black panther wakanda forever namor imperius rex
Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor in Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. Photo by Eli Adé. © 2022 MARVEL.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever: Why Does Namor Say Imperius Rex?

What is the meaning behind the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ‘Imperius Rex’ phrase? In Wakanda Forever, Namor says the words “Imperius Rex” as the counter to Shuri’s titular cry of “Wakanda forever,” so it must have some special significance. Here is what the Black Panther 2 Namor ‘Imperius Rex’ cry means.

What does the Wakanda Forever Imperius Rex phrase mean?

‘Imperius rex’ is Namor’s catchphrase, which was introduced by Marvel Comics all the way back in the 1960s. It is Latin and essentially means ’emperor king’ or ‘king of empires.’ The phrase is essentially meaningless, however, and is mostly said because it sounds cool.

In the new Black Panther movie, the final battle most involves the fight on a ship involving Wakandan and Talokan warriors. However, at the same time at this, Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) are directly brawling. This fight is far closer this time, despite Namor being strong enough to take on Thor or the Hulk. Shuri now has the powers and suit of the Black Panther, so alongside her own ingenuity, she is a match for Namor.

During the fight, Namor cries “Imperius Rex” in his own native Meso-American Mayan language, to which Shuri counters with the traditional “Wakanda forever.” The reason Namor says this isn’t explained, but fans can assume that it is entirely because it’s the character’s catchphrase in the comics. There is no particular reason why Namor would utter a Latin phrase, especially one that is translated into Mayan. Nevertheless, it is exactly what Marvel fans expect, and the MCU is nothing if not fan-pleasing.

It seems likely the phrase will appear again, as Namor is left alive at the end of Wakanda Forever. The character is almost certainly being set up for his own Marvel movie, especially as he is one of the earliest Marvel heroes, so fans will hear “Imperius Rex” at a later date for sure.