Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 closing film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever now welcomes Tenoch Huerta’s Namor the Sub-Mariner. And as grand as his name sounds, his role in the film is even more so. The arrival of Namor was announced with the trailer’s featured first look at the Atlantean prince. He was one of the first and most powerful comic characters to have come into existence, the first known anti-hero, and also the first comic character to be imbued with the ability of flight. And now that he has arrived in the MCU, the outside noise is enough to announce the power that he heralds.
The Origin of Namor the Sub-Mariner in Marvel
Named Namor McKenzie, the human-Atlantean hybrid was born out of the tragic union between Leonard McKenzie, a human sea-captain and explorer, and Fen, an Atlantean princess. The character, created by Bill Everett, first appeared in Timely Comics, the predecessor of Marvel Comics in October 1939, in the issue titled Marvel Comics #1. His powers include aquatic telepathy, accelerated healing, the ability to mimic the powers of undersea creatures (like shooting electric bolts by channeling an electric eel), superhuman speed, hydrokinesis, echolocation, and durability.
Among all his incredible, overpowered, and impressive abilities and accomplishments, Namor, also known as the ‘Avenging Son’ stands out more due to his frequent battle against the surface-dwellers for the perceived transgressions against the marine world and its people, an idea that people have only recently become increasingly aware and vocal about due to climate change. Of all the achievements, however, the MCU arrival of Namor becomes even more enthralling for the audience due to his dominating cultural appearance through the presence of Tenoch Huerta.
In his first role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both Tenoch and his character, Namor, make a debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever when he rises out of his world and declares war against the surface. The actor has also been very vocal about representation earlier during Marvel’s Comic-Con featurette of Black Panther 2 and his message had been widely praised and applauded. Recently, the cover of Empire has featured Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, and Tenoch Huerta in their Wakandan garb, and the most striking of all has been Huerta’s representation of the Mexican culture in his appearance as Namor.
Online Squabble Breaks Out Over Tenoch Huerta’s Namor
As November draws near, the press and print both increasingly engage with Marvel’s much-anticipated blockbuster, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The film has been elevated even more in mass opinion due to the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman. As a tribute and a remembrance of the actor who heralded the first Black superhero in the MCU along with his incredibly successful solo film, the crowd has been watching every MCU move with microscopic clarity.
In a new development, however, the Mexican representation of Namor is what caught the public eye. Social media now becomes increasingly divided between those who love the representation and those who are claiming Marvel’s offensive ‘brown washing’ of the comic character.
— Fake Pietro (@fietro_maximoff) September 23, 2022
Stay mad as hell!!! We keep winning pic.twitter.com/fQi3LLjSV8
— Fake Pietro (@fietro_maximoff) September 24, 2022
This man is just so fine 😩 this movie has too many hot people 😂
— Boop (@HowdyHowdy18) September 24, 2022
— Elizabeth Johnson (@Elizabe02733271) September 23, 2022
He looks like Namor. I think that's coolest thing – if you showed me a picture of this guy and said "he's playing a character in the MCU," I'd know in a heartbeat it was Namor. Damn. So excited to have this dude on the big screen at last.
— Kevin Woodside (@ClassicWoodside) September 24, 2022
I am so pumped to see his character make his debut!
— SuperToxin (@SuperToxin_) September 24, 2022
— MadMax_1223 (@TwinRaw17) September 24, 2022
The plot so far reveals the arrival of Namor to declare war on the surface world and Queen Ramonda, Shuri, Nakia, Okoye, M’Baku, and the Dora Milaje fighting to protect their nation, mourning the death of their king and leader, T’Challa, all the while facing global politics and forging a new path for Wakanda.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres on 11 November 2022.