Classic Mismatch: Namor vs. Thanos

Classic Mismatch: Namor vs. Thanos
Here's why Thanos is the best Marvel villain yet - CNET

credit: MCU

There was an explanation given during the rise of Infinity War as to why the MCU wasn’t taking more of its cues from the comics that had spawned the franchise, and one of the most basic answers was that the desire wasn’t to tell the same story once again. There’s some merit to this thought, even if it’s not quite the blanket explanation that many would accept since it needs to be remembered that many of those who have watched the MCU since its infancy has never picked up a single Marvel comic and therefore don’t know the stories. But getting past that, wondering why certain characters haven’t been kept the same is kind of tough since it feels as though the MCU looked at the comics and shrugged their collective shoulders before redesigning various characters in ways that kept the core of who they are, but changed them in ways that a lot of fans have seen fit to question, and others have decided to accept in the name of…well, in the name of reasons. But some changes still don’t change the outcome since a battle between Thanos and Namor, who was finally given an appearance in the MCU, would likely produce the same result. 

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credit: Marvel Comics

Namor is powerful, but he’s not on Thanos’ level. 

Despite being one of the terrestrial powerhouses in the Marvel Universe, and even one of the few that has taken on a portion of the Phoenix Force in the past, Namor still isn’t quite at the same level as Thanos on a regular day. The mad titan has been able to tank hits from characters such as the Hulk, has taken on an entire group of super-powered beings in the past, and is far more intelligent than Namor could hope to be. Even if he doesn’t have the same energy projection in the MCU that he possesses in the comics, Thanos simply hits harder, is more durable, and his tactics are often enough to keep him at least a step or two ahead of his enemies in many regards. If not for Doctor Strange’s sacrifice in Infinity War, which allowed the Avengers to play the long game, Thanos might have been victorious without question. Yeah, Namor doesn’t always think that far ahead. 

Turning Namor into a god is a huge mistake, kind of like changing Atlantis into Talokan. 

It already feels as though the comic book version of Namor was far more powerful and capable than he might be when being turned into a god that has only to speak to make his people listen. The comic book version had to deal with his rule being contested a time or two, which actually made him a more likable character since it meant that he wasn’t just given everything. He had to earn it. While it might appear that the MCU version has the overall love of his people and that he looks out for them, it still comes off as a bit preachy, not to mention that it indicates that his word is to be followed without question. The comic book version of Namor isn’t quite this perfect, and it’s what makes him an easier character to pit against Thanos, even if he’s not going to have any greater success. Thanos still stands out as one of the greatest villains in the comics and on the big screen when it comes to Marvel, but pitting him against someone that’s seen as a  god feels, well, it feels like an easy move that is a little too safe for a fight of this magnitude. 

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credit: MCU

The MCU has been selective when it comes to power levels, but the comics make it pretty clear who can do what.

Many characters have been altered a bit when it comes to live-action movies in the MCU, but the power levels that have been altered have raised a lot of questions since some characters have become more powerful and others have been slightly de-powered for reasons that have been given in a very half-hearted manner. It does feel as though some characters have been given a great deal of preference while others have been elevated past their original status. If this were to happen with Namor it feels as though it would damage the character in a big way since Namor has been a great character in the history of Marvel, but elevating him past his normal power levels does feel as though it would be playing into identity politics in a way, not to mention that it would continue the trend that certain characters are simply more powerful because…reasons. 

Namor’s temper is one of his biggest weaknesses. 

If nothing else, Thanos is a patient and extremely cold-blooded individual that can get angry from time to time but isn’t nearly as hot-tempered as Namor. It’s been documented more than once in the comics that Namor is the kind of guy that can get riled easily since his default setting tends to run quite hot. Thanos could no doubt rope Namor into a fight and take him down after a decent fight simply because there’s one thing that Namor doesn’t know how to do. The guy doesn’t know how to stop, even in the face of a certain defeat. 

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