Did Iron Man 2 Hint at Namor The Submariner?
Contrary to popular belief, the Prince of Atlantis fits very neatly into the slate of superhero films Marvel Studios is releasing. Was Iron Man 2 the character's subtle feature film introduction?
The debate amongst comic book fans on whether Namor, the Prince of Atlantis, will be featured in an upcoming Marvel Studios film became heated once Captain America director Joe Johnston announced that the WWII superhero team the Invaders would be showcased in the the entire second half of his film.
According to comic book canon, Namor the Submariner was one of the founding and longstanding members of the team. But that's not the only time Marvel's "first mutant" can fit into the studio's newly established cinematic universe.
I strongly believe that Iron Man 2 provided numerous references to the character. Since we all know how Marvel likes to expand on their hidden Easter eggs down the road, I don't doubt that we will see several more before Namor makes his debut in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Let's take a look at these references and note their significance to Marvel continuity:
Oracle Communications is a real world company and sponsor of Marvel Studios' Iron Man 2. They were so heavily involved with promoting the film that they created their own corresponding viral marketing campaign.
In the film itself, Oracle logos were spotted throughout the Stark Expo. The most prominent being the giant dome where the final battle between Iron Man, War Machine, Whiplash and the Hammer drones took place. Oracle's CEO even had a cameo at the beginning of the movie, where he introduced himself and his company to Tony Stark.
In the Marvel Comics world, Prince Namor collected sunken treasures of Atlantis to finance his purchase of a corporation he renamed Oracle, Inc. Under the guise of an international businessman (even taking the surname McKenzie), he used Oracle to sponsor environmental care.
2) S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Target' Map
During the penultimate scene of Iron Man 2, Tony Stark meets with S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury to discuss his tentative place in the superhero team the Avengers. Their meeting was surrounded by four holographic screens, each displaying different events taking place in the Marvel movie timeline. The first showed the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, the second showed a news broadcast of the Hulk's rampage at Culver University, the third showed the crater Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, made when landing in New Mexico, and the fourth had a world map with different areas of interest highlighted.
The map displayed what could easily be surmised to be sightings of the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Black Panther. One area pinpointed over Europe could be a reference to either Captain America's enemy the Red Skull, or his English ally Union Jack. The final area of interest on the map was off of the Eastern coast of Brazil. Could this be the assumed location of the undersea continent of Atlantis?
Almost, but not quite. When comparing the movie image to Marvel's map of Atlantis and it's surroundings, it actually shows that the area is Namor's private quarters; his 'Fortress of Solitude,' if you don't mind the cross-reference. It is located outside of the boundaries of Atlantis itself, which appears to be roughly the size of Australia and located directly off the Eastern coast of North America.
3) Atlantis Discovered?
I have yet to confirm this reference 100%. Though I've seen the film four times, I can never get a close enough look to make out exactly what this image says. What I do know is that I saw a newspaper clipping on Ivan Vanko's workshop wall in Russia. On that clipping I saw two surfaced submarines and the word "Atlantis."
Unfortunately, unless one of you can find a way to clarify the images from this scene, I'll have to wait for it to be released in stores before acquiring a transcription of the paragraph.
If you think that Namor would only have a place in a Captain America film, you're very mistaken. During the Iron Man comic arc Demon in a Bottle, Namor has a predominant role and even has to battle the Iron Avenger. That story line will surely be used for the film Iron Man 3, since the key elements in it have already been introduced to audiences: Tony Stark's alcoholism, Roxxon Oil, vibranium, War Machine, Whiplash and Justin Hammer.
Do you happen to remember how Captain America was found after being frozen in ice for decades? His former Invaders teammate Namor unknowingly found the block of ice containing the hero, who was in suspended animation, and in a fit of rage threw it into the ocean; where he was soon found by the superhero team the Avengers. Let's not forget that Namor was also one of The Avengers' first enemies. An Avengers film showcasing the Atlantis Attacks comic line would more than likely be a very popular adaptation, due to worldwide appeal of the Lost City.
The only two problems that I feel would minimize Namor's chances of appearing in Marvel movie continuity would be logistical issues due to the character/film rights, and popularity amongst comic fans; which Marvel does take into consideration for their films. Marvel's senior executive Kevin Feige seemed to have cleared up the first problem last week during an interview with Collider.com. When asked which studios own which comic character's rights, Feige specifically noted that "Universal [Studios] doesn’t have anything." Universal was the only studio contractually allowed to use Namor, and they were planning a solo movie for the character up until 2009, when both a tentative script and director fell through. The second problem I foresee has to do with popularity within the comic movie fan community. Apparently, there should be no worries in that area. In a recent poll conducted right here on ComicBookMovie, which asked fans to choose the Invader character that they feel should definitely appear in Captain America: The First Avenger, the Prince of Atlantis accumulated over 755 votes; which surmounted to 49% of the total vote count.
At this point, I don't have any doubt we will see Namor appear in multiple Marvel Studios films. Unless a studio representative comes out with a contradictory statement, the only thing I am waiting for is a casting announcement.
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