Black Panther: Wakanda Forever now playing in cinemas and as the film answers the question of who is the new one Black Panther after the death of T’Challa – and the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman in real life – and after completing Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film also introduced audiences to Namor, one of Marvel’s oldest and most beloved comic book characters . Played by Tenoch Huerta in the movie, the MCU version of Namor is a bit different from the comics as he is of Mesoamerican descent in Wakanda Forever, but in many ways the live-action Namor is very true to his comedic roots as a mighty king determined to protect his people from the surface world and other threats.
And for those who may not know Namor, this is where the comics come in. We’ve put together a list of comics that fans of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever might want to check it out now that Namor has made his big screen debut. This is by no means a comprehensive list – originally created by Bill Everett in 1939, Namor is one of Marvel’s very first heroes and is often billed as the first mutant, so the character has an extensive history of stories and appearances – but it’s a solid beginner’s list to introduce you to the character, his history, and some of his personality and relationship – friend and foe – that have made him one of comics’ most complex and fascinating anti-heroes.
- 1 Marvel Comics #1
- 2 Fantastic Four #4 from 1961 (and also #6 and #9).
- 3 Marvel’s Snapshots: Sub Mariner
- 4 Daredevil #7
- 5 Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen
- 6 Namor: The Sub-Mariner Run by John Byrne and Jae Lee
- 7 King in black: Namor
- 8 Saga of the submarine
- 9 Namor: The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #1
Marvel Comics #1
If you start somewhere, you should start at the top with the first Namor story. “The Sub-Mariner” is just one story Marvel Comics #1 from 1939, but is a perfect introduction to the character who is Marvel’s first mutant and arguably one of the best and most complex characters. Written and drawn by Bill Everett, the story gives readers a vengeful anti-hero who isn’t too happy with the surface world and has very good reasons to be. It’s a fantastic story and a good preview of things to come.
Fantastic Four #4 from 1961 (and also #6 and #9).
While Namor was a popular character in the 1940s, the 1950s saw the character decline only to return in the early 1960s as something of an antagonist to the Fantastic Four and in the process saw the character integrate into the Marvel Universe as we know that. . The story “The Coming of the Sub-Mariner” helps pave the way for the Namor many casual Marvel fans know and probably love, but these stories are fun for more than that. Vintage comics – especially early Fantastic Four comics – are just a hoot. Very much a product of their time and the social values of the time, the language and stories sometimes come across as dated, but they’re great fun and Namor is surprisingly nuanced if you really pay attention. Plus, you’ve got the art of Jack Kirby and who doesn’t love old school Namor’s goofy brows?
Marvel’s Snapshots: Sub Mariner
Kind of a unique take on Namor, this 2020 one-shot is set in 1946 and told from the perspective of Namor’s human girlfriend Betty Dean. It gives readers an outsider’s view of the character, offering a glimpse into how everyday people see the anti-hero, his behavior, and his experiences, as well as the aspects of who’s that readers don’t often think about since we’ve gotten used to seeing him in a heroic or villainous context. In addition, the song explores themes of war-related PTSD. There’s also Namor fighting Nazis, which is always a win.
If you just want an interesting story and a truly legendary fight between two beloved characters then look no further Daredevil #7 by Wallace Wood and Stan Lee. The issue sees a fight between Daredevil and Namor and while that alone is a glorious thing, this is a noteworthy one for a few other reasons. First, it’s the first appearance of Daredevil’s red costume, but otherwise it’s an incredible story. The issue causes Namor to be convinced by Krang to try and reason with humanity, so he rolls up to sue the United States for how it treated Atlantis and Matt Murdock is Namor’s lawyer, of course. Namor gets arrested for crimes against US and in all this Namor discovers that Krang has taken over Atlantis and decides to break out and deal with it and that leads to Namor fighting the military which leads to Daredevil trying to stop him because Namor is against the US. army is bad news. The whole song is epic. You can’t miss it. (And can we please get some live action on this? Nice please?)
Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen
Never forget that while Namor is a formidable force and a bit grumpy at times, he is also funny and witty. also. Kieron Gillen certainly hasn’t forgotten that and his take on Namor is in Creepy X-Men it’s pretty fun. Best if you enjoy it in its collected form, bringing it together SWORD 1-5, Creepy X-Men (1981) 534-544, X Men: Regenesis 1 and Creepy X-Men (2011) 1-3, the story sees Namor as part of Cyclops’ “Extinction Team” and there are some truly classic moments. It’s also a good reminder that while many people think of Namor as a Fantastic Four antagonist, he’s also an X-Men hero.
Namor: The Sub-Mariner Run by John Byrne and Jae Lee
Byrne and Lee’s run with Namor serves as a radical reinvention of the character in that we see him shift more into a different kind of role – one as a corporate giant with Oracle Incorporated working for positive change for life on the surface. We also see a more heroic Namor in this run, but there are also some really insane moments in this run as well as some completely off the chain thanks to Lee. The entire run can be uneven at times, and this is certainly something readers should definitely try to keep in the context of the time period in which it was created, but it’s Byrne’s characterization of Namor that still appears in comics to this day , which makes it very much worth revisiting or checking out for the first time.
King in black: Namor
Never forget that Namor was once a young man, and this five-issue miniseries features a flashback story from his teenage years that gives readers a ton of new knowledge about Atlantis. In the story, Namor recalls the exile of a team of Atlantean warriors, the Swift Tide, who had become a group of murderous monsters. The story is a fascinating look at some of the experiences that helped shape the mature characters readers have come to know.
Saga of the submarine
Released in 1988, this 12-issue miniseries is largely a means of presenting Namor’s origin story, as well as Marvel’s history of ancient Atlantis and the rise of the Atlantean people. This particular series is a good read for fans interested in how different the MCU’s Talokan is from Atlantis. It also features the meeting of Princess Fen and Leonard McKenzie, who can turn down Princess Fen appearances?
Namor: The Sub-Mariner: Conquered Shores #1
This is a new series that, at the time of writing this list, only has one release, but it is one that is very much worth reading. The song explores an elderly Namor in a devastated world – specifically an Earth that is nearly uninhabitable due to environmental collapse. Namor has ruled the seas and thus the world for decades, but now this older and wiser Namor sees the suffering of those left behind and changes his perspective and purpose. Writer Christopher Cantwell is a big fan of Namor, and it shows in his approach to the character here, making it very much worth a read.