Namor Admits Even He Respects Stan Lee's First Superhero
Namor may not have had much respect for his superhero contemporaries, but Stan Lee's creation of the first Marvel superhero was close and dear to him.
Warning! Spoilers for Captain America Sentinel of Liberty #7 ahead!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest big-screen superhero, Namor the Submariner, is one of the oldest characters to exist in Marvel Comics, and one of the few heroes he honors during this time period happens to be created by Stan Lee The first superhero. In addition to Human Torch, Namor paved the way for future Marvel superheroes such as Captain America, Bucky Barnes and another WWII Ally Destroyer, who became one of the undersea leader's staunchest supporters .
The appearance of the Fantastic Four may herald the early days of the MCU with the likes of Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, and Doctor Strange, but there are many more heroes that existed decades earlier. Introduced in Mystery Comic #4 by Stan Lee, Jack Binder and Alex Schomburg, the first Destroyer (Kevin "Keen" Marlow) is a former reporter turned into a super soldier by a Nazi platoon. It didn't take long for the newly powered Destroyer to escape and make himself known to Earth's existing cadre of heroes. Two outsiders from different worlds, Destroyer and Namor, will go on to serve as members of the Invaders, a group of World War II Superman allies Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Human Torch, Blazing Skull, Union Jack, Spitfire and several others.
Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelley and Carmen Carnero's Captain America: Sentinel for Liberty #7 reintroduced the Destroyer into the Marvel Universe, albeit with another man bearing the moniker of a legendary hero. The hero is Roger Aubrey, formerly known as "Dyna-Mite," and another former victim of the Nazi regime who, like Stan Lee's original Destroyer, finds himself under the influence of various experiments. The investigation of the mysterious "Outer Circle" group leads Captain America and an aging Roger to a WWII conspiracy involving their original Raider group. After taking his and Roger's recent discoveries to Namor, the Captain discovers that the Submariners are very fond of Roger's preservation of the destroyer's "proud legacy." This isn't the first time the Destroyer's mantle has been passed on to another, but it's one of the rare instances where Namor has openly acknowledged his respect for his fellow heroes.
Namor Fondly Remembers His Days With The Invaders
Sentinel of Liberty #7 confirms that the exploits of the Destroyer remain a largely forgotten legacy, remembered only by a few heroes such as Cap and Namor. As Lord of Atlantis, Namor's first and most recurring threat comes from surface world. Because of his repeated battles, Namor has few surface dwellers whom he trusts, and even fewer who he ostensibly admires. While Namor holds a place among the ranks of superheroes after saying goodbye to the invaders, there are only a handful of heroes the ruler of Atlantis truly respects.
Namor's friendship with the Destroyer and other Invaders predates the modern superhero and mutant outbreak. The Sub-Mariner is an apocalyptic entity to Earthlings, and only a few can challenge his astounding power and authority. It was during this Golden Age reveal that the friendship between Namor and Stan Lee's first superhero, The Destroyer, really took shape.
More: Marvel Announces Stan Lee Documentary Coming to Disney+ in 2023