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Namor Will Not Be The King Of Atlantis In Black Panther 2

By Mohit Srivastava
July 30,2022

Marvel Studio’s last movie outing in Phase 4 of MCU is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Fans have very high hopes for the movie. There exists slight skepticism from the sequel as well. The lead actor Chadwick Boseman sadly passed away last year, leading to many script changes in the movie. However, a recent merchandise (from Hasbro) release for the movie has confirmed a significant change to Namor the Sub-Mariner‘s story.

Who is Namor?

Namor in the marvel comics

Namor in the Marvel comics

Namor McKenzie, according to the comics, is a mutant-hybrid son of an Atlantean. He was created by Bill Everett and first appeared in Marvel Comics #1 (1939). Namor possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the Homo mermanus race, as well as the mutant ability of flight, along with other superhuman powers. His mother was Emperor Thakorr’s daughter, Fen, and his father an American sea captain, Leonard McKenzie. Namor is sometimes referred to as “Marvel’s first mutant”.

Atlantis No More

Namor's Atlantis in Marvel Comics

Namor’s Atlantis in Marvel Comics

Official merchandise from Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has revealed a major change that will be made to Namor and Atlantis when the character makes his MCU debut. It has now been revealed that Namor will not rule Atlantis in the Black Panther sequel, rather he will be the king of Talocan — with Marvel seemingly removing Atlantis entirely.

The name Talocan is inspired by Tlālōcān – an underwater place in Aztec mythology. Tlālōcān is a paradise for those who died through drowning or lightning, and is ruled by Aztec deity – the rain god, Tlāloc. In the comics, Tláloc is the storm god of the Tēteoh. However, in the movie, Talocan is an underwater kingdom ruled by Namor and populated by the Talconians.

Why the change?

Marvel's Namor vs DC's Aquaman

Marvel’s Namor vs DC’s Aquaman

Ever since this news got out, it is being assumed that Namor’s kingdom is changed to avoid any comparison with DC’s Aquaman and his kingdom Atlantis. However, both the characters – Aquaman and Namor, boast similar powers. Both of their parents consist of the mother as a super-powered ‘water-dweller’ and a father as a normal ‘surface-dweller’.

In the comics, both of these characters are rulers of their respective Atlantis. While Aquaman readily joins the Justice League of America with Superman, Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman in DC. In the Marvel comics, Namor starts as more of an anti-hero, but he later fought alongside superhero groups like Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Invaders, the Defenders, and the X-Men. He even was one of the members of the Illuminati group.

The Talocan 

Namor descending to his throne in the trailer

Namor descends to his throne in the Black Panther 2 trailer

In the comics, Talocan is the name of a paradisaical realm. It is the home of a group of gods called as Tēteoh who are immensely powered immortal beings. They all have extraordinary combat skills and possess healing powers as well. The recently released trailer of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, showcases that Namor’s civilization will be influenced by Aztec Mythology.

This may prove to be a boon to Ryan Coogler’s vision, as he can flex his creativity in designing Namor’s world, i.e. Talocan. This will evidently stop any kind of comparisons made with DC’s Aquaman and his Atlantis as shown in the movie Aquaman (2018) and the upcoming Aquaman: The lost Kingdom (2023). This distinction will only help Namor find his own place amongst fans who watch both franchises.

A New Culture

Aztec mythology in Black Panther- Wakanda Forever

Aztec mythology in Black Panther- Wakanda Forever

Black Panther was a milestone in the movie industry as it showed African culture in a way that has never been done before. The audiences lauded the vibrancy, celebration, and nuances of African culture from the eyes of Wakanda. The movie achieved cult status among its fans and even won three Academy wins in 2019.

Now with its sequel, Kevin Feige (Marvel Studio’s president) and Ryan Coogler (Director) are looking to introduce the Mesoamerican culture. This might hopefully help them to find the respect and recognition they deserve, after years of being marginalized and discriminated. The cherry on top of the cake is the fact that the characters are played by actors from Mexico and Guatemala.

Tenoch Huerta who plays Namor in the movie has this to say about the cultural impact of the movie –

It’s inspired by Mesoamerican cultures, the people that were involved as consultants [for the movie] are Mexican academics that are actually from the region and they made this possible. The company and the production were totally open, willing, respectful, intelligent [and] sensitive. That’s how representation should be, that’s how things should be made

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere in theatres on November 11, 2022.

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