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10 Attuma Facts Marvel Comics Fans Know About The Namor Villain

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is the second "Black Panther" film, released in Phase 4 of the MCU. Following the tragic passing of the film's star, Chadwick Boseman, "Wakanda Forever" was tasked with the difficult job of completing the stories of Wakanda while paying tribute to the life of Boseman and what he left behind.

Director Ryan Coogler creates a film that manages to do the impossible: It pleases fans. Coogler does this by building a story that pays tribute to Boseman's T'Challa while creating a compelling arc for T'Challa's remaining family and friends. "Wakanda Forever" is also able to build another civilization that is rich in culture and characters for audiences to experience, introducing to the MCU Namor the Sub-Mariner (Tenoch Huerta). In the comics, he is the king of Atlantis, the advanced underwater civilization that goes to battle with Wakanda countless times due to their similar access to vibranium. However, with DC's claim to Atlantis, Coogler opted to introduce the MCU's kingdom of Atlantis as the ancient civilization Talokan. According to Collider, Talokan (Tlālōcān) is a "mythical Aztec paradise." According to legend, it's a place that allows those who die from drowning to "rest in paradise" as they're governed by a magical deity.

With the introduction of Namor comes the Talokanil people. During his battle with Wakanda in the film, audiences are introduced to his right-hand warriors, Namora (Mabel Cadena) and Attuma (Alex Livinalli). Huge fans will likely recognize both these characters' names, as they have a rich history with Namor in the comics — especially Attuma. Because of this, we're breaking down 10 facts that only huge fans know about Black Panther's enemy Attuma.

Attuma is from the rival Skarka Tribe

Attuma's history in Marvel comics is a complicated one. It all begins with the various tribes within Atlantis. Unlike the kingdom of Talokan that director Ryan Coogler depicts in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Atlantis is a very divided civilization with rival tribes that have splintered off in the kingdom. This is mostly due to these tribes all vying for control of the throne of Atlantis, often going to war to win power.

Attuma was born to one of these tribes, called the Skarka Tribe. Unfortunately for him, tragedy struck his tribe as a rival tribe took control of the Skarka, forcing Attuma to spend much of his youth living as a slave. Because of his mistreatment, Attuma began to develop deep resentment toward the throne, as he believed that they let his tribe be taken over and enslaved. This could also be due to the fact that the tribe that took control of the Skarka also hated the throne passionately. Perhaps some of their opinions rubbed off on Attuma.

His time living as a slave made Attuma grow strong. He overpowered the tribe's leader, the warrior Rorak, and took control of the Skarka once more. He named his father Attukar as chief over his people. From then on, Attuma became a ruthless man and a cunning warrior. This is likely in the hopes that no more tragedy would befall his people once more. Attuma wanted to be strong enough to avoid being enslaved ever again (via Collider).

Attuma and Namor's childhood

Attuma and Namor have a complex history. They were both seen as the next rulers in line for their thrones, with Namor expected to become King of Atlantis, and Attuma of the Skarka Tribe. However, the two never met until the Skarka Tribe and Atlantis formed a treaty with one another. Initially, Attuma and Namor begin a tentative friendship, but that all changes during a mission the young boys take together.

During the mission, Attuma's father and chief of the Skarka Tribe, Attukar, is killed. Attuma blames Namor and the Kingdom of Atlantis for his father's death and swears to be an enemy of Namor from that moment on.

It is also around this time that Attuma begins to take interest in a prophecy held by his tribe. The prophecy foretells that a young, strong warrior from their tribe would lead the people of Skarka to victory against Atlantis and take control of the throne. Following the death of his father, Attuma begins to deeply believe that the prophecy is about him. And now that Attuma has control of his tribe, he goes down a dark path to become a well-known and ruthless ruler. All his violent actions are made so that he could one day face Namor, take the throne, and avenge his father's death (via Collider). It's this moment in the comics that leads to one of the greatest rivalries between Namor and Attuma.

Attuma and Lady Dorma

Another major factor that causes a rift between Attuma and Namor is a woman — Lady Dorma to be exact (via Sportskeeda). Dorma is a member of royalty in Atlantis and has a relationship with Namor. On paper, the two seem like a great match, as they both want their kingdoms to prosper. However, trouble in paradise causes the couple to have many bumpy moments during their relationship. At one point, Lady Dorma promises herself to a warlord named Krang when Namor has gone missing from Atlantis. However, upon his return, Lady Dorma reunites with Namor, and all is right in the world. That is, until he develops feelings for Sue Storm from the Fantastic Four — aka The Invisible Woman. But more on that later.

Once Attuma wages war on the kingdom of Atlantis, he has hopes of making Lady Dorma his queen. Unfortunately for him, she wants nothing to do with him, arguing that she only has eyes for Namor. As you might imagine, this doesn't make Attuma feel good, as he already sees Namor as his rival. And now, Namor has become his romantic rival as well.

According to Marvel, the downfall of Attuma's war against Atlantis is due, in part, to Lady Dorma. In order to stop Attuma and his warriors from conquering her home and defeating Namor, she turns to the Fantastic Four for help. Though she sees Sue as her enemy, she wants to save Atlantis from Attuma more.

Attuma fights The Hulk

There aren't many characters who can stand up to the Hulk or his cousin, She-Hulk. However, Attuma is one of those who can, as he has clashed with the immensely powerful green monster on various occasions, including in Season 1 Episode 9, "Depth Charge," of "Avengers Assemble." This sees the Avengers battle against Attuma and his army. Hulk is the only character who manages to stand his ground against Attuma and stop him in his attempts to sink the city of Manhattan.

Another great story of these two powerhouses clashing is in the comic "Indestructible Hulk Issue #5." The Hulk is sent to help put a stop to Attuma's rule in the underwater kingdom Lemuria. However, upon his arrival, Hulk is attacked by a sea monster and knocked unconscious. He's later rescued as Bruce Banner by a rebellion Lemuria ship and works with them to stop the genocide that Attuma is planning. Once he transforms back into the Hulk, the two fight with the Hulk winning once more, thwarting Attuma's plans of destroying Atlantis.

The two are also seen clashing in "Hulk Annual 1999" when Attuma captures the Hulk after Bruce Banner fails in an attempt at suicide. Attuma works with his scientists to pump large amounts of the Hulk's gamma-filled blood into his system, thus transforming himself into a Hulk-like creature. It takes the combined forces of Hulk and Namor to defeat Attuma while he's in this form.

Attuma's abilities are similar to Namor's

Attuma is described as being a "homo mermanus" in the comic. This is a term that is interchangeable with saying that a character is an "Atlantean." Generally speaking, if you are an Atlantean, you are gifted with superhuman strength and speed, plus the ability to breathe underwater.

Namor is different from his Atlantean brothers, as his powers are even more advanced. Just like his character is revealed to be in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Namor is a mutant. In the comic, he is not only half-human and half-Atlantean, but he is a mutant as well, and several of his stories intersect with Charles Xavier and Magneto (via Marvel). Namor's abilities are different from most Atlanteans, which is why he has the ability to fly thanks to the tiny wings on his feet. He also has the ability to breathe on both land and sea.

While Attuma does not have the flight capabilities that Namor's mutation has gifted him, he does have the ability to breath on land and under the sea. However, unlike Namor, Attuma needs to stay near water because he will grow weaker the longer he's away from it. Due to Namor's unimaginable strength, Attuma built himself armor to protect him in battle against Namor's hits. He also trained to become just as skilled of a fighter in the hopes of keeping up with the King of Atlantis (via Collider).

The depiction of Atlantis vs Talokan

According to Inverse, "Wakanda Forever" director Ryan Coogler intentionally refrained from using the term Atlantis, as he wanted to give audiences something they'd never truly seen before. He said, "There have been a lot of representations and creative depictions of Atlantis based off of Plato's Atlantis, the Greco-Roman concept of a city sunk into the sea. ... We wanted our film to exist alongside those movies and be different. It was really out of respect to the audience, not wanting to give them something similar to other things that have come before it."

Coogler specifically wanted to move away from ideas of Greek or Roman heritage to have the opportunity to shine a light on a different culture that isn't often represented. This brought Coogler to investigate Mesoamerican culture, hoping to provide the same homage to and celebration of that culture on the big screen that he was able to do with Africa in Wakanda.

By shifting to showcase the Mesoamerican culture, Coogler was also able to connect the people of Talokan and Wakanda on another level outside of them both being advanced hidden civilizations. Now, they both became cultures with heavy historical ties to racism and injustice forced on their people. Coogler shares that, "We settled on classic and post-classic Mayan civilizations around the Yucatan region as a base for our story. From there, it started to really take off."

Namor beats Attuma with the Invisible Woman's help

We're back to the messy relationship among Lady Dorma, Namor, and the Invisible Woman aka Sue Storm. In the comic "Fantastic Four" #4, Namor kidnaps Sue Storm, much to the confusion of the people in his kingdom. Especially Lady Dorma, in "Fantastic Four Annual" #1. It soon becomes apparent that Namor has developed romantic feelings toward Sue, and Lady Dorma tries to murder her out of jealousy. Namor is less than enthused by her actions, making it even more clear how much he cares for Sue Storm over her.

Unfortunately, things only get more complicated in Atlantis in "Fantastic Four" #33 as Attuma decides that this is the opportune moment for him to launch his attack against Namor. Namor fights against Attuma's forces but is defeated when Lady Dorma betrays him out of spite — much to the delight of Attuma. However, Lady Dorma begins to regret what she's done, admitting her true feelings for Namor and leaving Attuma to find help.

And who does she turn to but the Fantastic Four? While the group has no love for Namor, they agree that it's in the world's best interest to not have Attuma on the throne of Atlantis, so they help Lady Dorma. Sue Storm even uses her powers to shield Namor and turn him invisible during his fight against Attuma. This gives him the upper hand in defeating Attuma, banishing him from ever stepping foot in Atlantis once more. Namor forgives Lady Dorma for her actions. However, she decides not to tell him that the Fantastic Four helped in defeating Attuma and his warriors.

Attuma and DC's Ocean Master similarities

It's no secret that Marvel and DC have incredibly similar characters in the roster. From Quicksilver and The Flash to Doctor Strange and Doctor Fate, it's not difficult to find matching sets between Marvel and DC. In the case of Namor, it's pretty obvious that his DC counterpart is Aquaman. So it stands to reason that Namor's nemesis, Attuma, would be similar to Aquaman's nemesis, Ocean Master.

Audiences might remember seeing Ocean Master brought to life by Patrick Wilson in the 2018 film "Aquaman" starring Jason Momoa as the title character. Ocean Master is Aquaman's half-brother, and much like Attuma, he believes that he's the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis. In the comics, he's an incredibly powerful villain who causes much destruction not just to his brother, but to the Justice League as a whole.

The same can be said about Attuma. While he's mostly concerned with what happens underwater, his lust for power can get the better of him, resulting in concern from various teams within Marvel's lineup. Attuma has proven a nuisance for the Fantastic Four as well as the Avengers. Both Ocean Master and Attuma have super strength, can breathe on water and land, have a rivalry with the King of Atlantis, and have gone up against some pretty heavy hitters in their respective universes. So who do you think would win in a battle of Marvel vs DC: Attuma or Ocean Master?

Attuma takes a backseat to Namora

There were some speculations that Attuma would ultimately become the villain in "Wakanda Forever." However, he ends up being just another loyal follower of his king. This is likely because the film already has a lot going on and including unrest between Namor and his people would have made the story too crowded. Plus, the film heavily leans in on how loyal the Talokanil people are to their king. This is something that M'Baku (Winston Duke) tells Shuri, stating that his people don't call Namor "king." Instead, they call him the serpent god "Kukulkan." The film version of Namor is a savior for the Talokanil people. Having someone like Attuma come in and disrupt that would have completely changed the course of the film.

Instead, Ryan Coogler opts to use the character Namora as someone who voices her displeasure. By the end of the film, she tells Namor that she's frustrated by his choice not to continue fighting against the soldiers of Wakanda. This was likely done on purpose, as Namora's character doesn't carry as much baggage as Attuma. If Attuma had questioned Namor, fans could have thought it would be a setup for their rivalry to take place in future films.

Namora is Namor's loyal cousin (via Comic Years). She even picks her name to closely match Namor's — it means "avenging daughter." Having a character loyal to Namor question his judgment is a smart way for the film to answer audience questions on Namor's actions without bringing in the idea of disloyalty and mutiny.

Attuma's actor believes Black Panther is opening doors for diversity in Hollywood

Director Ryan Coogler's decision to focus on Mesoamerican culture for the Talokan civilization was an important change for "Wakanda Forever." Because of this, Coogler looked to cast more diverse actors and actresses in the hopes of bringing their culture and representation to the MCU. This is something that has been a deep honor for the actors cast in this film, especially for Alex Livinalli, the actor who portrays Attuma in "Wakanda Forever."

Livinalli sat down to discuss what it means for him to be cast in such a massive blockbuster film. He shared with MediaVillage, "It's an honor to be part of [the MCU]. [...] This legacy started with the first film that Chadwick led that pushed for inclusion and diversity and knocked down walls." For Livinalli, having a platform to show children that there's representation from Central and South America is necessary. He recalls that growing up in America, he never truly saw people like himself represented, so he's honored that "Wakanda Forever" has given him the opportunity to do so for the next generation watching and feeling seen.