With a few more days before Black Panther: Wakanda Forever crosses international waters(no Namor reference, just purely coincidence), we are honored and excited to explore the origins of Namor the Submariner, the villain of this movie. It probably best be an antihero.
We have been waiting for a long, long time for Namor to finally invade our screens ever since Atlantis got pinned on the maps in Iron Man 2 and Avengers Age of Ultron. Oh, and let us not forget Okoye’s unforgettable line in Avengers Endgame. “It was a mild subduction under the African Plate… It’s an earthquake under the ocean. We handle it by not handling it.”
Though that line could have just been a throw-away, it signals the existence of Atlanteans in the MCU. With this second film, the introduction and tenure of Namor in the MCU deem undeniable. To avid fans and learners, this is a short course on Namor the Submariner.
In the comics, Ernest Shackleton and Namor’s father, Leonard McKenzie, are seafarers commissioned by Winston Churchill to find vibranium in the Atlantic. They also have a telepathic passenger, to easily track vibranium, on board Endurance, their ship.
With explosions near the surface, the Atlantean king, Emperor Thakorr sends her daughter, Princess Fen to investigate the disturbance. By the stars, Leonard Mckenzie and Princess Fen fell in love.
Since the sea-farers explorations pose a grave threat to Atlantis, the Atlantean soldiers attack Shackleton’s crew, kill McKenzie and escort Princess Fen from human custody, pregnant.
Thus, Namor is born, a mutant-hybrid. Namor has pale, human skin, unlike his Atlantean brethren who usually have blue. His upbringing accustomed him to Atlantean history and culture. To the land dwellers, he is sometimes a foe and sometimes an ally but his loyalty, pride, and allegiance, however, is to Atlantis and its people.
Black Panther is to Wakanda as Namor is to Atlantis
As a water diplomat, Namor visits other tribes within Atlantis and other large bodies of water, one of which is the Orekki Reefs where the Chasm people are located. Attuma, the leader of the Chasm people, builds a rivalry against Namor. Still, they set aside their differences and build a friendship for the benefit and peace between their peoples.
Similarly, in Wakanda, T’Challa has long bad blood with M’Baku of the Mountain Tribe but they need to coalesce to overthrow Erik Killmonger in the first Black Panther movie. In the comics, however, T’Challa leaves Wakanda for the Avengers and hands over leadership to M’Baku who later devises a plan to overthrow the Wakandan King upon his return. But, M’Baku failed thus returning the throne to T’Challa.
The Submariner vs Black Panther
The pages of the comics have long introduced us to the timeless rivalry between Atlantis and Wakanda. We are even torn, as readers, as to whom shall we even side with as they both present humanitarian and civil platforms while fighting each other for who’s right and who’s wrong.
Black Panther encounters Namor while investigating Wakandans who went missing. After their fight, Namor reveals that Atlantis has traitors who have escaped to the surface. The two quickly knew their goals were aligned. Their team-up proves to be successful, but the encounter results in Black Panther recognizing the threat Namor poses in the future. He opens a file on Namor, in case that he should ever have to take him down.
The tensions between Wakanda and Atlantis started in earnest while Namor was a member of the Defenders. After their adventure in Tunnelworld, Namor, Doctor Strange, and Bruce Banner the Hulk went to Atlantis to rest. However, during their retreat, Black Panther pursues some Atlanteans, who stole Wakandan technology, after misinterpreting Namor’s orders to protect their country – This results in a fight between Namor and Black Panther over who would punish them.
Namor the All-powerful
Namor is an Alpha-Level Mutant, in the comics, along with Professor X, Legion, Phoenix, and Storm to name a few. His powers include amphibious physiological adaptation, superhuman speed(not faster than Quicksilver, though), superhuman strength, stamina, agility, enhanced reflexes, durability, healing, atmokinesis(with the likes of Storm), and hydrokinesis. Need we say more?
Namor is also an expert combatant, has diplomatic immunity(since he rules the water), is an expert tactician, is multilingual, a skilled engineer(he did develop Atlantean technology with his scientists), and a business executive. Beat that resumé!
Every hero who capitalizes on their strengths also has their Waterloo of weaknesses and Namor is no different. His physical attributes weaken if he is unexposed to water for a long time. We don’t know how he deals with this but Namor has an oxygen imbalance either in water or air thus resulting in manic-depressive mood swings that entail bipolar tendencies and head problems. He also has PTSD caused by the horrors of the Second World War.
Seeing him appear in Black Panther Wakanda Forever gives a mix of emotions but mostly excitement. So, how about you? How would you expect Namor to appear and be presented on the big screen? The change in location from Atlantis to Talocan is quite a big turnaround and the absence of T’Challa but will his debut give the antihero justice? Comment your thoughts below. Check out the new clip from Black Panther Wakanda Forever.
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