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Wakanda Forever Makes Sea Sirens MCU Canon (With Horrifying Results)

The following article contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" introduces one of the oldest and most powerful characters to come out of Marvel Comics — Namor the Sub-Mariner. In the film, he's portrayed by Tenoch Huerta, and it's clear from his first scene that he's not to be trifled with. When we first get a good look at him, he's grabbed hold of a helicopter, keeping himself in the sky via the wings on his ankles. It's also evident he has super strength as well as the ability to breathe underwater. That last trait is shared by his fellow members of Talokan. 

However, there's one more ability that some of the citizens of Talokan appear to possess. In an early sequence on an offshore post, several Talokanians sing to the officers on the station. Upon doing so, they seem to go into a trance where they walk to the edge of the post and jump into the water below, drowning themselves. This ability is on display yet again when Talokan attacks Wakanda, and the same effect occurs. 

Both cases are positively haunting, and the image of people walking to their deaths sears itself into the audience's mind. It also confirms that Talokan is behind this particular Greek myth. 

Sirens were a prominent force in Greek myths

In ancient Greek mythology, sirens are creatures who lure sailors to their deaths with their sweet songs (via University of Colorado Boulder). Most people will probably remember them from "The Odyssey," where Odysseus' ship encounters the creatures, and they are only able to escape their clutches thanks to Circe. She suggested to the sailors to fill their ears with wax so that they'd be unable to hear the song, with the exception being Odysseus himself, who wanted to listen to it. So he ordered his men to tie him to the mast so that he'd be unable to walk to the edge of the ship. 

A similar tactic is performed in "Wakanda Forever," where people who become aware of the siren song cover their ears so they won't be tempted to drown themselves. From all the scenes with the sirens in them, it's clear the film took inspiration from Greek mythology to make it clear where the myth of sirens came from within the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, this is a world where Norse and Greek gods are real, so it only makes sense that the monsters that also inhabit those myths would have a basis in reality, as well. 

The timeline's a bit off ...

Making sirens canon to the MCU is a neat addition, even if it doesn't quite add up in terms of the timeline. But then again, Marvel has always played it fast and loose with when certain events take place. 

Sirens were part of ancient Greek culture, and they are included in Homer's "The Odyssey," which is generally believed to be written in the 8th or 7th century B.C.E. In "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Namor states how his people developed the ability to breathe underwater in the 1500s, with he himself being roughly 500 years old. That means the people of Talokan couldn't have been the original Greek sirens, so what happened?

It's possible another group of people consumed the herb that allowed Talokan's ancestors to breathe underwater all those years ago, allowing someone else to inspire the siren myths of ancient Greek culture. It could just be a coincidence that the myth was formed centuries beforehand, and then members of Talokan developed the ability to lure people to their deaths with a sonic attack. Regardless, it's a fun inclusion that shows just how powerful the Talokanians are.