Warning: SPOILERS for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are ahead!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t officially introduced the X-Men just yet, but we’re slowly getting more nods to mutants. Between Professor X’s role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Kamala Khan’s being revaled as a mutant and the news that Wolverine is appearing in Deadpool 3, things are falling into place on this front. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also featured Tenoch Huerta's Namor confirming he too is a mutant, and one who definitely could align with the X-Men and other mutants who will eventually make their way into the MCU.
Namor acted as an antagonist throughout most of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and while he may soften up a bit in successive appearances, he's always been a bit of a complicated character in the source material. Part of this is rooted in his regal nature and passion for protecting the interests of his nation, as well as blaming a chunk of humanity for some of the problems he must endure. In Wakanda Forever, Namor was unable to turn the Wakandans into allies, but is there a chance he’d have better luck with a heap of fellow mutants?
Mutants Are Another Oppressed People In The Marvel Universe
Namor initially approached Queen Ramonda and Shuri because he believed they had common ground. He believed he could tempt Wakanda to enter an alliance on the grounds they were both oppressed people protecting themselves from the outside world, but his asking price for the alliance was too high. Wakanda literally went to war with Namor and Talokan to protect Riri Wiliams, avenge its queen and maintain its values. In the end, it paid off because Shuri was able to form a peaceful alliance with Talokan, though Namor later signaled privately that he still had plans to one day conquer humanity.
The mutants don’t have a heavy presence in the MCU as of yet, but historically, they’ve existed as oppressed and underprivileged people in the Marvel universe. Namor would certainly empathize with their plight, especially with a shared common enemy in humanity, and I’m sure there’d be a few mutants with the same attitude as Namor that they shouldn’t just sit around in fear of humanity.
In fact, we know there are mutants like that, and just imagine the trouble the MCU would be in if Namor and Magneto had some time together. Hell, a pairing like that could lay the groundwork for an Avengers vs. X-Men adaptation, assuming that’s something Kevin Feige and crew would be game for down the stretch. The point I’m really making is that while Wakanda balked at Namor’s plans for conquering humanity, there’s a number of mutants in Marvel lore who would be receptive to the plan he’s pitching.
Namor Could Be A Helpful Ally To All Mutants If They Ever Formed Krakoa
Most Marvel fans may be familiar with the original origin story of the mutants, but I’d wager far less know about the more modern telling used by Marvel Comics following the House Of X story arc. With the help of Moira MacTaggert, Charles Xavier and Magneto learn that a unified front is the only way to ensure longevity for mutants in the world, and together they form the Nation State island of Krakoa. All mutants are welcome on Krakoa with the intention that they live in peace and are unburdened from persecution from humankind.
As we learned in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, not all humans respect the boundaries of others, especially when it comes to obtaining resources. The mutants have many flowers on Krakoa capable of curing human disease they occasionally exchange. I’d imagine more than a few humans would see that being as valuable as vibranium and attempt to infiltrate Krakoa in order to obtain it.
Getting to Krakoa would be quite a challenge for humans given the powerful mutants protecting it. One would imagine adding Namor as an ally would protect the island even more considering he’d have dominion over the sea surrounding it. So even if the mutants don’t pop in the MCU with a group of radicals hell-bent on world domination, they’d definitely have use of Namor as an ally. Assuming, of course, they go for the Krakoa storyline, which I want to happen after seeing so much rooted in the original origin story in previous X-Men movies.
Does Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Hint At Namor’s Destined Relationship With The X-Men?
It feels like no coincidence that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever makes certain Namor’s mutant roots are mentioned at a pivotal point in the movie. I think the MCU wants us to remember that Namor is defined as a mutant and that he’s still not completely off of the idea of taking on humanity. He’s surely not going to find a large group of allies amongst the Avengers, so he seems fated to trying to align with the X-Men whenever they arrive.
For now, that might be a good thing as we still wait to hear when Namor can have a standalone movie. All we know at the present is that Disney is unable to do that under the current agreement with Universal, but that could change. In the meantime, he’d be a great secondary character to any X-Men adventure, although I’d think Namor’s situation could change before well before we see any X-Men movies in the MCU.
Regardless, if I as a humble writer and fan of the MCU can see the natural fit where the mutants can fall into Namor’s plans, then I’m sure the folks working on Marvel stories are likely a few steps ahead of me. After all, there is precedent for Namor working with the mutants in the Marvel comics, so it’s not exactly a novel idea. That doesn’t mean it’d be any less awesome to see in the MCU though, so I’m eager to see what the long-term plan is for Namor going forward, especially after the changes that were made to the character.
It will be a long time before we see a proper X-Men film on the upcoming Marvel movies list, but Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters right now. Hopefully, we’ll know more about what’s going on with Namor in time, and who knows, maybe there’s another nation of people he could align with while waiting for mutants to further populate the MCU.
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Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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