On paper, one might think that skimpy green trunks and winged ankles would simply not work on screen. Yet, miraculously, Marvel Studios made them work.
Now, some new concept art has been released that showcase some alternate designs for the character.
Alternate Designs for Namor
Thanks to some of the concept artists behind Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans now have a look at alternate looks for Tenoch Huerta's Namor.
Anthony Francisco did a lot of work designing the character's necklace, something he talked about on Instagram. He mentioned how he looked to "Mayan glyphs and architecture for inspiration:"
"The necklace for Namor was a treat to design. Looking to Mayan glyphs and architecture for inspiration! But the [breakthrough] would come in a dream! I would imagine that I was an artist living in that time and looking for work. This was when I saw the 2 serpents on the necklace in my dream. Then I woke from my dream and started designing with Kukulkan in mind."
He really leaned into the idea of two serpents that "represented the duality of Kukulkan:"
"I explained that the 2 serpents represented the duality of Kukulkan. He is the bringer of life and death. The pearl in the middle represents the sun or life, so depending how you see it , the winged serpent is either presenting you the sun or taking it away from you.I watched a lot of documentaries about the Mayans, the Olmecs and the Aztecs. I also looked at ancient indigenous people of the north, south Americas as well as in Asia. What are the similarities and differences I can push."
The artist shared how exploring "the history of Mexico" was "a bit emotional" due to "the colonization of a people and the erasing of their language:"
"I want to share so much more of my journey of finding the design. The history of Mexico, the colonization of a people and the erasing of their language was some of the sad parts of my research that made this journey a bit emotional to me because I also come from a country colonized by Spain. I hope this insight to my design process is interesting to you."
While this keyframe doesn't show off an alternate costume all that much, it does give a neat glimpse of Namor flying in a scene not included in the final movie.
This version of the Wakanda Forever villain has an interesting ornament on his nose and some shoulder pads.
Aleksi Briclot posted their own image from work on the film on Instagram, noting how it was his task "to work on how [Namor's] able to fly," which included trying to "[avoid] the old stereotype of a Superman flying straight with one fist forward:"
"The challenge was tough to make it look believable (and cool ) and @anthony_francisco_art succeed in it! My task here was to work on how he’s able to fly. How it’s looking like, avoiding the old stereotype of a Superman flying straight with one fist forward. So it was about finding another and fresher way. I’ve started with the idea of him being able to vary the density of moisture all around and to create some micro clouds that he use as support to change direction or take impulsion. It’s also a good trick to create a singular visual signature [element to] him flying, with droplets and mist around him,"
Zooming in, it's clear how the artist was attempting to have the water still flow around him in a sense, even as he was flying. This costume also differs from the final one slightly, as his neckpiece has far more blue in it.
Adi Granov shared one of his keyframes of the movie, which included a drastically different take on Namor.
On Art Station, artist Karl Lindberg posted five new images that he stated were early explorations of Namor.
Though, it's worth noting that the first two look more like Attuma than Namor himself.
The key elements that lean more towards Attuma than Namor are the haircut and weapon of choice.
It looks like they once considered making Namor bluer like the rest of his people when out of the water, with tattoos that are either very vibrant or literally glowing.
A completely different headpiece can be seen here, with a prominent skull on top and in the center.
This version of that same garb sports more than a few octopus tendrils—curiously enough, more than eight of them.
Phil Boutté posted on Twitter to share some concept designs of Namor in action. This first image shows some fancy underwater wings that did not make the cut.
Then there's this piece, which shows Namor arriving in Wakanda and meeting Queen Ramonda and Shuri for the first time. The costume shown is only slightly different than the final design, with the neckpiece being one of the differences.
Marvel Nailed Tenoch Huerta's Debut Design
Many seem to think that Marvel Studios nailed the design of Tenoch Huerta’s Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In fact, most of the unique changes, which involved switching up Atlantis’ cultural history and the character’s roots, seem to be among the most praised parts of the movie. Drastic shifts like that can often backfire, but here it seemed to do the opposite.
One choice that was wise of them to avoid was changing Namor into a blue person. One of the above concept pieces shows how it was at least considered, but thankfully the movie let the character have the unique trait of avoiding the visual change.
It might've worked for his people, but it could have been the tipping point for some.
The ceremonial head garb Namor wears is also a favorite amongst fans. It’s a shame that it was used as sparingly as it was. Though, to be fair, it probably is a tad bit impractical.
While rights issues seem to be keeping Namor from having his own solo spin-off, fingers crossed that he will appear in the MCU again sooner rather than later. Maybe he’ll need to fend off Val and her goons in their quest for Vibranium.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.