What ethnicity is Namor in the MCU?

By Kieran Burt
Published: November 11, 2022 (Last updated: December 13, 2022)

What ethnicity is Namor? Namor has made his MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and there have been substantial changes between his comic book appearance and his onscreen portrayal. The biggest is the change in his ethnicity. Slight spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has been released in cinemas and ups the stakes and scope of the first film by expanding to a geopolitical conflict, along with paying respect to the late Chadwick Boseman. It is Marvel’s latest film and introduces Namor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Namor is another mutant the MCU has shown us and has undergone many changes compared to his comic book counterpart.

Who is Namor?

Namor is one of the first Marvel comic book heroes, being introduced in one of the earliest issues of the company’s publishing history in 1939. His full name is Namor the Sub-Mariner, and he rules over Atlantis. He is known as Marvel’s first mutant, though this title wouldn’t be given to him until decades after his appearance. His abilities include being able to breathe underwater and withstand huge pressure, having wings on his feet meaning he can fly, and having superhuman strength.

He has a deep hatred of surface dwellers, especially Wakanda. In the comics storyline Avengers vs. X-Men, Namor causes a massive tidal wave to devastate the country. Namor isn’t a full-blown villain though, but more of an anti-hero. He doesn’t want power or want to expand his influence, he merely wants to protect his people.

Namor almost didn’t appear in the MCU, as complicated rights issues surrounding the character weren’t cleared up until late in 2018.

In Wakanda Forever, Namor’s origins have been changed substantially. He isn’t the first mutant in the MCU (that accolade goes to Professor X’s appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), and nor is he from Atlantis. Namor is from the Mesoamerican-inspired city of Talokan, a change made to differentiate them from other, many appearances of Atlantis.

What ethnicity is Namor?

Namor is from Mexico, meaning that he is Mexican. He was born in the 16th century to his mother and an unknown father. The vibranium plant affected his biology, enabling him to breathe underwater, and have many other gifts.

This differs from the comics, where Namor is the son of Leonard McKenzie, who is from Boston, Massachusetts, and Princess Fen of Atlantis. He is of dual heritage here, white and Atlantean. Namor has very similar origins to those of Aquaman, as he is also born to human and Atlantean parents.

Namor’s story in Wakanda Forever is similar to many stories of indigenous people across the world, with European invaders coming over and taking their land and killing them. In this way, Namor is to have a stronger link to the Wakandans, as he understands this struggle. It makes him more compelling and fits with the exploration of other cultures that Black Panther is known for.

Is Namor Mayan or Aztec?

During the time that Namor is born, the Spanish Conquistadors are taking over the country of Mexico. He is a member of the indigenous population, the Aztecs, who live in central Mexico.

Aztec pyramids can be seen in the film, with shrines to the Aztec god of the sun and war, Huitzilopochtli, and the god of rain and fertility, Tlaloc. It’s this latter god that served as the inspiration for the name of Talokan. The city itself has inspirations from all across Central America. 

Aztecs lived from around 1300 to 1521, when the Spanish Conquistadors wiped them out. They also brought diseases to the island, something that Wakanda Forever shows.

The Mayans were a civilization that lived around 2,600 BC and created their empire in Central America. They lived until around 900 AD until they abandoned their cities. It’s not fully known why this happened, but historians have suggested many reasons, such as environmental degradation or warfare.

Namor lives in the 16th century, making him an Aztec. He is granted an extremely long life by the vibranium-infused plant his mother had.

Who plays Namor in Wakanda Forever?

Tenoch Huerta plays Namor in Wakanda Forever. He is from Mexico, with Talokan drawing from his heritage and history. Huerta has also appeared in the 2021 film The Forever Purge and the TV show Narcos: Mexico, which ran from 2018 to 2021.

In an interview with Digital Spy, Huerta is hopeful for Namor to get his own solo film. When asked, he said, “I would like it, but I don’t know.”

And there you have it – our deep dive into what ethnicity Namor is in the MCU.

More Stories

Movies, News