You know that Namor movie you never knew you always wanted? Well, it might not be as dead in the water as we thought. Now that Marvel Creative Chief Joe Quesada has hinted that the MCU might finally own the rights to Namor, it's high time we take a look at the Sub-Mariner, and why he's so important to Marvel's history.
To laymen, Namor is known as Marvel's knock-off Aquaman — hailing from Atlantis, the sub-mariner has many of the same powers Aquaman does, but that's really where the similarities stop. After all, Namor's first appearance in Marvel predated Aquaman by two years. Plus, Namor can fly.
Namor is one of Marvel's oddest, and yet most interesting characters. His potential entrance to the MCU is fascinating considering his vast history, especially when we factor in the fact that he's technically a mutant, and his role in the Avengers vs. X-Men arc.
Vicious Antihero, Occasional Avenger
As both an Atlantean and a mutant, Namor has a complicated relationship with humanity. After his mutant father returned to civilization with Earnest Shackleton's expedition party, Namor was raised in Atlantis, and nurtured a strong mistrust of landlubber humans.
As the Prince of Atlantis, Namor has faced several battles for the throne, but usually takes up the mantle of Atlantis's ruler. That is, when he's not palling around with the Fantastic Four, Avengers, or Defenders that is — in his long, 70-year-publication history, Namor's shifting allegiances have taken his story on many interesting twists and turns. And he's not always a hero.
One of the reasons Namor is so fascinating is his characterization. Ruthless and prone to fits of rage, Namor has struggled with amnesia and his own morality in the past. As a result, you'd be hard pressed to find a Marvel character Namor hasn't had a complicated relationship with. One of his most lasting loyalties was to Captain America, then the Civil War arc changed everything as Namor lead the Atlanteans against Cap's forces.
Namor has also allied with some of Marvel's most notorious villains, like Doctor Doom and Magneto, even briefly joining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He's not a fan of Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire club though, as Shaw once lead a vicious attack on Atlantis.
Ultimately, Namor's alliances lie with Atlanteans first, mutants second, and the rest depends on the day. This meant that he ended up battling his old allies in the Avengers vs. X-Men arc, which could have interesting implications for the MCU.
So How Would All This Work On Screen?
Thanks to Namor's status as a mutant, and the fact that Marvel sold his movie rights to Universal in 2001, Namor's movie debut has been a hot debate for a long time.
It's possible that he's still all tangled up in rights and contracts and legal jargon, which is all too confusing to go into, and besides, Quesada's recent comments have given us hope. If Namor did enter the MCU, his mythology as an Atlantean would serve to broaden that universe considerably, offering plenty of plot possibilities for the movies and TV shows, even as the MCU expands further into outer space. From a character perspective, Namor would add an interesting dynamic to the Avengers (or the Defenders, depending on which team he joins), as he's always quite contentious.
But what if (and bear with me here because this is the wild speculation bit), what if Namor actually crossed over with the MCU with Fox's mutant universe?
I know, I know, Quesada said Fox didn't own Namor. And it's not like the MCU hasn't already skirted rights issues to add mutant characters to the Avengers. But Namor's role in the Avengers vs. X-Men comic is just too much of an awesome idea to waste — who doesn't want an epic, studio mashup movie as the two universes collide, leading the X-Men to fight the Avengers?
Well, I told you the speculation was wild. In any case, hopefully we'll find out exactly what Quesada means soon. But it's clear that from Namor's history and personality, he'd definitely be an interesting addition to the MCU.
Do you want to see Namor join the Avengers in the MCU?
[Source: Fatman on Batman podcast]