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“Stay mad as hell…We MEXICANS won”: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Fans Defend Tenoch Huerta’s Namor Championing Mexican Heritage as Trolls Accuse MCU of ‘Brownwashing’

Black Panther II: Namor

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.

Namor the Sub-Mariner as depicted in the comics
Namor the Sub-Mariner as depicted in the comics

Also read: ‘They are the new Greek Gods’: Black Panther 2 Star Tenoch Huerta Says Becoming Namor Will Bring Latin American Culture To The Front

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.

Tenoch Huerta debuts as Namor in Black Panther 2
Tenoch Huerta debuts as Namor in Black Panther 2

Also read: Black Panther 2 Namor Actor Tenoch Huerta Says Wakanda vs. Atlantis Portrayal is What’s Happening With “Minorities” in America

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.

Tenoch Huerta appears on the cover of Empire
Tenoch Huerta appears on the cover of Empire

Also read: “A lot of people are gonna see themselves represented”: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Star Winston Duke Says Their Namor Has Real Latinx Cultural Significance 

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.

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.

Source: Twitter

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with almost 500 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works. If she’s not writing or painting, Diya can often be found in tattoo parlors across Delhi or on rooftops at 3 am listening to music.