Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Star Confirms Namor's Mutant Status

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting itself another mutant when Namor debuts in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The finale of Ms. Marvel was the first instance of a Marvel project referencing mutants, as fans learned Kamala Khan possibly has the mutant gene. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever marks Namor the Sub-Mariner's MCU debut, where his underwater nation of Talocan, not Atlantis, goes to war with Wakanda. Namor's status in the comics has fluctuated between mutant and non-mutant, with most recent depictions aligning him with the X-Men. For those who were curious, Tenoch Huerta confirmed to Empire Magazine that Black Panther 2's Namor will be a mutant.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will draw upon the intense rivalry between T'Challa, Wakanda, Namor, and Atlantis. Readers saw a Phoenix Force-powered Namor submerge Wakanda underwater during Avengers vs. X-Men, and the hatred between the two factions only increased during Jonathan Hickman's time on Avengers and New Avengers, on through Secret Wars

"The contrast between T'Challa and Namor – their characters, and their nations – just leaps off the page," Coogler said of Black Panther and Namor's comic book battles. "He's a dream antagonist."

Huerta also discussed the switch from Atlantis to Talocan, and how the final scenes in the first Black Panther movie, when T'Challa reveals the truth behind Wakanda to the world, set up the sequel.

"That decision puts Talocan in jeopardy," Huerta explained. "And Talocan has to take action to protect themselves."

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also revealed how the original Black Panther almost had a Namor Easter egg.

"Ryan had a pitch for a tag at the end of Black Panther," Kevin Feige said. "The camera would push through the palace in Wakanda, and then we'd see wet footprints leading up to the throne."

Why Chadwick Boseman Wasn't Recast in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

"It just felt like it was much too soon to recast," Feige also said about the decision not to recast Chadwick Boseman. He later discussed how the plan is to follow the comics that inspired much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Stan Lee always said that Marvel represents the world outside your window. And we had talked about how, as extraordinary and fantastical as our characters and stories are, there's a relatable and human element to everything we do. The world is still processing the loss of Chad. And Ryan poured that into the story."

Feige later spoke of the conversations he had with Ryan Coogler on shaping the story of Black Panther 2. "The conversations were entirely about, yes, 'What do we do next?'" Feige explained. "And how could the legacy of Chadwick – and what he had done to help Wakanda and the Black Panther become these incredible, aspirational, iconic ideas – continue? That's what it was all about."