Prince Byrrah of Atlantis was cousin to Prince Namor, a.k.a. the Sub-Mariner and thus a possible heir to the Atlantean throne. Throughout his childhood, Byrrah was openly friendly with Namor but secretly resented him due to his mixed heritage. What first started off as prejudiced dislike turned into a motivation to murder his potential rival for the throne.
In his earliest noted appearance, Byrrah frequently played with Namor during a period in which Namor was just beginning to discover the full extent of the abilities granted to him due to his mixed heritage. One day while playing "Atlanteans vs Americans", Byrrah and Namor were separated between a sheet of ice trapping Namor on the surface. At first Byrrah kept this a secret not wishing to get in trouble for trapping Namor on the surface. However in a rare moment of guilt told his step-sister Princess Fen of Namor's situation. Fen led Atlantean soldiers on a rescue mission and were shocked to discover that Namor could breath on the surface indefinitely. When Namor was 10, Byrrah dared Namor to go to the surface during a blizzard, Namor did so and was surprised to find that he had a measure of invulnerability when he was attacked by huskies. By the time Namor was 12, Byrrah's jealousy over him grew and he attempted to slay Namor and Princess Fen by pinning them under the mast of a derelict ship. However, Namor's newly discovered strength allowed him to save his mother, and later Byrrah when he became trapped in one of the ships quarters. When Namor was 15, Byrrah played with Namor in a derelict sub-marine. Unknown to them they were followed by Namor's cousin Namora who wanted to teach Namor a lesson that they were equals. She trapped him in the torpedo tube, and when Byrrah realized Namor was seemingly trapped he panicked and fled, although Namora eventually freed Namor. When Namor was 16, Byrrah accompanied Namor and Namora to the surface to explore the abandoned Antarctic research station known as "Little America". When Namora found herself trapped in a flaming cabin, Byrrah cowardly fled the scene while Namor rescued her. By the time Namor was 17, Byrrah had grown tired of how Namor showed off his abilities.
Regardless of his intentions, Byrrah eventually gained a reputation as a peace-loving and kind nobleman. His activities during much of the 20th century were mostly unknown.
During the course of World War II, Byrrah's step-father Emperor Thakorr was injured during a Nazi attack on Atlantis, putting the ruler in a coma throughout most of the 1940s. When Thakorr revived shortly after the war's end, Byrrah and Warlord Krang convinced a confused Thakorr that Namor forsook his people in favor of the surface world, leading to Namor being exiled from Atlantis until the mid 1950s.
With Namor back in the good graces of the Emperor by 1954, Byrrah began plotting to usurp the Sub-Mariner's position in society. Byrrah managed to convince his step-father Emperor Thakorr to allow him to lead an invasion of the surface world with an attack on South America, despite Namor's warnings that it would be a suicide mission. In order to inflame things, Byrrah tipped off the South American authorities of the attack and leaving them to believe that Namor was the one responsible. Eventually, Namor and his cousin Namora thwarted Byrrah by tricking him into sending his troops into a trap that decimated their attack fleet forcing them to flee. Although Byrrah returned a failure he managed to turn Thakorr's wrath toward Namor for foiling the plot leading to Namor being exiled from the kingdom. Namor's exile proved short lived and soon Byrrah plotted anew, using an iceberg to cause massive destruction across North America, this plan was stopped by Namor who used his own ice berg to destroy Byrrah's although Byrrah escape before getting caught. In his next plot to discredit the Sub-Mariner, Byrrah created a robot duplicate of Namor and unleashed it on New York City, so that Namor would be blamed for the attack. Namor uncovered the plot and destroyed the robot, and suspecting Byrrah, confronted him but found no evidence proving Byrrah's involvement.
In 1955, Emperor Thakorr developed a device that could restore Namor's full abilities after they had waned over the years. Byrrah attempted to stop this by stealing the required formula, but Namor was able to stop him and restore his lost abilities. Later when Byrrah tricked a Communist sub to try and sink an American ship, Namor stopped his plot. Not long after, surface explorers appeared near Atlantis on a Uranium hunting expedition. Namor rashly led an attack but stopped when he realized that the explorers were only seeking Uranium. However, Byrrah had no such compunctions and attempted to attack the vessel with his own loyal followers but was stopped by Namor. This in turned allowed the explorers to warn the people of Atlantis of an undersea earthquake given the Atlanteans enough time to evacuate their kingdom. Byrrah soon began working with a Communist faction that was preparing to stage a coup of a Central American country, by providing them specially treated ice to help smuggle weapons into that country. When Namor discovered the plan he dismantled it and then froze Byrrah in a block of ice as a lesson. However, Namora convinced Namor to let Byrrah free, after doing so the Sub-Mariner warned Byrrah from working for the Communists again as they would likely turn against them and attack Atlantis after conquering the surface world.
Soon Byrrah's ambitions for ruling the kingdom came to fruition with a series of events that changed the lives of his people. First, Namor attempted to petition the United Nations into allowing Atlantis to join their ranks but he was forced to abort his mission due to the prejudice of the people of New York City. Byrrah was instrumental in convincing Emperor Thakorr that the people of Atlantis should cut all ties with the surface world to avoid attack. Soon after the kingdom was attacked by the telepathic madman known as Destiny who sought to test out the power of his Helmet of Power. During the battle, Atlantis was decimated, Emperor Thakorr and Princess Fen were killed, and the Sub-Mariner went missing. Byrrah took command of the tattered remnants of the people of Atlantis, and allowed for his people to search for the Sub-Mariner but called off the search by 1961, when the searches yielded no success.
Byrrah became supervisor of the Atlantean weapons factories. Later, using a mind control device, he convinced the citizens of Atlantis to chose him as leader, exiling Namor, and forming an alliance with Atlantis' enemies, Attuma and Krang. Lady Dorma destroyed Byrrah's device, and ultimately Namor returned, exiling Byrrah and defeating his enemies' schemes. Byrrah returned to trick the Atlanteans again, this time with the help of Dr. Dorcas, but was again exiled by Namor.
Next, he formed an alliance with Llyra, empress of the undersea Lemurians, promising to marry her after gaining the Atlantean throne. At the same time, he allied with the alien race of Badoon and kidnapped his cousin Namorita. The Badoon betrayed him, and Byrrah and Namor defeated the Badoon together, Namor releasing Byrrah from punishment.
During the time when the warlord Attuma ruled Atlantis while Namor was on the surface world, Byrrah appealed to Namor to join him in defeating Attuma. Although they did not defeat Attuma, Namor returned to govern the undersea Deluvia.
Byrrah's current activities are unknown.
Amphibious Physiological Adaptation: Byrrah's body was specially developed for underwater conditions, granting him specialized blood circulation to withstand freezing temperatures and highly developed vision to see clearly even in murky ocean depths. He could survive indefinitely underwater and could survive on land for a limited amount of time. He could swim at 35 mph.
Byrrah was a gifted inventor and chemist, an accomplished politician and a master of multiple armed and unarmed combat techniques.
Byrrah sometimes used a phosphorescent chest-lamp and an aqua-mask with recirculated salt water supply.
He sometimes used a battle lance, a weighted seashell projectile, an energy pistol, a sword and a power-pike with sustained electrical charge. As Salamar, he used energy-projecting technology to generate electric blasts, force fields and electrified containment fields.
- Byrrah was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- Byrrah once wore a helmet adorned with a medal similar in design to a World War II era German Iron Cross. However, there is nothing to indicate that Byrrah had any connection to the Nazi party.
- Saga of the Sub-Mariner #2 implies that Byrrah is not a blood relative of Namor's grandfather Thakkor and is in fact his step-son. The same issue has Fen refer to Byrrah's mother Brynn as her cousin.
- 31 appearance(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 6 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 7 image(s) of Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Byrrah (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Byrrah (Earth-616)
Links and References
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe