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Ryan Coogler Compares Namor's Abilities In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever To That Of Thor And The Hulk

Release day for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" has finally arrived, and with it comes the debut of Marvel's newest bad guy — Namor the Sub-Mariner, played by "Narcos: Mexico" star Tenoch Huerta. The intimidating half-human, half-Talocan (or Atlantean if you're reading the comics) poses a serious threat to the Wakandans, who will be tasked with stopping Namor and his followers on their home turf of Wakanda. What powers and abilities will Marvel's "first mutant" have when on the big screen, fans might ask, in reference to Namor? Well, judging from what director Ryan Coogler recently said about the sea-dweller, the MCU's new Black Panther is gonna have their hands full.

Back in October, Looper explained what Namor's powers were as a Marvel Comics character, with him being able to do incredible feats like manipulating water and controlling the weather, along with super strength and flight. But it gets even better than that. Namor is also able to command sea life and his underwater followers through telepathy. And when around the wet stuff, the guy turns into something much stronger and more powerful -— kind of like another Marvel character we know.

Namor can be as strong as the Hulk when 'around enough water,' Coogler says

Speaking to Marvel.com, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" director Ryan Coogler explained how the MCU version of Namor would apparently be on the same strength level as the Incredible Hulk when around a big enough body of water. This includes being able to do insane physical feats that other beings just can't do, the director said.

"[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 said. "If he's around enough water he can be as strong as the Hulk," the filmmaker added.

Namor's bio on Marvel.com describes the character as someone who is able to control and harness his strength, which ultimately sets him apart from the big green guy, along with his power of flight and water manipulation — which actually makes him a lot more similar to another legendary Marvel Avenger.

Namor is very much like Thor in terms of strength and other things, like age and royal status

On the surface, you wouldn't expect Tenoch Huerta's Namor to be on the same level as Marvel's God of Thunder, but in fact, Ryan Coogler says that's very much the case. "He's incredibly strong," asserted Coogler during his interview with Marvel.com. "He's as strong as Thor," the director added. And that's not where the similarities end.

As seen in previous Marvel movies and comics, both Thor and Namor can fly, manipulate the weather, and control certain elements of nature, such as water and lightning. Namor, like Thor, is said to be very old — around 500 years old, per Huerta. He was also able to give Thanos a run for his money in the comics, with Namor going so far as to make the Mad Titan bleed on one occasion, as shown in a Twitter thread from @paffleblap. Other instances of strength and Thor-like fighting ability include a moment where Namor dodged Captain America's shield and another where he managed to catch it. Oh, and the Sub-Mariner even defeated Wolverine once in a fight.

"Glad they're having him top tier cause that's where he belongs," praised Twitter user @theEnt13 about the Namor/Hulk/Thor comparison from Coogler. "The first mutant," replied @paffleblap.

While the Thor and Hulk comparisons may not be accepted by some, there's no denying the similarities that the Marvel characters share in terms of how they fight and take on opponents. One thing that Coogler and others involved with "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" are probably sick of hearing are all the Aquaman comparisons, which in reality, hold no water. Here's why ...

Namor is way more powerful than Aquaman

As pointed out by The Direct, Aquaman is just not on the same level as Namor when it comes to their power and abilities, and they also come from completely different worlds mentally and in terms of what motivates them. This is yet another reason why the "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" baddie is ultimately closer in resemblance to the power and personalities of Thor and Hulk than his ocean-loving DC Comics counterpart. 

"Namor is very different from Aquaman," explained Tenoch Huerta in an interview with Empire magazine (via The Direct). "These two characters are so different," Huerta said. "The mythology is different. The story's totally different. Their motivations are the opposite. I mean, it's an honor to be compared with different actors. but I think that, this time, people are going to find that we are speaking about different things."

Since his debut in 1939, Namor has always been a character deeply rooted in Marvel Comics lore. Not only is he widely considered to be one of the first-ever Marvel superheroes, but he's also been often marketed as Marvel's first mutant. Over the years, Namor has famously battled and formed relationships with the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. In early November 2022, it was revealed by Ryan Coogler during a conversation on the "Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast" with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates that he wanted to toss Namor into the MCU for quite some time. He told Coates, "When I was doing my deep dive in all the ['Black Panther'] stories, there were like a few characters [T'Challa] would interact with that I thought, 'Man, this would be awesome.'" 

Fast-forward to November 2022, and Namor is officially a member of the MCU, which made Coogler so happy. "I was excited to come back knowing what it was and that excited me quite a bit," the director said.