Later this year, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever promises to further expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe by introducing Namor the Sub-Mariner (Tenoch Huerta) and his underwater kingdom. Namor is a major Marvel Comics figure, and while Wakanda Forever intends to offer a new version of the character, he’s still shaping up to be one of the more impactful villains that Marvel Studios has introduced in recent years.
According to one recent interview with Namor actor Tenoch Huerta, the new MCU villain will also have a surprisingly complex relationship with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, the Wakandan king whose posthumous legacy is expected to play a significant role in the Black Panther sequel.
A Powerful Admirer — In an interview with Black Girl Nerds, Huerta teased how Namor’s relationship with Wakanda and Boseman’s T’Challa is explored in the Black Panther sequel. “It is fun, because my character has a deep admiration for Black Panther,” Huerta said.
Beyond noting how Namor’s admiration for T’Challa reflects his real-life feelings for Boseman, Huerta opted not to reveal anything else about his character’s story in Wakanda Forever. However, Namor holding a deep admiration for T’Challa is a noteworthy detail by itself, especially considering the character’s history in the comics and his role in the upcoming film.
Namor’s War with Wakanda — In the comics, Black Panther and Namor have a famously difficult relationship. As the leaders of powerful kingdoms, Namor and T’Challa have feuded, fought, betrayed, and gone to war multiple times. While they have occasionally worked together too, the pair have always felt like rivals.
Namor’s admiration for T’Challa therefore marks a major divergence from the comics. Unlike his comic book counterpart, it sounds like Tenoch Huerta’s Namor will hold a deep reverence toward Boseman’s T’Challa in Wakanda Forever.
However, that admiration isn’t going to stop him from going to war with Wakanda. Namor is expected to serve as the primary antagonist of Wakanda Forever, and the film’s first trailer teases the conflict set to break out between Namor and T’Challa’s kingdoms.
The Inverse Analysis — The first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever doesn’t shy away from teasing the impact that Chadwick Boseman’s absence will have on its story. In addition to being an appropriately epic follow-up to one of Marvel Studios’ most successful standalone films, Wakanda Forever is expected to have a surprisingly somber and melancholy tone that celebrates Boseman’s life just as much as it mourns his death.
If Tenoch Huerta’s recent comments are any indication, it looks like T’Challa’s family members and loved ones aren’t going to be the only characters in Wakanda Forever who find themselves impacted by his legacy and death. However, we’ll have to wait a few more months before we get to see exactly how Namor’s respect for T’Challa ultimately influences his decisions in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to hit theaters on November 11, 2022.