Marvel’s latest release, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has finally introduced Namor to the big screen.
For those who have seen the movie, I’m sure there were a few “Aquaman?” reactions around you. That’s expected as both characters rule the oceans, with Aquaman leading Atlantis in the DC Universe.
Even Black Panther’s director, Ryan Coogler in an interview said 2018’s Aquaman helped create this movie however, both are very different people.
“I do think that having Aquaman out in the world, in film language, and being successful in the marketplace, I think it was a great bit of indirect guidance for us to lean into the things that made Namor different from Aquaman,” Coogler said. “I think giving people something different, if you can give somebody something good, that’s also unique, I think it’s always better. We wanted to lean into the things that make those two characters different from each other because they have a lot of other similarities in publishing.”
So who is Namor?
Namor the sub-mariner is literally Marvel’s first ever superhero, created in 1939. According to the character’s biography, he is the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis. However, in the MCU he rules the underwater colony of Talokan, an ancient civilization of underwater dwelling people connected to the Mayans.
Coogler explained that Talokan was “a reimagined version” of Atlantis and was “deeply inspired by Mesoamerican cultures, specifically from the Yucatán and the Mayan postclassic period.”
The name seems to be derived from a city in Aztec lore, Tlālōcān. It’s a paradise city that absorbs the souls of those who die by lightning or drowning at sea.
Namor is not exactly a hero as he is disenfranchised with the surface world and wants nothing to do with them. His true loyalty only lies with his people. Producer Nate Moore explains “He’s not interested in ruling the world. He’s not interested in money. He’s interested in protecting his people. And what’s more altruistic than that?”
He is superhumanly fast, strong and agile. He can fly thanks to the wings on his ankles, live on land or undersea, and also communicate telepathically with sea life.
Tenoch Huerta stars as Namor in his MCU debut and the Mexican actor did a brilliant job.