The most recent trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Ceaselessly makes it clear conflict is coming. Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the movie’s antagonist, is speeding in like a tidal wave at Wakanda’s darkest hour. It’s an echo of a long-lived comedian guide rivalry between Black Panther and Namor, and whereas the form of the story might be essentially completely different, the explanations for a Black Panther sequel that includes Namor stay simply as compelling: He’s not only a villain. He’s one thing extra.
In an interview with Leisure Weekly, director Ryan Coogler explains the MCU model of Namor is a bit completely different from his comics counterpart. His kingdom will not be Atlantis, however Talocan, a creation authentic to Wakanda Ceaselessly, impressed by Mayan tradition and meant to be much like Wakanda; a legendary nation of riches hidden in plain sight.
“The movie offers with lots of issues, however one among them is foils — individuals who exist in distinction, however there’s a thread of similarity,” Coogler advised EW.
It’s a quote that underlines what makes Namor the proper Black Panther villain: He’s, in some ways, T’Challa’s equal and reverse, the sovereign chief of an unconquered individuals fiercely decided to guard it from the surface world. However whereas within the first Black Panther, T’Challa finally realized it was time to alter his nation’s methods, it appears Namor and Talocan could not have but gone via that progress.
Picture: Marvel Studios
This additionally echoes T’Challa and Namor’s relationship within the comics. Comics Namor (generally known as the Sub-Mariner) has a protracted and sophisticated historical past, however his battle with the Black Panther stems from a easy indisputable fact that makes them such compelling rivals: They’re not superheroes. They’re kings.
Namor and the Black Panther function on a wholly completely different stage than most different characters within the Marvel Universe. They’re devoted to their individuals at first, and all different causes second. This usually places them at odds with characters that will be their allies in any other case — the Avengers for T’Challa, the X-Males for Namor (Comics Namor is a mutant, which is…fascinating given how the MCU has began utilizing that phrase) — and offers their actions wider ramifications for the world at massive.
Merely put, when one among these characters enter a narrative, that story simply will get greater. The most effective storytellers in comics lean into this (author Jonathan Hickman’s lengthy tenure on Avengers and, particularly, New Avengers offers with the feud between T’Challa and Namor at size).
The MCU model of this story, sadly, must take a barely completely different tack with the tragic lack of Chadwick Boseman, and by extension, T’Challa. Nonetheless, all of that storytelling weight continues to be there. Wakanda is larger than one particular person, and whoever steps in to bear the mantle of Black Panther may also should step as much as face Namor, and put warring philosophies about what kind of particular person a pacesetter ought to be to the take a look at — with the pleasure of every nation at their again.
Black Panther and Namor have at all times been extra sophisticated than good and evil, proper and fallacious. To them, saving the world isn’t sufficient — saving a individuals, their id, and their indelible mark on the world is what actually issues.