Marvel Studios seems to be changing Namor up quite a bit, as the iconic hero makes his MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But there is an important detail that does not change: Namor is still a mutant in the MCU.
Actor Tenoch Huerta has confirmed this detail in an interview with Empire. This turns Namor into one of the first mutant characters that appear in an MCU project. This is fitting, as Namor is often described as “Marvel’s first mutant” in the comics. Since his father is human and his mother is Atlantean, Namor is a carrier of the mutant gene and possesses certain powers that set him apart from his fellow Atlanteans.
This revelation turns Namor into the third major mutant character appearing in the MCU this year. Patrick Stewart previously reprized the role of Professor Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, while a major hero is seemingly 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 jump off the page.Coogler told Empire.He’s a dream antagonist“.
In fact, Coogler originally planned to bring forward Namor’s debut in the first Black Panther movie. Marvel’s Kevin Feige revealed that Coogler proposed a post-credits scene showing a series of wet footprints leading to the throne of Wakanda. Ultimately, Marvel ended up keeping Namor’s appearance a secret until Huerta’s role was officially confirmed at Comic-Con.
In other Black Panther: Wakanda Forever news, Feige revealed that it was “too soon” after Chadwick Boseman’s passing to consider changing T’Challa’s role in the sequel. Instead, the film will deal with Boseman’s tragic death, addressing the issue of moving on in the face of insurmountable odds.