The sea king reveals his true intents as Secret Empire barrels towards its epic conclusion!
Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!
Ever since his first appearance back in 1939’s MARVEL COMICS #1, Namor of Atlantis has proven himself one of the most inscrutable and complicated characters around. He’s constantly talking about focusing solely on his underwater home, but also forming alliances with land-lovers and getting involved in their larger conflicts.
With Secret Empire, the sea king couldn’t help but get involved as Steve Rogers himself approached his former Invaders teammate about establishing an agreement between the Hydra-run United States and the undersea ruler.
In the first issue of BRAVE NEW WORLD, Namor admitted that he struck a deal with Rogers that would lead to Atlantis’ neutrality as long as they didn’t interfere in surface matters. Two more invaders, Human Torch and Toro, tried convincing him that, eventually, Rogers would take over the whole world. Their reward for trying? Getting locked up in jail.
SECRET EMPIRE #3 saw Hydra send Baron Zemo and their Avengers to raid Atlantis after they discovered a piece of the Cosmic Cube resided there. Upon completion of the mission, though, Rogers’ agents realized that the piece proved a fake. To show his displeasure with his one time comrade, Captain America ordered his people to destroy the entire location.
At the same time, members of the resistance traveled all over the world trying to track down their own under the supposed guidance of Artificial Intelligence Tony Stark, who turned out to be lying about being able to track the pieces.
To everyone’s surprise, Namor asked for an official, public audience with Rogers and presented him with the Cosmic Cube fragment. Even more shocking? He actually bowed to the turncoat, as seen in SECRET EMPIRE #4.
Later, after Hydra’s near-crippling attack on the resistance’s secret headquarters and Steve Rogers’ almost-death at the fists of Miles Morales, Namor returned to the fray in SECRET EMPIRE #8. After the heroes took out the Darkforce bubble around Manhattan and the planetary shield, Namor popped out of the water with help and a surprise.
Not only did he reveal that he planned on helping the heroes, but also that he had an ace up his sleeve: Bucky!
In this week’s SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #5, we saw that, after his apparent death at the hands of Baron Zemo, Bucky had been posing as one of Namor’s advisers. He revealed himself to Human Torch and Toro and then all of the Invaders united to help their friend.
The Empire Strikes Back
Namor and Bucky have a long history of working with one another. The two, of course, fought against the Nazis during World War II, but their relationship picked right back up after Steve Rogers used a mangled Cosmic Cube to restore Bucky’s memories in the wake of his return as the Winter Soldier. When Bucky took over for Steve Rogers as Captain America, he and Namor teamed up to save the body of Jim Hammond, the Human Torch which is part of a larger story running in CAPTAIN AMERICA #43–48. This tale establishes not just Namor’s deep loyalty to these people he fought alongside of, while also showing some of those original adventures. Eventually, they recovered Hammond’s body and gave him a proper burial, though he returned to active duty not long after.