Namor is an @$$høl∑ and there really isn’t any way to get around it.
Some might rationalize it by pointing out he grew up being bullied, yet also royalty or even outcast at times. So, his Defenders might say that combination in his upbringing justifies his being spoiled while also suffering from low self-esteem that he hides behind his title of King. But it’s all narcissism just just the same.
Namor is an a$$h@le and it’s important that we come to grips with that before we see him appear in
Black Panther 2 Wakanda Forever and want to fall in love with him like we did Killmonger because “he has a point” or “he’s just misunderstood” or “nobody loved him” or some other such nonsense we’ll tell ourselves to justify the fact that he’s an as$h0l∑.
Read on for proof.
The Top 7 Times out of the Hundreds that Namor the Sub-Mariner was an A$$h@le
7. Betraying His Invader Teammates
The Invaders (1975) featured flashback stories set during World War II. The team was originally made up of existing characters from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics and featured Captain America, Bucky, the original android version of Human Torch and Namor, all brought together to oppose Nazis.
The Invaders saved the life of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, fought Baron von Strucker, and defended Atlantis from Nazi occupation. Clearly they were doing good work, which made it all the more appalling that they often had to fight against Namor more than they fought alongside him.
In fact, Namor once beheaded the original Human Torch. But the original version of Torch was an android, so that’s fine. I guess? But the 2019 Invaders series was about taking Namor to task for all the times he put his personal needs above those of the great good as far as the Invaders were concerned.
+++ Key Issues: Invaders (2019)
6. Siccing Sharks on Stingray
Stingray is an underrated Marvel character that hasn’t really had enough time to shine, maybe because he’s always underwater. But Stingray is a reservist Avenger and has always comported himself with honor, humility, courage, and wisdom. You know, like a hero should do.
More pertinently, Stingray has long stood by Namor, consistently giving Namor the benefit of the doubt along with multiple second chances, even when Namor hasn’t reciprocated that care and respect.
Need proof? In Avengers #9 (vol 8), Stingray approaches Namor as a friend, hoping to talk Namor down from one of the thousands of times he’s being an @SShole, but rather than dialogue with his old friend Stingray, Namor sucker punches him.
It gets worse. Stingray is then unconscious underwater and bleeding. So what does Namor do? He sics a sea full of sharks on Stingray, hoping for a feeding frenzy. I mean, with friends like that…
+++ Key Issues: Avengers (vol 8) #9
5. A Cabal with Doom and Thanos
There are dozens of instances where Namor aligned himself with evil for his own selfish gain, but perhaps none is more egregious than when Namor formed a cabal with Thanos. And, to be clear, the Cabal was formed by Namor after a falling out he had with the Illuminati, another shadowy group formed to wield power and influence global events.
The Cabal at first pledged their noble intentions and earned support of the United Nations. They then sacked Wakanda, an event that felt a little too convenient considering they are Namor’s nemesis (see below). But Namor was convinced in his arrogance that he was fully in the right, a pattern of behavior with him.
But Namor was shortly elbowed to the sidelines by Thanos, who took control of the Cabal, a plot point that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, proving that not only is Namor arrogant, he is naive, a deadly combination.
Key Issues: Infinity, New Avengers (2013), Avengers (2012)
4. A Giant Overreaction with Giganto
Let’s flash back to Namor’s early days with the Invaders, just to reinforce the fact that he’s always been an a$$Høle.
Blowing a magical horn, Namor summoned an enormous sea creature named Giganto. Giganto is an ancient creature that first battled legendary monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone an event that resulted in being fictionalized in the literary classic, Moby Dick, because comics can be fun sometimes.
Atlantis kept the power of Giganto in their back pocket, the same way Reagan and Gorbachev kept their nukes in theirs. Giganto was seen as a doomsday weapon that could be summoned and controlled with the horn, its power being directed for nothing but destruction.
So when Namor sent him to destroy New York City, flattening buildings and killing innocent bystanders, it was definitely an A$$hole move, particularly because the rationale for the destruction was an incredible over-reaction by Namor.
But Jack Kirby drew it beautifully and Stan Lee wrote a fun story. Giganto was a doomsday weapon, so it was fitting that the Fantastic Four stopped it by dropping a nuclear bomb in its belly. Now we wait to see if the storyline will be rejiggered for the upcoming Wakanda Forever movie. (See below.)
Key Issue: Fantastic Four #4
3. Going Full Tyrant
Namor has always been arrogant, believing he alone has the power and intelligence to lead others. Worse, he talks out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand he claims his focus is solely on underwater matters, while on the other he constantly inserts himself into surface affairs. This has never been more apparent than when Namor went full tyrant in Secret Empire.
In the Secret Empire storyline, Namor struck a deal with Steve Rogers that would lead to Atlantis’ neutrality as long as they didn’t interfere in surface matters. When others tried to convince Namor that this was the rare instance that it wouldn’t be wise to sequester himself beneath the sea, he oddly decided that he’d go against character and that was exactly what he would do, apparently just because it was his former Invader teammates’ idea.
Doubling down, Namor went full tyrant on Atlantis. Always displaying a propensity for cruelly strong-armed behavior, Namor really let it shine this time.
Key Issues: Secret Empire
2. Targeting Wakanda for Genocide
Atlantis and Wakanda have long had a rivalry, which is fairly inexplicable considering one is beneath the sea and the other is landlocked in Africa. But it’s been a bitter, violent rivalry nonetheless.
Interestingly, it hasn’t always been Atlantis who was the aggressor, Wakanda has instigated the attack at times, sometimes at the behest of Shuri.
But it’s always Namor who ups the ante. He is incapable of letting go of a petty grudge, nor is he ever one to toe the line when it comes to war crimes. The proof is that in the latest skirmish between Wakanda and Atlantis, Namor ordered nothing less than a full genocide in Wakanda, a brutal attack that showed just how merciless he can be.
Will we see this storyline retold in the movie? I suspect we will in some form.
Key Issues: Many
1. Hitting on Sue Richards
Namor is a shameless lothario and maaayybe he gets a pass on that by early 70s standards, but there is absolutely no excuse for brazenly trying to suduce a married woman like Namor has done a hundred times with Sue Richards. I mean, it’s one of the 10 Commandments, people. It’s written on a stone tablet that it’s capital-“A” A$$HøLE behavior to do that.
The Fantastic Four is Marvel’s First Family, making Sue Richards Marvel’s mom. It wasn’t bad enough that artists in the 90s gave Sue Richards a boob window, but many writers treated the relationship between Sue and Namor in a way that blurred the line of skeevy. You don’t do that with Marvel’s mom.
Of course, I blame Namor, as he’s an unrepentant @$Shole. Again, it’s one of the Ten Commandments, you simply don’t commit adultery. So, the fact that Namor so brazenly, shamelessly hits on Sue Richards is just another example out of the hundreds that Namor the Sub-Mariner was an A$$h@le.
And I won’t even dignify some of the more modern writers’ takes on this relationship as they read more of self-indulgence in the writer’s personalized fantasies written out on the page, as opposed to a fair portrayal of Sue Richards’ character. One simply does not do that to Marvel’s mom.
Key Issues: Any time Sue Richards and Namor on on the same panel as one another.