If Namor enters the MCU in Phase 4, as planned, one of James Gunn’s typical ridiculous gags in Peacemaker might have caused trouble for the MCU. Because, although Aquaman, who makes an appearance in the Justice League’s contentious Peacemaker cameo, doesn’t have a fish obsession, Namor, the MCU’s sea-ruling warrior, does. And Marvel is much less likely to make a jest about it than DC did with Gunn.
Peacemaker was packed with gags about DC’s most powerful superheroes. Wonder Woman had “wanted” John Cena’s antihero, who insulted Batman and said Superman has a feces fetish. The nastiest jabs were directed at Green Arrow and Aquaman, with the former being suspected of being a sick Brony and the latter being exposed to have sexual relations with fishes. Both of those reports appeared to be genuine, especially the one concerning Green Arrow’s Brony con operations, according to John Economos.
Although shockingly, DC let Gunn take shots at the Justice League (Green Arrow isn’t as much of a problem), Marvel is the big loser here. They have their own aquatic hero, Namor, who is highly expected to appear in Black Panther 2, and who is known for attacking the same tired gags. Ironically for Marvel, they can’t dismiss it as a joke or embrace it as Peacemaker did, because Namor had sex with fish. And, as Peacemaker confirmed, accepting that with a straight face is difficult.
Namor’s sexuality includes genuine aquatic animals, as pointed out on Twitter in the aftermath of the Peacemaker conclusion, and was basically verified when he was shown to have had sex with a massive sea worm in Uncanny X-Men #8. She was nobility, and Namor referred to her as a “dignified queen of a noble people,” yet she was still a water tapeworm at heart. He didn’t even tryst with the queen of the Tabula Rasa river people under duress, informing his friend Hope that the monster was considerably more his type than her as a redhead. That almost validates Namor’s liking for folks who live in boats. While the Sub-Mariner may say it with his own brand of assurance or dismiss criticism as narrow-mindedness, Peacemaker’s last episode captures precisely how it would be received if it were included in his cinematic version. Because of the precedent set by the DCEU in insulting its own ocean-ruling superhero, the MCU will hesitate to include any form of tribute to that aspect of his persona.
In all his MCU and DCEU productions, Gunn’s criticism of superheroes has mostly been affectionate: he has outlandish characters make absurd claims, such as Peacemaker or exploits others, such as Rocket Raccoon, to simply trash others, such as Star-Lord. Even if Aquaman’s fish sex jokes don’t really mesh with the DCEU’s marketing of Jason Momoa’s hero as a really cool guy, there’s no actual malice here. However, the teasing is amusing because it’s senseless, or at the very least overblown, and Marvel will have a far harder time getting something like Namor’s less traditional charms to play properly, even if only in the background. Peacemaker’s smirking disregard for the “fish people” heroes also makes it feel like it will always be begging for someone like Chris Smith to attempt to make a comedy of it.