Namor the Sub-Mariner is one of the oldest characters in Marvel Comics and has been everything from hero to villain. However, at its core, Namor is a king who does everything possible to protect the people from him. If this puts him at odds with old friends, it’s rarely a concern for him. That being said, the intricacies of his character are detailed from the origin of him as a son of the sea and the surface. This makes him a mutant and the best person to handle the interactions between the two worlds.

While Namor’s story is one that has defined his character and personality, his name has also had its own meaning to him and others who have heard it. However, all this has changed drastically in his debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. However, while her character was altered, the movie did nothing to change his reasoning or the importance of her name.

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What did the name Namor originally mean in the Marvel Universe?

An image of Namor swimming through the ocean in Marvel Comics

When Namor appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #1 (by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), his name meant “Avenging Son”. While many of the heroes may not have known him before meeting the Fantastic Four, the meaning behind his name had already been established based on his actions against those who tried to harm their home or people. Namor was an Avenger in the sense that he fought for many things that were taken from him and his people.

In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Namor’s name took on a whole new meaning, it came from a Spanish colonizer who saw Namor during his journey to bury his mother in her home on the surface. When he saw people in power oppressing the native inhabitants, he reacted by killing the colonizers. But one of the people who saw his actions called him “El Niño Sin Amor” (child without love). Embracing and shortening this name, he decided that those who opposed him would know him as Namor.

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The MCU Namor is a lot like his comic book counterpart

Namor at MCU

Namor has always had a great animosity for the surface world. But his motivations in the MCU are different from what he fought for in the comics. However, he still maintains his reasons for fighting. In the comics, Namor fought to protect his people from scientists who treated the ocean as a place for experimentation. His actions caused the deaths of many of his own and, over time, led to the pollution of the oceans. As a result, he fought for those who could not and also fought to ensure the survival of his Kingdom.

In the MCU, Namor’s hatred of the surface stemmed from the realization that it was filled with abusers and oppressors who thought they could rule over their own kind while polluting their oceans. Because of this, Namor hid his people from the surface, but hoped to one day fight them and eradicate all who harmed those who couldn’t protect themselves. In the end, while one was fueled by anger and the other by a desire to make a better world, Namor remains a man who is tired of the surface failing his own species, making him as complex as he is dangerous.