- "All this death just so I could kill you."
- ―Erik Killmonger to T'Challa
Erik Stevens (born N'Jadaka) was a former American black-ops soldier of Wakandan origin through his father, Prince N'Jobu. His savagery while serving in the U.S. black-ops unit, earned him the nickname Killmonger. Years after T'Chaka had killed his father for betraying Wakanda, Killmonger then planned to forcibly dethrone T'Challa in order to accomplish his father's plan to seize control of the world using all of Wakanda's Vibranium technology and stop the oppression of people of African descent all across the world. Manipulating and then killing Ulysses Klaue to gain access to their city, Killmonger seemingly killed T'Challa during their ritual combat and took the throne. Just before Killmonger unleashed his plans, the Black Panther returned and challenged Killmonger, eventually defeating and killing him during their final battle.
Living in the United States
Erik Stevens, born N'Jadaka, was the son of Prince N'Jobu and an unknown American woman, though the latter was wrongfully incarcerated and died in prison. Raising his son in Oakland, California, Stevens' father nevertheless promised the young boy that he would one day take him to Wakanda, claiming that the sunsets there were the most beautiful in the world.
Death of his Father
Unbeknownst to Stevens, his uncle, King T'Chaka, learned about his father's treachery from his confidant Zuri, who previously disguised himself as an American citizen named James in order to gain the prince's trust. T'Chaka made his way to the United States of America and confronted his brother at his apartment in Oakland. N'Jobu then attempted to shoot Zuri, but T'Chaka reacted quickly and impaled N'Jobu with the claws on his Panther Habit, killing N'Jobu.
Stevens was playing basketball with his friends when he spotted a Royal Talon Flyer above their apartment complex and rushed inside, where he found his father, dead. Stevens held his father's body and cried, before recovering his father's diary.
Becoming the Killmonger
- "Erik Stevens. Graduated Annapolis aged nineteen, MIT for grad school. Joined the SEALs and went straight to Afghanistan, where he racked up confirmed kills like it was a video game. Started calling himself Killmonger. He joined a JSOC ghost unit, now these guys are serious, they would drop off the grid so they could commit assassinations and take down governments."
- ―Everett Ross
Stevens started out as a Navy SEAL and was eventually recruited into a Joint Special Operations Command ghost unit as a black ops mercenary. While in the United States Armed Forces, Killmonger would cut his skin with tribal Crocodile Scarring, with one for each kill, claiming that he has killed in the United States of America, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq. Due to his savagery while serving in the Armed Forces, Stevens gained the nickname Killmonger.
Working with Ulysses Klaue
- "Why didn't you just shoot him right here?"
"Because it's better to leave the crime scene more spread out. Makes us look like amateurs. Now then, let's see if you know what you're talking about."
- ―Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue
Killmonger struck a deal with Ulysses Klaue when he had found a Wakandan weapon made of vibranium within the Museum of Great Britain and, with his group, helped Klaue steal the weapon. Klaue would later go to attempt to sell the weapon to Agent Everett Ross in South Korea. However, T'Challa, along with Okoye and Nakia intervened on their hunt for Klaue. When the Wakandans finally managed to capture Klaue after thirty years of pursuit, Killmonger and his group saved the arms dealer.
Rescue of Ulysses Klaue
Killmonger set up explosives on the wall of the room of where Ulysses Klaue was currently being held. When he blew the wall up, Killmonger began firing an assault rifle at everyone present, wounding Everett Ross in the process by shooting him in the spine as Ross tried to protect Nakia. When Black Panther went to prevent Killmonger from rescuing Klaue, Killmonger managed to defeat him by shooting him with a grenade launcher attachment. During the short fight, the Wakandan Royal Ring belonging to his father N'Jobu, which Killmonger kept on a chain, dangled around his neck. T'Challa noticed the ring, as the ring belonging to the King of Wakanda was an identical one.
Even though Killmonger had worked with Ulysses Klaue and had also rescued him, he ended up shooting and killing him in order to at least try to gain the trust of the Wakandans. Killmonger brought Klaue's body to Wakanda and presented it to W'Kabi. W'Kabi, already disappointed with T'Challa for not managing to bring Klaue to justice for his crimes, brought Killmonger to the King and his council.
Killmonger began taunting T'Challa upon first meeting him. He then said that he wanted to be King of Wakanda, and revealed his true identity in anger when T'Challa ordered him to be removed after T'Challa had told Killmonger that the only reason he was still alive was because he knew who Killmonger truly was. Killmonger then challenged T'Challa to a duel, one which T'Challa accepted.
Duel for the Throne
Before the duel began at the Warrior Falls, Killmonger took his shirt off, bearing his scars, stating that each scar stood for a life he had taken, lives in the United States of America, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq.
Killmonger's military training and experience soon proved to be a good match for T'Challa as the duel required the Black Panther to be stripped from his powers in order for the duel to be fair. While T'Challa managed to cut Killmonger and had the upper hand at first, he still lost due to Killmonger using T'Challa's mercy and indecision to kill him to best and gravely wound T'Challa, cutting his thigh and his stomach. Before he went to give the killing blow, Zuri stopped him. Zuri, having been sent by T'Challa's father, King T'Chaka to America to keep an eye on Killmonger's father N'Jobu and had been there during Killmonger's childhood, begged Killmonger to take his life and spare T'Challa, telling Killmonger the truth of his father's death.
In rage, Killmonger killed Zuri by stabbing him in the heart, calling him "Uncle James", and T'Challa screamed in despair for his death. Using T'Challa's vulnerability to his advantage, Killmonger went on to punch the King, mocking him and the fact that he was too weak to be King without the powers of the Black Panther. In the end, Erik picked T'Challa up on his shoulders and threw him down the waterfall to his alleged death, leaving Killmonger to be the new King of Wakanda.
King of Wakanda
Burning the Herb Garden
- "Yeah, go ahead and burn all that."
"My king, we cannot do that, it is our tradition."
"When I tell you to do something, I mean that shit."
- ―Erik Killmonger and Shaman
As per tradition, Killmonger underwent the ritual all Kings of Wakanda must go through by drinking the fluid of the Heart-Shaped Herb and speaking with his father's spirit within the Ancestral Plane, becoming the Black Panther. After this, Killmonger ordered the herb garden to be burned, going as far as to lift a woman by the throat when she objected by saying that it was a sacred tradition to keep a reserve of Heart-Shaped Herb for the King's successor.
Seated in Power
- "It's time they know the truth about us! We're warriors! The world's gonna start over, and this time, we're on top! The sun will never set on the Wakandan empire."
- ―Erik Killmonger
To be added
"I never yielded! As you can see, I am not dead!"
"All that challenge shit is over with. I'm the king now."
- ―Black Panther and Erik Killmonger
Killmonger, now the king of Wakanda and supported by W'Kabi and his Border Tribe army, prepared shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world, so they may spread it to other people of African descent so that they may fight back against their oppressors, as was his father's plan.
Overseeing the ships leaving Wakanda, he sees one of them shot down by T'Challa, making his return as Black Panther. Killmonger orders W'Kabi and his army against T'Challa, but he blasts them away with his kinetic energy. Enraged at Killmonger's evil nature, Okoye and a few of her warriors got ready to attack Killmonger, who reveals he has taken one of the upgraded Habits for his own use. During the fight, Nakia and Shuri join Okoye as they fight Killmonger.
- "You will destroy the world, Wakanda included!"
"The world took everything away from me! Everything I ever loved! But I'mma make sure we're even. I'mma track down anyone who would even think of being loyal to you! And I'ma put their ass in the dirt, right next to Zuri!"
- ―Black Panther and Erik Killmonger
With M'Baku and the Jabari Tribe arriving to help the fight, T'Challa focused his attention on Killmonger, who was about to hurt Shuri. Before he can, T'Challa tackled him and they fell down into the Vibranium mines. There, they continued their fight, evenly matched, until T'Challa had Shuri utilize the mag-lev train's sonic stabilizers to disrupt the vibranium technology in his and Killmonger's suits, leaving him exposed so that T'Challa could impale him with his own short spear.
Choosing to Die
- "We can still heal you..."
"Why, so you can lock me up? Nah. Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage."
- ―Black Panther and Erik Killmonger
The murder of Killmonger's father by his own uncle, which led to his vengeful angry character, served as a cautionary tale for T'Challa that would ultimately change the way Wakanda ran as a country. Though N'Jadaka wanted to protect people of African descent across the world from oppression, his desire to have them dominate over others would lead to global warfare. His cousin would indeed introduce other nations of their advanced Vibranium technology, but as a means of having the rest of the world and Wakanda protect each other as one tribe unified.
The basis of Killmonger's life and motivations was driven by hatred and revenge, especially against injustices towards Africans and African-Americans and himself. He views people as dispensable, and even shot his own partner, Linda, when she was held hostage and became a liability to his mission.
Killmonger’s father raised him on the stories of Wakanda being a beautiful haven for people like them yet also deeply criticized its isolationist traditions due to having the tools to liberate oppressed black people across the world yet doing nothing. Since his father’s murder, Killmonger’s entire life has been based around seeing his father’s dream of a Wakandan empire being dominant across the world and avenging him. His actions, however, proved that Killmonger had been lost to hatred and rage. N'Jobu's mission of peace, that, whilst flawed in his extremist actions was based on a desire to help descendant Africans across the world, whereas Killmonger was only driven by hate and revenge.
- "He's a monster of our own making..."
To achieve his mission, Killmonger uses his charisma, considerable skills in combat, and knowledge of Wakanda customs to train extensively throughout the world, until killing became second nature to him and ritualistically marking his body for every murder he committed from every continent. Whilst his savage nature made him a great warrior during his tenure as king, Killmonger’s reign brought Wakanda closer to war and destruction than any time in history since the time of its formations - his supposed dream of uniting all Africans under a Wakandan flag pitted his brothers against each other and caused only more destruction and death. Even his loyalist, W'Kabi, realized the violence caused by supporting Killmonger and the harm it was doing to Wakanda and abandoned his cause due to it.
Learning from decades of colonization and his own experience of toppling governments as a member of the special forces, Killmonger planned to litter Vibranium technology throughout the world to destabilize governments and give the tools oppressed people need to fight back. His actions during his duel with T'Challa also highlighted his preferred style of control as he continuously beat, degraded and discarded his body to dissuade rebellion or defiance - such as Zuri, whom he also murdered - and remorselessly burnt the City of the Dead so there would be no new king. Though he was proud of his Wakandan roots, proudly stating his birth name to the Wakandan elders, Killmonger ironically cared little about their traditions as can be witnessed when he destroyed the Herb Garden, and was willing to break years of isolationism just so to wage wars by sending Vibranium across the world.
For all his faults, Killmonger’s actions had a deep impact on T’Challa. Realizing that his father’s strict adherence to Wakanda’s isolationist traditions led to the birth of a monster like Killmonger rather than protecting their country from them, T’Challa chose to reveal Wakanda to the world, though to help others as a king rather than to conquer them like Killmonger would as a warmonger. T’Challa continued Killmonger’s vision of Wakanda helping people across the world though by the use of outreach centers in peace, rather than rebelling against their oppression.
In his final moments, Killmonger reflected on his decisions that brought him to Wakanda and realized that he was still only a young boy chasing the fairy tales his father told him. He was brave in death and even complimented his cousin’s killer move against him but refused to be healed due to wanting to die free like some of his oppressed ancestors did. Ultimately, as hate-filled as Killmonger was, he still found beauty in a Wakandan sunset that his father told him about so many times before dying peacefully.
Powers and Abilities
- Heart-Shaped Herb Enhancement: After having consumed the 'Heart-Shaped Herb', Killmonger's physical attributes have been significantly enhanced to levels comparable to a super soldier. These powers are long-lasting, at least until the user drinks a serum to negate the powers of the herbs for a trial combat for a fair fight to become King of Wakanda.
- Enhanced Strength: In addition to being in peak physical conditioning, the herb endowed Killmonger with strength proportionate to that of his cousin. As the Black Panther, Erik was able to challenge both T'Challa and the Dora Milaje in single combat, proving himself an almost indefatigable fighter.
- Enhanced Speed: Killmonger can run and move at speeds beyond the peak of human potential, moving into the early levels of superhuman condition.
- Enhanced Stamina: Killmonger's musculature produces fewer fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. Killmonger's body eliminates the excessive build-up of fatigue-producing chemicals in his muscles, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity, greater than of normal humans.
- Enhanced Durability: Killmonger is much more durable than a normal human being. Even when not wearing his Panther Habit, he can survive immense blunt force trauma.
- Enhanced Agility: Killmonger's agility is outstanding, far greater than Olympic athletes. He can coordinate his body with perfect balance, equilibrium, flexibility, and dexterity. His movements are akin to an actual panther, being capable of crawl and climb through walls and leap great distances with accuracy.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Killmonger's reflexes are are beyond human potential and superior to those of the finest athlete.
- Master Martial Artist: Due to his life long rigorous training as a SEAL and Black Ops mercenary, Erik was an extremely strong and skilled martial arts master, one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet. Erik's skill was great enough that in their first duel, in which both of them had no superhuman physical abilities, he was able to compete with T'Challa, a world-class trained and proficient combatant whose skill rivaled that of the Winter Soldier's, and even ultimately defeat him, although his victory was aided due to the fact T'Challa was currently conflicted from the recent knowledge of his father's misdeeds and unwillingness to deliver a fatal blow. After drinking the Heart Shaped Herb, Erik became even more formidable due to gaining superhuman physical powers, to the point that while wearing the upgraded Panther Habit, he could quickly overpower many members of Dora Milaje and Nakia and stalemate T'Challa wearing his Black Panther Habit, only barely being beaten due to T'Challa exposing his suit's exposed part to deliver a fatal blow.
- Master Swordsman: Killmonger was able to wield Wakandan swords and similar bladed weapons with great skill. His skill with a sword allowed him to go up against T'Challa in their duel for the throne and even beat him and later easily defeat many members of Dora Milaje and Nakia by himself.
- Expert Marksman: As a former American black-ops mercenary, Killmonger was incredibly accurate with firearms. He was able to wield both high caliber assault rifles, as well as handguns with great accuracy.
- Master Tactician: Killmonger was a masterful strategist, able to formulate and execute highly strategic plans. Killmonger was able to find a Wakandan weapon made of vibranium within the Museum of Great Britain and, with his group, helped Klaue steal the weapon. When T'Challa finally managed to capture Klaue after thirty years of pursuit, Killmonger and his group were able to strategically save him.
- Master Assassin: Due to his intensive experience as a Navy SEAL and mercenary in an American Black Ops Ghost unit, Killmonger is highly skilled in assassination techniques, as well as espionage, intelligence gathering, infiltration, and sabotage. He gained the nickname "Killmonger" due to his substantial kill-count which, according to Everett Ross, he “racked up like a video game”.
- Master Acrobat: Upon acquiring the powers of the Heart Shaped Herb, Erik's immensely enhanced agility made him an extraordinary gymnast and acrobat, which allowed him to combat Black Panther on equal grounds.
- Multilingual: Killmonger speaks his native English, and was taught to speak Xhosa by his father.
- "I want your weapons, your secrets, it’s all mine now."
- ―Erik Killmonger
- Kimoyo Beads: The Kimoyo beads are pieces of advanced communication technology adapted by the Wakandans from Vibranium. Killmonger used the Kimoyo beads to prepared the shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world, so they may spread it to other people of African descent.
- Upgraded Panther Habit: This suit is one of two upgraded versions of the Panther Habit, which Killmonger took for his own use. The Habit is made from Wakandan nanotechnology that is emitted from a ceremonial golden necklace worn by the user, able to mentally command the Habit to manifest around themselves. The Habit can emit stored kinetic energy as an omnidirectional concussive wave to repel opponents close to the wearer, and can be used to propel the wearer off a surface.
- Mask: Killmonger stole a ceremonial mask that he could use to conceal his identity.
- Daniel Defense DDM4 MK18: Killmonger wielded the assault rifle when helping Klaue escape from questioning.
- Para-Ordnance Black Ops: Killmonger wielded this handgun when he kills Klaue.
- Wakandan Sword: Killmonger wielded a sword that he had owned in order to combat T'Challa in order fight for the throne. He would wield it again as he was fighting the Dora Milaje while they surrounded by him with spears.
- Wakandan Short-Spear: Killmonger wielded a spear that he had broken down to the size of a small blade, which he wielded as a knife-like weapon.
- In the comics, Erik Killmonger, originally known as N'Jadaka, was a Wakandan native who was exiled after his father was forced to work for Ulysses Klaue and attempted to overthrow T'Challa from the throne upon his return.
- Killmonger's scarification markings on his torso and arms resemble that of the Mursi and Surma tribes.
Behind the Scenes
- Michael B. Jordan noted the character's dreadlocks hairstyle was a way "to stay true to the original character ['s long hair] as much as possible and make it as modern as we could."
- Jordan stated that Killmonger is "very strategic, thoughtful. He's very patient. Very well skilled, trained to a T. He works very hard, and he feels what he's doing is right."
- Jordan compared Killmonger and T'Challa's relationship to the X-Men characters Magneto and Professor X. He also compared his performance to Michael Fassbender's take on Magneto in the X-Men movie franchise, and to Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight.
- Khalid Ghajji and Aaron Toney were stunt doubles for Michael B. Jordan in the role of Erik Killmonger.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Black Panther
- ↑ Translated in Xhosa: I am N'Jadaka, son of Prince N'Jobu!
- ↑ Translated in Xhosa: Son of N'Jobu?
- ↑ Black Panther Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ Erik Stevens Profile
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 MICHAEL B. JORDAN'S BLACK PANTHER VILLAIN IS 'UNAPOLOGETICALLY WHO HE IS'
- ↑ COMIC-CON 2017: WHAT MOTIVATES VILLAIN KILLMONGER IN BLACK PANTHER
- ↑ Black Panther: Empire's Exclusive Newsstand Cover Revealed
|King of Wakanda|