Very little has been released about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is strange considering the film is set to hit theaters in November. The long-awaited sequel to 2018’s Black Panther has remained shrouded in secrecy, with Marvel Studios doing its best to reveal as little as possible. In fact, Marvel hasn’t even confirmed the identity of Wakanda Forever’s villain.
Despite that, MCU fans generally feel confident that the villain of Wakanda Forever will be Namor the Sub-Mariner. The formidable comic book character has been rumored to be in the Black Panther sequel for well over a year now, and actor Tenoch Huerta is expected to play the role.
But that doesn’t mean fans should expect the character to be too similar to the one they know from the comics.
The Leak — Chippu reports that, while Namor will play a major role in Wakanda Forever, the film will offer a new take on the character. The MCU Namor will apparently not come from Atlantis, but from a submerged city in Central America. Namor will still, however, be the son of a human man and a queen from said city as he is in the comics.
In other words, fans probably shouldn’t expect Atlantis to be part of the MCU. Instead, Marvel and the Wakanda Forever creative team appear to have come up with a new underwater home for Namor, one that lines up with Tenoch Huerta’s Mexican roots. Of course, this is just a rumor for now.
Namor’s Home — If Marvel is changing Namor’s underwater home from Atlantis to one based in Central America, then the studio has opened the door for it to achieve two things with its depiction of the Wakanda Forever villain.
For starters, this change will hopefully lessen the number of inevitable comparisons made between the MCU’s Namor and DC’s Aquaman, a character who also hails from Atlantis and is also half-human. Beyond that, Wakanda Forever has a much better chance at making Namor’s home feel like it exists in the real world.
By moving Namor’s home to Central America, Wakanda Forever can make it feel culturally specific and authentic in the same way Wakanda itself did in Black Panther. That’s important, especially considering Namor’s underwater city is rumored to be going to war with Wakanda. If both sides of that conflict don’t feel real, then it will be hard for anyone to become invested in it.
The Inverse Analysis — Comic book readers may be disappointed to learn that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will likely change Namor’s origin story. But while there are plenty of debatable changes that Marvel Studios has made to its comic book lore over the years, this feels like an instance in which some alterations are justified.
Not only does changing Namor’s home allow the studio to avoid some of the inevitable comparisons Wakanda Forever will receive to Aquaman, but it also gives Marvel the chance to make its Atlantis replacement feel unique. Whether the studio succeeds at breathing as much life into Namor’s home as it did with Wakanda remains to be seen.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be released on November 11, 2022.