Aquaman VS Namor: Biggest On-Screen Differences Explained by MCU Actor

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Namor, Aquaman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is finally almost here. The sequel to 2018's hit MCU film has been highly anticipated for years, and the production itself has certainly gone through the wringer. But the movie has made it to the other side, and with it comes the introduction of a massive Marvel Comics character: Tenoch Hurta's Namor.

The anti-hero is a legendary character in comic lore and a long-time rival of Wakanda. On top of ruling Atlantis, Namor has also been a member of the mysterious Illuminati, a self-appointed group of powerful beings who watch over Earth and the universe as a whole.

Fans have been excited to see the character join the ranks of the MCU. Wakanda Forever star Winston Duke even teased how Namor's story feels "a lot more real than fiction" while adding how his part in the upcoming movie has "real cultural significance."

Namor Wakanda Forever

With the introduction of Namor, one thing is for sure: the world will waste no time comparing him to DC Comic's equivalent, aka Aquaman. So what exactly is the difference between the two figures?

Marvel's Namor vs. DC's Aquaman

In an interview with Empire Magazine, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever actor Tenoch Huerta spoke out about how his portrayal of Namor differs from the comics and what makes him unique from his DC Comics counterpart, Aquaman.

Aquaman, Namor, Wakanda Forever
Marvel & DC

When asked if his character is a Mutant, the actor confirmed this and also noted how his Namor "is more angered," yet "sensitive:

"Yeah. The principal aspects of the character are there. But, of course. because of the script demands, I act differently, and create a Namor who is more angered. But at the same time, he’s [also] sensitive. He has this philosophy that the king is not a ruler. The king is the first servant of the people. He has to serve his people. He has to protect his people. This aspect is new for the character."

When asked if he expects to see pots of Namor and Aquaman comparisons, Tenoch noted how "their motivations are the opposite" and that the "mythology is different:"

"Namor is very different from Aquaman. Jason [Mamoa] is a fantastic actor. and he’s great at making that character. These two characters are so different. The mythology is different. The story’s totally different. Their motivations are the opposite. I mean, it’s an honour to be compared with different actors. but I think that, this time, people are going to find that we are speaking about different things."

So what are the real differences between the two characters? Well, the biggest among them is that Aquaman is a hero through and through. Namor, however, is an anti-hero. The Marvel character tends to put his people and nation first, sometimes with the cost of putting heroics in the backseat.

Out of the two, Namor is by far the more powerful one. With that said, Aquaman can control aquatic life through marine telepathy, something Namor cannot do.

A similarity between the two is that both of them are half-human and half-Atlantean. Past that, though, the circumstances in which they were born and brought into the world were far different.

Aquaman does like to wear more clothes than Namor, as, traditionally, Marvel's anti-hero is known for basically only wearing green trunks. The DC hero's trident is also generally more powerful than the one Namor uses every now and then. 

While Aquaman may come out on top thanks to his trident, Namor has the ability to fly thanks to the small wings on his ankles—which, from the looks of it, the MCU has kept.

The Marvel anti-hero tends to prefer crushing people with his countless superpowers, many of which are shared by Aquaman. This includes superhuman speed, endurance, strength, and underwater breathing.

How Will Namor Compare to Aquaman on Screen?

It is strange for the actor to note how a new aspect of his Namor is how he has a strong passion "to protect [and serve] his people." Why? Well, that's a key aspect of his character in the comics and is one of his defining traits. In other words, it's not anything new in the slightest.

Maybe the actor is trying to indicate that this Namor is more sympathetic than his comic counterpart. The idea that "the king is not a ruler" may also be more strongly presented through the eyes of the MCU's take on the character.

An answer like that makes one wonder what other discrepancies might be in his answers, intended or not. For example, will the film actually confirm his mutant status, or is Huerta simply saying he is since Namor has all the same powers?

When it comes to his similarities to Aquaman, despite the two clearly being different, audiences around the world will still compare them. However, after watching Wakanda Forever, one would think that it'll be clear how the two differ.

In relevance to the superhero movies of this year, Namor is more like Black Adam than Aquaman. Both of those characters are heavily considered to be anti-heroes, and both put protecting their people and nations first. Teth-Adam just spends less time swimming.

Black Adam is now playing in theaters worldwide, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on Friday, November 11.

- In This Article: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release Date
November 11, 2022
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.