Appearing in "Chapter One: In the Depths"
- Dorma (Only in flashback) (Joins the Swift Tide in flashback)
- Ambrose (Only in flashback) (Joins the Swift Tide in flashback)
- Attuma (Only in flashback) (Joins the Swift Tide in flashback)
- Chasm People Rebels
- Ronal (Only in flashback)
- Eithys (Only in flashback)
- Numerous unnamed others (Death of several)
- Swift Tide / Black Tide (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Immanu (Invoked)
- Kharsan (Mentioned)
- Imperial Atlanteans
- Court Wizard Syzandias (Only in flashback)
- Krang (Only in flashback)
- Numerous unnamed others
- Chasm People (Only in flashback)
- King Attukar (Only in flashback)
- Numerous unnamed others
- Gods of the Depths (Invoked)
- Emperor Thakorr (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Atlanteans (Main story and flashback)
- Deviants (Only in flashback)
- Lemurian Atlanteans (Referenced)
- Humans (Mentioned)
- Great Sea Dragon (First appearance)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Unforgotten Stone (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Chapter One: In the Depths"
Diving from the sky into the depths of the ocean, King Namor recalls the banishment of the Swift Tide - an all-women team of Atlantean warriors who had been corrupted into bloodthirsty monsters. Descending to the ruins of what was once the fortress of the Chasm People - a tribe of Atlanteans who had dwelled outside the Atlantean Empire - now littered with algae-encrusted bones, he vividly recalls memories of when he had visited the place in his teenage years.
Decades ago, a teenage Prince Namor - part of a diplomatic delegation to the Orreki Reef, the Chasm People's seasonal home - watches as Sweet Mercy of the Swift Tide practises a combat routine. As he thinks to himself how beautiful she is, he is interrupted by his friend Dorma and the giant goldfish Ambrose. As Dorma teases him about spying on Sweet Mercy, Namor indignantly denies doing so. As the rest of the Swift Tide pass on their way to the Orreki Reef, Namor and Dorma watch in awe. Captain Kharsa -- leader of the Swift Tide -- spots them and pilots her shark over to greet them. Apologizing for disrupting the diplomatic meeting, Captain Kharsa informs Namor that the Swift Tide have made an important discovery that Court Wizard Syzandias will be interested in hearing. Shaking Namor's hand, Kharsa departs to rejoin the rest of the Swift Tide. As Namor is awestruck, a voice asks if it's his first time meeting them and he turns to see Prince Attuma of the Chasm People. Shaking Namor's hand, Attuma lauds Garanna the Breaker - a member of the Chasm People - as the greatest of the Swift Tide. As Namor respectfully disagrees and remarks that Captain Kharsa and the mage Sycorax are the best, having thrice stopped would-be assassins at the gates of the Imperial Palace even prior to Garanna joining; Attuma teasingly retorts that he's biased since they were born in the Empire, and that if Garanna had been a member at that time then the assassins likely wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the gates. Smiling flirtatiously at Dorma, Attuma remarks that he's willing to freely admit that the city of Atlantis possesses the most beautiful women, to Namor's irritation.
At the delegation, Syzandias and Warlord Krang discuss the Swift Tide's discovery and worry what could happen if the wretched surface-dwellers obtain it. Agreeing that they need to act quickly to retrieve it before it falls into the wrong hands, they are interrupted by the arrival of Namor and Dorma. As Krang asks if they met the Swift Tide, Dorma gleefully remarks that Namor met Attuma as well and didn't get along with him. Namor indignantly retorts that he tried to be polite but that Attuma was unbearably smug and arrogant. Krang delicately remarks that Namor can also be arrogant and egotistical, before stating that if the Chasm People join the Empire then Attuma - as the future ruler of his people - will be an invaluable ally, urging Namor to find a way to get along. As the celebration begins, Chief Attukar of the Chasm People launches into a speech promoting the alliance between his people and the Atlantean Empire. As Namor and Dorma enjoy the spectacle, Attuma approaches and flirts with Dorma. Irritated, Namor catches a glimpse of Krang urging him to play nice and begrudgingly complies; asking Attuma if he thinks his people will ally with Atlantis. Contemplating Namor's question, Attuma replies that he's unsure: most of his people are in agreement with the alliance, but there are also many who are vehemently opposed to it.
No sooner does Attuma say this than a horde of Chasm People surge out of the reef declaring their intent to kill all the Imperial Atlanteans and the traitor Chasm People who want to ally with them. The Swift Tide swim into combat against the insurgents, leaving Namor and Dorma awestruck with their combat prowess. Noticing more insurgents attempting to flank the citadel while the Swift Tide is occupied, Namor charges into battle - followed by Dorma, Ambrose, and Attuma. Recognizing two of the insurgents, Attuma attempts to talk them down only to be told he and his father will die. Fighting side-by-side, the four manage to repel the attackers and are cheered by the assembled crowd. The Swift Tide thanks Namor, Dorma, and Attuma for their assistance before swimming off in pursuit of the surviving insurgents. Observing, Krang calls Syzandias and Chief Attukar over to discuss an idea.
Later, Chief Attukar lauds Namor and Attuma as heroes before informing the assembly that the location of the Unforgotten Stone - a dark relic of a long-bygone age - has been discovered and must be dealt with before it brings untold calamity to the oceans. Tasking the Swift Tide with retrieving the Unforgotten Stone, Attukar makes Namor and Attuma honorary members as a sign of the burgeoning alliance between the Atlantean Empire and Chasm People. As Dorma indignantly complains about having been passed over despite contributing to the battle, Sycorax commiserates with her anger at the sexism of Atlantean society and assures her that she can come too.
In the present, Namor stands in the ruins of the Orreki Reef citadel and picks up a long-forgotten shark flag, crushing it in his grip while thinking to himself that he'd been absolutely certain it was going to be a glorious adventure, but that he couldn't have been more wrong; noting that he doesn't even want to think of what will come next.
Spinning out of the KING IN BLACK epic comes a dark, chilling story of the birth of Atlantis’s greatest villains. The players: Namor, Lady Dorma of Atlantis, the outsider Attuma — all still in their teen years — and the Swift Riders, the Atlantean Empire’s greatest heroes. It begins with alliances and possibility, as Attuma’s people may join the Empire… but what lies ahead is tragedy, betrayal, and the unleashing of dangerous, deadly magics. A deep dive into Marvel history… and the birth of a threat that will only grow in menace across time.