Erik Killmonger, the African Conan


Who is Erik Killmonger?

N’Jadaka, who would later westernize the name to Erik Killmonger, is the son of a Wakandian who was forced to work for Klaw in one of his many forays into the African country. As a result, his entire family was banished from Wakanda and grows up in Harlem, New York. His parents are victims of street violence and Erik can only blame T’Chaka and his family for his death. At that moment, he decides to devote his life to avenging his parents and his hatred for Wakanda’s royal family guides all his actions. As usual in the Marvel Universe, just because he’s a bad guy, muscular and strong enough to push the limits of the human doesn’t mean he’s a fool and in the United States he gets both a PhD in engineering and an MBA, almost nothing.

Precisely because of T’Challa’s desire to keep Wakanda the most advanced country in the world, Erik Killmonger is repatriated and pretends to make peace with Black Panther. He settled in one of the Wakandan tribes that soon changed its name to N’Jadaka Village became its territory. From there, he instigates revolts and discontent against T’Challa and plunders other villages around him to attract Black Panther’s attention. When the king confronts him, he first kills his leopard Prey and then kills Killmonger even though he manages to throw him down the waterfall.

His story doesn’t end there, because the Mandarin, Iron Man’s arch-enemy terrorist, gets his body and resurrects it to attack Tony Stark’s factories in Wakanda with T’Challa’s permission. In this attack, Killmonger apparently manages to kill T’Challa and claims the mantle of Black Panther. However, it is nothing more than a plan by Tony Stark and T’Challa to rescue Rhodes, captured by Killmonger. However, he continues to try to become the king of Wakanda through coups d’état, economic intervention or by kidnapping Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, for example, as soon as he has the chance.

The personality of Erik Killmonger

Erik Killmonger is a rather archetypal character who represents the dark side of Africa imagined by the colonists. Wild and ruthless he is extremely bitter, to the point of making harmful or strategically questionable decisions in order to make his enemies suffer even more. Although he pays lip service to honor and tradition and feels that his offenses are even desecrations of the natural order of things, he ends up being a hypocrite who is capable of breaking his own code to achieve his goals.

Friends and Enemies of Erik Killmonger

Killmonger is a born leader, and he often surrounds himself with henchmen to achieve his goals. Some examples are Venomm -with two emes, not to be confused with Venom-, Shadow or the Dead King. He is also able to ally himself with other villains like Salamander K’Ruel, Reverend Achebe or Ulysses Klaw who also have harmful interests for Wakanda. However, it is also not powerful enough not to end up being, at times, the henchman of some higher power such as the Mandarin or Red Skull. As for his enemies, his deep animosity towards T’Challa has caused him to confront not only himself but also some of his allies such as Iron Man, Deadpool or Everett Ross.

Erik Killmonger in the Kinematic Universe of Marvel

Although we have hardly seen a small teaser of what will be the Black Panther film in 2018, we can not only guess the tone or the spectacularity of the film and especially its representation of Wakanda, but we can see Erik Killmonger in a clearly aggressive attitude. Played by Michael B. Jordan – the second actor to play the Human Torch before joining the MCU after Chris Evans – everything seems to indicate that he and Ulysses Klaw – played by Andy Serkis – will be the main antagonists of a Wakanda on the verge of revolt. After T’Chaka’s death, it is to be hoped that T’Challa, Chadwick Bozeman, will not have a simple succession and will have to fight enemies, internal and external, to secure his place on the throne of Wakanda.

As it has demonstrated throughout more than 15 films, Marvel and Disney are innovating and betting on quality and creativity. Never before has an African-based superhero film been made, starring an African-American actor and a cast of colored actors. Marvel and Disney can and will advance the industry and Black Panther will be a film that, based on a historical success, can be a turning point that, together with Captain Marvel, can eliminate self-imposed barriers. Hopefully, he will also bring a villain up to the level of the character through Erik Killmonger, as this is often one of the weaknesses of Marvel’s films.

What powers does Eric Killmonger have?

Killmonger is not born that any kind of powers or abilities out of the ordinary, beyond his strong personality and his conviction to achieve his goals. However, thanks to a synthetic version of the Herb Heart it is able to drink the same infusion that gives it powers similar to those of Black Panther. This implies night vision and strength, agility and resistance to the limits of human capacity. And then there’s his powerful intellect, which allows him to create weapons that are sometimes up to the standards of even the works of Tony Stark or Hank Pym.

#InFewWords: Summary – Erik Killmonger

Conan the African

No matter how many PhDs or MBAs Erik Killmonger has and how much more he is capable of producing technologically advanced weapons, Erik is a barbarian and is represented as such. Although Michael B Jordan’s complexion is more normal, in N’Jadaka comic books he is a real muscular terror. Probably his strength, his anger and his explosiveness are the best counterpart to the calm, serene and wise T’Challa we saw in Captain America’s Civil War.