What Happened to Namor, the Sub-Mariner?

tSometimes, you really have to wonder why Namor, the Sub-Mariner never really was as huge of a superhero star as he should have been. He was clearly a favorite character of Stan Lee as Stan the Man did push him heavily in the early issues of The Fantastic Four as a misunderstood villain who would soon become a hero. The Prince of Atlantis eventually did get his own monthly comic in the 1960 else's and it was quite a good one.

Actually, he had two books: He shared a book with The Incredible Hulk in the form of Tales to Astonish (Namor's stories were a lot better than ole Greenskin's ) and when T2A as canceled, both The Hulk and the Sub-Mariner would get their own titles. Unfortunately, Namor's book never was a huge seller and it was canceled after a few years. Namor, of course, would appear again and again in FF along with appearances in Marvel Team Up, Marvel Two in One, and various other guest shots in scores of other books.

In the 1970's, there were a few attempts to cash in on the character. Likely assuming he could not sell issues his own,Marvel opted to team him with, of all characters, Dr. Doom in the bizarrely conceived and relatively short lived Super-Villain Team Up . This was not a bad book, but it was one of those 1970's Marvel titles that was doomed to sell okay at first and then end up canceled. Ditto with the Invaders. Namor got another chance with The Defenders until that title devolved into a B-grade Avengers ripoff. Namore would see new life in miniseries and reboots in new titles from the 1980's to the present.

Why do he always fall below the level of the top stars? Basically, Namor, the Sub-Mariner was originally concerned as a villain and he basically is best portrayed as a villain. When he is too heroic, he loses a lot of his edge. Of course, they cannot change him too much without fundamentally altering the character which means you have a very villainous and arrogant hero.

Namor, the Sub-Mariner is still a cool Marvel Character so he will be around a long time.

Considering he was a star in the 1940's, he has been around a long time!

 

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