Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the most anticipated films on Marvel’s slate of upcoming features. Fueling part of the hype is curiosity about how director Ryan Coogler will deal with Chadwick Boseman’s death narratively, but an equally notable part of this is fans’ desire to see more of Wakanda, its people, and the richness it brings to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, if a recent rumor turns out to be true, we may have even more key information about the Black Panther 2 villain.
According to Geekosity, Marvel has decided on the Black Panther 2 villain, and it’s actually someone who has traditionally been considered a hero. Kinda. He is honestly more of an antihero. The villain is Prince Namor, and according to Geekosity’s founder and editor, Mikey Sutton, the character’s inclusion in the hotly anticipated sequel has been a long time coming. That is all that Sutton was able to reveal. There is currently no one attached to the role, but if this rumor does end up being true, then it is likely that we will hear confirmation one way or the other sooner rather than later.
If you consider Prince Namor more hero than villain, then yes, this may be shocking. But his role as the potential Black Panther 2 villain will likely come as little surprise to those who are familiar with the character’s history. Originally introduced during the Golden Age of Comics, Namor is actually one of the first Marvel superheroes and is considered the first known comic book antihero. The character reappeared in the Silver Age, initially returning as an adversary of the Fantastic Four. He has flip-flopped between heroism and villainy for most of his existence, so maybe Kevin Feige and his creative team will introduce him as a bad guy before making him a slightly more sympathetic character. The Marvel Cinematic Universe once had a pretty obvious villain problem, but now, as its storytelling matures, the big-screen translation of the Marvel Universe has gotten incredibly good at injecting nuance into its villains. Namor presents a perfect opportunity for Marvel Studios to add in a fan-favorite character and officially make underwritten Marvel villains a thing of the past. Fingers crossed.
The report that Namor the Sub-Mariner is the Black Panther 2 villain directly contradicts the rumors that Michael B. Jordan would be returning as Killmonger. I mean, he still could return, and now that I think about it, if he did show up, it would probably be to defend Wakanda against Namor and his forces. So technically, this new rumor is not wrong. At least not yet. It’s not right either, but Namor stepping in as a big bad would make sense. And as a longtime fan of Namor, Black Panther, and the Fantastic Four, I am extremely excited to see what the filmmakers end up doing with such a fun Marvel staple.
You can catch Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever when it debuts in theaters on July 8, 2022.