Real Name: Karlak

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: High Priest of Mu

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His soldiers

EnemiesNamora, Sub-Mariner, the surface world, the Ruling Council of Mu

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of OperationsMu (see also Mu)

First Appearance: Namora#1/2 (August, 1948)

Powers/Abilities: Karlak was an ordinary man who had great ambitions of conquest, and he used the armies of Mu for his militaristic objectives. Karlak was armed with a hand-held "electric gun" that could fire a lethal blast.

Karlak traveled with his troops aboard a submersible battle-cruiser that was equipped with a device that could create whirlpools.

History: (Namora#1/2) - The past history of Karlak is unknown, but when the wreckage of a surface vessel landed near the protective dome covering the underwater city of Mu, Karlak fomented the fear and rage of his people, coercing them into attacking the surface world.

  Aboard his battle-cruiser, Karlak monitored Namor and Namora swimming by, so he activated a device that generated a whirlpool in the waters, trapping Namora. Namor swam to her aid, and their combined efforts freed Namora from the vortex.

  Wanting to capture some surface people as specimens to learn how they could be conquered (and mistakenly thinking the two Atlanteans as such), Karlak next dispatched a team of four soldiers in underwater suits to capture Namor and Namora. But the soldiers were no match for the two, and one of them fled back to Karlak with his report of the encounter. Upon learning that the two "surface dwellers" had been unarmed, Karlak conceded that his soldiers were no match for them physically, but he thought they were not advanced enough to use weapons, so they would fall easy prey to the Muvians superior intelligence. The deep-sea despot consulted some ancient maps and planned an attack at the nearest land mass -- Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After surfacing, Karlak's forces attacked a small navy patrol boat with arrows. News of the attack was overheard by Namora on the radio, so she and Namor went to assist the navy.

  Karlak's land forces invaded the naval base just as Namor and Namora arrived. While the military held their fire, Namor and Namora fought the Muvians, but were soon overwhelmed by the invaders' greater numbers. As Karlak's troops advanced on the base, the military had no choice but to fire a machine gun to break up the attack. Karlak and his surviving soldiers were forced to retreat and return to their cruiser, then traveled back to Mu (with Namor and Namora in pursuit).

  Karlak went to the chamber of the city's ruling council and told them of his plans to return to the surface with an even greater invasion force, but the council members were angry with him because he had brought warfare and death to their peaceful realm.

  Karlak threatened the female council member with his "electric gun" just as Namor arrived and tackled him. During their struggle, the Muvian madman attempted to shoot the Sub-Mariner with his gun, but it was pointed at his own head as he pulled the trigger, and Karlak accidentally killed himself.

  As Namor and Namora departed the underwater city, the female council member promised them that the Muvians only desired peace, and Namor suggested that perhaps now they could establish friendly relations.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Syd Shores.

So Karlak tried to take on the whole surface world armed with only bows and arrows and swords -- kinda casts a little doubt on his claims of "superior intelligence".

The Muvians have never been seen again -- I guess it's possible that they chose to continue to live in isolation once they learned how violent the surface world was, or maybe they contracted a virus from their time on land which spread and killed off the entire population.

The city of Mu likely sank during the events of the Great Cataclysm.

Possibly Mu was an outpost/"sister city" of the ancient Atlantean city of Netheria, which also built a protective dome so that it survived the Atlantean continent's submerging into the sea (...although Netheria continued to sink over the centuries until it reached Subterranea, and was then called the Netherworld (as seen in Tales of Suspense I#43/1)).

The legendary sunken continent Mu still exists in the Marvel Universe. I always suspected it to be a little bit bigger, but Augustus Le Plongeon, who created the idea of Mu originally for scientific purposes, would still be happy to visit it. Mu was also used in literature by various individuals including James Churchward, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.
--Markus Raymond

The sinking of the continent Mu was depicted in Conan the Barbarian I#71.
--Per Degaton

And a BIG Thank You to the Atlas Tales site for allowing me to use the scans of this story!

Profile by John Kaminski

Karlak has no known connections to:

Karlak's soldiers

The underwater soldiers wore diving suits to survive on the ocean floor, and one was armed with an "octopus gun" that fired a blinding ink cloud.

The land soldiers were armed with swords (made from swordfish blades) and bows and arrows (bows made from seaweed).






Ruling Council of Mu

Consisting of at least five males and one female (possibly the queen?) (all unidentified), they turned against Karlak because they were angered when they saw how his ambitions of conquest had brought war to their peaceful city.








An underwater city, it was located many fathoms below the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

It boasted a high degree of civilization ten thousand years ago until it sank beneath the sea, but the inhabitants had built a protective dome over it to survive its submerging.




Namora#1, p11, pan1 (main image)

p15, pan6 (head shot)
p15, pan1 (undersea trooper)
p17, pan3 (Karlak with his surface forces)
p19, pan6 (Karlak before Council members)
p12, pan6 (domed city)

Namora#1 (August, 1948) - Syd Shores (artist)

First Posted: 10/28/2006
Last updated: 01/01/2012

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters