Is Tenoch Huerta’s Namor the Villain in ‘Black Panther 2’?

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Marvel/Youtube
Courtesy of Marvel/Youtube
Read more

Now that we know actor Tenoch Huerta’s character Namor is a mutant in the upcoming sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever like he was in the comic books, Marvel fans are wondering if they should also consider him the main “villain” of the new movie.

In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler referred to Namor as a “dream antagonist,” but Huerta considers him more of an anti-hero than anything.

“Latin-Americans are always the bad guys in Hollywood movies,” Huerta said. “And now we are the heroes – or an anti-hero, in this instance.”

The revelation will sit well with many comic book purists who know about Namor’s history since he made his debut on the cover of Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. He is the product of a human sea captain and a princess of the undersea kingdom known as Atlantis. 

In the movie sequel, Atlantis has been replaced with the Mesoamerican underwater kingdom of Talocan, which we see more of in the latest and official trailer. In it we see Namor in his home, painting on its walls and the people who reside in his lands below water and above. We also get to see him flying, the wings on his feet as proof that he’s a mutant. 

According to the 1993 book Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics, author and comics historian Les Daniels referred to Namor as “a freak in the service of chaos.” He is not only considered “Marvel’s first mutant,” but also “Marvel’s first anti-hero.”

“Although [Namor] the Sub-Mariner acted like a villain, his cause had some justice, and readers reveled in his assaults on civilization,” Daniels wrote. “His enthusiastic fans weren’t offended by the carnage he created as he wrecked everything from ships to skyscrapers.”

According to the Wits’ End podcast, Namor was created as a character who was “filled with rage towards surface-people.”

“Where there was civilization, you could find Namor wreaking havoc as payback for the land dwellers’ assault on Atlantis. Anger was and still is a big part of Namor’s character – of being of two differently wild worlds [but] not fully accepted by either one.”

We can see that anger towards land dwellers, or Wakandans, translate from the pages of the comic books to the big screen in the official Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ­trailer, with him attacking those in his way, confronting Queen Ramonda, and M’Baku warning about the neverending war that could come from quarreling with the “feather serpent god.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11, 2022.