Namor the Submariner, Marvel’s very first superhero (or antihero to be more precise) is finally getting some screen time in the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie. The fans less familiar with the comics might be intrigued with the newest addition to the MCU, especially his ethnicity since it seems quite the jump from the Namor we’re used to seeing in the comics. That’s why we decided to clear up some things and analyze how does MCU’s Namor differ from the comics? What is Namor’s ethnicity?
In the comics, Namor is stated to be a son of a human sailor and Atlantean princess which would make him a part of the Homo Mermanus race. He was usually depicted as being of Asian ethnicity due to his physical features. The MCU version of Namor is taking a different approach. Namor will be played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta and will reflect both Namor’s new and Tenoch Huerta’s Mesoamerican ancestry.
Now that we’ve covered the main difference between the comic and MCU versions of Namor it’s time to analyze the subject in more detail. If you want to find out why exactly has Namor’s ethnicity changed stay with us!
Who is Namor The Submariner?
As we’ve stated before, Namor the Submariner debuted in Timely Comics’ Marvel Comics #1 (1939) and is considered to be the first Marvel Superhero. He is the son of an Atlantean princess and human sailor which makes him a mutant-Atlantean hybrid. Due to his unique ancestry and physiology, he has both traits of Homo Mermanus and Homo Superior race. While being the first superhero, Namor was also Marvel’s first Mutant (Alpha-level). With such a complicated origin it’s no wonder that Namor has quite a few superhuman abilities and powers.
For starters, being a half-Atlantean he is amphibious. He can survive underwater indefinitely, his eyes are also specially adapted for the dark and murky underwater environment. Beside being amphibious he also has superhuman strength, speed, endurance, durability, and agility – you know the standard deal. His Homo Mermanus genes allow him to heal extra fast while being submerged in water. He can also talk to aquatic lifeforms due to his telepathy.
One ability that Namor has that can be explained by neither his mutant nor Atlantean origins is the ability to fly. So having said all that Namor’s ethnicity can be confusing to discern especially as it seems that MCU will be taking a different approach to this already established comic book character.
Is Namor Asian in the Comics?
Namor was depicted as having Asian features in the comics. He looks different than the rest of the Atlanteans due to being part human. Instead of having blue skin like most other Atlanteans, he has pale skin combined with slightly slanted eyes and dark hair. He also has pointy ears and wings on his ankles. So in technical terms, we can’t say that he is Asian. He is obviously a part of an altogether different race of aquatic superhumans. But to say that he doesn’t look Asian in the comics would be wrong.
What is Namor’s Ethnicity in the MCU
As it can be seen in the trailer, the new Black Panther movie heavily suggests that Prince Namor will be making an appearance in the movie in the role of antagonist and will probably be put against the new Black Panther. That means that the entire nation of Atlantis will be waging war on Wakanda too.
Since this is the first time that Namor will be appearing in the MCU, they had a clean slate and the ability to portray him however they want. They decided to take a new direction when it comes to both his character and the entire Atlantean civilization. Due to the casting of a Mexican actor with Aztec roots, Tenoch Huerta, and his costume seen in the trailer, it is obvious that MCU’s Atlantis will be heavily inspired by Mesoamerican cultures.
Atlantis, newly named Talocan to reflect its Aztec influence, should be the Western counterpart to Wakanda. Since it will probably be revealed that the two civilizations faced similar struggles in the past, and due to the onslaught of Spanish Conquistadors they decided to pull back into the safety of the sea. Namor’s half mutant half Atlantean origin will not change, but his onscreen portrayal will be different and will be reminiscent of Aztecs heavily. It will be a great chance to separate him from DC’s similar character Aquaman and to give Talocan a unique and rich new identity.
What ethnicity is Tenoch Huerta?
Tenoch Huerta is a Mexican actor that has Aztec and Purépecha origin which makes him perfect for the role of our new aquatic prince inspired by Mesoamericans. He is a relatively known and famous actor in Mexico but his new role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is sure to introduce him to the Western audience in the best light.
And that would be all, now that we’ve cleared up Namor’s ethnicity in both the MCU and comics all we have left is to wait for the movie. Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever is set to be released on November 11.