Namor explained the first time he ever killed anything and how it affected him, turning him into the Avengers warrior and leader he is today.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Avengers #42 by Jason Aaron, Luca Maresca, David Curiel & VC’s Cory Petit, on sale now.

That battle for the Phoenix is still underway, and while most of the superheroes want nothing to do with hosting the cosmic entity, there is one man who wants it more than anything. Namor believes Phoenix came because he called, and he will do anything to take its power for himself.

In Avengers #42, Namor proved this in his most recent fight as he battled Echo across the floor of the ocean. Even without the Phoenix’s power, Namor is practically unbeatable in the depths of the ocean, and he is also one of the few heroes fighting who has no problem with killing his opponents to win the fight. And as he thought while duking it out with the assassin Echo, he’s been willing to kill those who oppose him for a very long time.

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Namor in Avengers

Echo is a deadly fighter, trained to be one of the deadliest assassins in the Kingpin’s employ. However, she turned to the side of the angels and took on the role of Ronin before settling in as Echo. Despite all her training and fighting skills, she had no chance against Namor, even though she was also trained to kill in battle and had a boost from the Phoenix. In this case, she fell not only to Namor but his willingness to give some of his Phoenix powers to nearby sharks and allow them to tear Echo apart.

As this happened, Namor admitted that his first time taking a life was as a child, and he murdered a shark. He admitted he was young and barely old enough to swim on his own when he did it. His target was a bull shark bigger than Namor, and he dragged it onto the surface where it no longer posed a threat and pelted it with rocks. He then watched the bull shark flop and smother until it finally died. It was Namor’s first kill, but it was not something his mother took pride in — at first.

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Namor and sharks in Avengers

When his mom found Namor, she demanded to know why he killed the shark. She threatened to send him to live on the surface with his father if that was the kind of person he planned to become. She explained that people in the surface world don’t kill to feed themselves or their people. They just killed for no real reason at all. Namor tried to lie and say the shark tried to bite him, claiming he was defending himself. That didn’t make his mother happy, who admonished him and said that he couldn’t kill everything that tries to bite them. Namor disagreed and said he would kill a few of them, and then everything in the water would respect and swim clear of Prince Namor. That was all it took for his mother to find pride and salute her son.

Namor admitted to something else. He said his mother made him carry the shark into the depths below, giving it a proverbial burial at sea. However, that was the last tear Namor ever shed. He killed again after that, and he did so for the same reason. As long as Namor was willing to kill to protect himself and his people, no one would ever dare try to sink their teeth into him again. Namor considers himself the only thing keeping the seas alive, and he will do anything and kill anyone to protect his domain, even if it means becoming the one true Phoenix.

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