Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta is a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after it was revealed he’ll portray classic Marvel character Namor the Sub-Mariner. His role was confirmed during Comic Con in San Diego on Saturday night where the first teaser trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered, the sequel to Black Panther (2018). This is one of Marvel’s oldest characters dating all the way back to 1939 and he’s been labeled as “Marvel’s First Mutant” by Marvel Comics. The anti-hero protects the seas and has superhuman strength and speed in addition to, of course, the ability to breathe underwater and also live on land. In the trailer we see glimpses of Namor with the signature green trunks and his winged feet.
“It’s amazing,” Huerta told Variety of wearing the costume. “I mean, everybody pretends to be a superhero or to be part of [these] movies, and then you are part of it. And then you are the superhero, and then you are wearing the costume. It’s your skin, your voice, your brain, your talent, your story. It’s overwhelming.”
The Direct reported that the film’s depiction of Atlantis will have more of an Aztec influence noting Namor’s ceremonial headdress as confirmation. In the trailer we also see Atlanteans with blue skin though Namor’s skin isn’t blue because he’s a hybrid though the trailer doesn’t address this directly. The sequel’s plot is still under wraps though we know Wakanda is mourning the loss of T’Challa (Black Panther), played by Chadwick Boseman who died in 2020 at the age of 43 of colon cancer. Wakanda and Atlantis are at war though it’s unclear why at this point.
Huerta has appeared in Spectre, The Forever Purge and Madres and is known for his role as Rafael Caro Quintero on Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico. The 41-year-old actor was born in Ecatepec in Mexico City and he’s now joining a small but mighty group of Latinx actors in the MCU including Salma Hayek in (Eternals), Oscar Isaac (Moon Knight) and Anthony Ramos (Ironheart). Bad Bunny also made history this year as Marvel’s First Latino Live-Action film lead as El Muerto. Seeing Latinx actors playing superheroes is significant not only when it comes to representation but also to see them in roles that are stereotypes.
“They need thieves, they need kidnappers, they need whores. So they call the brown-skinned people to make them. And we fit under that stereotype,” Huerta previously told Vice. “They are always calling me to make the same character. It’s the bad guy—always. But I always make a different version. Because for me, it’s a person. I create a new personality, a new character each time.”
Now he’s the king of an underwater nation and part of one of the most successful and beloved MCU film franchises. The synopsis for Wakanda Forever reads: “As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.”
“It’s an honor. I come from the hood, and thanks to inclusion, I am here,” Huerta told the crowd at ComicCon. “A lot of kids in their hood are dreaming to be here, and they can make it!”
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters Nov. 11