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Namora: The Origin and History of Namor’s Cousin

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Less than ten years after Namor made his debut, his female counterpart was introduced on the pages of Marvel Mystery Comics #82. Namora – full name Aquaria Nautica Neptunia – is, like her cousin Namor, a hybrid and one of Marvel’s first mutants.

Soon played by Mabel Cadena on the big screen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Namora was created by artist Ken Bald (and an unknown writer), though several of her Golden Age appearances were written by Bill Everett who also designed her costume.

She’s the daughter of an Atlantean father and a human mother who lived several adventures next to her cousin in the Golden Age but was unfortunately killed off in the ‘60s. Namora continued to appear in a number of flashbacks but only made her permanent return to the Marvel Universe in 2006.

Though Namora didn’t have the chance to become a major player in the Marvel Universe, she still had the time to become a hero and make the undersea world safer!

When Namor met Namora

Like so many Marvel superheroes, Namora’s history begins with a tragedy. A gang of crooks attacked an underwater city ruled by Namora’s father, seemingly stealing and killing everyone.

Seemingly, as soon enough Namor swam by to discover the massacre and found one person alive. Aquaria Nautica Neptunia was the sole survivor and asked to be called Namora (meaning Avenging Daughter) as she partnered with Namor to avenge the death of her father and her whole community (see Marvel Mystery Comics #8).

At the time of her creation, Namora was not the Sub-Mariner’s Cousin. In their first exchange, they didn’t even seem to know each other before. The character was created, like other sidekicks at the time, in a ploy to keep readers’ interest by partnering their hero with a female counterpart.

Namora’s relationship with Namor is retconned a few years later when Bill Everett wrote about Namor’s first meeting with Namora when he was a 15-year-old boy. He is then introduced to his cousin Namora and discovered she is nicknamed after him (Sub-Mariner Comics #39).

For Namora, the first meeting was not a great one, as young Namor was quite stupid and didn’t want to pass time with his cousin because… she was a girl. She had to teach him a little lesson in humility before they became friends. And since this issue, they are officially cousins in the Marvel Universe, though not by blood as Namora’s father was adopted.

Namora, the Avenging daughter

As an Atlantean-Human hybrid, Namora shares a lot of similarities with Namor. She possesses Superhuman strength and tough skin, can swim at superhuman speeds, is able to breathe both water and air, is immune to the cold and pressures of the depths, can slow the aging process, and is also gifted with Wings-like appendages on her ankles which allow her to fly.

Though she can survive either underwater or on land, Namora must regularly immerse herself in water to retain her powers. Like Namor, she uses them often to protect her home of Atlantis.

After defeating the men responsible for her father’s death, Namora took on crime fighting with (or without) Namor. She even chose to remain on the surface for a time to learn more about her human heritage.

So Namora got her own stories in Marvel Mystery, appeared in other heroes’ comics, and also next to Namor in the Sub-Mariner Comics. She also got her own comic, Namora, which lasted only three issues. And some parts of her life from that time were also told in more recent comics.

During that period, she often helped Namor to protect shipments from pirates, brought murderers to justice, rescued humans from danger, chased thieves, and more. Namora was also living adventures without her cousin and even teamed up with Sun Girl and Golden Girl. Namora even joined for a short stint Ulysses Bloodstone’s Monster Hunters (Marvel: The Lost Generation #2), as well as Nick Fury’s Avengers in 1959.

The Sea Woman

On a personal front, Namora married another Atlantean named Talen. Because of her hybrid nature, they couldn’t conceive a child, a situation complicated by pressure from Atlantean society to have children.

When Namora stumbled upon the secret lair of the exiled Atlantean scientist Vyrra, she sees a sign. Namora became pregnant via genetic manipulation and gave birth to her clone daughter, Namorita, the real nature of the child being unknown to everybody else (Namor the Sub-Mariner #20).

It was at a time when Namor went missing following an attack and decimation of Atlantis. Namora’s search to find her cousin was unsuccessful and she left the remnants of Atlantis to relocate with her family to Maritanis. Soon afterward, the colony was decimated by atomic tests carried out by the surface world.

Namora and her daughter Namorita relocated to Lemuria, where the Sea Woman fell in love with Prince Merro. This puts her at odds with Llyra who had her eyes on the Lemurian throne. To get rid of her adversary, Llyra poisoned Namora, seemingly killing her (Sub-Mariner #50-51).

Namora lay dead in a sealed coffin made of ice for decades until…

Namora in the Modern Age

Namora was brought back among the living by the Agents of Atlas team. Following her resurrection, she chose to join the team to help them on their mission against the Atlas Foundation (Agents of Atlas #4), then later in their fight against the alien invasion by the Skrulls (Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1), and in their work to undermine Norman Osborn during his Dark Reign.

She also chose to fight alongside Amadeus Cho, Hercules and Angel as the Renegades, a group supporting Hulk’s stand against the Illuminati member who had banished him into space (The Incredible Hulk vol. 3 #107).

Since her return, Namora has also had to deal with the tragic loss of her daughter Namorita, her complicated feelings for her cousin Namor, and the discovery she was part of a secret eugenics program exploring the breeding of humans and Atlanteans. she later found herself fighting against her cousin when Namor ruled as a tyrant in Atlantis and had to force him to confront his actions to make him realize his mistakes (Secret Empire: Brave New World).

Since she was released from her coffin, Namora revealed herself as a physically stronger and strong-willed person. She often illustrates how loyal she can be as a friend and team mates, but will always stand for what she thinks is right.

Namora Reading Order

Though all appearances of Namora during her Golden Age era are not collected, you can find her with Namor in the following collection:

The one issue where Namora is a member of the Monster Hunters:

Namora’s time as part of the Avengers in the ’50s:

After years of being considered dead for many years, Namora is resurrected and became an Agent of Atlas:

Last Updated on March 10, 2023.


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