One of the biggest rumors — or worst-kept secrets — for months in the world of Marvel is that actor Tenoch Huerta, who has been cast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, wasn’t just playing some random character. Rumor had it that he was playing one of the oldest and most important Marvel superheroes of them all: Namor, the Sub-Mariner.
As is typical of Marvel, they spent months ignoring the rumor. But at Comic-Con 2022, when the panel turned to discussing the upcoming Black Panther sequel, they finally said yes, all those rumors were correct: Tenoch Huerta is Namor.
The character is literally as old as Marvel Comics; he appeared in the first issue of Marvel Comics #1 from 1939. Created by Bill Everett, he is a half-human, half-Atlantean king who has an array of powers. (He’s basically Aquaman, but he can also fly and he has crazy eyebrows.) In the 1930s, Namor worked alongside such early Marvel heroes as Captain America and the original Human Torch as a team called “The Invaders,” protecting America during World War II.
The company that eventually became Marvel canceled all of its superhero books by the late 1950s, but in the early 1960s, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought back Namor in the pages of Fantastic Four #4, where he became more of an antihero who was resentful and suspicious of the surface world, and a perpetual antagonist for Reed Richards of the FF, in part because Namor was madly in love with Sue Storm.
Eventually, Namor did become more of a traditional hero, and did even join the Avengers for a while. But he’s also reverted to more sinister ways, and sometimes opposed mankind to protect his home of Atlantis. So it will be interesting to see how he fits into the world of Wakanda in Black Panther 2.
With Marvel also announcing a release date for Fantastic Four, it’s very possible we could see Namor in that movie as well. In the meantime, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled to open in theaters on November 11.
Marvel Comics That Can’t Appear in the MCU
Some of Marvel’s most popular comics can never be adapted to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mostly because of issues with copyrights.