As the world waits for the exciting follow-up to Black Panther, rumors are already floating around about who T'Challa will be going up against in his next adventure. After kicking things off with Killmonger, it will be quite the challenge for the next villain to leave as great of an impact as he did. With that said, there have been rumors that the villain has been selected, and if it's legit, Killmonger may become the second best villain of the Black Panther franchise.
I'm talking, of course, about Namor the Sub-Mariner. He's been on the short list of Marvel characters fans would love to see in the MCU, and would certainly be a villain unlike any we've seen before in this universe. For those unfamiliar, dive down for specifics and why he'd be a great choice for the big bad of Black Panther 2.
Two Kings Squaring Off
Marvel's king of Wakanda squaring off against the king of Atlantis? Even if there wasn't any history or precedent for Black Panther and Namor going head-to-head, the prospect of two Marvel monarchs going to war is exciting to say the least. Then you learn that there is history between these two going head-to-head in Marvel comics, and boy, those who don't understand will get why people want to see Namor in Black Panther 2.
In Marvel Comics, Namor has done everything from broker deals with Doctor Doom that hurt Wakanda to literally destroying Wakanda when he was imbued with the power of The Phoenix Force. Long story short, T'Challa and Namor have never gotten along all that well, so even if Black Panther 2 ended with Namor in a semi-heroic role, chances are the two would come to blows at some point in the future. That sounds like the kind of tension we need in the MCU going forward, so let's make it happen.
He's A Killmonger-like Character
One of the things that made Black Panther so great was Erik Killmonger's complexity. He certainly did some evil things, but it was understandable to see where he was coming from and empathize with him on some level, even if fans didn't support his methods. Hell, even T'Challa felt for him at the end!
Namor is similar to Killmonger in the regard that his primary motivation is relateable to a general audience. He's looking out for the people of Atlantis, and unfortunately, the land-dwellers don't always have the oceans' best interest at heart in decision-making. Namor and his people suffer the effects of that, and eventually, the ruler has to step up and make a point. Unfortunately, he's the type to level an entire city rather than condemn humanity's actions in front of the U.N., so pissing off Namor can go south real quick.
He's Canonically Older Than Many MCU Characters
One of the negatives of Chris Evans' Steve Rogers presumably not having a big role in the MCU is that the franchise is losing one of its biggest ties to the past. If Namor were to join, however, the MCU would have a half-human, half-Atlantean who actually fought alongside the Allies in World War II. Of course, we're not sure that's true in the MCU seeing as he wasn't mentioned during Captain America: The First Avenger.
Of course, we're still not aware of what all was changed by Captain America's trip back in time. Or, maybe they were just fighting the battle in different areas and never crossed paths? Cap got encased in that ice pretty damn quick and he was consumed with thoughts of Peggy and saving humanity. If nothing else, Namor is old enough to have had a relationship with T'Challa's father or even grandfather, which could make for a great opportunity to expand Wakanda's mythos.
He's The Powerful Conflicted Character The MCU Needs Now
One thing that Marvel has in its comics, television and even other Marvel movies that the MCU doesn't have right now are characters that aren't wholly good. That's not to say Namor isn't entirely evil, but the dude has certainly has some questionable methods that have pissed off The Avengers many a time. He's like Frank Castle: they get what he's doing and why, but they don't have to be ok with it.
The difference is Frank Castle is human, and a recent iteration of Namor was powerful enough to take on a team of the Avengers on his own. His strength allows him to stand against Thor and he's durable enough to withstand a charged cosmic blast from Captain Marvel. The last time we saw a character do both of those things was Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, and we can all agree he was a real pain in the ass. Namor's that, but he's also kind of good. It really makes dealing with him problematic.
He's The Link Between Other Franchises Yet To Be Introduced In The MCU
From a real-life history standpoint, Namor is the company's oldest mutant (though there are mutants older than him in the lore). If he were to be introduced in Black Panther 2, he'd technically be the first mutant in the MCU as Wanda and Pietro Maximoff had their mutant origins scrubbed in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In short, he could be the official introduction to mutants in the MCU.
That's not all he could usher in though, as Namor has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the Fantastic Four. Plus, rulers recognize rulers, and if ever there were a time to inject Doctor Doom into a movie, it would be when two rulers are going head-to-head. The easiest way to flip Namor from villain to anti-hero would be to compare him to Doom, and perhaps give the Wakandans and Atlanteans something to unite against.
Would you like to see Namor in Black Panther 2? Sound off in the poll and talk about why or why not in the comments below that. In the meantime, CinemaBlend will keep an ear to the ground for updates on whether or not he will appear, and will continue to report on all the latest news happening in the world of movies and television.