Marvel Studios looks to be changing quite a bit about Namor as the iconic hero makes his MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But one major detail isn’t changing – Namor is still a mutant in the MCU.
Actor Tenoch Huerta confirmed that detail in an interview with Empire. This makes Namor one of the very first mutant characters to appear in an MCU project. That’s fitting, as Namor is often described as “Marvel’s first mutant” in the comics. Because his father is human and his mother Atlantean, Namor carries the mutant gene and possesses certain powers that set him apart from his fellow Atlanteans.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever SDCC Trailer
This reveal makes Namor the third major mutant character to appear in the MCU this year. Previously, Patrick Stewart reprised the role of Professor Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, while a major hero is apparently being reimagined as a mutant in the MCU.
Director Ryan Coogler also shed more light on his decision to make Namor the villain of his sequel, describing Namor as “a dream antagonist.”
“The contrast between T’Challa and Namor – their characters, and their nations – just leaps off the page,” Coogler told Empire. “He’s a dream antagonist.”
In fact, Coogler originally planned on teasing Namor’s debut in the first Black Panther. Marvel’s Kevin Feige revealed that Coogler pitched a post-credits scene showing a series of wet footprints leading up to the Wakandan throne. Marvel ultimately wound up keeping Namor’s appearance under wraps until Huerta’s role was officially confirmed at Comic-Con.
In other Wakanda Forever news, Feige revealed it was “much too soon” after Chadwick Boseman’s passing to consider recasting T’Challa in the sequel. Instead, the movie will address the tragic death of Boseman, tackling the theme of moving on in the face of insurmountable odds.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.