It’s often overlooked, but historically speaking the shared Marvel Universe starts with Namor the Sub-Mariner (and, of course, Jim Hammond the original human torch). I remember interviews with Stan Lee during the 80’s in which he repeatedly championed his efforts to get a Namor movie to the big screen, well before Blade opened the floodgates of superhero cinema that we know and love today.
I never quite got the fixation with Namor – him? – but modern comics have helped me appreciate the character. Few heroes in the Marvel universe are more regal than Namor, with only characters like Black Panther and Doctor Doom rivaling Namor’s fierce commitment to the crown. His brash arrogance is almost endearing in the right hands, as is his perpetual fluctuation between light and dark.
Below you’ll find a complete reading order for Namor the Submariner. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts or any questions in the comments, and enjoy the comics!
Namor The Sub-Mariner Comic Books
0) Golden Age Sub-Mariner
Collects: Sub-Mariner Comics #1-4
The original Sub-Mariner comics from the Golden Age of comic books, by Bill Everett and Alex Schomburg. Namor vs. Nazis!
Collects: Sub-Mariner Comics #5-8
Collects: Sub-Mariner Comics #9-12
Collects: All-Winners Comics (1941) #1-4
Namor’s earliest Invaders exploits during World War Two. Fighting in a team alongside Captain America, Bucky, the Human Torch and Toro (as well as the Whizzer, Destroyer, Angel, and Black Marvel!).
I) Fantastic Four Return & Sub-Mariner Solo Comics
Fantastic Four #4
Fantastic Four #6
Fantastic Four #9
Fantastic Four #14
Strange Tales #107
Fantastic Four Annual #1
Fantastic Four #27
Fantastic Four #33
Collects: Tales To Astonish #70-87, Daredevil (1964) #7 And Tales Of Suspense #80
Fresh from his Fantastic Four resurrection and into his own solo series by Stanly the Manly and Gene Colan. Far from my favorite solo title from Marvel’s glorious 60’s, but essential for any Namor and Atlantis fans.
Collects: Tales To Astonish #88 To #101, Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1, Sub-Mariner #1
Collects: Sub-Mariner #2-13
Collects: The Sub-Mariner #14-25
Collects: Sub-Mariner (1968) 25-38, Ka-Zar (1970) 1
Collects: Sub-Mariner Nos. 34-35, Marvel Features Nos. 1-3 & The Defenders Nos. 1-6
Collects: Sub-Mariner (1968) 39-49; Daredevil (1964) 77
Collects: Giant-Size Invaders 1; Invaders 1-22, Annual 1; Marvel Premiere 29-30; Avengers 71
Collects: Invaders (1975) 23-41, Invaders (1993) 1-4, Giant-Size Invaders 2, What If? (1977) 4
Collects: Sub-Mariner (1968) 50-60
Collects: Sub-Mariner (1968) 61-72
Collects: Fantastic Four (1961) #142-150, Giant-Size Fantastic Four #2, Avengers (1963) #127 And Material From Giant-Size Super-Stars #1
Collects: Defenders 17-21, Giant-Size Defenders 2-4, Marvel Two-In-One 6-7
Collects: Defenders (1972) 22-30, Giant-Size Defenders 5, Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) 18
Collects: Defenders (1972) 31-41, Annual (1976) 1, Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) 12
Collects: Defenders (1972) 42-57; Material From Foom (1973) 19
Collects: Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up 1-2; Super-Villain Team-Up 1-14, 16-17; Avengers 154-156; Champions 16
III) Atlantis Attacks & John Byrne Solo Series
Collects: Marvel Universe #1-7
Collects: Defenders (1972) 92-109; Marvel Team-Up (1972) 101; Captain America (1968) 268
Collects: Defenders (1972) 110-125, Avengers Annual (1967) 11
Collects: Alpha Flight (1983) #9-19 And X-Men (1963) #109
Namor makes major appearances and develops a romance in Alpha Flight issues #12 to #16. John Byrne’s infatuation with the prince of Atlantis begins taking shape.
Collects: Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner #1 To #4
Collects: Avengers (1963) #264-277, Alpha Flight (1983) #39, Avengers Annual #15, And West Coast Avengers Annual #1
Namor becomes a regular in Avengers for a short spell.
Collects: Avengers (1963) #278-285 And Avengers Annual #16; Plus: Marvel Graphic Novel #27: Emperor Doom; X-Men Vs. Avengers #1-4; And West Coast Avengers Annual #2
Collects: Avengers (1963) 286-293
Collects: Silver Surfer Annual #2, Iron Man Annual #10, Marvel Comics Presents #26, Uncanny X-Men Annual #13, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23, Punisher Annual #2, Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #9, Daredevil Annual #4, Avengers Annual #18, New Mutants #76, Annual #5, X-Factor Annual #4, Web Of Spider-Man Annual #5, Avengers West Coast #56, Annual #4, Thor Annual #14, Fantastic Four Annual #22
Collects: Namor, The Sub-Mariner (1990) #1-9
John Byrne’s time writing and drawing Namor, the Sub-Mariner begins! The surprising transformation from lord of the high seas to king of the boardroom begins here.
Collects: Namor The Sub-Mariner (1990) #10-18
IV) Namor Enters the 2000’s
Collects: Black Panther (1998) 36-49, 57-58; Incredible Hulk (2000) 33; Thor (1966) 370; Material From Marvel Double-Shot 2
You don’t need the entire Priest Black Panther run here, but there is a good Namor vs. Doom vs. T’Challa arc!
Collects: Namor The Sub-Mariner 60-62, Fantastic Four: Atlantis Rising 1-2, Fantastic Force (1994) 8-9, Fantastic Four (1961) 401-402, Fantastic Four Unlimited 11
Collects: Fantastic Four: 1234 #1 To #4
Grant Morrison and Jae Lee’s Marvel Knights era deconstruction of Marvel’s first family. Naturally, Namor is ready and waiting to send Reed Richards into turmoil.
Collects: Namor Vol. 2 #1 to #12
V) Civil War + Illuminati
Collects: Frontline #1 to #11
Frontline winds up involving a plot referencing Atlantis.
Collects: Sub-Mariner #1 to #5
Collects: New Avengers Illumaniti #1 To #5
Collects: Sub-Mariner: The Depths #1-5
Collects: Dark Reign: The Cabal #1
Sets up Namor’s Dark Reign involvement.
Collects: Avengers/Invaders #1-12
Collects: Invaders Now! #1-5
Collects: Fantastic Four #570
Namor is not a major player in the Hickman era of Fantastic Four, but since Atlantis is one of the four cities, he does play a role.
VI) Namor and the X-Men
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #513 To #531
Namor joins the X-Men after Dark Reign.
Collects: Namor: The First Mutant #1-6
Namor gets his own X-Men related spinoff after the relaunch of X-Men #1 in 2011.
Collects: Namor: The First Mutant #5-11
Collects: Defenders #1-6
Collects: Defenders (2011) #7-12
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #1 to #4
Collects: Avengers Vs. X-Men 0-12, Point One (Avx Story)
VIII) New Avengers To Secret Wars
Collects: New Avengers 1-6
Collects: New Avengers 7-12
Collects: New Avengers 13-17
Collects: All-New Invaders 1-5
Collects: Invaders 6-10
Collects: All -New Invaders 11-15
Collects: New Avengers 18-23
Collects: Avengers 35-44, New Avengers 24-33
Collects: Secret Wars 0-9
IX) Squadron Supreme
Collects: Squadron Supreme (2015) #1-5
Collects: Squadron Supreme (2015) #6-9
Collects: Squadron Supreme (2015) 10-15
Collects: Secret Empire #0, Secret Empire #1-10, Secret Empire Omega #1, Captain America #25 And Material From Free Comic Book Day 2017 (Secret Empire 1)
Namor plays a tangential, ill-defined role in the proceedings of Secret Empire. If you weren’t intersted before you knew Namor was involved, keep on rolling, but if you have interest in the event anyway, you’ll find Namor within. Namor is primarily found in the Secret Empire: Brave New World anthology series.