He's shown a lot of character development since his first appearance. Phantom and Shadow did appear before him but even they were known as heroes. Namor was described as an antihero even in the comics.

I know he's not as well-known as the rest of the characters I've written about, but I still think these were interesting facts.

#ComicBookTrivia #LTComicTakes


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What Guys Said 11

  • 1mo

    My best friends dad works at the EPA and they had an paid intern that they nicknamed the submariner.
    Basically this guy was working and was told to park the company truck in a certain spot cause it was going to rain like a bastard for three days and a certain part of the parking lot gets flooded. He ignored that and the car went completely underwater and was wrecked.
    The funnily enough rather than firing him outright they merely made it so he was an unpaid intern. Then he did even more shit and eventually got fired

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  • 1mo

    I have always found him too weird.

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  • 1mo

    There were rumors that he was gonna join the MCU.. I hope so because he's kind of a badass.

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  • 1mo

    I've never heard of that guy, but he looks cool enough for a movie.

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  • 1mo

    Sub-Mariner is one of almost forgotten superheroes, I don't know why, I suppose water element heroes lack charisma (similar example is Aquaman, he is one of the least appreciated characters in the Justice League). I guess Marvel ditched Namor because of some more popular characters. But who knows, he might be back someday, maybe in the third or fourth Avengers movie.

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  • 1mo

    Never heard of him until today.

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  • 1mo

    He needs to be introduced in the Mcu already!

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  • 1mo

    Nice take, but isn't Apocalypse the first mutant on Earth?

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    • 1mo

      I didn't mean it in terms of continuity. I meant that Namor is the first mutant to make an appearance in the comics. I should have probably worded it better

    • 1mo

      Oh yes I understood that, I was just confirming. Your point was pretty clear that he was the first mutant created by Marvel

    • 1mo

      Namor is the first mutant in Marvel comic books, Apocalypse is only historically older, but he hasn't appeared in the comics before 1986, whilst Namor was published long time before him, in 1939. Basically, Sub-Mariner is older as a character, but Apocalypse is older by age.

  • 1mo

    Interesting, I had never heard of Namor until now. :-)

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  • 1mo

    Hm, pretty cool. I honestly didn't know much about him and too thought he was an Aquaman ripoff. Apparently I've been living a lie.

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  • 1mo

    Very enjoyable and educational take - Thanks for that

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What Girls Said 7

  • 7h

    perfect*

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  • 1mo

    Ugh... I've heard of Sub-Mariner a few times, but I never knew his name is Namor, interesting article :D

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  • 1mo

    Interesting guy, whom I've never heard of, but still, he has some sort of charisma ;)

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  • 1mo

    Well he looks tough, but he has kind of weird eyebrows, LoL :P

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  • 1mo

    ('-' ) oi... why isn't that guy wearing any pants?

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  • 1mo

    Lots of firsts with this guy!

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  • 1mo

    He is a bit similar to Aquaman, but more powerful, I mean, they are both Atlanteans, but Aquaman can't fly.

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