Govan was a member of the Homo mermanus race. An evolutionary offshoot of humanity who possess gills and dwell underwater. It is not yet known how this subspecies came into being. Homo mermanus are popularly called Atlanteans, although the term properly refers only to the citizens that reside in the lost city of Atlantis.
Following the deaths of Namorita and hundreds of others at the hands of super-villain Nitro (Robert Hunter) in Stamford, Connecticut, a vengeful Namor activated the all but forgotten Atlantean sleeper agents, whose activities, although leading to Nttro's capture, exacerbated the so-called "Civil War" among the United States of America's super-hero population, culminating in the attempted assassination of Atlantean diplomatic Ambassador Govan by the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). Govan survived the attmpt on his life by Osborn and was taken back to Atlantis to heal from his wounds.