Once a great continent in the distant past, the undersea civilization of Atlantis sinks around 10,000 BC during the Great Cataclysm. The Homo mermani, a water-breathing race of unknown origin colonizes the ruins around 6000 BC under the rule of Kamuu and Zartra, who each bear the names of the last rulers of the surface’s Atlantis. The Olympian god Neptune (Poseidon) becomes the patron of the Atlanteans and defends them against Set, the Elder God.
Atlantis is often based in the Antarctic (a city named for Emperor Thakorr), but has also been based in the North Atlantic; other Atlantean colonies over the years include Deluvia (now abandoned), Maritanis (destroyed in atomic tests), New Pangea, and Sharka (near Labrador, Canada).
Since the 20th century, Namor the Sub-Mariner, AKA Namor, helps guide Atlantis as it faces many catastrophes. In recent years, Atlantean sleeper agents—who had been kept in reserve for decades—are called into action by the death of Namorita Prentiss, AKA Namorita, at the hands of Robert Hunter, AKA Nitro. The actions of the sleeper agents reflect upon Atlantis, and the surface world becomes adamant that Atlantis allow itself to be placed under constant surveillance. As a response, Namor fakes the deaths of his people by causing Nitro to detonate his powers within Atlantis. The outcast Atlanteans receive refuge in Latveria by Dr. Victor Von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom.
The Great Cataclysm
Well over 20,000 years ago, as decline set upon the seven great empires forged in the aftermath of humanity’s freedom from the reign of the Serpent-Men, the Harpies, and other demonic Elderspawn races, the island continent of Atlantis was a nation of wilderness in the Atlantic Ocean, not so much ruled as barely tamed by barbarian tribes, their homes built upon the ruins of civilizations unidentified and forgotten. By 19,500 BC, Atlanteans had spread to neighboring continents as mercenary warriors involved in the political and religious feuds of greater powers; as of five centuries later, Atlantis became the seat of a minor empire based on trade and craft, whose fortunes waxed and waned over another few centuries. Circa 18,500 BC, an Atlantis-born barbarian known as Kull, AKA Tiger King, earned a sea-spanning reputation as an adventurer and warrior, rising to prominence in the nation of Valusia as one of the era’s greatest kings.
Over the next few centuries, Atlantis, now shared by humans, centaurs, and other beings, achieved a level of technology unequaled by humanity before or since, using regulated magma-pits as a near-infinite energy source. Legend says that Atlantis’ ten provinces were overseen by ten gods, all offspring of the mother-goddess Cleito herself, from the sacred City of the Golden Gate, and that the land prospered from the presence of primeval quasi-deities called autochthons. Indeed, Atlantean sorcery reached the same heights as its sciences, spawning spells, talismans and master magicians unrivaled to this day. Atlantean ships spread their influence even to the remote Savage Land, from which Atlantis exported prehistoric wildlife such as dinosaurs, importing unicorns and similar animals in their place, while establishing colonies, most notably the recreation/commerce center Pangea, in the lost Antarctic jungle via the use and expansion of alien Nuwali technology over 200 million years old.
Atlantean scientists also created several races of animal-people as servants but eventually allowed them the freedom to create their own societies in the Savage Land and perhaps elsewhere. As the superhuman race of Deviants conquered most other lands, Atlantis endured as one of humanity’s last strongholds.
By 18,000 BC, under the rule of King Kamuu and his wife Zartra, a refugee from Deviant-controlled Lemuria, Atlantis was itself in decline, racked with civil war and weakened enough to be a tempting target for the Deviants, themselves facing dethronement from the Serpent Men and their newly created Serpent Crown. Scant years after a prophecy of Atlantis’ fall by Zhered-Na, that era’s Sorceress Supreme and Earth’s protector from the Dweller-in-Darkness, the occult dragon Kometes appeared in the sky above the capital of Atlantis, heralding doom, even as barbarian mercenaries in Lemuria’s employ stormed the city, its protective dome insufficient to impede them. Despite misgivings, Kamuu ordered the magma-pits opened, burying the invaders in lava but also triggering quakes across Atlantis and its neighboring regions. Tragically, a surviving mercenary, Nolem, penetrated the palace, slaying Zartra before he himself fell to Kamuu. Even as Kamuu waited for Atlantis’ end, the Deviants attacked the Second Host of the Celestials, the godlike beings who had created their race almost a million years before. The Celestials responded with staggering force which, in conjunction with Atlantis’ seismic upheavals, triggered the Great Cataclysm; some legends attribute the disaster to a fantastically powerful magnet created by renegade scientist Nagorbu or to the giant Kalgantor, although these accounts conflict with historic evidence.
Massive floods spread across the world, remaking the Earth and eradicating both Atlantis and Lemuria from the surface in less than a week, their lofty towers dwarfed by the ocean’s waves; however, Deviant culture survived in a system of subterranean caverns, creating a kingdom itself later dubbed Lemuria, and a few Atlantean outposts, such as Pangea (its environmental systems eventually repaired and upgraded by the Caretakers of Arcturus on orders from the Beyonders), Avalon, Mayapan, Opar, Poseidonis, Ruta, Zothique and the domed city Netheria (later Kala’s Netherworld), housed handfuls of survivors. Other refugees scattered to the islands of Antillia and the Thurian and later the European continents; some degenerated into crude tribes of ape-men, while others became the ancestors of the Cimmerians and, subsequently, the Gaels. In fact, over the millennia, Atlantean influences have allegedly been found in virtually every nation of the world, though most such reports are dubious at best.
Over 10,000 years after the Great Cataclysm, a race of underwater humanoids appeared in Earth’s oceans, its origin a mystery to this day, although their traditions identify them as surface humans transformed by the Olympian god Neptune. This race, later dubbed Homo mermani, existed in several nomadic tribes, warring against other undersea dwellers and each other for centuries. Circa 6000 BC, two such factions, led by Tanas of the Western Sea and Stegor of the Eastern Sea, discovered the ruins of the capital city of Atlantis and warred for its possession until Stegor slew Tanas, only to be slain himself by Tanas’s wife Elanna, who subsequently ruled Atlantis as its queen; however, Elanna, a mystic, had foreseen that both tribes should unite as a greater whole, and she arranged her daughter Zartra’s betrothal to Kamuu, son of Stegor. The Atlanteans, as they now called themselves, rebuilt the lost city and dedicated it to their god Neptune, expanding into new colonies and welcoming immigrants from other tribes and races.
Atlantis’ peace lasted almost a century until, 30 years into the reign of Kamuu's son Harran, the monstrous Faceless Ones infested the city by the hundreds, massacring many. Suma-Ket, leader of a foreign tribe called the Unforgiven Dead, mystically banished the Faceless Ones in exchange for his people’s sanctuary, but his deeds so awed the Atlanteans that they slew Harran and proclaimed Ket king of the realm. Ket then ushered in a reign of terror as his followers, including the ravenous creatures called Nereid, brought a bloodthirsty religion into Atlantis, sacrificing hundreds to their dark gods. After many years, his reign was interrupted by Kalen, Kamuu’s grandson, who, alongside Neptune himself, rallied the people to banish their oppressors to the mystic void dubbed the Grey Waters, where they remained for nearly 8000 years; however, the victory cost the kingdom far more than blood as the Atlanteans became withdrawn and distrustful, and within little more than four centuries, one faction grew dissatisfied enough with Atlantis to leave, colonizing the remnants of Lemuria, becoming an independent nation and a periodic threat to their parent culture. It may have been during these suspicious years that the Atlanteans banished the peaceful followers of a minor faith, refugees later known as the People of the Black Sea.
Over 3000 years later, in the wake of a string of natural disasters and a wave of fatal attacks by the undersea barbarians of Skarka, the Atlanteans were again turned from Neptune when Prince Balaal, despite the opposition of his father, Ossem, spread the worship of the evil Elder God Set. The renegades’ attempt to summon Set, however, was interrupted by an enraged Neptune, who destroyed the blasphemers and drove Set from the Earth dimension. Ossem rebuilt his people’s faith, and Neptune lived among the Atlanteans after Ossem’s death, leading them to victory against their enemies and ushering in an age of prosperity, symbolized by the sacred trident he left as a symbol to the high priests of his worship. It may have been Neptune who gave Atlantis the Horn of Proteus, a mystic instrument that could summon and control gargantuan sea creatures.
With peace came time to devote to cultural and scientific development, and it may have been during this era that the Atlanteans created the 30-foot Behemoth, the super-powered Retrievers, and other android operatives. Within a millennium or so of Neptune’s era, Atlantean science was advanced enough for a man named Kyral to clone an underclass of workers. By the 16th century, the Atlanteans were greatly outnumbered by their clones, who, under the leadership of Delta Nine, demanded equal treatment as citizens. In response, the ruling king, Thallo, ordered the so-called Night of Long Spears, slaughtering the clones and forbidding the creation of others. With a path of violent policies begun by the clone genocide, Atlantean society suffered under new oppression. Freethinkers such as the poet and religious reformer Numara D’athahr often became religious outcasts. Enmity between Atlantis and the Aerie, home of the Inhuman-descended Bird-People, may stem from this era, as may the origins of Atlantis’ hostility toward the surface world itself.
By the dawn of the 19th century, Atlantis had rediscovered science, in part via the influence of Deviant refugees. Midway through the same century, the barbarians of Skarka launched their most devastating attack on Atlantis, slaying many and driving the survivors from the city the Atlanteans had held for over 5000 years. Thakorr, son of the slain king Immanu, led his people to rebuild their civilization in the Antarctic Ocean, a region inhabited by such strange entities as the Ice King and Torg the Abominable Snow-King, where they repelled invasions from the Seal People and other underwater races.
In early 1920, Antarctic Atlantis, sometimes called “Thakorr” in its ruler's honor, was damaged by explosions from the surface as human explorers conducted an Antarctic ship expedition. Investigating, Thakorr’s daughter Princess Fen fell in love with and married one of the sailors, Leonard McKenzie, who fathered her son, Namor, born late that year, a half-human destined to lead Atlantis through some of its more horrific crises.
Atlanteans are an offshoot of humanity, part of the subspecies known as Homo mermani. They possess the ability to exist underwater indefinitely, using twin gills on their necks to extract oxygen from water. They are also able to withstand the tremendous pressures of the ocean’s floor, can swim at a speed of 30 miles per hour, withstand near-freezing temperatures, and see with little or no light. Pure-blood Atlanteans have blue skin; most have a lifespan of approximately 150 years.
Atlanteans also have access to powerful undersea mutates such as the Behemoth, Megasaur, and the whale-like Giganto and its offspring; such creatures can be made to follow orders with the Horn of Proteus. Atlantean science has developed a handful of robots, notably including the Retrievers of Atlantis: Aeristron, Capiotron, Ducotron, Electron, Scyphozotron, Thermatron.
Atlantis is a Monarchistic republic. Several of its Kings include Attuma, the barbarian from Sharka, with chief commander Lord Arno and citizen Orka by his side as well as Attuma’s many followers, and daughter Andromeda, who joins the Defenders. While Attuma rules Atlantis, he welcomes Nagala, the Piranha, Jeremy Swimming Bear, AKA Sea Urchin, and Todd Arliss, AKA Tiger Shark, in Atlantis as part of his Deep Six. Meranno, AKA U-Man, serves the Nazi cause in World War II, and later switches loyalties to Attuma. Tyrak is one of Attuma’s barbarians and gains additional strength from experiments.
In modern times, Namor the Sub-Mariner leads Atlantis as their king. Lord Vashti is Namor’s vizier, and a close friend.
The Armed Forces of Atlantis maintain civil order. The Atlantean armory includes various vessels with dual functions for service underwater and in aerial combat. Many of the underwater models can be modified to appear as a marine creature. Defense of the capital is maintained by the Atlantean Royal Guard.
Atlantis utilizes the United Nations for most diplomatic contact with the surface world, and Atlanteans help construct the underwater Hydropolis base to assist relations with surface people. Invasions of the USA, Argentina and Canada fail; an invasion and occupation of Mazikhandar succeeds.
Being Atlantean royalty comes at a cost since there’s always someone who seeks to usurp such power. Namor’s mother Princess Fen, Grandfather Emperor Thakorr, and Namora’s husband Talan are all killed in Destiny’s assault on Atlantis. Byrrah is a cousin to Namor and often seeks the throne for himself. Dorma is the lover of Namor but dies at the hands of Llyra Morris, AKA Llyra. Warlord Keerg seizes power during one of Namor’s absences, while Warlord Krang often competes with Namor.
Beyond Atlantean royals, the nation suffers from terrorism, domestic and international. The terrorist organization At’la’tique (Bloodtide, Dragonrider, Llyron, Manowar, Nagala, Sea Leopard, Shakkoth) makes strikes against both the surface world and Atlantis, with some Atlantean sympathizers amidst their ranks.
Some subversive elements in Atlantean society worship Set the Elder God; most of these people leave, however, to establish Lemuria. When Namorita is murdered, Atlantis captures her killer, super criminal Nitro. Proteus is a shapeshifter who aids Jacqueline Trufaut against Namor.
Invaders from the surface have included A.I.M., Dr. Lemuel Dorcas, Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, Morgan le Fay, and Nazi Germany. Lemurians including Llyra have had designs on Atlantis’ throne, and the princess Rathia influences Namor into warring against the surface. Suma-Ket leads armies of undead Atlanteans (the Unforgiven Dead), seductive Nereids, and the carnivorous Faceless Ones against Atlantis, first around 5800 BC, and again in modern times.
Members of the Banari brotherhood seek Atlantis’ aid against their people’s extinction, but fearful Atlantean guards slay them. Some of the servant creatures of the Banari called the Haab were also brought to Atlantis by the Banari but are eventually slain. Virago of the extradimensional Zephyrland wars with Atlantis.
Though an underwater civilization, Atlantis has an uneasy relationship with other such civilizations, including Mu, Neptunia, the land of the Seal People, the People of the Black Sea, and both civilizations of Lemuria.
Aquatic Allies and Avenger Ties
Atlanteans have domestic superhumans among their people, including Deathcharge, a mercenary who obtains energy-channeling abilities from an accident. The geneticist
Vyrra perfects cloning Atlanteans and genetically engineers Mako, a warrior woman in the 1960s to help defend Atlantis in Namor’s absence. Although, Mako dies aiding Earth’s heroes against a Skrull invasion.
Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Prince of Atlantis, leads his people and over the years becomes a member of the Avengers and the Defenders. Alongside these teams, the Fantastic Four have usually been welcomed guests of Atlantis. Attilan and Latveria have also been occasional allies.
Namora is Namor’s cousin and adventures with him in the 1940s and ’50s. In recent years, she has been one of the Agents of Atlas. Namora’s daughter Namorita joins the New Warriors but is slain while battling Nitro. Namor’s son Kamar leads sleeper agents who clash with U.S. authorities; other sleepers included Arath, Janus, and Krakos.
Despite being enemies with the Banari, Tamara Rahn of the Banari sisterhood comes to live in Atlantis and becomes a close ally to Namor.
The Deep Blue Sea
During Namor’s childhood, a third major Atlantean city was founded in the Pacific, perhaps in hope of laying foundations for a multi-ocean empire, and the royal family itself led the colonization; however, this Pacific city was decimated by oil pollution in 1936, and the Atlanteans returned to Antarctica. When World War II erupted 3 years later, Namor, now 18, impulsively intervened, earning enmity from Axis and Allies alike, and by mid-1940 he was leading all-out Atlantean airship assaults against the Nazi vessels and bases that he did not simply destroy single-handedly. Nazi Germany attacked Atlantis in early 1941, only to be repelled by special Atlantean ships constructed like whales and icebergs; however, Thakorr was injured during the attacks, leaving Namor, now realizing the war was more than a mere diversion, in command. Following at least two plague-spreading endeavors by the Nazis, along with repeated structural damage to Atlantis, Namor foolishly entered an alliance of nearly half a dozen undersea races to conquer the surface world and, perhaps mentally influenced by Princess Rathia of the Balticans, attacked Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the USA and other nations, seizing control of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea before finally repenting of the endeavor. Namor did not stay out of the fight for long, however, and after freeing another undersea civilization, the Druids of Rockhenge, from Nazi tyranny, he faced a threat closer to home when his uncle Daka seized power and allied with both the Seal People and the Nazis. Reclaiming his throne, Namor in rapid succession led Atlantean troops in guerilla raids against Vichy France, and in attacks on Japanese forces to free U.S. holdings and to prevent Japanese invasions of Australia and the USA.
In 1942, after joining Captain America and the android Human Torch in the Invaders, Namor led Atlantean raids on Axis-occupied territory, including a remarkable clash with General Erwin Rommel’s tank corps in the Sahara Desert, only to be undercut when Fen, believing the Nazis stronger, briefly renewed Atlantis’ ties with Germany before Namor and his surface allies could drive out her would-be allies. Soon afterward, Namor and his forces destroyed an undersea Nazi base in retaliation for yet another biological warfare attack against Atlantis and destroyed Admiral von Roeder’s gigantic manned “Metal Men” robot dreadnoughts. Atlantean troops protected an Allied summit from Herr Cobra’s flying torpedoes in 1943 and, a year later, again retaliated against Nazi attack by destroying a Nazi base in Antarctica. Namor represented Atlantis’ interests at the postwar Potsdam Conference of 1945, but its full involvement in World War II remains unrevealed. At some point over the next few years, Atlantis forged an alliance with Neptunia, an undersea civilization ruled by the wartime hero called the Fin.
In 1949, although Thakorr had reclaimed power, Namor abandoned surface activity for a more active role at home, and Atlantean expansion may have contributed to unrest among the Octopus-Men and other underwater races, such as those encountered by Bob Grayson, AKA Marvel Boy, and the goddess Venus on separate occasions in 1950. By 1953, after Namor renewed his surface adventures following the plea of longtime friend Betty Dean, his cousin Byrrah, having accrued great influence with Thakorr since World War II, agitated for war against the surface world. Despite Atlantis’ victories during World War II, Namor believed his people, far outnumbered by humans, could not possibly win such an endeavor. Nevertheless, Byrrah launched several attacks against the surface world, his most devastating a 1954 inundation of North America with Arctic ice, but in 1955 Namor ended a budding alliance between Byrrah and communist aggressors and followed up by himself leading Atlantean forces against the would-be conquerors, finally curbing Byrrah’s aggressive tendencies. Following a failed attempt to join the United Nations later that year, which ended with bystander Guillaume Trufaut dead, Atlantis again withdrew from surface affairs. It was evidently during this period, if not earlier, that Namor fathered a son, Kamar, by an Atlantean maiden; when she was assassinated by an unidentified enemy, Namor reluctantly sent the infant Kamar to safety in a minor Atlantean settlement in the Arctic Ocean.
In 1958, Atlantis was destroyed by the madman Destiny, whose use of the Lemurian Serpent Crown stripped Namor of his memory and dispatched him to decades of wandering New York. In Atlantis’ ruins, Socus, servitor of the Unforgiven Dead, recovered the dying Princess Fen and traded her psyche with that of Suma-Ket’s consort Artys-Gran, in accordance with a prophecy that heralded Socus’ masters’ return several decades later; soon afterward, the mysterious Sea Leopard took up residence in the ruins. Three years after Atlantis’ decimation, its colony city Maritanis, where geneticist Vyrra had created the shark-like female Mako, was inadvertently destroyed by nuclear testing. While a few survivors of these disasters, including Namor's cousin Namora and her clone-daughter Namorita, sought refuge in Lemuria and elsewhere, most Atlanteans returned to the nomadic life of their ancestors. Eventually they recolonized the original Atlantis, abandoned over a century ago. As the highest-ranking survivor of the royal family, Byrrah reigned over the slowly rebuilt Atlantis, and it was presumably under his orders that New York, California, Illinois, and other U.S. states were seeded with sleeper cells of Atlantean warriors, who spent decades waiting for a call to action.
In recent years, Namor, his memory restored during an encounter with the Fantastic Four, located the rebuilt Atlantis and again claimed its throne, much to Byrrah’s frustration. Now even more optimistic about conquest than Byrrah had been in the 1950s, Namor led Atlantean forces against the world’s major capitals, but his infatuation with Susan Storm, AKA Invisible Girl (later the Invisible Woman) alienated him from his people, and he entered brief alliances with Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, and Magneto before again reclaiming his throne. Following a clash between Atlantean forces and the Avengers, Namor was overthrown by the barbarian warlord Attuma, who believed himself destined to rule; Namor soon ousted his challenger, but Attuma would return many times over the coming years, threatening Namor, the Avengers, and others.
Attuma was hardly Namor’s only Atlantean rival, and his later effort to establish peaceful dialogue with the USA was undermined by an attempted coup from his warlord Krang, who also hoped to supplant Namor in the affections of Lady Dorma, Namor’s fiancée. After Namor wielded the Enchanted Trident of Neptune while ousting his rival, Krang joined forces with Byrrah and Attuma in a conspiracy to depose Namor and share joint rule, possibly as a Council of Three, a traditional alliance that had in past centuries ruled in an emperor’s absence. The coup failed, but Atlantis again threatened the eastern seaboard when Namor was manipulated into working with Magneto until the FF enabled Namor to break that alliance and withdraw his troops. He again led troops to the surface weeks later in a show of force to call attention to mass sickness in Atlantis due to inadvertent gas poisoning.
Weary of surface interactions, Namor finally married his beloved Dorma, beside whom he hoped to rule a peaceful Atlantis. When the half-Lemurian Llyra killed Dorma, the grief-stricken Namor abdicated his throne to wander the surface world, clashing with Dr. Doom, A.I.M. and others; however, a chance meeting with Namorita, whom he had last seen as an infant in 1958, reminded him of his familial duties to Atlantis and, after rallying an invasion force of loyalists to rescue alien ally Tamara Rahn, he again took up the burden of kingship.
Subsequently, Attuma attempted to destroy Atlantis with an army of mutated sea creatures but was turned away by the Defenders, a super-team Namor had joined. The Atlantean people proved less open to outsiders when, following an invasion orchestrated by Dr. Hydro, they imprisoned the Hydro-Men, humans mutated into Atlantean-like form. Although Namor’s enemies had often manipulated his subjects against him, Namor’s command that the new arrivals be free to live in Atlantis prompted genuine internal strife in the population. After an approach from another set of refugees, the extradimensional Zephyrians, Namor’s battle with their enemy Virago accidentally unleashed an undersea supply of nerve gas, rendering most of Atlantis’ population comatose. Namor’s quest to cure his people ultimately forced him to once more ally with Doctor Doom, and after a series of struggles with Attuma, the Nazi Johann Shmidt, AKA Red Skull, and others, he restored his people, who, after Namor resolved yet another crisis posed by radioactive exposure, came to regard him with godlike awe that he found no more comfortable than their earlier unrest.
Atlantis remained in relative peace until Namor discovered a faction of his armed forces had allied with renegades in Wakanda, a surface nation ruled by his ally Black Panther. Tension on both sides almost prompted war until both leaders disarmed the situation, but Namor was on the warpath once more when the Defenders’ enemy Nebulon, impersonating the deceased Dorma, prompted him to conquer London before his teammates intervened. With these crises in mind, Namor again petitioned the United Nations for Atlantean membership, but Claude Trufaut’s daughter Jacqueline, employing Atlanteans who resented Namor’s unawareness of growing discontent and poverty in their kingdom, sabotaged his efforts; although Namor defeated Trufaut and her allies, his victory became hollow when he abdicated at the request of his closest advisors, who ruled as a Council of Three until one of them, the priest Shakkoth, used his influence to ignite a civil war in Atlantis. The other two, Vashti and Thakos, worked with Attuma and his barbarians to overwhelm Shakkoth’s rebels, only for Attuma to take the throne as his own. Not realizing Namor, now an Avenger, no longer sought kingship, Attuma abducted Namor’s alien wife Marrina Smallwood MacKenzie, AKA Marrina, resulting in a joint attack by the Avengers and Marrina’s friends in Alpha Flight. Following Marrina’s liberation, Namor left Atlantis to Attuma and established a new kingdom for his supporters, Deluvia, only to lose his new happiness when Marrina mutated into a rampaging monster, which he was forced to slay. Though it appears that Marrina may have survived, Namor remains unaware of this.
Meanwhile, Atlantis’ changing fortunes prompted further unrest among its younger citizens, some of whom turned to crime, as the School, while others aspired to heroism in the team SURF. Seemingly abandoning Deluvia, whose inhabitants evidently returned to Atlantis, Namor appeared to perish at the hands of Attuma’s forces, which had allied with both the water-breathing and Deviant kingdoms of Lemuria. Surviving, Namor disguised himself and undercut the alliance’s efforts to conquer the surface world, eventually helping the FF and the Avengers end the war. Atlantis’ king once more, Namor embarked on a series of adventures before learning that, via the revival of Artys-Gran, the blood sacrifice of Byrrah and other factors, the Unforgiven Dead had returned to conquer Atlantis; Namor, like Kalen before him, received guidance from Neptune and ousted Suma-Ket and his followers, whose bodies were consumed by the Faceless Ones.
Stronger bonds between Atlantis and the surface world were laid by the construction of Hydropolis, an undersea city where both sides could interact peacefully, but Namor’s plans and life were struck a serious blow when Llyra, while impersonating the Invisible Woman, manipulated him into believing he had fathered her son Llyron, whose father was actually Leon McKenzie, grandson of Namor’s human father. Llyron, accelerated to adult status by Vyrra, undermined Namor on both water and land, challenging him for reign of Atlantis and framing him for attacks on the United Nations. Their struggle became irrelevant, however, when Atlantis suffered its most devastating blow in centuries as the sorceress Morgan le Fay forced the city to the surface, restoring it to its place of almost 20 millennia ago and rendering it useless to the Atlanteans, more than half of whom perished in the catastrophe. Llyron declared himself king of the remaining Atlanteans, but after the city's eventual return to the ocean floor during a skirmish between Portuguese forces and the Inhumans, Namor reclaimed his title. With the Hulk's help, Namor cured his surviving people of the surface-born Black Tide disease, only to once more be ousted by Attuma. Attuma's second reign, although brief, was disrupted by an attempted A.I.M. takeover and Kang the Conqueror's siege of Earth. Attuma was ultimately driven out of Atlantis by the Defenders, and Namor, after establishing Attuma's daughter Andromeda and his cousins Namorita and Seth as a Council of Three to officially rule in his absence, next allied himself with an extremist reincarnation of the Invaders to claim the Middle Eastern nation Mazikhandar as an Atlantean protectorate.
On the Atlantean home front, however, Atlantis’ long series of setbacks erupted into a religion-based rebellion, culminating in the formation of the terrorist unit At’La’Tique (meaning “Fury of the Sea”), supposedly based on the teachings of Numara D'athahr. Under the guidance of Shakkoth and Tamara Rahn (secretly Namor’s spy within their ranks), the organization’s strike force Fathom Five, led by Llyron, terrorized Asia, the Middle East and the U.S., as well as Atlantis itself. Namor’s efforts before the UN to disassociate Atlantis from the rebels was not well-received, but the issue settled itself after Chinese super-agent Dr. Chen Lu, AKA Radioactive Man, poisoned At’La’Tique. Soon afterward, Attuma was seemingly slain by Robert Reynolds, AKA the Sentry, but the unexpected decrease in Atlantis’ enemies proved but a prelude to darker days ahead.
Following the deaths of Namorita and hundreds of others at the hands of Super Villain Nitro in Stamford, Connecticut, a vengeful Namor activated the all but forgotten Atlantean sleeper agents, whose activities, although leading to Nitro’s capture, exacerbated the so-called “civil war” among the U.S. Super Hero population, culminating in the attempted assassination of Atlantean diplomat Govan by Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin. In the wake of the fiasco, Namor assured world leaders he had withdrawn the sleepers but in fact retained them, a move that came to light when a 13th cell, based in Seattle, Washington, and led by Namor’s long-lost son Kamar, decimated Bentonville, Kansas with power provided by Nitro. Forced to sneak out of an Atlantis surrounded by S.H.I.E.L.D. forces, Namor located and decimated the traitors, but their activities were the final blows to Atlantis’ credibility, and S.H.I.E.L.D. insisted that the city be kept under constant surveillance. No longer convinced that Atlantis could triumph over the surface world, Namor made the most drastic decision of his reign to date. While his people, over a million strong, evacuated through millennia-old, chasm-like tunnels, Namor channeled massive amounts of energy into Nitro, causing an explosion that reduced Atlantis to radioactive ruins, with Kamar’s corpse left behind in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to convince S.H.I.E.L.D. that Namor perished with his city. Following Atlantis’ destruction, Namor distributed the entire Atlantean population, save for its armies, throughout the Earth as uncounted sleeper cells, awaiting a future call to reunite. As for the Atlantean armies, Namor sequestered them, with Nitro as a prisoner, in Doctor Doom’s nation of Latveria, where Namor remains, pondering his next move. The Atlantis of old, the city that survived 20,000 years of tragedies and triumphs, is no more, and the future of its people remains to be seen.