N’Jadaka/Erik Killmonger

It’s time now for the main villain in Black Panther, the man we see donning a ritual mask at the beginning of the trailer, and later taking captive by Wakandan guards: Erik Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan. In the movie, he’ll be a Wakandian exiled from his land due to his past crimes, and he’ll come back to his homeland with no good intentions (possibly allied with the mercenary Klaw). We don’t know anything else as for now, but he surely looks menacing…and he’ll hopefully redeem Jordan from his previous Marvel role, a bad Johnny Storm in a worse FF movie. In the meanwhile, let’s meet the original Killmonger.

N’Jadaka was born in an unspecified village in the hidden and secluded nation of Wakanda. When the villainous Klaw attacked Wakanda to steal its Vibranium supplies, N’Jadaka’s village became his headquarters, and he forced the male population to help him in his quest against the country’s protector, Black Panther. N’Jadaka’s father helped Klaw, but he was killed in the following battle; as a punishment, King T’Chaka exiled everyone who had helped Klaw and their families as well, so even young N’Jadaka was kicked out of his homecountry, sent to a foreign land. He moved to the United States of America, specifically to New York City, a place with many souls in which he could have found a new home; he settled in Harlem, where however his anger rose. He hated Klaw for being responsible of his father’s death, and he also hated T’Chaka, whose weakness was the reason Klaw was in Wakanda in the first place. Plotting his revenge, he honed himself into the weapon that would have put an end to T’Chaka’s kingdom and life; he legally changed his name in Erik Killmonger, and he took advantage of the best education the US could offer to him, studying in the Massachussets Institute of Technology and earning a PhD in Engineering. Coming back to Wakanda wouldn’t have been easy, though, but the gods heard Killmonger’s angry prayers, and Prince T’Challa, who had become king after T’Chaka’s death, arrived to New York as a new member of the Avengers. As he paraded in the streets after a new victory, Killmonger introduced himself to him, and told T’Challa his story, on how he had been exiled for his father’s crimes, and how he was a victim of Klaw: his hatred for the mercenary was genuine, but he concealed the one he still harbored against the royal family. T’Challa took pity in his former citizen, and allowed Killmonger to come back to his village. Back home, he could finally obtain his revenge, and he started gathering people that, just like him, had a grudge against the royal family.

The village changed its name into N’Jadaka Village in honor of its new ruler, and Killmonger gathered quite an impressive number of followers, chosen among the rebellious souls whose families had been in contrast with T’Chaka. He promised his men he would have gotten rid of all the “white colonialists’ influence” that had been corrupting Wakanda’s ancient spirit, starting with a king who had opened the country’s borders to his new “friends” from across the ocean. A xenophobic populist, Killmonger became a living legend, and he did create a myth around himself, always presenting himself at the top of physical condition, with a pet leopard called Preyy; he even used the ancient magic of the ruins of the Altar of Resurrection, hid in the forbidden Land of the Chilling Mist, to give supernatural powers to his most trusted agents. When the time came, he sent his Death Regiments to ravage several villages, untill he obtained Black Panther‘s attention: he battled the king on top of the Warrior Falls, and albeit T’Challa managed to kill Preyy, Killmonger overpowered him and threw him down the falls. Black Panther survived out of pure luck, and engaged Killmonger and his men in battle once again: albeit he lost some of his lieutenants, such as Sombre and Venomm, Erik once again bested the king in combat. As he was about to inflict the final blow to his hated enemy, Killmonger was hit from behind by a boy, one of the many he had orphaned while attacking the villages. Losing balance, Killmonger fell into the waterfalls, killed on the rocks below. This, however, wasn’t the end for him, not yet: the warlord Mandarin claimed his body, and he resurrected him using his rings. A minion of the Mandarin now, Killmonger was under his control, and obeyed him in kidnapping Jim Rhodes to lure Iron Man in Wakanda…but his ambition of becoming the new king was far too strong, and he retained his free will, once again challenging Black Panther for the crown. Not even death could quell his neverending hatred for T’Challa.

Erik Killmonger, born N’Jadaka, is an ambitious and pitiless man, a warrior driven by his thirst for vengeance and for power. Thanks to an artificial version of the Heart-Shaped Herb, he obtained powers similar to a Black Panther, namely refined senses, superhuman strength, agility, speed, stamina and durability; he’s Wakanda’s finest warrior, so skilled that not even Black Panther ever managed to best him in one-on-one combat. A revolutionary with a genius level intelligence and a charismatic leader with hundreds of followers, who commands savage beasts and an army of zombie-like soldiers born from the Altar of Resurrection, Killmonger is the greatest living threat to Wakanda’s royalty, a man who channels the rage and the grudge of the many people who feel betrayed, ignored and damaged by the ruling monarchy.