Who Is Kukulkan & Why Is Namor Called Like That in Black Panther 2?

Black Panther 2 cannot be released sooner, and while we wait, Marvel fans decided to analyze the new trailer for the new MCU movie that will come next month. They found many clues about what we expect from the movie, especially the new addition to the MCU, Namor, the Sub-Mariner. M’Baku directed one particular name at Namor, which confirmed some creative changes to one of the oldest Marvel characters. This article will discuss who Kukulkan is and why Namor is called like that in Black Panther 2.

Kukulkan is the name of a Mesoamerican serpent deity that was worshipped by the ancient people, Yucatec Maya. The serpentine god is majestic but sinister, and it embodies a double-edged sword’s danger and beauty. M’Baku calls Namor Kukulkan because MCU changed the original background of Namor from the comics and adapted a new one for the MCU to distinguish him from his DC counterpart Aquaman. In Black Panther 2, Namor seems to be a Talocanian-Mutant hybrid who rules over his underwater kingdom, Talocan.

We will discuss this topic more by comparing the MCU Namor origins to comics and explain the reasoning behind that creative decision. Moreover, we will discuss why Namor is called Kukulkan in Black Panter 2 and conclude our article. If you are interested, stay with us until the end of the article.

Who is Kukulkan?

Before we get into the reasoning behind Ryan Coogler’s and Kevin Feigie’s decision to change Namor’s origins, let’s see what or who Kukulkan is. This mythical creature is still explored today; since the fall of Mayan civilization, many aspects of their culture have been lost. However, what we know of Kukulkan is the name of a Mesoamerican (a historical region that comprises modern countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and central to southern Mexico) serpent deity.

Before the Spanish Conquest, which led the Spanish to colonize most of Central and South America and consequently rules over the Mexico territory, the Mayan people, specifically those from Yucatan Peninsula, worshipped Kukulkan as their deity. Also called Feathered Serpent, its depiction is present in other ancient cultures of Mesoamerica. 

Who Is Kukulkan & Why Is Namor Called Like That in Black Panther 2?
M’Baku calls Namor Kukulkan, a feathered serpent deity.

Kukulkan is closely related to Aztec mythology and their deity, Q’uq’umatz of the K’iche and Quetzalcoatl people. The serpent deity is heavily mexicanized since its reals origins go back to the Mayan people of the Classic Period when the mythical creature was known as Waxaklahun Ubah Kan, the War Serpent. 

According to Mayan mythology, Kukulkan is the lord of death and rebirth, and he brought the four elements, and with the wind, he keeps control. 

We won’t go into great detail about the Serpent’s origins for the sake and respect of Yucatan descendants, but we will talk about the things closely connected to what we know of Namor in the MCU and Black Panther 2. 

MCU Namor origins in comparison to Marvel comics

Now that we know who and what Kukulkan is, we can compare the comic book and MCU Namors’ origins. Most Marvel fans know that Namor is one of the oldest Marvel characters in their history and that he is the ruler of Atlantis, the underwater kingdom. He is the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of Atlantis, and because of that, Namor possesses superhuman strength and abilities of the Homo mermanus race.

Namor of the Marvel comics is powerful, can fly, and has Neptune’s Trident in his possession. The Sub-Mariner is mostly an antihero in the comics since he hates the outside world, or, as he likes to say, “surface dwellers,” despite being a half-human. Namor is a powerful being, a mutant, but he was never regarded as a god or a serpent in his comic book run. He was a ruler and leader of Atlantis, and his people acknowledged his skill and strength as the one who would protect them from outside forces.

RELATED: Namor vs. Black Panther: Who Wins in the Comics? (& Is He Really Stronger?)

On the other hand, we have MCU Namor, and from the trailer and what we heard from the movie producers, we concluded that Namor’s origins wouldn’t be what we know from the comics. The recent Black Panther 2 trailer shows Namor has close connections to the powerful serpent deity Kukulkan. One of the other reasons why MCU changed Namor’s origins is that Marvel wants to distinguish him from the DC’s Aquaman, who is arguably more popular than Marvel’s Sub-Mariner.

After we determined the differences in the origins of the comics and MCU of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, we can now discuss why Namor is called Kukulkan in the movie’s trailer.

Who Is Kukulkan & Why Is Namor Called Like That in Black Panther 2?
There are a lot of hints at ancient Mexican culture in the Black Panther 2 trailer, including Kukulkan.

Why is Namor called Kukulkan in Black Panther 2?

Black Panther 2 official trailer excited us by its seeming attention to the Wakandian lore and the way Namor’s origin story is changed and adapted to real-life ancient history. Mexican ancient history is exciting as European or Asian, and with the introduction of Namor in the MCU, even history lovers will be interested in Black Panther 2 movie.

Everybody got confused by the name M’Baku called Namor in the movie trailer, except Mexicans and Central American folks from the Yucatan Peninsula area. The name hints at the Talocan people – the reference hints at ancient Mexican culture and how Namor is dressed or “designed” in the movie trailer.

In the trailer, Namor is dressed in a seemingly royal outfit with many feathers. It seems that Namor is referred to as a god by his people. That single sentence by M’Baku might confirm that is how MCU wants to introduce mutants in their universe, and Namor, one of the first ones in the Marvel comics, seems suitable for that role.

RELATED: How Did Black Panther Die in the MCU? Is It Explained?

Kukulkan now carries a lot of weight in the MCU since it partly introduces the mutants to the cinematic universe and another notable Marvel character that will be a big factor in future projects. Namor is a god amongst his people, and Black Panther 2 will hopefully explore that fact thoroughly.

The rivalry between Wakanda and Atlantis has a lot of history in the comics, and their conflict will finally be immortalized in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the same, there could be a parallel to Black Panther lore in the MCU, and the Bast, the Panther God, who gave the first Black Panther powers. Maybe Namor gained his powers from Kukulkan, who did bring four elements to the Earth according to mythology; who knows in what direction can Black Panther 2 go?

Nevertheless, Black Panther 2 has a lot of potentials, and we hope that Ryan Coogler succeeds with his project. Black Panther 2 will be released in the theaters on the 11th of November, 2022.

  • Dora is an avid sports fan who started taking interest in TV and movies while attending University of Osijek. Characters, storylines and cinematography is something she started analysing very intensely, which made her respect the art of TV and movies more.