Black Panther 2's Namor Actor Body Shamed by Marvel Artist
UPDATE: The following story has been updated with Mike Deodato's statement regarding his now-deleted post.
Former Marvel Comics artist Mike Deodato Jr. lashed out at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Tenoch Huerta on social media in an unexpected bout of body shaming.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Deodato criticized Huerta's physique by comparing an image of the actor from the film's trailer to his own body. "You can tell somebody screwed things up when a character from a movie looks in worst [sic] shape than the 60 years old artist who drew him," Deodato wrote. The artist's comments have since been met with backlash from Marvel fans.
On Aug. 31, Deodato posted the following response on Twitter: "I recently made a joke about the appearance of a comic book character on screen that got out of hand because of internet haters. So let me clarify: - I was mocking the comic book character, not the actor. It could be cgi, a muppet or a robot there, I was targeting a ficcional character in a movie, not a person in real life. - I had no idea who was the actor nor his ethnicity. It wouldn't change a thing for me even if he was from Brasil like myself. So the accusations of me being racist are just dumb. It was not my intention to hurt anyone's feelings, specially the actor in question, who, I am sure will do a great job with the character. Back to the drawing board. ( with pants this time )."
A veteran Marvel artist, Deodato has illustrated covers and interiors for series such as Avengers and Thor since the mid '90s, though he is perhaps best known for his work on such titles as Incredible Hulk and Amazing Spider-Man in the mid 2000s. Deodato also illustrated Namor for several years during various runs on New Avengers, including the 2013 storyline which introduced the very same grudge against Wakanda that Namor is carrying into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Namor Joins the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
First appearing in the first story from 1939's Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1, "Here is the Sub-Mariner!" by Bill Everett, Namor is the superpowered son of a human father and the Atlantean Princess Fen. Over the years, Namor has played the roles of both hero and villain in the Marvel Universe, with some of his earliest and most recent adventures having pitted him against Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including T'Challa. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to introduce Namor to the MCU as one of the film's potential antagonists.
Huerta previously opened up about taking on the role of an MCU superhero, remarking that "It's amazing." He continued, "I mean, everybody pretends to be a superhero or to be part of [these] movies, and then you are part of them, and then you are the superhero, and then you are wearing the costume. And it's your skin, your voice, your range, your talent, your story. I don't know, it's overwhelming."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives in theaters on Friday, Nov. 11.