Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is only a few months away from closing out Phase 4 of the MCU in dramatic fashion. Part of that drama will include the introduction of Namor the Sub-Mariner, bringing Marvel Studios its own underwater hero similar to Jason Momoa's Aquaman from the DC universe.
Even with both Namor and Aquaman boasting similar powers, Marvel's aquatic warrior is a unique hero who stands on his own amongst the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more. Falling more into the category of anti-hero than full superhero, Namor is known as quite the egomaniac who will stop at nothing to protect his people - and he's also one of Marvel's earliest mutants from the comics.
Of course, there is one outstanding issue that brings back comparisons between him and Arthur Curry: the two are both known as the kings of their respective Atlantis. Thankfully, upon Namor's introduction in Black Panther 2, fans may now have an idea of how the MCU will change that to bring more of a distinction to this new character.
How Black Panther 2 Separates from Aquaman
Hasbro Pulse revealed a listing for an action figure of Namor the Sub-Mariner from Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
This figure came with a description that reveals a major change to Namor's backstory from the comics for his MCU debut. On the big screen, he'll be the ruler of a nation called Talocan, an underwater civilization, instead of his usual kingdom of Atlantis.
"The ruler of Talocan, an ancient civilization hidden in the depths of the ocean, Namor will stop at nothing to protect his people."
While this isn't based on anything specifically from Marvel Comics, the name is similar to a place from Aztec legend called Tlālōcān, which is known as the culture's paradise for those who have died by drowning or lightning.
Namor Making His Own Mark in Black Panther 2
Looking back through Marvel and DC's histories on screen and in the comics, there have been more than a few characters with similarities. Fans will think of comparisons between Superman and Captain Marvel, Green Lantern and the MCU's Ms. Marvel, Doctor Fate and Doctor Strange, and, of course, two archers in Green Arrow and Hawkeye.
While Namor and Aquaman were in danger of having these comparisons negatively affect one or both of them, it appears that Marvel is taking some necessary steps to make sure Namor separates himself from that discussion.
Having Black Panther 2 introduce this version of Namor as being from an Aztec civilization should help make a difference from his roots in Atlantis while also bringing some more culture into the MCU. And particularly with Aquaman getting a solo sequel less than six months after Black Panther 2, this distinction will only help Namor find his own place amongst fans who watch both franchises.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on November 11. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will premiere on the big screen on March 17, 2023.