The Pop Culture Playlist: Namor

The Pop Culture Playlist tells the story of a comic character through music and this edition features one of my favourite characters, Namor The Sub-Mariner. As Marvel’s first anti-hero and one of the oldest comic characters in existence, Namor’s importance goes without saying. The Sub-Mariner’s appeal lies in his complexity, as he’s played many roles during his life: king, hero, villain, conqueror and saviour. Here are ten tracks to showcase Namor’s journey and demonstrate why he’s a character worth reading about.

Riptide by Sick Puppies

I, I won’t justify
The way I live my life
‘Cause I’m the one livin’ it
Feelin’ it, tastin’ it
And you’re just wasting your time
Trying to throw me a line
When you’re the one drowning
I like where I’m at on my back
Floating down in my own riptide
The water is fine

Namor is known for his arrogance and independence, which is why Riptide is the perfect song to start off the playlist. The imagery of Namor feeling at home in a stormy ocean comes to mind when I listen to this song. It tells the tale of someone who’s determined to live life by their own standards, even in the most tumultuous circumstances.

Warriors by Imagine Dragons

In youth you’d lay
Awake at night and scheme
Of all the things that you would change
But it was just a dream!
Here we are, don’t turn away now,
We are the warriors that built this town
Here we are, don’t turn away now
We are the warriors that built this town
From dust
Will come
When you’ll have to rise
Above the best and prove yourself
Your spirit never dies!
Farewell, I’ve gone to take my throne above
But don’t weep for me
‘Cause this will be
The labour of my love

Warriors is a multi-layered song that describes The Sub-Mariner’s complexity. As a king, Namor is wholly dedicated to his people and the protection of Atlantis. He’s a proud warrior that fights for what he believes in. At the same time he feels the weight and responsibility of kingship, which has led to him making dark decisions in the name of his people.

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Blood Hands by Royal Blood

Took a lonely feeling just to let them in and sing
Like the sun goes down, never close to heaven
Felt my feet were burning from the cigarette on the ground
There’s blood on my hands, there’s blood on my hands
Yeah, there’s blood
It’s getting hot and listen when the clock is ticking
Counting down the days gone by
Praying for an answer to another question
That only leaves you dry
You won’t understand with your head in the sand
No, you won’t

Blood Hands is a great song for describing Namor’s ferocity in battle and willingness to do whatever it takes to protect what he cares about. A good example of his ruthlessness and pragmatism was when he joined Thanos in destroying other realities in order to protect the prime Marvel Universe.

Feel Invincible by Skillet

Hey, hey, hey everyday when I wake
I’m trying to get up, they’re knocking me down
Chewing me up, spitting me out
Hey, hey, hey when I need to be saved
You’re making me strong, you’re making me stand
Never will fall, never will end
Shot like a rocket up into the sky
Nothing could stop me tonight
You make me feel invincible
Earthquake, powerful
Just like a tidal wave
You make me brave
You’re my titanium
Fight song, raising up
Like a roar of victory in a stadium

When going into a fight, Namor shouts his battle cry ‘Imperius Rex!’ Feel Invincible feels like the perfect backdrop for when The Sub-Mariner is going to war. It’s the kind of song that gets you pumped up and it represents a king fighting for his people and feeding off the collective strength of Atlantis.

Mr Steal Your Girl by Trey Songz

Next time that he leave you all alone
I’m gon’ come through, replace him
I’m gonna watch you
Get naked
I’m gonna tell you
Girl take it
Next time that he leave you all alone
I’ll give you all the love he denied
I’m about to take his spot
Let your man know that
Mr. Steal Your Girl is back

Namor has a tendency for being a lothario, so I thought this song was ideal for describing his womanising. The king isn’t above making passes at women when they’re in a relationship, such as Emma Frost and Susan Richards.

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Dead Sea by The Lumineers

I headed west, I was a man on the move
New York had lied to me, I needed the truth
Oh, I need somebody, needed someone I could trust
I don’t gamble, but if I did I would bet on us
Like the dead sea
You told me I was like the dead sea
You’ll never sink when you are with me
Oh, lord, like the dead sea
Whoa, I’m like the dead sea
The finest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see,
I was born to be, be your dead sea

Dead Sea represents the relationship Namor shares with The Invisible Woman. From the moment they met, Namor was instantly attracted to her and that has been the case every since. Sue has always stayed loyal to her husband, but there have been hints of attraction between them.

Dead Sea has a doomed, lonely quality that signifies how Namor and Sue could never be together. This hasn’t stopped Namor from loving her and standing by her side when called upon.

Drown by Three Days Grace

Good morning day
Sorry I’m not there
But all my favourite friends
Vanished in the air
It’s hard to fly when you can’t even run
Once I had the world, but now I’ve got no one
If I needed someone to control me
If I needed someone to hold me down
I would change my direction
And save myself before I
If I needed someone to control me
If I needed someone to push me around
I would change my direction
And save myself before I drown

Drown reveals a vulnerable side of The Sub-Mariner that’s only shown to a few people. As arrogant and prideful as he is, Namor feels deeply and carries the weight of his decisions all the time. In the past, Atlantis has been destroyed and the guilt has threatened to overwhelm him. But, Namor has always found a way to overcome his grief and become stronger for his people.

cap

Unknown Soldier by Breaking Benjamin

Border line
Dead inside
I don’t mind
Falling to pieces
Count me in, violent
Let’s begin feeding the sickness
How do I simplify?
Dislocate the enemy’s on the way
Show me what it’s like
To dream in black and white
So I can leave this world tonight
Full of fear
Ever clear
I’ll be here fighting forever
Curious, venomous
You’ll find me
Climbing to heaven
Never mind turn back time
You’ll be fine
I will get left behind

During World War II Namor fought alongside Captain America, Bucky and The Human Torch in The Invaders. Unknown Soldier is a song of camaraderie, of fighting in the trenches, of making a difference. Namor’s friendship with all three men is important because they are among the few people that he genuinely cares for and respects.

Moreover, I feel this song is suitable for describing his friendship with Captain America because Namor has demonstrated he’ll go to great lengths to fight by Cap’s side.

Glory by Bastille

Stories told to me
And stories told to you
Did you ever feel
Like they were ringing true?
And all their words for glory
Well they always sounded empty
When we’re looking up for heaven
Looking up for heaven
Way down here upon the ground
When we’re lying in the dirt
There’s no looking up for heaven
Looking up for heaven
Not everything had gone to plan
But we made the best of what we had, you know?
Passing the drink from hand to hand
We admit we really know nothing at all

Namor shares a complicated relationship with Black Panther, as the two have been friends and enemies. Namor was responsible for destroying Wakanda, though Black Panther eventually had his revenge. There are many similarities between both characters, with Glory representing a bittersweet dynamic that’s come full circle. Namor and Black Panther share a deep respect, being as likely to fight as they are to work together.

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Head Above Water by Theory Of A Deadman

You dropped your miracle down a wishing well
And prayed for luck to cast it’s spell
To bring you closer to your dreams
That always seem just out of reach
You pray to God, don’t know when
But you feel the current pull you in
You try to keep your head above water
It’s never been harder
Even when it feels hopeless
You’re gonna get through this
Head above water
Gotta fight from going under
Even when it feels useless to wish
You’re gonna get through this
Have you ever felt like giving in
Tried for hours but just can’t win
Tell yourself you’re not good enough
The struggle alone is just too much

Head Above Water is a song that sums up the duality of Namor. He’s a king caught between two worlds, never quite attached to both. His responsibility as a king weighs heavily, while his status as a mutant complicates his life further. A lot of the time it must feel like he’s fighting to keep his head above water even though he can’t drown.

Do you have any songs that you think fit Namor? If you’d like to see your favourite superhero or villain appear on The Pop Culture Playlist then let me know!

Author: thecomicvault

Short story writer, comic geek and cosplayer hailing from Manchester, England. Find my pop culture ramblings on The Comic Vault.

3 thoughts on “The Pop Culture Playlist: Namor”

  1. We were talking about Namor when we left Infinity War after our second viewing. He would be a great character to introduce into the mix of the next phase…. I love that you’ve found some great music to celebrate him….

    Like

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