Namor the Sub-Mariner is one of the oldest characters in the history of Marvel Comics, appearing for the first time over 80 years ago. He’s the mutant leader of an underwater nation that’s been around forever – not just in terms of his first appearance but also his age as a character. So, how old is Namor in the MCU, and how it differs from the comics?
Namor first appeared in 1939, making his first appearance around 83 years ago. The character in Marvel Comics was born around 1920, making him over 100 years old. However, in the MCU, Namor was born at the time of the Conquistadors, making him around 500 years old.
The actor that portrayed Namor in Black Panther 2, Tenoch Huerta, confirmed that fact in an interview in November 2022. The change in the character’s age came as a result of the change in his origin story, as well as the origins of the nation he’s leading. Let’s explore the character a bit more in-depth.
How old is Namor in terms of his first comic appearance?
Namor is a mutant whose aging process is quite slow, making him one of the older characters in Marvel Comics living and originating on Earth. However, he’s also one of the oldest characters in Marvel Comics in terms of his first appearance.
Namor the Sub-Mariner first appeared in Marvel Comics #1 way back in October 1939. That makes his first appearance over 80 years old – almost 83, to be precise. That makes him not only one of the first characters to appear in Marvel Comics but also the first antihero in the history of superhero comics in general.
How old is Namor in the comics?
In the comics, Namor was born around the year 1920, making him over a hundred years old right now in the comics. He is the King of Atlantis, a secluded underwater nation that always tried to stay clear of the surface world.
Namor is the son of a human sea captain and the princess of Atlantis, after which he became the nation’s leader and king. His mutant abilities include flight, superhuman strength, durability, and healing when he’s underwater. Also, his speed under the sea is supersonic.
He was first portrayed as a villain, but we soon realized that he is more of an antihero. Namor doesn’t have a problem with doing anything in his power to keep his people safe, which puts him into a collision course with Marvel heroes quite often.
However, Namor was also a member of numerous important superhero teams, such as the Avengers, Defenders, Illuminate, etc. He also worked with the Fantastic Four, the Heroes for Hire, the X-Men, and others.
Now, his origins in the comics are Atlantean, but in the MCU – namely, in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – those origins have been changed from Atlantean to Talokan. With that change also came the change of his age in the MCU.
How old is Namor in Black Panther 2?
As I’ve mentioned, the origin story of Namor the Sub-Mariner and his people changed in the MCU when compared to the comics. The writers dropped the Atlantean narrative and created a new underwater empire called Talokan.
The Talokan have a Central-American origin, and unlike Atlantis, they came to be after consuming a vibranium-powered herb, similar to Wakanda’s Heart-Shaped Herb. Of course, Namor is still their leader, but with the changed origins, his age also changed dramatically. So, how old is Namor in Black Panther 2?
The Talokan came to be during the time of the Conquistadors. They invaded Central America around the year 1500, and prior to their arrival, Namor’s people lived as a normal settlement on the land. The Conquistadors came and destroyed their way of life while Namor wasn’t even born yet – his mother was pregnant with him then.
After the Talokan ingested the Heart-Shaped Plant, they all became underwater beings, losing the ability to breathe the surface air. Namor, however, was born a mutant and the only Talokan who could breathe both in the water and on the surface. However, the longer he’s away from water, the weaker he gets – just like in the comics.
The Talokan see Namor not only as their leader but also as a god among them. And, as the actor Tenoch Huerta confirmed in an interview prior to Black Panther 2’s premiere, he was around 500 years old during the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He was born shortly after the Conquistadors left.
That makes him around 400 years older than his comic book counterpart and one of the oldest characters in the MCU that was born and raised on Earth. Granted, nobody even knew of his existence until recently, when Riri Williams invented the vibranium detector.
We don’t know exactly when Namor will appear in the MCU again, but I honestly can’t wait for it to happen because he was an absolutely awesome character. You might consider Namor a villain, but in his eyes, he did nothing wrong – all Namor wanted to do was protect his people and their way of life, no matter what the price was.
The final scenes of Black Panther 2 where we saw Namor suggested that, despite the apparent truce with Wakanda, Namor and the Talokan might still have different plans – plans of waging war against the surface world, as the Sub-Mariner sees that as the only way to ensure the safety and prosperity of his people and their way of life.