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Endgame May Have Teased The Arrival Of Another Major Character

Another legacy Marvel character may be about to come bubbling to the surface of the MCU.

A scene early in Avengers: Endgame seems designed to tease the arrival of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, an anti-hero with an 80-year publication history who has served as both a nemesis and an ally to a laundry list of iconic Marvel heroes. Note: spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

Namor first appeared in Motion Picture Funny Weeklies #1, a promotional publication handed out to movie theaters all the way back in April 1939. This book was, in fact, the very first to every be published by the company that would later become Marvel Comics, making Namor not just legacy character, but the legacy character. 

Namor's origin story and characteristics are quite similar to that of DC's Aquaman, who wouldn't appear until November of 1941 (hey, we're not throwing stones here; Marvel and DC have a long and illustrious history of theft which decidedly goes both ways). The half-human son of an Atlantean princess, he is a prince and later king of that underwater realm whose mistrust of the surface world runs deep (no pun intended). Like his DC counterpart, his adaptation to the freezing, high-pressure atmosphere of his deep-sea home has rendered his body nearly impervious to harm; he also boasts the requisite superhuman strength, speed (especially underwater), reflexes, and agility, making him a formidable opponent even for such mighty heroes as the Hulk and Wolverine. Speaking of Wolvie, Namor also has a superhuman healing factor of his own — provided that he is immersed in water, of course. He has been shown to be capable of absorbing vast amounts of radiation, can navigate the seas effortlessly by sensing the faintest of electrical currents coursing through the water, and yes — he can also communicate telepathically with marine life.

The character's allegiances have shifted like the tides over time; he has at times been both an antagonist to and a member of such venerable superhero teams as the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four, although his primary allegiance has always been to the Kingdom of Atlantis. He was also chosen to serve in the Illuminati (a version of which it has been speculated we may soon see in the MCU), a clandestine group of superheroes who regularly gather to assess threats and establish the shared policy of the superpowered community with regard to developments throughout the world and the universe. The group's other members included Tony Stark, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic, and the Inhuman king Black Bolt; notably, Namor was kicked out of that particular band when he strenuously opposed the decision to exile the Hulk by launching him into outer space, a strategy which resulted in a vengeful Green Goliath returning to nearly destroy the world during the World War Hulk storyline.

Fans have long wondered whether the Sub-Mariner would ever make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Endgame just may have given us our answer. In the scene in question, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff is convening a holographic council of heroes, who are scattered after the five-year time jump following the Decimation and Thanos' death at the hands of Thor. One of the participants is Okoye (Danai Gurira), who appears to be holding Wakanda together in the absence of the dusted King T'Challa. She reports seismic activity on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, near a location which would fall under Wakanda's jurisdiction; when asked by Romanoff how she intends to handle it, the Dora Milaje General dryly replies, "It's an earthquake under the ocean. We handle it by not handling it."

It appears to be a mere throwaway line, but if we know Marvel (and we're pretty sure we do), it was included for a purpose — and we have a couple key pieces of evidence to back up our assertion. First, the fact that the disturbance was reported by Okoye  is telling, as Wakanda and Atlantis have a bit of a history in the comics — that is to say, they don't get along, and have actually gone to war on more than one occasion. Second, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige is well-known for "planting seeds" which suggest the possibility of characters that might come into play down the line, and this particular seed was not the first one he's planted in regard to Namor. Way back in 2010's Iron Man 2, there was a scene in which Nick Fury and Tony Stark discussed tentative plans to scout for the team that would soon become the Avengers. During their conversation, Fury was referring to a series of holographic screens, many of which depicted events both past (the Hulk's rampage through Harlem) and future (the site at which Thor's hammer would be discovered) in the MCU. But one screen was simply a world map which showed various "hot spots" around the globe which had garnered the interest of S.H.I.E.L.D.and one of these spots happened to be located... smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Of course, it's almost certain that at the time that Easter egg was dropped, nobody had any idea whether Namor would ever come into play in the MCU. But the inclusion of Okoye's report in Avengers: Endgame suggests that not only has the Marvel brain trust kept the character in mind this entire time, but that they may now be prepping us for his formal introduction.

In fact, we're willing to bet that this is indeed the case, and that we'll get an announcement of some sort — be it a solo vehicle, or in a supporting role — of Namor's entrance into the MCU sooner rather than later. Feige has recently said that Marvel Studios' Phase 4 plans will become much clearer in the months after Endgame's release, and even the projects which have been announced — such as The Eternals and Shang-Chi — didn't get any kind of shout-out in the Infinity Saga's grand finale. We'll be keeping both ears to the ground for any and all Marvel news, and we'll be ready to report it the moment it breaks — especially if it has to do with Namor, because we love being proven right.