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Namor's Mutant Powers In The MCU Explained

A new trailer for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" has officially dropped online, with Marvel Studios showcasing its epic upcoming battle between Wakanda and Talocan, the latter of whom are led by Namor, the Sub-Mariner.  However, as excitement for the newest MCU bad guy (or is that antihero?) revs up, it's worth noting that his history, characterization, and powers are every bit as complex as they appear. 

Namor is a character deeply rooted in Marvel Comics history. Having first made his comic debut in 1939, he is widely considered the first ever Marvel superhero — and also, as he was often marketed in the 1990s, Marvel's first mutant. Since then, the Sub-Mariner has been a longtime staple and journeyman, of sorts, in the comics community: He's just as well-known for battling superheroes as he is for teaming up with them, and he has particularly unique relationships with the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.

That said, in "Wakanda Forever," it appears our first taste of Namor will be his villainous side, with the ruler quickly establishing himself as the first true threat to Wakanda since the Thanos invasion in "Avengers: Infinity War." But what sort of tricks and abilities does the half-human, half-Atlantean have up his sleeve? And is it enough to compete with Wakanda's fiercest warriors? 

Namor has the mutant power of flight

Namor's mutant power of flight is one of his most recognized comics abilities, and it appears his MCU debut will put it on full display — complete with those trademark wings on his ankles. Throughout the new trailer for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," we see instances where Namor — who is nicknamed "K'uk'ulkan, the feather serpent god" — is either levitating or flying around in combat. The question of whether his wings are actually a part of his flying power is a point of debate in the comics, with Marvel Database noting how some fans believe the wings simply help him steer and maneuver, while some other source of power — possibly telekinesis — is thought to actually lift him. The fact that he is seen levitating would point toward this being the case.

Either way, people are stoked to see Marvel Studios sticking to Namor's comic roots. "Omfgods... #Namor flying is amazing!" wrote Twitter user @nailsthatglow. "I am so happy that Marvel is going for all of the really fantastic and exciting things we see in comics. Meanwhile, user @J7zza tweeted: "Finally a scene of Namor flying with the winged feet, I've been DYING to see that on the big screen." 

An interesting note about Namor's flight — according to Comic Book Resources, Namor was (most likely) the first superhero to ever fly in a comic book, with his flying powers predating those of Shazam (then Captain Marvel) and Superman, the latter of whom originally just made giant leaps as opposed to soaring through the skies. With that in mind, it's only fitting that Namor will get to exercise those ankle wings on his cinematic debut. However, this is only the beginning of his powerset. 

Namor has superhuman strength and speed, which increases when underwater

While flying around is cool and all, it's going to take someone with both speed and strength to compete with Marvel's Black Panther, no matter who may be donning the famous moniker following T'Challa's tragic death. As we've seen in comics and "Wakanda Forever" clips, Namor is more than competent in both of these arenas, possessing raw abilities that allow him to stand toe-to-toe with the Hulk.

Namor is a powerhouse when it comes to durability and super-strength, as his bio explains on Marvel.com, and these abilities increase exponentially when he is in the water, meaning that even if one finds Namor tough to beat on the surface, a quick dip in the pool will make him even tougher. Because of this, while Namor's primary mutant power is generally considered flight, it's his strength, endurance — and unrelenting stubbornness — that will make him seem unstoppable even to the forces of Wakanda. In these regards, his water-fueled strength is quite similar to another ocean-loving superhero from the DC Universe, but before you say "rip-off," it's worth nothing that Namor is actually the original aquatic superhero, predating Aquaman by two years (per The Mary Sue).

But it's not just brawn that Namor has. His mental abilities are just as formidable.

Namor has telepathic abilities that allow him to command sea life and fellow Atlanteans

Out of all the abilities that Namor has in the comics, it is his telepathy and intelligence that prove most commanding. Because while Namor is powerful enough on his own, it's his ability to command sea life — and the Talocans — with nothing but his own mind that is most dangerous. 

Now, we know what you may all be thinking: Can Namor speak to fish? Well, the answer is actually complicated. While he does have a telepathic connection with sea life, it's more of an influence-type power that allows him to get creatures to do what he wants them to do, as opposed to the way that Aquaman generally "communicates" with sea life in a more verbal manner. For instance, those whales swimming in the "Wakanda Forever" clips alongside the people of Talocan? Namor is basically Professor Xing them into joining their fight. Which is something he can also do with other elements of the ocean ...

Namor can manipulate water and control weather

Referred to as atmokinesis by Marvel Database, Namor basically has the ability to manipulate water and the weather around him, in a similar way – though lesser — to Storm of the X-Men. We see brief scenes of this power in action during the "Wakanda Forever" trailer where the Talocan leader appears to have flooded Wakanda itself, in a moment reminiscent of the comics, where Namor did just that. This wasn't the first time Namor attacked a human city in such a manner, either, as 1941's "Human Torch" #5 saw him devastatingly flood New York City (per Comic Book Resources), an event that still lives in infamy.

Many fans online are already speculating that this flooding scene will prove a pivotal moment in the film's narrative. As tweeted by @Saxyprince, "[The flooding] will likely be the conflict that starts the battle between the two groups." Meanwhile, user @raetheforce said: "It's going to be wild watching Namor flood Wakanda because he went offfff in the comics."

According to Marvel.com, Namor was the first "entity" to ever successfully invade Wakanda in the comics, though he was defeated by T'Challa and the Avengers, and things eventually got smoothed out between everyone. However, when it comes to Marvel's Cinematic Universe, we will have to wait and see if Wakanda and Talocan will ever make amends, because this is a pretty serious attack.