While loss and grief will play a part in the highly-anticipated Black Panther 2, the film itself is also about learning to move forward.
Not only will the sequel highlight how the 2018 Black Panther cast steps into their new roles, but the film is also set to usher in a number of new characters, including Riri Williams as Ironheart and Namor the Submariner.
Played by Tenoch Huerta, Namor is a character that Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has had on his radar since the original film; and for its sequel, Namor has been positioned as its primary antagonist.
From what audiences know so far, Namor is a mutant, the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Talocan, and he has taken issue with Wakanda.
But now, out ahead of the film's theatrical debut, Marvel has revealed just how this new character stacks up against the MCU's strongest of heroes.
Why Black Panther's Namor is Stronger than Chris Hemsworth's Thor
In talking with Marvel, director Ryan Coogler offered Marvel fans a clearer picture of the sequel's antagonist, Namor, and how his abilities compare to other MCU characters.
In discussing those comparisons, Coogler began noting that, like Shuri and Queen Ramonda, Namor is "another politician, another sovereign ruler:"
“Introducing Namor for us was really an opportunity to introduce another politician, another sovereign ruler of a group of people who represents more than himself."
But in addition to his powerful purpose, he's also a powerful threat.
Just like the comics, the MCU's live-action Namor is also a mutant who can move quickly through the water and in the sky.
But that's not all.
According to Coogler, Namor is also "as strong as Thor" and "he can be as strong as the Hulk:"
“[There’s] no equal in terms of his capabilities, being able to breathe underwater and breathe at high altitudes and walk around on land. He’s incredibly strong, he’s as strong as Thor, and if he’s around enough water he can be as strong as the Hulk.”
Sounds like Thor has competition for who is truly worthy of his "strongest Avenger" hat from Thor: Love and Thunder.
Another factor contributing to the threat of Namor is his motive.
Producer Nate Moore explained that, much like Thor, Hulk, and the Avengers, the Sub-mariner is solely interested in "protecting his people:"
“He's not interested in ruling the world for power. He's not interested in money. He's interested in protecting his people. And what's more altruistic than that?”
Interestingly enough, that motive is what puts him on a collision course with Wakanda where he "100% believes that he is the hero in his own story:"
“Here is a man who believes 100% that he is the hero in his own story. He doesn’t see himself as a villain because in Namor’s eyes what he is doing he's doing to protect a people who have already made it through a tragic history.”
The Hierarchy of Power Within the MCU Has Changed
Marvel Studios may have changed Namor's home city of Atlantis to Talocan, but his superhuman strength that's on par with Hulk and the God of Thunder is also true to the comics.
In print, Namor has defeated She-Hulk, the Red Hulk, and Savage Hulk, while also going toe-to-toe with Hercules and the Mighty Thor.
Given that the past few months of MCU content have focused on Hulks and Thors, Namor's introduction is interesting timing.
If Namor survives Black Panther 2, a future fight between the three - or united together against a common enemy - would truly be a sight to see.
It also sounds as if Marvel Studios is keeping to Namor's comic book reliance on the waves for the extent of his strength, as Coogler did note that he's only as strong as the Hulk "if he's around enough water."
Of course, this means that poor Thor may be bumped down to the third strongest if Hulk can beat Namor and Namor is stronger than Thor.
Still, while Namor's strength isn't good news for Wakanda, it's fantastic for Wakanda Forever and its reception.
As the old adage goes, "a story is only as good as its villain." And, if that's to be believed, Namor's addition to the Black Panther franchise doesn't just mean it will survive but likely thrive.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on November 11.