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SYFY WIRE Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

How strong is Namor? Ryan Coogler says 'Wakanda Forever' baddie as powerful as Thor or the Hulk

Namor is coming, and Wakanda is never going to be the same.

By Matthew Jackson
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

There's a lot to look forward to in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but one of the film's most fascinating new elements is undoubtedly the Marvel Cinematic Universe debut of Namor. A Marvel Comics mainstay for decades, the underwater king will rise from the depths to challenge Wakanda in the new film, and according to director Ryan Coogler, he's bringing a whole lot of strength with him. 

Speaking to ahead of the film's release this Friday, Coogler and producer Nate Moore explained the threat of Namor in very straightforward terms. Because of what happened in Black Panther, Wakanda is now a nation open to the world, no longer hiding from the rest of the globe and hoarding their precious resources. That new sense of openness might be good for some, but it's bad for the underwater people known as the Talokan, who've kept their own isolation from the rest of the world a key priority for ages. Wakanda's openness threatens that, so now Namor, played by Tenoch Huerta, is rising up to bring his grievance to Wakanda's gates. 

RELATED: Letitia Wright promises a very different Shuri in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

“Here is a man who believes 100 percent that he is the hero in his own story,” Moore said. “He doesn’t see himself as a villain because in Namor’s eyes what he is doing he's doing to protect a people who have already made it through a tragic history.”

So, how will that showdown with Wakanda play out? We'll have to wait to see the film to find out, but we know that Namor is coming to this fight with his own band of loyal warriors, and we also know he's bringing his fair share of comic book-inspired powers to the party. What sort of powers? Well, he's a great swimmer, he can breathe underwater, and of course he's got those trademarks wings on his feet which allow him to fly. He also, according to Coogler, brings astonishing physical strength that's fed by the water around him. 

“[There’s] no equal in terms of his capabilities, being able to breathe underwater and breathe at high altitudes and walk around on land," Coogler explained. "He’s incredibly strong, he’s as strong as Thor, and if he’s around enough water he can be as strong as the Hulk.”

Coogler, who's been interested in putting Namor in the MCU since the making of Black Panther, sees the Talokan ruler as more than just a physical threat, though. One of the most intriguing things about him, according to the director, is that Namor is "another sovereign ruler of a group of people who represents more than himself," a political leader with a cause behind him beyond just victory or conquest. That makes him relatable, but it also makes him dangerous.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is in theaters Friday.

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