In 1915, Ernest Shackleton, sent by Winston Churchill, sought out vibranium in the Antarctic. His ship, the Endurance, was lost. In 1920, a 25 year old Leonard McKenzie was the captain of the Oracle, with the telepath Paul Destine as a passenger, attempted to recover the vibranium. Their expedition brought them near the location of Antarctic Atlantis, where their ice blasting caused serious damage to the world below. Princess Fen was sent to investigate explosions near the surface by her father, King Thakorr. Stowing aboard the ship, she was captured by the crew who assumed her to be some strange stowaway.
Taking her under his care, McKenzie fell in love with Fen, teaching her how to speak English but during their marriage ceremony, Atlantean soldiers commanded by General Krang attacked the crew, seemingly killing McKenzie and taking Fen back to Atlantis. Fen later gave birth to their son, Namor the Sub-Mariner, a human/Atlantean hybrid.
Leonard survived, and in one account it is stated that he was found stuck on to the crevasse and brought to Atlantis. There Leonard was married to Fen under Atlantean law, despite the union being denounced by all those in power. When Emperor Thakorr demanded Leonard to be executed for his crimes against Atlantis, Fen helped him escape aboard another expedition ship. Whatever the reality, apparently Leonard was the only one who returned from the expedition alive. When he tried to tell others about his fantastic story, it was dismissed as delusions caused from the strain of losing his crew.
In 1939, Leonard McKenzie was the captain of the S.S. Recovery on expedition he had financed to seek out the Endurance, although secretly he hoped to find his former lover Fen. One week into the salvage expedition, they were noticed by Namor who wrecked their ship and started the war against the surface-dwellers. Captain McKenzie was the sole survivor of the expedition. A differing account states that Leonard later became a Navy officer and many years later, in 1939, Commander McKenzie encountered his son the Sub-Mariner during his initial assault on New York City. However, it is entirely inaccurate to Leonard's next meeting with his son. As such the story is likely a fictional tale based on the real events of Namor's first assault on New York. He attempted to raise funds for another expedition to relocate Atlantis, driving himself bankrupt in the process. However he finally found financial backers to assist him in his expedition. However the under experienced divers ended up perishing as the cable of their diving bell snapped sending them to a watery grave, dashing all of Leonard's hopes that he would ever find his beloved Princess Fen. Returning to his home in Boston, Leonard eventually remarried to a surface woman and had a son named Lawrence. The status of his marriage, and all the details pertaining to Lawrence's life mostly unrecorded. Presumably a widow, Leonard eventually ended up living a reclusive life in a home in Boston where he was under constant care of a woman named Sara who kept visitors away, especially members of the press asking questions about Leonard's past voyages.
Living well into old age, Leonard returned to his home of Boston, Massachusetts where he lived in retirement. Due to his advanced age he was prone to bouts of memory loss and struggled to remember his past. It was during this time he was lured into a cult led by a man named Tuval that consisted of elderly citizens of Boston. Tuval promised them that he would win the world back for the elderly and used their energies to restore his own youth and attacked the city. Incidentally enough, the Sub-Mariner was on a quest to learn the fate of his father and was in Boston searching for him. This led to a clash between Namor and Tuval, which Namor won. With Tuval's defeat his followers were released from his control, and Leonard briefly crossed paths with his own son, neither man recognizing each other. Leonard continued to struggle with his memories of the past, having a vague recollection of his brief marriage with Princess Fen. Assisting Namor in his search for his father were his allies Walter Newell and Diane Arliss who searched old merchant marine records to locate Leonard. While Walter sent Diane to find Namor, Walter went to meet with Leonard himself.
Diane meanwhile got the aid of the Human Torch to help find Namor and tell him that they found his father. However Diane was captured by Namor's foes Llyra, Tiger Shark and Gerard Lymondo who probed her mind and learned the truth before ejecting her from their ship and went to kidnap Leonard. Diane finally tracked down Namor and told him everything and he followed after his foes, tracking them back to their ship after they successfully captured their hostage. Namor battled Tiger Shark but was easily defeated and knocked out. Leonard soon recognized the Sub-Mariner as his son, and was forced to watch as Llyra used a machine to drain Namor's strength and transfer it to Tiger Shark. They were then locked in a cell where the father and son had a brief reunion. Walter, in his costumed identity of Stingray came to rescue Namor damaging the ship and freeing Namor and Leonard. In the ensuing clash, Tiger Shark went up behind Leonard and fatally struck him over the head with a pipe. While Namor went to his father's side his foes managed to flee. Leonard's dying words were that he had no regrets and that his life in trade for that of his son was well worth the price. With no living family that he was aware of at the time, and still reeling over the death of his wife Lady Dorma, Namor then left the scene.
Leonard's on going legacy is of course his son, Namor the Sub-Mariner, who continues to be active to this day.
Leonard's son Lawrence had a son of his own Leon. As an adult Leon went to work for the Rand-Meachum Corporation until it was bought out by Oracle Inc. incidentally a corporation that was owned by his half-uncle Namor. He eventually became the armored eco-terrorist known as Black Moray. Incidentally he was seduced by Llyra who became pregnant with a child. Llyron McKenzie was artificially aged and used in a plot to try and take over the Atlantean throne. Llyron later went on to be part of the Atlantean terrorist group known as Fathom Five.
As a captain of a ship, he was good seaman, worker and leader. He was strong fighter and kept his strength even in old age.
The Earth-616 universe operates on a Sliding Timescale meaning that everything that has occurred post Fantastic Four #1 happens in a relative time period of about 14 years in relation to the most recent publications. This is commonly referred to as the "Modern Age". As Leonard McKenzie was alive during World War II this makes the possibility of him living in the Modern Age become difficult as the timescale slides forward. In Saga of the Sub-Mariner #1 and Sub-Mariner #44 it is stated that Leonard was 25 years old in the year 1920 when he commanded the crew of the S.S. Oracle. Leonard made his first "Modern Age" appearance in Sub-Mariner #43 published in 1971. By some measurements of the Sliding Timescale, publications for years 1970 through 1972 are considered "Year Five" of the Modern Age. Accounting to when the time this note was written (September, 2014) and the relative nature of the Sliding Timescale, "Five Years Ago" in the "Modern Era" (the era of current publications) would have been 9 years ago, or 2005. By this reasoning the time frame between 1920 (when Leonard was 25) and 2005 is 85 years. By this counting, Leonard would have been approximately 110 years old based on the logic of the Timescale. When the story was first published in 1971 Leonard was depicted as the more probable 76 year old he would have been between 1920 and 1971. As the timescale slides forward Leonard's further advancing age as a result of this slide forward will become increasingly unlikely without some sort of outside explanation. However, at this present time Marvel Comics has not offered an official explanation in any publication as of this writing and any explanations should be considered speculative.
- 20 appearance(s) of Leonard McKenzie (Earth-616)
- 9 minor appearance(s) of Leonard McKenzie (Earth-616)
- 19 mention(s) of Leonard McKenzie (Earth-616)
- 4 image(s) of Leonard McKenzie (Earth-616)