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Art by John Buscema
|First appearance||Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, (April 1939) (cameo)
Marvel Comics #1, (October 1939) (full)
|Created by||Bill Everett (writer & artist)|
|Place of origin||Atlantis|
|Abilities||Fully amphibious physiology,
A native of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, the character was Namor the Sub-Mariner's cousin and his close confidant in many of his original appearances in the 1940s, and was reintroduced in the late 1960s and early 1970s as his lover and wife-to-be, before her death.
Dorma first appeared with a cameo appearance in 1939 in the prototype for a planned giveaway comic titled Motion Picture Funnies Weekly, produced by the comic book packager Funnies, Inc. The only eight known samples among those created to send to theater owners were discovered in the estate of the deceased publisher in 1974. When the giveaway idea fell through, creator Bill Everett used the character for Marvel Comics #1, the first comic book by Funnies, Inc. client Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel. The final panel of the earlier, unpublished eight-page Sub-Mariner story had included a "Continued Next Week" box that reappeared, sans lettering, in an expanded 12-page story. Dorma's first full appearance followed in Marvel Comics #1.
Her first Silver Age appearance is in Fantastic Four Annual #1.
Fictional character biography
Dorma, an Atlantean aristocrat, was a close friend of Namor during their childhood. She fell in love with him when they grew up, but Namor fell for the surface-worlder Betty Dean, a policewoman. When Namor's enemy Paul Destine, empowered by Serpent Crown, destroyed Atlantis and left Namor an amnesiac vagrant, Dorma and the other Atlanteans became nomads. Dorma believed that Destine had killed Namor and was heartbroken.[volume & issue needed]
Many years later, the Fantastic Four's Human Torch restored Namor's memory and Namor returned to Atlantis. Seeing Atlantis in ruins, he attacked the surface world, but fell in love with Susan Storm, the Invisible Girl. With the help of the Fantastic Four, Namor found the surviving Atlanteans and they returned to Atlantis. Dorma was engaged to the Warlord Krang, but left him for Namor. When she found out that Namor was in love with Susan Storm, she tried to kill her and very nearly succeeded. Sue was a prisoner and her arms were tied behind her back. Lady Dorma broke the glass wall of Atlantis saying, "let us see if the surface girl can breathe water". Sue decided to make a futile attempt to reach the surface, but with her arms tied behind her back, the blonde girl could barely swim at all and got helplessly caught in deadly kemp at the bottom of the sea. With her air running out, Namor found her, saved her and took her to a hospital. His actions alienated Dorma and the other Atlanteans who saw the surface-worlders as enemies and they abandoned Namor.[volume & issue needed]
Namor would later return to the throne of Atlantis. Krang became an enemy of Namor and tried to kill Namor and take the throne himself, but Dorma aided Namor in defeating Krang. Namor and Dorma became lovers and she became one of his most trusted advisors and allies.[volume & issue needed]
Dorma was engaged to be married to the Sub-Mariner when she was kidnapped by Llyra, who assumed her identity and tricked Namor into marrying her instead, but according to Atlantean law, Dorma was now Namor's wife, not Llyra, despite her absence from the wedding ceremony. Furious, Llyra fled to the surface world, followed by an equally enraged Namor. Llyra returned to the imprisoned Dorma and smashed Dorma's water-filled prison. Unable to breathe out of water, Dorma suffocated, but not before she struck down Llyra and saved her husband's life.
On a duplicate Earth that was the setting of the Heroes Reborn story arc, a counterpart of Dorma existed and was Queen of the Atlanteans. In contrast to the demurely elegant aristocrat on the original Earth, this alternate version of Dorma was a fierce warrior-woman.
Civil War: House of M
Lady Dorma appears in this series as the Queen of Atlantis.
In other media
- Lady Dorma appeared in the Sub-Mariner portion of The Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Peg Dixon.
- A different depiction of Lady Dorma appears in the Fantastic Four episode "Danger in the Depths", voiced by Janet Waldo. This depiction of Lady Dorma comes from the underwater city of Pacifica due to the fact that Grantray-Lawrence Animation had the rights to Namor at the time. She comes to the Fantastic Four for help when Attuma attacks Pacifica.
- Lady Dorma appeared in the 1994 Fantastic Four episode "Now Comes the Sub-Mariner", voiced by Jane Carr.
- Fantastic Four Annual #1
- Sub-Mariner #37 (May, 1971)
- Heroes Reborn: Ashema, and Heroes Reborn: Doom (both January 2000)
- Civil War: House of M #3
- Lady Dorma at Marvel.com