Namor’s Ankle Wings Presented Black Panther VFX Artists With A Challenge – SlashFilm


Thanks to Superman, the public at large sees flying superheroes as merely lifting off the ground with only a thought. Superman then flies head-first through the air, his arms often outstretched in front of him. This, of course, is to make his body more aerodynamic. Superman, we all seem to intuit, is being lifted from within by his chest, or perhaps with his whole torso. Namor, in contrast, doesn’t lift his own body via telekinesis or some eerie antigravity measure but is propelled forward from his foot wings. This meant animating a digital version of Tenoch Huerta in new, unusual poses not usually seen in superhero cinema. Hanzhi Tang explained his ethos with Namor, saying that he looked to athletes for reference. He said:

“Any caped superheroes who’s flying around, you center that movement, leading with the chest, but here, everything is based around his ankles and his feet. (…) So he has more athletic movements and I think a lot of reference was either ice hockey or football in the way that he changes direction. It comes from the waist, the way he pushes himself against the air and steps through the air.”

If Namor wants to slow down while speeding through the skies, he must swivel his feet forward and “flap” in the opposite direction. One can see the body movement as being similar to an ice hockey player who skitters to a halt by grinding their skates sideways. 

The effect was uncanny, and /Film even felt that Namor was one of the coolest villains in the long-running Marvel film series. Namor may return, although it will be contingent on the unclear future of the MCU; we’re going to be getting fewer movies moving forward, not more.

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