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Is Namor’s Talokan in Marvel Comics?

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Is Namor’s Talokan in Marvel Comics?

Namor, the ruler of Talokan, will be introduced into the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But does the civilization exist in the comics?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever┬áis introducing Talokan, Namor’s kingdom, is being introduced into the MCU, but Talokan is not from the comics. Namor is the ruler of Atlantis in the Marvel Universe. Namor (Tenoch Huerta) is the ruler of Talokan, a civilization based on Aztec mythology. The MCU is known for reimagining key elements of comic book lore to fit its world. T’Challa and Killmonger are cousins in Black Panther, Thanos is not motivated by Death in Avengers: Infinity War, and Natasha and Yelena are sisters in Black Widow. The series has now reimagined Atlantis as a civilization based on Mexican culture.

The idea of water-based civilizations has been explored in the media several times. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be able to establish a new perspective on the concept of underwater worlds by drawing inspiration from Aztec mythology. During an interview with Gizmodo, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore revealed that Talokan and Namor will remain in the MCU after Wakanda Forever. Namor’s kingdom may become as influential to the superhero franchise as Wakanda has been. Thus, while the antihero’s backstory has changed significantly, its reinterpretation will allow it to stand out not only in the MCU, but also in pop culture as a whole. But how did Talokan come to be?

Talokan’s Inspiration in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Talokan, as said before, is based on Mexican mythology. It is specifically inspired by Tllcn, a city ruled by the rain god Tloc. The city was an afterlife destination in Aztec culture for those who died by drowning or lightning. Tenoch Huerta explained to Empire that changing Namor’s origin allowed Atlantis to be represented through the lens of a real-world mythology. Making Talokan from that concept could bring the nation to life and make it more relatable to those who are familiar with the culture on which it is based. Its inspiration also allows for an enthrallingly complex clash between Talokan and Wakanda.

According to Huerta, Wakanda revealing itself to the world at the end of 2018’s Black Panther put Talokan in a dangerous position, ultimately putting Namor at odds with the nation. Being understandably protective of his culture creates an intriguing ideological clash between Huerta’s antihero and Wakanda. Wakanda fiercely guarded its borders for a long time until T’Challa decided to open the nation’s technology to the rest of the world. Now, Shuri (presumably the new Black Panther), Ramonda, and the rest of the nation are at odds with a civilization that appears to operate in the same manner as before, but through far more violent means.

Why Did The MCU Switch Namor’s Homeworld From Atlantis To Talokan?

The decision to reimagine Atlantis as Talokan was nuanced. According to Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the change was made in order to present a different perspective on a city that has traditionally been adapted through a very specific cultural lens. The director also stated that he wanted Wakanda Forever to provide a fresh perspective on an underwater civilization that could become as recognizable and distinct as all those that have come before it:

“I dug ‘Aquaman’ and really loved Disney’s ‘Atlantis’ that came out when we were younger. And I wanted to make something that could stand in a cinematic pantheon beside those films and be different, but still truthful. We were after something that felt truthful, and real, and we can take a deep cultural dive [with]. That felt like it was on theme, felt like they belonged in a world with Wakanda that was believable, but also felt like myth; felt like people could see themselves in it.”

Whether intentional or not, the change was a practical way for Marvel Studios to distinguish itself from the DC Universe. By transforming Atlantis into Talokan, Namor avoided feeling too similar to Aquaman. In the comics, Namor, like Arthur Curry, rules over Atlantis. Both characters having water-based abilities and protecting the same nation would have prompted comparisons. Namor now has the opportunity to stand on his own as the ruler of a conceptually different civilization, without being overshadowed by another prominent comic book hero.