Rick and Morty Nemesis, Mr. Nimbus Was a Homage to Marvel’s Namor (and David Bowie)
Love tweeted the night of the premiere of the episode it would feature, “A Horny Ocean Emperor”. He was clearly referring to Mr. Nimbus, but that description also applies to Namor. Originally one of Timely Comics’ heroes during the Golden Age of the 1940s, Namor was revived in the 1960s by the rebranded Marvel comics. Now he was an enemy of the Fantastic Four, his goal being to woo Sue Storm away from Reed Richards. Although he became more of an anti-hero over time, he never fell in love with “Susan”.
Nimbus is more fish-like than Namor, with visible gills, and lacks the submarine’s winged ankles. Otherwise, however, his appearance is a Namor look-alike, from speedo to trident. Nimbus also shares Namor’s bloated smugness and protection of his ocean domain. However, Namor is often a more brooding and brooding character. This is where David Bowie’s inspiration comes in; Nimbus’ ostentation and androgynous facial features are reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust.
Then there is his name; “Nimbus” is a Latin word equivalent to a halo and is also an obsolete term for a rain cloud. Quite appropriate for a water-themed demigod.
So, does Mr. Nimbus add anything to “Rick and Morty” beyond the laughs? Season 5 is where we finally learn Rick’s canonical backstory, with details to come in episode 8 “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort”, and the full image revealed in the finale, “Rickmurai Jack”. . Nimbus, as Rick’s old friend-turned-enemy, alludes to this, particularly when naming Rick’s late wife, Diane.