Black Panther was a revolutionary and groundbreaking movie that brought the first solo outing of the King of Wakanda, T’Challa. It was truly inspired by the comics as director Ryan Coogler cherry-picked the best moments from all of Black Panther’s comic book runs and crafted a remarkable story that was loved by all. It was just an incredible movie on the part of Marvel. The movie has done really well in all aspects as it is the highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes and it is absolutely crushing the Box Office.
One of the reasons why the movie was loved a lot was because it brought in an entirely unique villain, Killmonger, as he was more of an anti-villain who had an agenda that you could understand and relate to. The Marvel Comics lore has been full of relatable villains and you could easily understand the motivation to these characters. One of these huge antagonists to Black Panther in the comics has been Namor The Submariner.
Since Black Panther had such a remarkable villain with Killmonger, the bar for the sequel has been raised even higher as many fans have demanded Namor to be the antagonist in the sequel for the movie. Well, Namor is an anti-hero, but he came in opposite to Black Panther at the beginning, and the two titular characters have had big runs together in the comics.
Recently, just last week itself, Black Panther Annual #1 was released which brought in iconic writers Don McGregor, Christopher Priest, and Reginald Hudlin back to Wakanda and the comics also saw the return of two big Black Panther characters, Everett Ross and Nakia. Most of the books usually have talked about T’Challa and the rest of his foes, but now, io9 writer, Evan Narcisse is bringing a new miniseries that focuses on T’Challa in his early days as Black Panther and the King of Wakanda. The latest issue of the comic also brought back Namor into the mix.
The rise of the Black Panther #2 written by Javier Pena and Evan Narcisse moves from the secret origin of T’Challa to see the price takeover the kingdom of Wakanda as its new King. His first mission itself moves to looking into the missing Wakandans and their connection with the rival country of Niganda. This is the first time T’Challa meets the king of Atlantis Namor, and we can imagine that things do not go quite well between the two at this point in time.
The history between T’Challa and Namor is long and it goes way back, and this is where Marvel has ret-conned the story of these two titular characters as they are retelling the story using some old elements in their new re-launch. This edition of the comic proves why Namor should be the villain for Black Panther 2. These two have so different personalities, but still they have a lot in common and this is why the two oppose each other on various issues at first. But then eventually, Namor calms down and the two Kings team up to solve the mystery of a rogue Atlantean who wants to usurp his king and also look for the missing Wakandan citizens.
This comic issue ends with Namor and T’Challa parting ways on peaceful terms as both of them achieve what they wanted to. But since T’Challa has opened up Wakanda to the rest of the world sharing its knowledge and resources with everyone (something which the MCU is also moving forward with), he realises the threat that Namor and his nation Atlantis pose on to Wakanda and so, he takes a copy of sensitive data on Namor’s DNA, which proves that he has quite a bit of Batman in himself apart from the wealth and the suit. Well, T’Challa is right not to trust him as he has invaded Wakanda in the past runs and killed thousands. Perhaps this new set up rivalry is being brought forward by Marvel to attract more and more people to a fight between these two on the big screen.
We can easily get to see Namor in Black Panther 2 and these are the little hints that Marvel is dropping for us. Black Panther is currently playing in the theatres, go watch it and have fun.