Namor's Real Superpower Is Trapping All That Thirst

IMAGE MARVEL

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios' sequel to the critically lauded 2018 film Black Panther, has received acclaim for the way it serves as a tribute and farewell to the late actor Chadwick Boseman, while at the same time expanding on the world-building within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, delivering character-enriching stories for a cast led predominantly by Black women, and of course, serving up the usual action-packed superhero spectacle that fans have come to expect.

Among the ensemble, performances by Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Esquire cover star Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o have all been praised, but one newcomer to the MCU has proven to be the breakout star of the movie: Namor, aka the Submariner, aka K'uk'ulkan, aka Zaddy.

At this point, it is par for the course that the male stars of Marvel movies will get into amazing shape—the "superhero shred," as it has come to be known—and go shirtless for at least one scene. Chris Hemsworth has been doing it for over a decade now. But the internet's response to Namor, played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta, hits different.

Sure, Huerta has an impressively sculpted physique (which he achieved by training six days a week using a mix of high and low-intensity workouts), but his depiction of the anti-colonialism warrior also speaks to contemporary cultural concerns, similarly to the way Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger (also a huge thirst trap of an antagonist) did in the original movie.

Then there is the character design, which uses indigenous influences to riff on Namor's skimpy costuming in the comics to tell audiences something about who he is. (Visual storytelling continues to be a standout feature in the Black Panther franchise.) The end result is, it must be pointed out, a damn sight more revealing than the usual male superhero suit, and goes some way towards explaining how and why people on Twitter are. Absolutely. Losing. It.

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FromEsquire US

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Philip Ellis
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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