Black Panther 2's Tenoch Huerta Confirms That Namor Will Be A Mutant In The MCU

Mutants have been slowly introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is aiming to be the group's most significant exposure yet. That's because Namor the Sub-Mariner (Tenoch Huerta) will have his mutant ancestry intact for his first on-screen appearance. The news was confirmed by the actor in an upcoming issue of Empire Magazine, although no quote was given outside of that confirmation.

Still, this is a major step forward for the MCU's handling of mutants in preparation for its eventual reboot of the X-Men. While "Ms. Marvel" and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" first helped introduce mutants into the frays of the franchise, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" will be the first to have a known mutant as a lead character (Kamala Khan in "Ms. Marvel," an Inhuman in the comics, was only revealed to be a mutant in the final minutes of the show's finale). While it isn't clear if he will retain his comic mutation of ankle wings (via Marvel), he is sure to pose a legitimate threat to Wakanda in this upcoming film with or without them.

A culture in jeopardy

Namor might still be a mutant in "Wakanda Forever," but there is one key aspect of his character that has been changed. Instead of being Atlantean, he will command the kingdom of Talocan, an MCU creation inspired by the Tlālōcān paradise proposed in Aztec codices. This version of the character will be inspired by various Mesoamerican Aztec cultures, with Huerta himself being of Indigenous Mexican descent.

"You can take Atlantis from Greek myth, or you can adapt from a real culture," he told Empire of this decision. Empire's article also included an exclusive look at the character. 

As for why he's facing off against the Wakandan people, the answer is pretty straightforward. After the death of King T'Challa (the late Chadwick Boseman) in the film, the kingdom still plans to reveal itself to the outside world as was proposed at the end of "Black Panther." While this might work for Wakanda, Namor and the rest of the Talocan aren't as excited by these prospects.

"That decision puts Talocan in jeopardy," Huerta told the magazine, "and Talocan has to take action to protect themselves."

The latest issue of Empire Magazine will arrive on newsstands on September 29. This epic clash of kingdoms will be unleashed on November 11, 2022, when "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" arrives in theaters.