If you’re the ruler of an entire underwater Mesoamerican kingdom, you’re likely to have a lot of responsibilities riding on your chiseled shoulders. A critical part of those responsibilities for Namor — the antihero played by Tenoch Huerta in Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — is protecting his people and their subaquatic land known as Talocan.
“Namor loves his people,” Huerta says in a new preview for the film. “He’s gonna protect them because to be a ruler, you have to serve the people.” Earlier in the preview, Namor mentions that his ancestors often said that “only the most broken people can be great leaders.”
Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler described the unveiling of Namor as “an opportunity to introduce another sovereign ruler of a group of people.”
For Huerta, the introduction of Namor is truly significant, but so is seeing the underwater kingdom of Talocan, which has a “deep meaning” for him. “It’s part of my personal heritage, as a Mexican [and] as an inhabitant of Mesoamerica,” he said. “Finally, I could find a more powerful representation of my culture with dignity and respect.”
It’s the same dignity and respect Marvel gave the Black community in the original 2018 Black Panther and continues to do so in the sequel to reach new communities. From the perspective of the Wakandans, what Namor wants is precisely what they want.
“I cannot wait for everyone to see Talocan,” said actress Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri in the film. “I’m excited about how we’re going to see the world come alive. Both nations want the same thing, which is to preserve and to protect their people.”
Marvel fans will soon see which nation is victorious when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres at theaters nationwide on November 11, 2022.