‘Wakanda Forever’ Makes Good on One of Namor’s Many Comic Book Aliases

In introducting Namor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever writer/director Ryan Coogler almost entirely recreated on of Marvel Comics’ oldest characters. Coogler created a brand new backstory for the character, a new “lost city” and a new timeline. In doing so, Coogler created one of the MCU’s most fascinating and powerful characters by managing to keep him true to who he has always been in that comics despite the changes. One of the aspects Coogler chose to keep was Namor’s identity as a mutant and by giving the character such a long life span, he also made good on one of the many aliases the character has been given over his decades in the comics.

Avenging Son. The Savage Sub-Mariner. Lord of the Seven Seas. Those are among the many titles given to Namor in the pages of Marvel Comics and they could all certainly all still apply to the MCU version of the character (though Avenging Son would have to be more of a title and less the Atlantean translation of his name). One title that absolutely applies, however, is The First Mutant. Given Namor has been alive in the MCU for 500 years, give or take, Wakanda Forever chronologically established the character as the first MCU mutant. While Kamala Khan may have been the first character to have been identified as a mutant, Namor just flat out did it first.

Of course, in the comics the title ultimately became a bit of a misnomer. While he was the first mutant to be introduced in the comics (his first appearance in comics predated the X-Men by 25 or so years), there are plenty of other mutants who walked the Earth before him. Apocalypse, Selene and even Amahl Farouk all predated the known history of Namor but, in the pages of the comics, he came first.

So what Coogler has done in Wakanda Forever is not only introduce an incredibly complex and conflicting character, he’s also retroactively established the existence of at least one mutant in the MCU to a time well before the word was first uttered on the timeline. Could other ancient mutants find their way into the MCU? Or does the future of the mutants lie in one of the infinite Earth’s in the Multiverse? MCU fans might not find out as quickly as they’d like, but Namor’s identity as The First Mutant now makes either option possible.

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