In the 1990s, Prince N'Jobu of Wakanda was sent on an undercover War Dogs assignment to Oakland, California. He eventually developed a romantic relationship with an American woman, settled down, and had a son named Erik.
Over time, however, N'Jobu gradually became disillusioned with Wakanda's isolationist policies after witnessing people of African descent being subjected to persecution and facing constant hardship. Determined to end the oppression, N'Jobu decided to stage a global uprising, planning to steal a cache of vibranium from his people. To accomplish this, he betrayed Wakanda's existence to black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, who then infiltrated infiltrated the country, stole the cache and set off a bomb that killed several Wakandan citizens.
Unbeknownst to N'Jobu, his brother T'Chaka learned about the plot from his confidant Zuri, who had previously been tasked with disguising himself as an American citizen named James and working alongside N'Jobu.
T'Chaka and two Dora Milaje went to Oakland to confront N'Jobu. T'Chaka had a brief conversation with N'Jobu, also revealing that Zuri had been sent as spy. He ordered N'Jobu to return to Wakanda and face judgement. But as he turned his back, an enraged N'Jobu lashed out on Zuri, pulling out his gun. Before he could kill Zuri, T'Chaka killed his own brother, stabbing him with his claws.
At that night N'Jobu's son Erik Stevens held his father's body and cried, before recovering his father's diary. Several years later, Stevens joined Navy SEALS and became Killmonger. He struck a deal with Klaue but later killed him and brought his body to Wakanda.
He then said to T'Challa that he wanted to be King of Wakanda, and revealed his true identity. Killmonger then challenged T'Challa to a duel, one which T'Challa accepted. In the duel, T'Challa was defeated and presumed dead, Zuri was killed and Killmonger became the King. As per tradition, Killmonger underwent the ritual of the Heart-Shaped Herb and traveled to the Ancestral Plane, where he conversed with his father one last time.