Why isn’t Atlantis Namor’s home in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?”

Image via Marvel Comics

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will continue and honor the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, and promises to usher in new elements to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: but there is a divergence from the lore that has fans in an uproar.

Tenoch Huerta will play the first live-action version of Namor the Submarine, a character who first appeared in the comics 83 years ago. Namor in the comics is the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, but that was changed to wakanda forever — with the anti-hero now head of state of Talocan.

Why isn’t Atlantis Namor’s home to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?

Here’s a detailed explanation of the story of Atlantis, Atlantis in the comics, and why it was changed to black panther 2.

Story

Atlantis, as a concept, was coined by Plato as a metaphor not too dissimilar to the concept involving a constant state of war to keep the masses at bay, as seen in George Orwell. 1984, one of the first examples of the utopia/dystopia dichotomy. Scholars still debate the true meaning of Plato’s works, but culturally, Atlantis means something very different to contemporaries than to those of ancient Athens.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has generally stayed fairly true to its original source material, while incorporating more modern ideas to complement outdated or glaring 1960s comic book artifacts. Obvious examples would be JARVIS being an AI in the movies by opposed to a mere butler, or Wong being a very capable wizard instead of a tea-bringing servant.

Aquaman, however, is the most prevalent in the minds of blockbuster movie lovers. Jason Momoa’s 2019 film has a good handle on the Atlantis title, and it’s likely Marvel doesn’t want any misunderstandings between their universe and DC’s.

What is Talocan?

Instead, Namor will lead Talocan. But what exactly is Talocan? Does it have a place in Marvel comics? Or something from mythology?

In fact, Talocan is a bit of both. It is partially based on Marvel Comics’ Atlantis, but is much more inspired by the Aztec paradise Tlālōcān. Described as an afterlife level type, Tlālōcān is ruled by the rain god, Tlāloc. The Aztec belief system repeats that how a person dies will determine which paradise they will reside in after death.

Image via Marvel Studios

Reserved for those who died from floods, water-related diseases, water strikes and storms, Tlālōcān is believed to be underground. Ideas of the mystical earth still exist in modern cultures, and its inclusion in Black Panther 2 would suggest that it will be – similar to the ancient story of Atlantis – a rival spiritual nation.

You heard it here the first time, wakanda forever is a rereading of Plato.

Casting Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta suggests that Marvel will lean heavily on Mesoamerican culture in a way that mirrors Wakanda’s tapping into Indo-African spirituality and culture.

So why isn’t it Atlantis, then?

The inclusion of Atlantis in Aquaman would make him less appealing to Marvel. What could be more surprising and enjoyable for the average viewer? Knowing it’s just Atlantis, or a journey of discovery and slow learning about a different culture, albeit in a succinct and merged way?

Huerta’s casting is also very significant. Marvel tells much more diverse stories around Earth, as opposed to just America. The historical partition of Pakistan and India is crucial to the plot of Ms. Marveljust like the Eternals seemingly aiding the evolution of early human civilization.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated for release on November 11.