Merchandise leaks reveal Namor the Sub-Mariner will make his MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. His constant nemesis Attuma also joins him in other leaks, setting up the potential for major Marvel Comics storylines to play out in the movie. Those storylines also hint at the possibility that other powerful villains beyond Attuma appear in live-action for the first time.
Namor's most powerful villains include Doctor Doom and the Fantastic Four, iconic Marvel characters long overdue in the MCU. With his emergence in live-action for the first time, it's likely they aren't that far behind. The movie also potentially sets up other key Namor villains like Tiger Shark and Llyra, who shares connections with the Eternals thanks to her Lemurian heritage.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Stingray combines deep experience and knowledge of oceanography with highly advanced technology. His durable exoskeleton protects him against the most powerful foes, including Namor, whom he first fought in Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #19 in 1969. The exoskeleton also grants him superhuman strength and speed, especially underwater.
Stringray proves a persistent foe against Namor, with his interest in oceanography leading to his gathering intelligence and sometimes fighting against Namor on behalf of the surface world.
Namor's most powerful comic villains often emerge from beneath the sea and Tiger Shark is no exception. Tiger Shark gained superhuman speed and strength, as well as the ability to breathe underwater, thanks to genetic manipulation that combined his DNA with a shark's.
Tiger Shark first appeared in Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #5, and later gained more abilities, including adamantium-laced teeth just like Wolverine's claws. Tiger Shark killed Namor's human father in the comics, leading to a bitter enmity between them.
Llyra leads the Lemurians, an underwater race related to the Atlanteans but often in conflict with them. She possesses superhuman strength and agility similar to Namor, as well as the ability to control submarine creatures. She also suffers from dissociative identity disorder, exacerbated by her shapechanging ability, first depicted in Sub-Mariner #32.
Llyra plays a key role in several key Atlantean storylines in the comics, including Atlantis Attacks, and likely appears in the MCU given her relative importance to Namor. She also shares connections with the Eternals. In Marvel Comics, the Deviants once ruled a massive empire from Lemuria.
Krang The Usurper represents one of many challengers to Namor's rule in Atlantis. The former Atlantean military commander possesses all the superhuman strength and endurance others do, as well as the ability to breathe underwater. He later augmented his body to be able to breathe on the surface, though his physical acuity diminishes on land.
Krang counts among the best martial artists in the Marvel Universe, highly skilled in a variety of weapons including the neuro-shock blade, an electrically-charged sword that proves deadly underwater.
The Wrecking Crew
The Wrecking Crew rank among Thor's most powerful villains in Marvel Comics, but they've fought Namor on numerous occasions as well. The Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball each possess extraordinary superhuman strength, endurance, and powerful weapons like Wrecker's mystical crowbar.
Together, they've defeated Hercules in single combat, even with his god-like strength. The Wrecking Crew fought Namor while he served on The Defenders, which included Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Valkyrie, and the Silver Surfer, and first appeared in The Defenders #17.
Comic book fans know Namor fends off many rivals for the throne and none presents more danger than Attuma. Attuma brings the standard Atlantean superhuman physiology to all their battles, but also a strategic cunning and relentless determination to succeed that sets him apart from other villains.
Attuma achieved even more power in 2011's Fear Itself when he discovered one of the Seven Hammers of the Worthy enchanted by The Serpent and becomes Nekkrod, the Breaker of Oceans. He used his mystically enhanced power to attack both the surface and Atlantis.
Few characters in the Marvel Universe rival Namor in terms of strength, and fewer match him in political power. Black Panther does both as Wakanda's leader. T'Challa brings superhuman strength, nearly endless technological and financial resources, and the might of his entire kingdom against Namor.
The two kings come to blows many times in the comics, especially during Avengers vs. X-Men, among the most important Marvel Comics events, when Namor unleashed a tidal wave against Wakanda. Namor likely functions as a villain for Wakanda in the upcoming movie.
The Scarlet Witch
Namor possessed the Phoenix Force when he attacked Wakanda, briefly becoming cosmically powerful. His newfound power proved useless against the Scarlet Witch, whose reality-altering powers and extraordinary skill in the mystical arts stopped Namor in his tracks. Wanda proved herself not only among the most powerful Avengers at that moment but the most powerful Marvel characters period.
The Scarlet Witch commands terrifying ability over probability, shutting down the Phoenix Force almost completely and allowing her to fight the Phoenix Five essentially on her own.
The Fantastic Four
With extraordinary intelligence, superhuman ability, and boundless invention, the Fantastic Four represent a powerful foe for any villain. They share an especially fraught connection with Namor, going back to his first Silver Age appearance in Fantastic Four #5, where the Human Torch used his flame powers to burn away an amnesiac Namor's facial hair without harming him.
The Fantastic Four rank among Namor's most persistent villains, though they have often worked together for the greater good, as they did when Attuma attacked Atlantis in issue #33.
Doctor Doom represents supreme intelligence, craven ambition, and boundless capacity in one man. The ruler of Latvia commands enormous political resources as well as a personal gift for invention that generates Doombot armies to unleash against Atlantis. Doom's technical genius far outstrips any advanced Atlantean technology, involving time travel and other extraordinary abilities.
Doctor Doom also counts among the most powerful magicians in the Marvel Universe, with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and power that makes him an unpredictable and significant threat to Namor, as he's demonstrated in the comics several times.
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- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
- Marvel Comics
DARBY HARN is the author of the sci-fi superhero novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and Nothing Ever Ends. He talks all things pop culture on The Shelf Warmers podcast.More From Darby Harn