Ryan Coogler has been discussing the new villain who challenges Wakanda in Black Panther 2. Namor (played by Tenoch Huerta Mejía) is the ruler of Atlantis and fierce protector of the oceans. He’s also a mutant and incredible powerful. In a new interview with Marvel.com, Coogler says that his powers are comparable to Marvel’s greatest heroes.
“[There’s] no equal in terms of his capabilities, being able to breathe underwater and breathe at high altitudes and walk around on land. He’s incredibly strong, he’s as strong as Thor, and if he’s around enough water, he can be as strong as the Hulk.”
Much like Killmonger in the first Black Panther, Namor is a sympathetic villain and you can understand his point-of-view. Coogler says; “He’s not interested in ruling the world for power. He’s not interested in money. He’s interested in protecting his people. And what’s more altruistic than that?” Producer Nate Moore adds; “Here is a man who believes 100% that he is the hero in his own story. He doesn’t see himself as a villain because in Namor’s eyes what he is doing he’s doing to protect a people who have already made it through a tragic history.”
Huerta Mejía says; “For me, he’s just a hero. It’s not my job to think about how the world or the other characters look at him. How they perceive him is not my job. My job is that he has a strong motivation. He has a clear path, and he knows why it’s important. He’s trying to protect himself and protect all his culture and his people from the exterior world, from the colonialism [which is] against their values and their whole culture.”
In the comics, Namor has come into conflict with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men – two bands of heroes who have been newly folded into the MCU. This suggests that we may see more of Namor, but of course that will depend on what happens at the end of Black Panther 2.
While we wait to find out, check out our guide to Marvel’s Phase 5.