A name only for enemies (major spoilers ahead)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever came out this Friday, and had been an emotional ride. The antagonist this time was K’uk’ulkan, otherwise known as Namor. While the character is a known face in the comics, the MCU has altered his origin story by a great deal. This came to the point where even his name carries a lot of weight. Let’s take a closer look at the character that Tenoch Huerta portrayed so brilliantly.
The Origin of Namor
In the comics, Namor is born to the princess of Atlantis and an American sea captain, thereby getting a physiology that combines the Atlanteans and humans. He is also an alpha-level Mutant, and his X-gene granted him flight and strength that rivals even Thor. In the MCU, he retains these powers, but his background is different. Instead of Atlantis, they developed Talokan, an underwater kingdom that came to be during the Mesoamerican era. His name was changed to K’uk’ulkan, otherwise known as the Plumed Serpent God. So what about Namor? Director Ryan Coogler came up with the perfect way to get this name.
The era of the Talokans began in the 16th century when a small Mesoamerican community ingested a plant that grew in vibranium-rich soil. Their shaman assured them that this would save them from skin diseases and Spanish colonizers. K’uk’ulkan’s mother was pregnant with him when she ate it. Soon after, the community discovered they can no longer breathe the surface air and had to be underwater.
How did the name come?
K’uk’ulkan was the first Mutant among them, and it caused him to age slowly. He still looked like a boy when his mother died. Her last wish was to be buried where she was born. When K’uk’ulkan led his people to the place, he found out colonizers were there. They attacked him and his tribe, but were killed instead. A dying priest says, “niño sin amor,” which translates to “child without love.” He took the ‘Namor’ part from that and used it as a war tag.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is currently in theatres.