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Namor's Main Goal In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Is Altruistic Rather Than Villainous

Contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

There's a true hero and a clear villain in many Marvel movies. In "Iron Man," as flawed as Tony Stark was, his captivity in a cave with Yinsen (Shaun Toub) helped him rediscover his humanity and compassion, reigniting his passion for helping others with Stark Technology instead of hurting them. The villains, Ten Rings leader Raza (Faran Tahir) and Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), are selfish and power-hungry, constantly wanting more and bulldozing anyone that gets in their way. In "Captain America: The First Avenger," the bad guys are Nazis and Hydra, led by Red Skull (Hugo Weaving): a selfish and sadistic man who wants to rule the world and enslave anyone who disagrees with him. 

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe has progressed, so have many of the villain's motives, showing that, for some, their evil plans come from a misguided view of doing good. Thanos (Josh Brolin), historically one of the biggest supervillains in Marvel Comics, isn't collecting the Infinity Stones to gain power, but to save the universe from what he sees as its eventual destruction: overpopulation. Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) looks shocked when her children from Earth-838 shrink from her, as she realizes that — despite beginning her quest because of the love she has for her lost children — she is the villain of the story.

Namor's (Tenoch Huerta) origin story may have been altered for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," but the character still has the same personality traits and characteristics that made him Marvel's first anti-hero (via CBR). He's brash and impulsive, while also showing a sensitive and empathetic side. He has no qualms about murdering anyone that could discover his underwater kingdom, while also showing how passionate he is about keeping his people safe. While trailers for "Wakanda Forever" would have fans believe Namor is the antagonist, his motives are surprisingly more noble than villainous.

Namor really just wants to save his people

Our first encounter with Namor in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is when he suddenly appears in front of Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Shuri (Letitia Wright), rising out of the waters of Wakanda. He presents them with a gloomy dilemma: either give them Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), or he and his kingdom will return and destroy Wakanda. Shuri condemns Namor for wanting to kill the young Williams, but after Namor tells her the story of his people and their history, it's clear his motives are about keeping Talokan safe from the rest of the world.

Namor recalls returning to the surface world to bury his mother, and seeing his mother's people — his people — being enslaved. After killing the captors, he is cursed and called a devil by one of the invaders. He tells Shuri that this is how he decided on his name, Namor, which is translated as "the boy without love." While trying to make his case for attacking the surface world, he reminds Shuri that their people have always been the ones pushed down and taken advantage of. He has no intention of letting this happen to the people of Talokan. 

After seeing the whole world scheme to steal Wakanda's vibranium after the country reveals itself, Namor vows to keep Talokan a secret from surface-dwellers, and threatens Romonda and Shuri if they should tell anyone of their existence. "He's not interested in ruling the world for power," producer Nate Moore told Marvel.com. "He's not interested in money. He's interested in protecting his people. And what's more altruistic than that?" Namor's willingness to do whatever it takes to keep Talokan safe makes him a complicated adversary, and an addition to the MCU that we're excited to see more of in the future.