Wednesday, February 22, 2012





The Incredible Hulk slugging it out with the Savage Sub-Mariner has always been a classic and intense Marvel match up. It was easily one of the biggest fights in the Marvel Universe during the '60s and '70s. "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" was a rivalry between "The strongest person walking the Earth and the most powerful person under the sea" and they both took those roles very seriously (Namor always hated that the Hulk had a bigger reputation than him when it came to physical strength and believed he was just as strong, if not stronger than the green-skinned brute was when he was at peak-strength in the sea).

As Marvel's very first outcast anti-heroes, the Hulk and Namor were always reluctant allies that truly respected each other, but also couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other. Both were proud, quick-tempered, ego-filled, human-hating characters that were a powerful combination of savage-fury as teammates on the Defenders. But with this tension between them, they were also teammates that couldn't get along. And as a result, they had some of the most legendary and vicious scraps from Marvel's Silver and Bronze Age that put this rivalry into the history books.

As Marvel's first outcast anti-heroes, Namor and the Hulk have been allies and teammates many times throughout the years (most famously as part of the Defenders with Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer). And both have always shared a mutual respect for each others power and strength.

But with their volatile personalities and tempers, they are ready to lash out on each other at any given moment.

Eventually this rivalry began to lose a lot of steam in the '80s and never really regained it's magic since then. Sure, the Hulk and Namor always remained staunch teammates and rivals and had more battle royals, but the interest of this tussle never seemed to captured the imagination of the fans like it did in the past. "Hulk vs Thor" and "Hulk vs Thing" always remained popular and consistent, but when Wolverine started to become a mega-superstar character in the '80s and '90s, "Hulk vs Wolverine" was the new slugfest of choice that eventually became the most popular "savage" scrap in the Marvel Universe. Somewhere during that time, "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" just kinda went away. 

I always believed that it was the whole land and water dynamic that made this fight kind of unfair for both combatants. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting dynamic, but it was also frustrating. When Namor would fight the Hulk (or any other opponent) on land, he was always at a disadvantage because his strength would gradually diminish as the water from his body dried up. And the Hulk (or any other land-dwelling opponent) would be at a HUGE disadvantage when they fought under the sea because Namor held all the advantages (I guess if anyone had to fight Namor on even terms it had to always be on a beach and nobody wants to see that all the time). 

But it was this dynamic that always hurt Namor's reputation as a whole in the Marvel Universe. He is (by far) the best and most powerful of characters under the sea, no one can dispute that. But he falls into the lower-echelon of the Super-Heavyweights of the Marvel Universe in strength and power (even when he is fully hydrated walking on land) despite all his "royal" boasts of supremacy. Yes, Namor has been humbled on a few occasions in pure physical strength match ups when he was wet or even submerged (by peers Hercules, Thor, Thanos and the Hulk no less, who are all at the top of the food-chain when it comes to physical strength). And despite being one of the strongest beings on Earth and able to match almost any opponent toe-to-toe, what this proves is that Namor's strength isn't as "limitless" as he usually says it is under the sea. Also, when someone can fight Namor submerged without as much of a hindrance, this usually lessens the odds in the fight, as the Abomination once did when he realized his body adapted well underwater and actually beat Namor in his element in Namor, the Sub-Mariner #59 (1995). I'm sure many Sub-Mariner fanboys will debate these controversies over and over, but despite all the arguments, it does show a "cap" on Namor's power levels even when he is at full-strength.

What truly makes Namor so incredibly powerful and effective in water is the advantage he has over opponents when they are submerged. Because make no mistake, no one in the Marvel Universe can fight as well as the Avenging Son in the depths of the sea. On land, he may still be a force against anyone, but without his great advantage, he isn't beyond the upper echelon of the Super-Heavyweights.

Namor always boasts of limitless strength and power that no one can match when he is wet or under the sea.  As you can see, the Mighty Thor makes very short work of Namor despite the rain that is keeping him at peak-strength.

 I'm guessing Hercules also lost the memo on Namor's unmatched peak-powers as he proves to be far stronger than the Sub-Mariner even when they are both at the bottom of the ocean. As you can see, it was a humbling experience for the Sea King.

While Namor did come back to defeat the Abomination in round two, he was soundly defeated in round one underwater when his advantage wasn't as great as it usually is against other land-dwellers.
A letter during Marvel's Silver Age (when I believe Namor was at his most powerful and respected) shows exactly where he stands in the Marvel hierarchy of physical strength.

This page pretty much sums it up when a land-dweller like the Thing tries to challenge the might of the Sub-Mariner under the sea.

Despite many beatings, Thing showed Namor no one is truly "unbeatable" in the Marvel Universe no matter how big of an advantage they have. Heart, determination and sheer toughness can always make the difference.

After writing all that, some readers might think I am trying to discredit King Namor. Actually, that is the furthest thing from the truth. The Sub-Mariner is without question, one of my favorite comic book characters ever and he should be given his proper respect. First, he is the original "hotheaded" personality in the Marvel cast of characters. He is so regal, majestic, arrogant and brash, that he is very tough to get along with and most think of him as a pompous ass (he is a "King" after all). He knows he is quite capable of defeating just about any opponent in the Marvel Universe and makes it clear to everyone in his presence. Namor is also very temperamental and impulsive and he has very little tolerance for weakness or disrespect. But despite these qualities, Namor is also very noble, proud, honorable, intuitive, dedicated and loyal. I always loved how he was such a mixed bag of extreme emotions, you just never knew what he was going to do (and I should also point out that Namor is quite the ladies man, who has had Sue Richards, Lady Dorma, Emma Frost and Marrina as some of his conquests). But if you mix Namor's "Type A" personality with an equally impulsive and temperamental brute that loves to show his superiority in strength and power to others, friends or not, sparks (and fists) are bound to fly... often.

Despite his many complexities, Namor has always had women who were absolutely captivated by his majestic allure. Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman is one of those women who is totally enthralled with Namor despite her loyalty to husband Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four.

And let's make no mistake about it, Namor knows full well about his capabilities with the female flesh and he's not afraid to brag about it... even during a scrap.

And when it comes to his fighting skills, there is not many as ferocious or tenacious. Namor is a legendary scrapper whose savagery is on par with both Wolverine and the Hulk and he is just as brutal as either of them. These traits are why Namor can hold his own and defeat far more powerful opponents (even when he is dehydrated). And if they happen to fall underwater during the fight, then they will be at Namor's total mercy for the Avenging Son has no equal beneath the seven seas in overall skill. These are the reasons why the Hulk has always had trouble dealing with Namor in a fight, the Sea King is quite capable of getting as vicious and as wild as the Green Goliath himself. And interestingly, that's why the Hulk also loved it. He would instigate a lot of their scraps (which would just infuriated Namor even further) and enjoy a nice mindless brawl, which fellow teammates like Dr. Strange or the Silver Surfer had to constantly break up. Looking at them from the outside, you would never know if they were friends or foes. Poor Namor, as much as he respected the Hulk, he simply couldn't stand the brute. 

The Hulk loved to goad Namor into a mindless brawl because the Sea King was one of the few individuals that could fight him on his own savage carefree level. Of course Namor was never amused by the Hulk's antics and did his best to pound respect into the brute. Much to his dismay, it never worked and the Hulk was always ready for more fisticuffs.

Also, it was this level of fighting why historically Namor always got the better of longtime rival and resident Marvel Heavyweight; the Thing. Although the Thing hits harder and is a more durable street-fighter, Namor is just way more vicious and unrelenting than Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew. This was always the key to Namor's dominance in most of their legendary punch ups. Yes, as classic as "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" is in the annals of Marvel's history, "Sub-Mariner vs Thing" is also another classic match up in the Marvel-mythos. And Namor's success alone against the two man-monsters: the Hulk and the Thing (especially during the '60s and '70s) is telling on how much respect Namor truly deserves. In today's Marvel Universe, Namor doesn't have the kind of prestige he once held. But he will always be an all-powerful force and his resume has a list of victories all the other Super-Heavyweights should be envious of. 

During the '60s and '70s, nobody had more success fighting against the Hulk or the Thing than the Sub-Mariner. It's from these victories alone, why Namor has every right to be considered one of the most respected and dangerous opponents on Earth.

While "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" doesn't get the recognition and prestige it once held during the early years of the Marvel Universe, it still has a fun and interesting dynamic that all comic fans will enjoy. When two unstable, ego-driven powerhouses are in the proximity of each other (especially for long periods of time), understanding and tolerance are bound to fly out the window being replaced by screaming insults and city-leveling brawls. Surprisingly, these same two unstable, ego-driven powerhouses will always be loyal friends and when push comes to shove, they will be there to help each other out. You can bet when the Defenders team together and save the world from another menace, hopefully their are some rational minds around to help these two mavericks deal with each other -- welcome to the life of the Incredible Hulk and the Savage Sub-Mariner!

Enough with the background, let's get to the combatants...


Name: Hulk

Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)

Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner

Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico

Home Base: Earth

Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Doc Green, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is 

Powers: Possesses the potential for near-limitless levels of vast superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He has an adapt gland that enables him to breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, possesses superhuman healing, enabling him to regenerate body tissue (including internal organs) within minutes to seconds. His aging is also slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to cover 3 miles in a single bound, but he has been known to leap into lower Earth orbit or even across continents when angry. Besides great strength, his durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise also increase in relation to his anger levels. He can maintain this peak output for hours on end and still continue to grow even more powerful as his adrenaline levels continue to increase with no apparent limit. Unrelated to his physical abilities, he can see astral (spirit) forms normally invisible to the naked eye and can locate his place of birth; Desert Base New Mexico no matter where he is in the world via psychic bond. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, "The Madder Hulk gets, the Stronger Hulk gets!", “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”

Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s classic stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers varies to a degree depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Sub-Mariner” comic description listed in the sections below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight.

*Please note that all incarnations listed are only "real" Hulk incarnations with Bruce Banner. No alternate future or pseudo-Hulk incarnations are included. 

Name: Namor ("Avenging Son")

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 278lbs

Real Name: Namor McKenzie

Origins: Atlantis, Leonard McKenzie (father, deceased), Princess Fen (mother)

Home Base: Atlantis; Utopia; San Francisco Bay, California

Nicknames: The Sub-Mariner, Subby, Wingfoot, Namor the First, Avenging Son, Old Man, Imperius Rex, Rex, Sea Lord, The Sea Prince, The Sea King, Sovereign of Atlantis, Lord of the Seven Seas, Monarch of the Sea, Monarch of Atlantis, Prince Namor, King Namor, Scion of Atlantis, Ruler of Atlantis, Prince of Atlantis, King of Atlantis, The Atlantean Prince, The Atlantean King, Royal-Prince of the Blood, The Fish-Man, The Savage, Scourge of the Seven Seas, Dr. G. W. Falton, John Pierre

Powers: Human/Atlantean (unique hybrid of Atlantean homo mermanus and mutant homo superior physiology) grants amphibian physiological adaptation making him able to survive indefinitely underwater or on land (although he would still need occasional contact with water to survive), also grants superhuman strength, durability (able to withstand freezing temperatures)stamina, vision, agility, reflexes, healing, longevity and speed (he can run and move at speeds greater than the finest human athlete and swim at speeds greater than most Atlanteans reaching speeds over 75 knots). He can absorb certain types of radiation, has Aquatic Telepathy (which he can communicate and persuade all marine life to do his bidding), Mimicry Aquatic Life (he can mimic the characteristics of most undersea creatures and has demonstrated sonar, lateral lines; which he can detect subtle movement and vibrations around him, particularly underwater and Bio-Electricity; which he can discharge bio-electricity like and an electric eel), has Hydrokinesis (able to spray water from his skin) and Flight (has vestigial "wings" on both ankles which he can fly at speeds of escape velocity with maximum effort and can out-speed a military aircraft at normal levels). He is an expert in hand-to-hand combat above and below the sea as well as a master swordsmanmarksman and welder. He is also an expert diplomat, tactician, engineer, businessman and multilingual (speaking virtually every language on Earth).

Weaknesses: Due to his dependence on water to maintain his health and vitality, Namor possesses a variety of unique vulnerabilities. Water Deficiency; When not exposed to water, many of Namor’s physical attributes gradually decline and can reach a point where he possesses only a small fraction of his powers. Namor's strength, stamina, and durability are affected most and, at their minimum known level, are much closer to the levels possessed by the vast majority of other Atlanteans. Renewed exposure to water will immediately restore his abilities. Oxygen Imbalance; Namor has demonstrated a vulnerability to oxygen imbalance when remaining too long in either water or air, resulting in manic-depressive mood swings. Namor is believed to be in the midst of an imbalance during the times in which he becomes angry very easily, which he is well known for, and is unable to think clearly and logically. He can prevent this imbalance, however, by dividing his time between the two atmospheres. He has occasionally used scientific or magical means to regulate his oxygen levels. With the imbalance properly controlled, Namor has shown himself to be a much more capable leader and generally much easier to be in contact with. Dehydration; Very powerful heat-based attacks are somewhat of a concern, as they cause dehydration; causing his body to dry faster, and weaken at an accelerated rate. Pollution; If Namor is immersed in or exposed to polluted water, it can have a negative effect both on his physiology and the efficiency of his physical attributes.

Weapons: Neptune's Trident; this trident is enchanted and possesses properties which have yet to be revealed, though it is made (at least in part) of Adamantine metal. The trident is capable of many things including: the ability to control any body of water, create water elementals, speed ships and other water vehicles with water, create fogs and storms of high intensity, summon waves of water to propel him at great speeds, and create earthquakes by increasing water pressure. Horn of Proteus; an Atlantean relic that allowed the user to summon and control many of the sea monsters and mutates found in the sea.

Favorite Expressions: "Imperius Rex!", "Now it's time to feel the untamed wrath of a Monarch born!", "None can match the power of the one true Sub-Mariner!", "Beneath the sea, no one can match my strength!", "If you will not fight me with honor--then expect no quarter from the Avenging Son!"


The Hulk and Namor have had such a long and stressful friendship (especially for Namor), that they have always been uneasy and volatile allies throughout their history. To list all the times they have argued would be monotonous and irrelevant to this write up. But I like being as informative as possible, so I listed every time they attack or almost attack each other (there might be some cases where it was just a war of words or merely throwing a punch or two), held the other back (as they physically touched one another and could have ended up fighting), and their actual slugfests (where they try to tear the others head off to prove their superiority). This is as in-depth as it gets for any "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" fan.

Each comic listed in this section is in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A "MATCH UP" is considered a round within a fight or face off confrontation. Since situations can be erratic in the story, there can be multiple outcomes between opponents in a fight. I will continually list each "MATCH UP" with a result and tally it. A "MATCH UP" will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. A "DRAW" result means no one was victorious during that encounter. A "NONE" result means there was no way a logical result could be given in that confrontation or situation from the two characters facing off and this can occur for a number of reasons and will be explained in the text. And finally, an "UNKNOWN" result means the ending of the fight was never shown so a definitive result cannot be given. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this legendary battle.

THE AVENGERS #3 (1964)
After escaping from the Avengers, the "Gravage" Hulk meets up with Namor for the first time on an island. The Hulk thinks Namor is just another human and attacks him! The Hulk, at first, is surprised by Namor's strength when he tries to grab him and is pushed away. But then the brute lays down the law and dominates Namor by smashing him up against rocks and then burying him under them. RESULT: EDGE HULK


Namor recognizes the "Gravage" Hulk's power, breaks free from his rock prison and then tackles the brute into the sea. In the waters, the Avenging Son has the Hulk utterly helpless with his aquatic-skills and swims a whirlpool around the brute that makes him disoriented. Soon the Hulk is shown mercy as Namor pulls him out of the waters, dizzy and defeated. RESULT: WIN SUB-MARINER


While battling the Avengers, Namor calls on the "Gravage" Hulk for help by insulting him. This causes the brute to lash out at Namor and threaten to attack him when their battle with the Avengers is over. At that exact moment the Hulk turns back into Bruce Banner and escapes into the caverns leaving Namor at the Avengers mercy. RESULT: NONE


Under the control of the Puppet Master, the "Gravage" Hulk attacks and has a legendary battle with Namor! This fight rages all over the city and sea with both combatants going back and forth. At this point in the fight, a raging-mad Hulk will go toe-to-toe with a wet Namor on land and gets the better of him. Now Namor must take to the air and take a breather after the brutes savage onslaught. RESULT: WIN HULK (Although Namor was not knocked out by the Hulk's attack, he did have to remove himself from the fight because he was getting badly hurt in this exchange. I had to give the Hulk the "win" because Namor needed to recompose himself before he engaged the brute again.)


Now they fight again as Namor stands ready and tactically brings the Hulk to the beach were he drags the fight under the water again so he can gain the advantage. The Hulk now fights awkwardly as he tries to muster up his last ounce of strength to resist the control of the Puppet Master. Namor will take this advantage to put the Hulk in a whirlpool and even though the Hulk breaks free from this, Namor greets him with a punch to the face that sends him back into it. The Puppet Master is soon caught in a big wave that will destroy his lab and release the Hulk from his control. When Namor finds the Hulk again, he finds Bruce Banner washed up on the shore unconscious. The Sub-Mariner would soon leave back into the sea as Banner is beneath his notice. RESULT: WIN SUB-MARINER (This is not a definitive "win" for Namor by any means as the Hulk was continually battling the Puppet Master's control and this hindered his ability to fight.)


Lady Dorma finds Bruce Banner unconscious floating in the sea. She takes pity on Banner and puts him into her ship while giving him a 24-hour air tablet so he can breathe freely under the water. Now Dorma will take Banner down into the sea for medical attention, not realizing that she has just brought the "Savage" Hulk to Atlantis. When Namor finds out about this (by Mistress Fara who is jealous about his relationship with Dorma) he flies into a rage looking for the human and unexpectedly finds himself confronted by the Hulk!! They fight back and forth with Fara dying in the process from the wreckage (as she was trying to kill Dorma). At the end, Namor and the Hulk collide into each other hurling each combatant back countless fathoms. Namor eventually gets his strength restored by the waters and manages to stop himself and spots the Hulk's limp body rocketing out of the sea. Namor will then swim after the brute and surprisingly finds a passed out Bruce Banner instead. Namor will turn back into the sea as Banner is (once again) beneath his notice. Bottom line in this outcome was that Namor was able to take the impact while the Hulk could not. RESULT: WIN SUB-MARINER


THE SUB-MARINER #34 (1970)
When the "Savage" Hulk sees Namor and the Silver Surfer in the sky, he leaps up and attacks them. A small scrap ensues as Namor and the Surfer try to convince the brute that they want to befriend him. But the Hulk doesn't trust them and continually attacks. Soon this fight gets interrupted by the San Pablo Army. RESULT: DRAW


THE SUB-MARINER #35 (1970)
After a battle with the Avengers, the "Savage" Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer must settle their differences with them after they realize that the nuclear reactor they thought was going to explode won't. Naturally this frustrates the Hulk even further, who wants to smash the reactor so it won't cause any more problems. This will make Namor and the Surfer leap onto the brute and try to restrain him. But the raging Hulk will thrown them off and leap away already forgetting about the reactor. RESULT: NONE


With Dr. Strange trying to stop the Omegatron, the "Savage" Hulk and Namor attack him thinking he is an impostor. Strange will magically make Namor appear as a monster and the Hulk appear as Llyra so they will ignore him and fight each other. After Strange defeats the robot, he will then lift the spell the Hulk and Namor are under and stop them from fighting. RESULT: DRAW


While running from the local authorities, the "Savage" Hulk and Namor both end up in a dark alley. Soon they end up attacking each other but stop once they realize who they are fighting. RESULT: NONE


While the "Savage" Hulk holds an unconscious female captive he rescued, he threatens both Namor and Dr. Strange to stay back or he will destroy them. As the brute leaps off, they follow him in hopes that the Hulk doesn't unintentionally hurt the girl. RESULT: NONE



THE DEFENDERS #52 (1977)
The "Savage" Hulk tries to greet Namor, who is walking the streets of New York looking for Reed Richards. But with the Sea Lord in dire need of his assistance, he brushes the Hulk aside not wanting to get interrupted by the brute. This infuriates the Hulk and he attacks! At first, Namor wants to avoid a major fight, but with the Hulk raging, it will now be impossible. The two savages both go back and fourth all over the city, causing some major destruction before the other Defenders show up to break them up. RESULT: DRAW


THE DEFENDERS #78 (1979)
The "Savage" Hulk is surprised that Namor is at the Sanctum Sanatorium and doesn't like it. They will begin to argue and ready themselves for a fight when Dr. Strange steps in and separates them. They quickly come to their senses and team up for the task that Dr. Strange has for them. RESULT: NONE


THE DEFENDERS #83 (1980)
With the "Savage"  Hulk possessed by Xhoohx and the Orb of Ommennon, Dr. Strange, Namor and Aeroika fight enemy illusions inside the brutes imagination while trying to free him. Soon the Hulk and Xhoohx attack and the brawl starts. The Hulk and Namor go back and forth until Dr. Strange frees the Green Goliath from the magical control. RESULT: DRAW


THE DEFENDERS #84 (1980)
While the Defenders try to relax in Atlantis, Warlord Ronga and some Atlanteans makes a shady deal with Wakanda. This leads to an eventual argument between Namor and the Black Panther, who escapes the Sub-Mariner's attack to wake up a sedated Bruce Banner. And with a few slaps, the "Savage" Hulk emerges in a rage! When Namor enters the room, he tells the Hulk to calm himself but the brute screams and smashes Namor through an Atlantean wall. Unknown to the Hulk at the time, he was underwater and begins to drown. Namor will show mercy and save the brute by bringing him back inside the castle. When the Hulk awakens, he is still angry and ungrateful. Now the Hulk will leap away smashing himself through the Atlantean castle ceiling and back to the surface. RESULT: NONE (Although Namor had the startled, drowning Hulk at his mercy, he ended up saving the brute than actually fighting with him.)


THE DEFENDERS #93 (1981)
Nebulon tricks Namor into fighting the Defenders with his Atlantean Army. In this battle, Namor and the "Savage" Hulk will never get at each other. But when the monarch tells his troops to take out his "sonic scrambler", it will knock out all the Defenders (including the Hulk). Eventually, Namor sees the trick and teams back up with the Defenders to defeat Nebulon. RESULT: NONE (This match up has to be ranked thusly because although Namor and the Hulk were on opposite sides of the battlefield, they never even fought.)


Heroes go to pay their respects to Captain Mar-vell, who is dying of cancer. A splash page shows the "Savage" Hulk amused by Tigra's flirtation and beauty as Namor tries to restrain him. Hercules is not happy about this interaction and is trying to get at the brute while also being held back. RESULT: NONE


THE DEFENDERS #113 (1982)
As the Squadron Supreme are preparing to battle the Defenders, Bruce Banner rages and becomes the "Savage" Hulk. This irritates Namor and tells Dr. Strange to banish him because he thinks the brute is more trouble than he's worth. This will anger the Hulk and he threatens to throw Namor back into the ocean. Dr. Strange will stop the Hulk and tells him to use his strength in the coming battle. RESULT: NONE



THE DEFENDERS #119 (1983)
A tale from the Defenders past. Yandroth first takes control of the "Savage" Hulk's mind and makes him attack the Defenders to eventually gain access into the Sanctum of Dr. Strange. Although knocked unconscious by the Hulk, Dr. Strange still manages to summon Namor who shows up and starts to slug it out with the mind-controlled Hulk (who fights sluggishly under the control). Dr. Strange will stop the fighting when he frees the Hulk and the others from the control. RESULT: DRAW


Seeing this, Yandroth will take possession of Namor's mind and make him continue his slugfest with the Hulk. Free from the mind-control, the Hulk finds it difficult to understand what's going on around him, but he relishes the fight with Namor and continues to brawl it out with him. Soon the Defenders manage to release everyone under the control and they all defeat Yandroth. RESULT: DRAW


THE DEFENDERS #123 (1983)
The Hulk (with Bruce Banner's brain), the Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange have to restrain Namor on two occasions as he tries to kill the Elf who has brought them to future by the Veil of Time. With Banner in control of the Hulk, Namor is the short-fuse that everyone must control for the sake of the mission. RESULT: NONE


THE DEFENDERS #124 (1983)
Once again, the temperamental Namor has to be restrained from attacking by the Hulk (with Bruce Banner's brain), the Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange during this adventure. He manages to escape from them and almost get's killed by a shock blast and as Namor falls, he is saved by the Hulk. It's funny seeing the Hulk talking sense into Namor after this careless move, because usually it's Namor himself always trying to talk sense into the Hulk. RESULT: NONE


Namor attacks the "Mindless" Hulk with fellow Avengers; Iron Man, Wonder Man and Hercules. The battle is titanic with a ton of destruction, but the heroes don't make much progress in stopping the crazed behemoth. Soon Doc Samson comes along to convince them to let him try and stop the Hulk first so it won't cause as much damage to the city. Now Namor and the others stop their attack on the brute and attack Samson! As the Hulk loses interest in the battle in front of him, he leaps away. RESULT: DRAW


Namor will attack the "Mindless" Hulk with 10 other Avengers helping him out. In this intense scrap, the team is buried under a building by the Hulk. While the Hulk now goes off fighting other Avengers, Captain America and the big guns regroup and decide to fight the beast at full-force! RESULT: EDGE HULK (The Hulk got the "edge" by burying Namor and his Avenger teammates, but they were still in the fight and far from defeated.)


Namor and the rest of the Avengers attack the "Mindless" Hulk again, battling the brute to a standstill. She-Hulk shows up and breaks it up to try to talk the Hulk down. When the Hulk punches her to the ground, they regroup and all decide that this Hulk must die to save the world. RESULT: DRAW


Namor with 11 other Avengers (including Hercules, Iron Man, Wonder Man and She-Hulk) attack the "Mindless" Hulk! Soon Namor will make a solo attack on the wild brute and due to being dehydrated by the heat of the desert, he is tackled to the ground by the Hulk and knocked out! Luckily, Hercules comes in and saves Namor's life. RESULT: WIN HULK


Despite being so weak from the desert heat, Namor recovers and once again attacks the "Mindless" Hulk. First, he will be saved by Wonder Man in a big pile up. But being the proud-warrior he is and willing to die with honor, Namor will see the Hulk destroying Iron Man and break free from Wonder Man's grip to attack the brute again! It proves costly, as the Hulk easily dispatches Namor's attack and begins to pummel the Sea King into unconsciousness. Once again, Hercules steps in to save Namor's life. RESULT: WIN HULK


Namor recovers again and attacks the "Mindless" Hulk with the help of all the Avengers (Namor has a ton of heart despite being so weak and dehydrated), but nothing could slow the monster down. Soon (due to the fact that the Hulk was currently separated from Bruce Banner) the Hulk begins to weaken and finally falls. RESULT: WIN SUB-MARINER (This is by no means a definitive "win" for Namor as he had the help of 11 Avenger teammates. And the Hulk only fell because he was losing his strength and power due to his separation from Bruce Banner.)


The Dark One takes control of the "Gray" Hulk's body and slugs it out with Namor. Dr. Strange eventually ends the fight when he finds a way to free the Hulk from the control. Soon they all team up and defeat the Dark One. RESULT: NONE (While the Hulk and Namor fought, it was the Dark One who was in control of the Hulk's body.)


Heroes delay Namor so they can have a surprise birthday for him. When it's up to the "Professor" Hulk, he really takes it to Namor and gives him a pretty good whooping. But then it begins to rain and Namor fights back with renewed strength. In the end, Sue Richards breaks them up and stops the fight so they can party. RESULT: DRAW


Blaming himself for his wife's death (Betty Ross), Bruce Banner puts a gun on his head. He fails to shoot himself, but the boat he was in sinks and carries him down. Before fully turning into the "Bannerless" Hulk, Bruce exhalates the air left in his lungs. The Hulk is then saved by Zantor, an underwater scientist working for Attuma. Zantor takes the Hulk into a ship and injects him with a water-breather elixir that keeps him alive. Though the Hulk has talked underwater several times during their fights, this is the first time that Hulk could officially breathe underwater and his skin became blue as a result. The "Blue" Hulk soon wakes up very weak and manages to escape. But Zantor had taken some of the Hulk's blood and injected it into Vashti (a close friend of Namor), this turns him into a gamma spawned monster. Namor finds the Hulk in the ocean and he is upset that the brute’s blood has also given Attuma boosted powers. The Hulk is kinda touchy about the blood issue because it was supposedly his blood that killed Betty (which later proved to be the Abomination's blood instead), so they slug it out. Without any hindrance from the depths of the sea, the Hulk really takes it to Namor in this scrap and handles the Sea King pretty decisively. But it is stopped once the gamma-infected Vashti shows up and they join forces to defeat him. RESULT: EDGE HULK (This fight is a little hard to judge at the end because one could interpret that the Hulk was going to land a final blow on Namor, or it could be that Namor just stopped fighting back when he sees Vashti in his gamma-form. Either way, the Hulk really took it to Namor (showing that he is quite capable of fighting and dominating the Sub-Mariner in the depths) so I had to give the Hulk the definite "edge" in this brawl, but it cannot be considered a "win.")


In the woods near Point Promontory, the Silver Surfer, Namor, Dr. Strange and the "Savage" Hulk suddenly appear from thin air. Namor accuses Strange of this doing and insists he is returned to his home, but the magician is quick to deny any involvement. It takes mere seconds before the accusations of stupidity fly and then the Hulk and Namor are at it with their fists. While Strange tries to break up the fight explaining that they must find the one who summoned them, the Hulk slams the ground sending Dr. Strange and Namor flying. The Surfer simply cannot understand the mindless rage which drives Earth's mortals. He sends a cosmic bolt between the two which drives them apart. This only causes the two savages to turn their rage on him. Suddenly, the din is disrupted by a woman's voice. Hellcat arrives in time to inform the group that it was she who summoned them because the world was in danger. RESULT: DRAW


Now standing over the fallen Yandroth, Namor demands that Strange send him home. The "Savage" Hulk steps up and with a blow to the back offers to send the fish-man home. The pair tussle as Strange demands they stand down and be quiet while Yandroth dies. They do not listen and continue to slug it out. The Silver Surfer looks on in disdain, once again seeing the madness that is mankind. Strange asks if they are men or children and commands them to stop at once. They do long enough to hear Yandroth curse them with for their actions. He can think of no greater punishment for them all, but to band together even when they do not want to. He then dies. RESULT: DRAW


Variant Cover
A confused "Savage" Hulk, Silver Surfer, Namor and Dr. Strange appear on a mountain in a green flash of light. The Hulk is the first to wonder where he is... and he also asks why the "fish-man" wears such funny clothes. Namor is not amused, he tells the Hulk to still his tongue and then announces immediately that he must return to Atlantis and fight Attuma. As the Hulk watches him go, Dr. Strange explains to the Surfer that it was Yandroth's curse which was responsible for their gathering. In his defeat, Yandroth sought to punish the Defenders by banding them together against their wills, when the need arose. Suddenly, Namor reappears and he is furious. Namor turns on Dr. Strange in a rage and exclaims that his people are in danger and that he must return to Atlantis at once. Strange quietly explains that it is not within his power to do so.

The Hulk comes up behind the fuming Atlantean King and puts his hand on his shoulder. He relates that he too, has no desire to be here because of the cold and snow and if the "dumb magician" cannot send the "fish-man" home, then the Hulk will help him smash those responsible for bringing them here and then he will help Namor smash Attuma as well! However, the Sub-Mariner is too angry and demands that the Hulk not touch him and he brushes off his great green hand. A mischievous look washes over the Hulk's face as he watches the King of Atlantis fume. In defiance, the jade giant gently places his index finger on Namor's shoulder and says "touch." Well, Namor just spins on the Hulk and wallops him with a resounding left hook that sends the behemoth flying! With his patience all but gone, Namor continues to battle it out with the Hulk. The Surfer asks Strange if there is not some way he can end this wanton destruction. Dr. Strange replies to let them fight for he is not the keeper of those "children." Suddenly, a gunshot rings out over the snow covered mountainside. This brings the battle between the Hulk and Namor to an end and it also draws the attention of the Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange. RESULT: DRAW


After defeating Pluto and his army in an epic battle, the Defenders regroup and all part ways. Before the "Savage" Hulk, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer are about to leave, Namor asks them to aid him in his journey back to Atlantis to fight Attuma who has taken over his undersea kingdom. Dr. Strange says that they will, but first they must study, then break the curse. Otherwise, traveling to Atlantis would be pointless because as soon as another crisis arises, they would be swept away once again. He suggests they all return to his sanctum in New York. Namor calls Strange mad and then turns to ask if there are any others willing to help. The Hulk spits a raspberry right in the Sub-Mariner's face as there is no way he is going to help the fish-man. Surprisingly, Namor does not attack the brute, he leaves the Defenders wanting nothing more to do with them. RESULT: NONE


The "Savage" Hulk attacks the Bi-Beast and the two fight until the Hulk is knocked off Sky Island. The "Curse of Yandroth" teleports him back and they battle again until Red Raven and the Avian's show up. Dr. Strange then traps the Hulk in a mystical red ball so he'll stop fighting. Suddenly NighthawkValkyrie and Hellcat appear and the rest of the Defenders tell the Avian's that there is probably a threat that needs to be found on the island. As they prepare to leave and Strange releases the Hulk, believing he has calmed down. But the Hulk surprises Strange and punches him in the face, wounding him. Now the Hulk attacks the Bi Beast again with Namor trying to stop the crazed brute. The Hulk punches Namor to the floor but is finally calmed down by the Valkyrie. RESULT: NONE


The "Savage" Hulk wants to attack Dr.Strange when he gets called dumb but surprisingly it will be Namor that holds them apart. Being the stubborn brute that he is, the Hulk still doesn't want to help his friends fight the enemy which causes Namor to think about knocking some sense into the brute. But Namor tricks the Hulk into helping them out. Later in the issue, the Hulk manages to break out of a force field that was being powered by the Silver Surfer which drains the Defenders physical strength. Namor will fall not being strong enough to break free as the Hulk rages and proves to be the only one strong enough to do it. RESULT: NONE


THE DEFENDERS #12 (2002)
Namor points out to Dr. Strange that the "Savage" Hulk isn’t wearing any pants. Strange will magically give the Hulk some clown pants and the brute gets angry about it. The Hulk now starts walking towards Strange, but he notices that he can’t make any noise while he is shouting. The Hulk then smashes the ground in frustration while Strange tries to calm him, but the Hulk remains confused. Surfer shows the brute an illusion of a little Earth blowing up, he is still confused. Namor gets a rock and scratches a message into the ground telling the Hulk that they have to find the bad guy or Earth will be destroyed. The Hulk is still confused but settles down to study Namor’s message while the others leave in disgust to look for the bad guy. The Hulk sits dumb founded looking at the message but then notices something and tries to yell for the others, but still finds himself unable to make any noise. The Hulk notices rock moving under his feet and looks around to see dozens of rock monsters coming out of the ground. The Hulk will continue to shout again and again. Finally, frustrated the brute throws a rock and hits Namor in the head. Namor turns around angry and sees the Hulk fighting all the rock creatures. Namor quickly collects Surfer and Strange to join in the battle. As they fight, the Hulk knocks one of the creatures’ heads off and it hits Namor in the back of the head. Namor turns around angry again, but this time he is greeted with another rock in the face. Namor gets ticked and throws a big rock at the back of the Hulk’s head and as the brute turns around raging, he acts like nothing happened. All the Defenders fight and fight and eventually defeat all the rock creatures. RESULT: NONE


THE ORDER #4 (2002)
The members of the Order (Namor, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer) decide they have to change the "Gray" Hulk incarnation to one that is not so perverse. Surfer and Strange will hold the brute in an energy field as they try to summon up a new personality. Soon the "Savage" Hulk emerges and breaks free from the field! Namor and the Surfer will stop the brute, but once the Surfer let's go, the Hulk continues to pound on Namor and begins to choke the Sea King out! Quickly, Dr. Strange steps in to help out Namor by summoning the "Professor" Hulk and this stops the fight. RESULT: EDGE HULK (While this is a short fight without any definitive result, the Hulk did have Namor at his mercy by choking him at the end of it. Once Dr. Strange stepped in and summoned a "calmer" Hulk personality, the brute let go of Namor's neck.)


THE ORDER #6 (2002)
The Order (consisting of the "Professor" Hulk, Namor, Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer) are all under the influence of Yandroth, where they want to make the world a better place -- because they have the power to do it! Obviously, the heroes of the world would never allow this to happen as they engage the Order in a battle of the ages. Eventually, the fighting stops once the Order are all free from Yandroth's power. At the end, Namor has to restrain the Hulk from attacking Captain America. RESULT: NONE


Namor and Bruce Banner toss insults at each other as Dr. Strange tries to calm them down. Once Banner calls Namor the "Little Mermaid," the Sea Lord cannot contain himself and backhand smacks Banner to the floor. This causes Bruce to transform into the "Savage" Hulk as Namor stands ready for another brawl between the two. But before anything can happen, Dr. Strange teleports everyone away. RESULT: NONE


After the Defenders defeat Dormammu, Namor has tolerated being with the "Savage" Hulk long enough and wants the brute to leave and tells him. This angers the Hulk and he steps up to Namor but they get separated.  RESULT: NONE



Variant Cover
HULK #10 (2008)
Elders of the Universe, the Grandmaster and the Collector want to play a game involving some of Earth's greatest heroes. The "Savage" Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange are plucked from time in their moment of greatest sorrow. They are each just about to lose, or have already lost, their greatest love. And since they would do anything to save their loved ones, they make the perfect pawns in the Elders schemes. While being led by the Silver Surfer, Namor rushes from the depths of the sea to the surface (raging from the death of his wife Lady Dorma on their wedding day), he sees the Hulk and attacks in a seething fury. The Hulk will stop Namor's assault and smash him to the pavement. Then the Hulk will hold Namor down as the Silver Surfer and the brute tell him what forces are at work. Humbled, but still incensed, Namor says he will listen and play along, for now. RESULT: WIN HULK (This result should generate some controversy, but the Hulk has to be given credit for totally overpowering and humbling a wet Namor here. And with Namor being held down (while going all out) by the brute, it clearly shows who has the strength advantage between the two. I had to give the Hulk the "win" in this fight due to the complete control he had over Namor (even to the point of holding Namor down with one hand), although it was not a definitive victory by any means. I'm sure Sub-Mariner fanboys will discredit this, but either way, Namor looked bad and nobody can deny that.)


An untold tale of the Defenders past. The "Savage" Hulk, Dr Strange, Namor and the Silver Surfer are transported to a rural idyll. Or at least, their bodies are. Their minds are somewhere else, replaced by those of four college students, gamers who have collided with the Curse of Yandroth which brings the ever-squabbling Defenders together whenever the Earth is threatened. Luckily, the students have some knowledge of the Defenders, and rather than panic, they begin to enjoy their cameo appearances. The Silver Surfer is reunited with lost love Shalla-Bal; Namor has an undersea picnic with Lady Dorma; the Hulk builds sandcastles with the Abomination; and Dr. Strange becomes one with the Cosmos while telling a rather good joke. Eventually the real Defenders wake up, trapped in a weird machine. Strange and the Surfer surmise that they've been affected by alien refugees seeking to bond with the people of Earth by sending them into a happy dream state. The Hulk and Namor loose their cool and start a back and forth punch up while swapping insults and saying uncharacteristic things as the students still resonate in their minds. A spell combined with the Power Cosmic puts things right, sending the students' minds to their home bodies. RESULT: DRAW


NEW AVENGERS #22 (2014)
While Namor and the Black Panther engage in a fight to the death, Tony Stark and the "Doc Green" Hulk show up and put a stop to it. The Hulk will smash the ground separating the combatants and tells them both to stop or he'll stop them. They listen and the fight ends with T'Challa wanting revenge on Namor for the death he caused his people. RESULT: NONE



The Hulk and Namor have fought a bunch of times in non-cannon stories, alternate time-lines, against fake incarnations of themselves, etc. and I've noticed throughout the years that both Hulk and Namor fans often make arguments showing these comics to make claims to their debates. But truth be told, despite some interesting stories, these issues don't count. I see them as writers interpretations of “Hulk vs Sub-Mariner” battles without continuity restraints so they always have fun twists of “What could have been.” Listed here are not all, but the best of the best of the Hulk and Sub-Mariner battles that occurred outside of actual "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" continuity.

NOT BRAND ECHH #9 (1968)
A parody retelling of the classic "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" clash from Tales to Astonish #100. But this time it's the "Bulk vs the Sunk-Mariner" in a battle to the finish in the story called, "Bet There'll be Battle!" The Bulk and the Sunk-Mariner hilariously fight all over the city for your enjoyment. A fun read for any "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" fan as Marie Severin (the original artist on TTA #100) does the art duties here and does a good job of making fun of herself.

The Avengers (including the "Gravage" Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Giant Man and Wasp) from another dimension go on a tear through their Earth defeating and pummeling all the heroes and villains on it. When the team comes up against Namor, they defeat him but the Hulk feels bad because he thinks that they should be friends.

The Leader conjures up holograms of the "Savage" Hulk's greatest enemies to try and give the brute a heart-attack by continually attacking him. When the Namor hologram strikes, he tackles the Hulk into the water. But the Hulk fights back and shoves Namor into the mud where he becomes stuck.

The "Savage" Hulk (with a special helmet on that gives Bruce Banner's brain control of the Hulk) battles illusions of his greatest foes inside the infected mind of Glenn Talbot. There, an illusion of Namor is among the many foes that attack and get defeated by the raging Hulk (who has long destroyed the helmet) which eventually frees Talbot from the control.

WHAT IF #3 (1977)
An alternate world tale where the "Savage" Hulk departures from the Avengers which causes a rift that led to the end of the Avengers, since they felt they couldn't go after him. Stark contacts Rick Jones to find the Hulk, while Thor went back to Asgard and Jan Van Dyne and Hank Pym go back to being "normal" people.
Rick locates the Hulk and goes after him on his own, and is being held hostage when Stark goes to rescue him. They barely survived the Hulk encounter, and managed to make it back to the Mansion.
When the Hulk meets up with Namor they fight to a standstill and then team up to challenged the Avengers to a fight to the death. Stark accepts the challenge, and builds Iron Man armor for Hank, Jan and Rick so they can all stand up to the Hulk and Namor together. Stark introduces the armor to the other three, who can't control themselves in it, and decide to stay in retirement instead of wearing the armor, much to Stark's dismay. Alone again, he overrides the limits of his own armor, and transfers more than the maximum amount of energy into it, setting him up to fight one final ultimate battle against the Hulk and Namor.
Stark starts out the fight fairly well against the two savages, but ends up about to be finished off when Jan, Hank, and Rick show up in their armor, and are able to turn the tide of the battle. Hank takes a hard hit from the Hulk and is relying on his armor to keep him alive, so Tony transfers the energy that was keeping his heart going into Hank's armor, allowing him to get strong enough to pound on the Hulk, while Namor is continuing to pound on Rick. As soon as Hulk realizes that it's Rick that Namor is beating up, he stops fighting the rest of the Avengers, and starts fighting with Namor. They fight to a standstill under the water, and part ways neutrally. The rest of the Armored Avengers mourn Tony Stark's sacrifice and death. 

This classic untold two-part tale of the first meeting between the "Savage" Hulk and Namor has been written out of official Hulk-continuity and became nothing more than a fictional movie from an alien Hulk-fangirl named Bereet. It was such a shame, because these fights stand as the greatest "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" slugfests ever!

Bruce Banner will see Namor attack an enraged mob (who knocked out Bereet with a brick) and change into the Hulk. They have a HUGE back and forth battle (that I personally think is one of the greatest Marvel slugfests ever) until the Army steps in and separates them. As the Hulk attacks the tanks, Namor will take the unconscious Bereet and fly off to find out more information. As the Hulk walks off, Rick Jones yells at the brute to help her, but he just wants to be left alone.

Part-two of the first meeting between the "Savage" Hulk and Namor concludes in this issue. Unfortunately, despite how good these stories are to the "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" legend, it will later be revealed to be just a movie made by the alien Bereet.

The Hulk and Rick (in respiration gear) swim down to Atlantis and are confronted by Namor and his guardsmen. The brute demands that Namor release Bereet and Namor agrees as long as honor is served in a rite of combat between the two sides. The Hulk on one side and Namor on the other. They battle using armor and weapons, but it is obvious that Namor's underwater combat skills, speed and weapon training give him the edge, so the Hulk decides to destroy and toss aside the armor and weapons and slug it out hand-to-hand. The Hulk now evens up the odds as the two savage combatants battle to an incredible stalemate as the Krylorian assault Atlantis. Namor, realizing that Bereet's claims were true, asks the Hulk to join him in defending the city. The two, along with the Atlantean guard, defeat the Krylorian attackers forcing them to flee. Because of the Hulk's help, Namor allows the three of them to leave in peace.

WHAT IF #27 (1991)
An alternate world tale that shows Namor teammates with the Fantastic Four (called the Fantastic Five). With Namor and the Thing as the resident powerhouses and being a formidable pair, a panel shows them teaming up and defeating the "Savage" Hulk handily.

REAL HEROES #2 (1994)
After a mind-controlled "Professor" Hulk makes short work of Storm and Wolverine, now it's up to Namor to stop the brute. Both savages battle to a standstill until the Hulk comes back to his senses. I have to admit, this was a great showing from both Namor and the Hulk as they looked like complete equals in this fight.

WHAT IF #68 (1994)
An alternate world tale that includes a Nazi-controlled "Savage" Hulk fighting with Namor and the X-Patriots. While Namor has a good scrap with the brute here, it looks like this raging Hulk was more than a match for this team.

Set in a sword and sorcery reality of the Marvel Universe, the Hulk (Greenskyn Smashtroll) has a brief scrap with Namor (Merman Manor) and the Avengers (Champions of the Realm).

Although this was originally solicited as an out-of-continuity story, like all the other The End comics, Marvel: The End was later confirmed as a part of the Marvel Universe by references to the series in the Thanos (2004) ongoing series and, later, in the 2006 editions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe. Marvel editor Tom Brevoort has stated that the series - or, at least, events similar to those depicted in the series - actually did occur in the Marvel Universe. So with this being the case, I couldn't list this as an official in-continuity issue in this write up.

In this story, even with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, Namor can't handle the "Savage" Hulk's harassment and slugs the brute. A brawl soon follows with both combatants getting separated by Thanos who traps them in individual force-fields.

Bruce Banner faces law and order Atlantis-style when his latest attempt to cure himself creates a plague of gamma-infected marine life. Once Namor finds Banner, he soon finds himself in a slugfest with the "Savage" Hulk! Eventually, Namor drags the Hulk into the sea and next we see Banner in chains. In the end, the Hulk and Namor team up and together they capture the gamma-infected sea creatures.


Despite the fact that the Hulk and the Sub-Mariner have clashed numerous times over the years, it has rarely ever been seen in a media format for the mass audience to witness. Here are the select few items to present "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner!"

An official Marvel Bullpen Christmas card given to the staff in 1970 shows a "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" scrap among a host of heroes and a fleeing Dr. Doom.

This program for a comic art convention showcases Bill Everett's art of the Hulk and Namor slugging it out. While the entire picture cannot be seen, it was later fully displayed on the back cover of Alter Ego #3 (seen on this list).

These weeklies from the UK show black and white reprints of Hulk and Defenders stories. These particular issues #43, 71, 72 and 148 showcase the Hulk slugging it out with Namor in their classic battles over the years.

This stamp album was the first product to showcase "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" to the mainstream audience. "Hulk Battles the Savage Sub-Mariner" was stamp number M 87.

"Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" in A CLASH OF THE TITANS (from Tales to Astonish #100) is seen in full dramatic color in this early Marvel calendar.

British hardcover annual that showcases reprints of Hulk stories. Cover shows Hulk fighting the Sub-Mariner under the depths of the sea.

This fantastic print called "Underwater Armageddon" shows the ferocity and intensity of an underwater Hulk and Namor tussle for all to see. Beautifully painted by the talents of Fastner and Larson.

An awesome Michael Golden drawn poster showing the Hulk coming in for a big landing and in his path is the Sub-Mariner. While this poster does not showcase a legit fighting image between the two mavericks, it does show their relationship pretty well. The reckless Hulk doing what he does that will eventually tick Namor off and possible start a mega-brawl.

ALTER EGO #3 (1999)
An awesome Bill Everett drawing of "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" is shown in full on the back cover of this issue. It was first used as an image on the 1970 Comic Art Convention program above but only a portion of the image was used.

A "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" sticker manages to make it's way into a giant sticker book for the mainstream audience to see. Once again, Namor is taking it to the Hulk in another fierce battle of the ages. This image is taken from Marvel Universe: The End #3.

A children's book that retells the origin of the Avengers. After the Hulk quits the Avenger team consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, he will then attack them with his new ally, the Sub-Mariner. As the Hulk and Namor fight and are about to totally defeat the Avengers (with Thor being the only member still conscious but on his knees being humbled by the duo), the Hulk will then surprisingly punch Namor into the water. The entire event turned out to be a plan that the Hulk concocted to defeat Namor. Soon the Hulk befriends the Avengers again and they eventually find Captain America's frozen body. Now under Cap's leadership, the Avengers will chase off Namor and his Atlantean Army.

Disney has released a major update to Avengers Origins: Assemble adding a new mini-game to the storybook app. Designed to provide readers with an introduction to the Marvel Super Heroes, Avengers Origins: Assemble tells the story of Captain America’s rescue from a frozen wasteland by the other Avengers and the assembling of the Avengers to defend the Earth from evil. Version 2.0 introduces a new 3D third-person-view mini-game that allows the player to choose their favorite Mighty Avenger and battle to save the Earth from the attacks of Namor, The Sub-Mariner and the Atlanteans. Players can test their skills across three exciting stages with three individual levels of difficulty and awards and eight achievement badges. Players can play as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor or Black Widow; The Hulk is also available for users who have installed the latest version of Avengers Origins: Hulk on their device. So having the Hulk slugging it out with Namor and his Army is always a fun option.

A special card of the Hulk slugging it out with Namor makes it into the Marvel Premier 50 trading card sub-set that is very difficult to complete.


First, I would like to say that it has really been a pleasure to do this write up. "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" is truly one of my absolute favorite battles in all of comicdom and I have been a fan of this rivalry ever since I was a kid. Looking back on all these battles today, made me realize how much fun I had when I first read them. All their fights (especially the battles from Tales to Astonish #100, The Incredible Hulk #118, The Defenders #52 and The Rampaging Hulk Magazine #5 and 6) totally captured my imagination as these two maniacs really beat the hell out of each other. Their fights were much different from "Hulk vs Thor" or "Hulk vs Thing" in my eyes. For some reason, when the Hulk clashed with Namor, it seemed to be more personal and more brutal than any of the other rivalries I've read. They were both so intent on showing their superiority over the other, that I really felt the intensity between them. And to tell you the truth, I loved every page of it.

It also frustrates me how "Hulk vs Wolverine" has surpassed this rivalry in terms of the two characters being uneasy allies and fighting to an unparalleled level of savagery (I know it's mostly due to popularity because not many characters are as popular as the ol' Canucklehead). Sure, the Hulk and Wolverine had to try hard to get along and they had a lot of blood and spit thrown into the mix, but you always knew the Hulk was going to smash Wolverine no matter how hard the little guy fought, how much he healed, or how sharp his claws were. "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" never had that dynamic. In this fight you never knew what was going to happen or who was going to win. "How long could Namor fight the Hulk on land before his strength diminished?", "How will the Hulk get out of the water with Namor attacking him?", "How many more times will they fight before they defeat the enemy?" This rivalry had so many interesting aspects that it always kept my attention.  

What is also interesting is that early on, the Sub-Mariner legitimately defeated the Hulk in the water (on more than one occasion) and fought him to a virtual standstill on land many times with reckless abandon. The Hulk actually struggling with a disadvantage against an opponent was something you rarely ever saw when he was challenged hand-to-hand. This was something that the Super-Heavyweights; Thor, Hercules, Sentry, Hyperion, Gladiator, Thanos (without some form of power-up) and Juggernaut couldn't claim to have ever done. And because of this, "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" will always be king of the "savage" or "intense" scraps to me and that will never change.

Now to wrap up this great rivalry!! After 45 official match ups (not including all the times they've argued over the years), the Hulk and Namor tied dead even at 4 to 4. Although a few of those wins and loses are without some controversies, a few of them are legit. And those wins are in each combatants chosen element with Namor triumphant in water and the Hulk on land (which should be no surprise to anyone). But they did have an interesting fight that made some revelations when the Hulk was unaffected by the depths of the sea in The Incredible Hulk / Sub-Mariner Annual 1998. This battle showed that without any hindrance, the Hulk is quite capable of matching Namor's skills underwater. Also the Hulk has been shown to be the stronger of the two regardless if Namor was wet or not (as seen in Tales to Astonish #100 and Hulk #10). The whole "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" dynamic might get even more interesting now that the Hulk realizes he is able to breathe underwater without any problems. 

The Hulk never knew he could breathe underwater. Now that he does, it will pose a new interesting dynamic in his battles with the Sub-Mariner.

I think it's fair to say that you would have to give the Hulk the overall edge in this match up, because the longer it goes, the more the fight turns in his favor. It's pretty much the same old Hulk-formula that he needs to be defeated before he can get really mad and amped-up. But let's make no mistake about it, the Sub-Mariner is one of the most powerful and dangerous beings on Earth, capable of defeating any Super-Heavyweight in the Marvel Universe, he just won't beat the Hulk the majority of the time. In water, Namor has a better chance at victory due to his tremendous aquatic-skills, but the Hulk is much stronger and more powerful than ever (especially today) and is quite capable of winning this fight as well. Think I'm wrong? Well, the Thing humbled Namor in AVX #1 (2012) underwater pretty decisively (plus, it was revealed in that issue that the Thing hits a lot harder than Namor) and Thor recently did the same in Thor #1 (2018) showing that the Sea King is far from being untouchable in his element (even though Namor looked in top form in water against Thor and a team of Avengers a few months later in Avengers #9 (2018)), so I'll call the fight against the Hulk in water 50/50. But with the Hulk being able to breathe underwater and his ability to get stronger with each passing second, it will become tougher and tougher for Namor to win this match up regardless of where they fight

Regardless of who you think should win or which character you like better, "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" will always be a classic and legendary battle in the annals of Marvel history. And despite its decline in popularity through the decades, this will never change. 

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!! IMPERIUS REX!!

Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:

Jack Kirby vs Alex Toth

Superman vs Captain Marvel

Thor vs Ulik

Hulk vs Thor

Hulk vs Silver Surfer

Hulk vs Superman

Hulk vs Juggernaut

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETROFAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.