Namor has had enough of the surface world, and assembles a team of underwater Avengers to help him in his latest crusade to protect Atlantis!
Namor, the Sub-Mariner, has his own team of undersea Avengers, primed to help Namor in his crusade against the surface world. In Avengers #9, by writer Jason Aaron (Thor) and artist David Marquez (Civil War II), Namor decided to declare war on the land-dwellers again, and this time assembled an elite group of underwater beings to help him; he christens them “The Defenders of the Deep.”
Namor is one of Marvel’s oldest characters, going all the way back to the company’s founding in 1939. Billed as “Marvel’s first mutant,” he is a loose cannon in the Marvel Universe, at times he has been a conqueror, leading several attacks against air breathers; other times he is an anti-hero who has served with various teams including the Invaders, the Avengers, the Defenders and the X-Men. Namor is Atlantean royalty, and this leads him to have a haughty attitude that comes across as abrasive. Mercurial and unpredictable, Namor is an enigma and a force to be reckoned with.
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He undertakes his latest crusade when multi-national corporation Roxxon kills three Atlanteans and defiles their corpses. In response, Namor takes the Roxxon employees hostage and threatens to execute them. The Avengers respond to an incursion by Namor and come to blows with their former teammate. Namor holds his own, but Captain America convinces him to free the hostages; however, Namor later unveils his Defenders of the Deep, and begins his latest war on the surface world. The team consists of a number of Atlantean and underwater-themed Marvel characters including Andromeda, Bloodtide and Orka. A new character, called King Crab, was created for the team. Many of these characters also have ties to Namor, having either been an ally or a foe, and they all share in his hatred of the surface world.
Namor has been a member of many different teams over the years, but this marks the first time he has ever been the leader of his own. Aaron has shown in Avengers that high levels of water pollution unbalance the already combative Namor, while Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, and Butch Guice’s Invaders revealed that tampering by Charles Xavier had led Namor to perceive his more warlike instincts as a separate person pushing him towards battle – a problem which was solved in that series. It’s unclear where Namor stands after Invaders, but his grievances remain substantial, and he has assembled the Defenders of the Deep not just as an individual, but as the leader of a nation whose citizens have been killed, and environment destroyed, by unconscionable actions by the surface world.
Despite this, it is still a treat to see Namor lead a team. In the past, we have only seen him lead Atlantean armies. His leadership style there has translated over to the Defenders of the Deep; for the first time, Namor has a super-powered army to back him up in his war against the surface dwellers – the undersea Avengers are no friends of mankind, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
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