Ever since a tiny Easter Egg was dropped into Avengers: Endgame speculation has been rife.  Since an underwater earthquake required Wakandan investigation, comic fans have been saying this is the moment for Namor, the Sub-Mariner, to enter the MCU.

Both Jason Statham and Henry Golding have been mentioned as potential actors for the role.

This speculation also rose to fever pitch when it was heavily rumoured that Kraven The Hunter would also be making his MCU appearance.  Opinions vary over whether this will be in Black Panther 2 or if he will be responsible for hunting down fugitive Peter Parker in the third Spider-Man movie.

Despite the Spider-Man rumor being from a credible source with a track record, others have added fuel to the Black Panther 2 fire over the last couple of days.  They have also spun out some other rumors and suppositions that, it has to be said when critically examined don’t make a whole lot of sense.

CosmicBook News is reporting on something from YouTuber Grace Randolph. Randolph is an American comic book writer, and the host and creator of the YouTube channels Beyond the Trailer, Movie Math, and Think About the Ink.  She has written for both DC and Marvel.

Randolph says that Black Panther 2 will indeed feature Namor, as has previously been rumored, and claims her sources confirm that the Okoye scene in The Avengers: Endgame where Okoye goes to investigate an underwater earthquake is about Namor and Atlantis.

“Yes you hardcore Marvelites called it!  The underwater earthquake in Avengers: Endgame that Okoye goes to investigate – Okeye from Wakanda obviously, right – is indeed a Namor tease.”

Now she claims, and CosmicBook News gleefully reports, that the movie will feature both Namor the Submariner and Kraven the Hunter and that it will be:

“…a rip off of DC’s Aquaman movie.”

She has form for this, having previously claimed that Marvel’s Shang-Chi is a rip off of Mortal Kombat and famously claimed that Marvel only green-lit Captain America: Civil War after Warner and DC went forward with Batman vs Superman.

The reporting site then goes on to make the supposition that as Aquaman 2 comes out at roughly the same time as Black Panther 2 then no FX crew with experience of underwater FX will be available to work on Black Panther 2 as they will all be working on Aquaman 2.

Its things like this that make us have to take a different view on this news.  Let’s start with that FX point.

Aquaman was great fun.  Batshit insane but great fun. However, the underwater FX had a deliberately comic-book and ethereal feel.  It’s not as if the FX crew on this were the only people capable of doing underwater.  Look at the FX in the two similar themed movies The Shallows and The Meg, or in Kon-Tiki.  If we were to want to do a water-based movie with all sorts of aquatic beasties maybe we would give those guys a call a bit before we tapped up the Aquaman guys?  And it’s not like there is only one FX house in the world.

So it’s a strange claim for a website to make unless they have some sort of axe to grind.

At the Outpost, we are no Marvel slaves and are equal opportunities critics.  Heck, if you were to force me to choose I would say I am a DC guy through and through.  Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have always meant more to me, growing up, than Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America.

However, I cannot deny the sheer achievement that the MCU is, and entries like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Infinity War are not just among the best entries in the genre.  They are fantastic movies in their own right.

One of the clear things that Hollywood has failed to learn from Marvel is demonstrated clearly through the total failure of Star Wars, the failure to launch of the Universal Dark Universe and the epic mess that is the current DCEU tying itself up in knots.

That is a clear vision, singular ownership and most importantly a proper plan, are the building blocks of success for a cinematic universe.

Through this lens it becomes laughable to think that Marvel studios, in its current form, would have anything to learn from the DCEU.  Going beyond this to make an assumption that Kevin Feige and the Marvel team would feel any requirement to defensively react to the DCEU seems not just a stretch, but practically an impossibility.

When you overlay the production schedules of past efforts and consider evidence from interviews with cast and crew, you would really have to make some mental jumps to reach these conclusions.  The Russo brothers were clearly laying the groundwork for Civil War in The Winter Soldier in 2014,  Batman Vs Superman didn’t come out until 2016.  Civil War was out the same year, less than a month after BvS.

As far back as 2014, the Russo’s and Feige were talking about a need to break the Avengers apart before Thanos revealed himself to them.  About this time DC and Warner were still in a post-Man Of Steel paralysis which lead to bad decision making.

It is also commonly understood that BvS sledgehammered its way into the DCEU in a blind panic attempt to get some Cinematic Universe style success in reaction to Marvel making all the bank, pushing things like a Man Of Steel sequel aside.

What?

So, in fact, it’s evident this is pretty much the other way round to that claimed by Randolph and CBN.

The rip-off accusations are a common internet fanboy and geek-girl position, born apparently in the world of online absolutes and Millennial ignorance that history somehow started only when they became aware of it.

This is where the illogical idea comes from, that every storytelling trope ever repeated is some kind of rip-off.  With this narrow world view and naivety so every movie where a villain is deliberately captured in order to infiltrate is apparently ripping off The Dark Knight.  Every movie where fighters are gathered for a tournament is ripping on Mortal Kombat even though Bloodsport says “Hold my beer!”.

We understand that view in children, but it’s a bit of a weird position for professionals to take.  Unless, of course, it’s all just click-bait?

Given how the evidence does not support the supposition, we remain sceptical of any of this news so far.  Looking back historically on a number of Randolph videos breathlessly reported by CBN, we do wonder if maybe Randolph was turned down for work in the MCU in some form? Do the writers at CBN maybe love DC a little too much, and this is confirmation bias?