Black Panther: Wakanda Forever received an initial trailer during Comic-Con International: San Diego, confirming a long-standing theory that actor Tenoch Huerta would play a version of Namor and, in fact, lead his compatriots from Atlantis in battle against Wakanda like in the comics.
Well more or less. Rather than Atlantis, MCU Namor’s roots lie in a different aquatic realm: that of Talocan, derived from the mythical Aztec realm of Tlālōcān, the domain of the Aztec storm god.
Not only does this change align with Huerta’s own indigenous Mexican ancestry, it separates Marvel’s Namor from DC’s Aquaman, whose solo film already brought a comic adaptation of Atlantis to the big screen.
That said, Talocan and Wakanda seem to go to war just as Atlantis and Wakanda have in the comics, and there’s a much deeper history (pun intended) between the two nations than you might realize.
The lost kingdom
While we won’t go into much of the Marvel Atlantean story (especially since some of what’s shown in the comics will no doubt change along with the MCU’s upgrade from Marvel’s Atlantis to Talocan), the TL:DR is very much like the real-world mythos. . and the many versions you’ve seen everywhere from animated Disney movies to sci-fi TV shows and more, Marvel Comics’ kingdom of Atlantis was once a scientifically advanced yet decadent nation that was swept underwater but continued thriving adapting to life in the ocean.
There are multiple explanations for how Atlantis went under in the Marvel Universe, two of which could be particularly relevant to the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever given the previous MCU movies The Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder.
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In the most common narrative of the sinking of Atlantis, the Celestials are responsible for sending it under the waves along with the misguided realm of Lemuria during an event called the “Great Cataclysm” when they once cleansed the earth of sentient life.
In the other, Zeus and the other Olympian gods, like the ones who swore revenge on the “superheroes” in Thor: Love and Thunder, recruited the Olympian Poseidon to sink Atlantis for trying to access magic that only gods are allowed.
Either way, since they sank, Atlantis has become an on-and-off enemy of the so-called “surface world,” with its most famous king, Namor the Sub-Mariner, acting as both ally and foe to those. that dwell in the earth throughout the years.
In fact, he’s even been an Avenger, even now, when he was recently forced to re-team with the Black Panther years after their two nations went to war, and Atlantis nearly wiped Wakanda off the map.
And since that’s what we’re here to talk about…
While it was not the first time that Namor and Atlantis had declared war on the surface world over the years, the war between Atlantis and Wakanda during the Avengers vs. X Men (opens in a new tab) and its follow-up Infinity (opens in a new tab) may have been the most devastating.
As the title says, Avengers vs. X-Men (or AvX as it is often stylized) involves the Avengers and X-Men fighting over the Phoenix Force, the cosmic entity of life, death, and rebirth that possessed Jean Gray during X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga. (opens in a new tab). In AvX, five X-Men, including Namor, considered a mutant, each gain a part of the Phoenix’s power.
During the resulting conflict, the empowered X-Men attempt to remake the world in their image using the power of the Phoenix.
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The Avengers, not kindly accepting this idea, oppose them, and in one of their battles, Scarlet Witch seriously injures Namor.
While Wanda takes refuge in Wakanda, Namor confronts the other members of the so-called ‘Phoenix Five’ and launches an all-out Atlantean assault on Wakanda, using the ocean itself to flood and lay waste to large portions of the hidden nation.
The Avengers rally around Black Panther and drive Namor’s forces back, but only after heavy losses in Wakanda.
And while the battle resulted in Namor losing his Phoenix power, and the Avengers technically winning the conflict, that wasn’t the end of the war between Wakanda and Atlantis.
Wakanda strikes back
In the post-event story Infinity, Wakanda strikes back at Atlantis amidst a conflict between the Avengers, the Illuminati, and most of the world’s other heroes against Thanos and the Black Order as they invade Earth to kill the secret half Eternal, half Inhuman son, Thane.
But as the Illuminati, of which both Namor and Black Panther were members at the time, attempt to work together to prevent Thanos, Shuri, then the ruling monarch of Wakanda, declares an attack on Atlantis to take advantage of Namor’s distraction. .
Wakanda lays waste to Atlantis in the same way that Atlantis previously devastated Wakanda, but Namor is unwilling to accept Wakanda’s retaliatory attack.
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So when Thanos knocks on the door of Atlantis looking for the Infinity Stone that Namor is hiding, Namor lies and sends Thanos and the Black Order to Wakanda, starting the comic book version of the Battle of Wakanda seen in the movie. Avengers: Infinity War.
Over the course of Infinity and the conflict that surrounds it between Atlantis and Wakanda, both realms are destroyed by the armies of Thanos.
Interestingly, Infinity is the same event where the Terrigen Mists, the substance that gives Inhumans their powers when exposed to it, is released into Earth’s atmosphere, triggering the comic book version of Kamala’s transformation. Khan at Ms. Marvel.
And of course, the aftermath of Infinity, in which Multiversal Incursions began to threaten the entire Marvel Universe, led directly to…say it with us now…Secret Wars, which of course is getting its own film adaptation as Avengers. : Secret Wars to close out the MCU’s upcoming Phase 6.
Avengers vs. X-Men is one of the most shocking Marvel Comics events of all times.