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Erik Killmonger - Black Panther

Published Thu Jul 14 2022 By James Smith
Erik Killmonger - Black Panther

Erik Killmonger is a royal member of Wakanda as he is the son of Prince N'Jobu. Erik was born as N'Jadaka to N'Jobu, who is the younger brother of the Wakandan king, T'Chaka. Erik happens to be an antagonist & an arch-enemy of T'Challa, the Black Panther.

Even always wanted the throne of Wakanda even though he & T'Challa are cousin brothers. He even defeated T'Challa and took the mantle of the Black Panther.

He is one of the strongest and deserving villains in the Marvel Universe. As his intellect is even considered to match the genius superhero, Tony Stark, the Iron Man.


Erik's childhood has been a tragedy, even though he was born into such a powerful royal family. He never got to cherish the life of Wakanda as he was away from his homeland since his early days.

He even lost his father as T'Chaka's younger brother got killed.

Since then, he has spent his life in grief & blames the loss of his father entirely on Wakanda. Erik always wanted to take revenge for his father's death.

Erik Killmonger face to face against T'Challa
Erik Killmonger confronts T'Challa. Source:

Wakanda is a technologically advanced empire & has the world's brilliant minds. Erik also excels on an intellectual level like his cousin sister, Shuri.

Graduation from MIT

Besides having physical strength, Erik is an erudite character & a master strategist. Erik has spent his boyhood & teenage in the United States. He completed his studies at renowned institutions. And with a genius mind like his, Erik graduated from MIT.

He earned a Ph.D. in engineering and later on became a professor at MIT.

Erik Killmonger in Comics

When Ulysses Klaue attacks Wakanda to acquire Vibranium, a lot of Wakandans got killed. And, Erik also loses his father in the attack.

Moreover, Erik gets abducted by Klaue and forced to leave his country. Then, Klaue takes Erik to the United States where he finishes his studies.

He even learns martial arts and military skills, thus becoming a tactful combatant. While T'Challa is spending his time in the United States, Erik comes in contact with the Black Panther.

He pleads for his return to his homeland to the Wakandan king. After returning to his birthplace, Erik forms a rebellious group, the Death Regiment.

He tries to dethrone the king and even gets into the battle with T'Challa. He defeats the Black Panther but gets killed.

Later on, he gets revived back to life again. In fact, Killmonger loses his life several times in Marvel Comics. But, he gets resurrected every time he loses his life. Erik's lover Madame Slay, Mandarin and his group, Death Regiment helped him return back to life.

Erik Killmonger in Marvel Cinematic Universe

Erik is the bad guy & one of the astute villains that we witnessed in the MCU.

Erik Killmonger made his first cinematic appearance in "Black Panther" (2018) & even featured in the Disney+ animated series, "What If...?".

Erik Killmonger in his suit which includes Infinity Stones
Erik Killmonger in the animated series, What If...? Source:

In the movie, Erik Killmonger goes by the name Erik Stevens. He is a black-ops soldier who works on behalf of the United States.

He is the son of prince of Wakanda, who is seeking revenge for his father's murder. N'Jobu gets killed by his elder brother, T'Chaka who is the king of Wakanda.

Erik Killmonger's Appearance in MCU

After learning that his father got killed by Wakanda's king, Erik is on a mission to avenge his father's death. He wants to challenge the heir of Wakanda and looks to take the mantle of the Black Panther

But, to rule Wakanda and use its resources, T'Challa stands in his way. Erik looks out to challenge and defeat his cousin brother, as he is ready to rule over Wakanda.

Killmonger finally returns to Wakanda and challenges T'Challa to fight. To everyone's surprise, he defeats the newly crowned king.

Erik Killmonger staring at T'Challa
Erik Killmonger arrives in Wakanda. Source:

And, Erik even becomes the Black Panther and fulfills his dream to conquer Wakanda. Later on, T'Challa returns and puts up a fight with the new king of Wakanda. This time, T'Challa defeats Erik and even kills him.

Death of Erik's Father

N'Jobu, the younger brother of T'Chaka has been living in the United States. He falls in love with a woman and Erik Stevens is born. The boy grows up in the neighborhood of Oakland but wanted to go to his father's homeland.

The king's brother gets frustrated with seeing the domination of the black people. So, N'Jobu tries to help them with the technology of Wakanda.

With the help of the mercenary, Ulysses Klaue, he plans to steal the Vibranium. Some of the Wakandans lose their lives when Klaue attacked to retrieve the Vibranium.

T'Chaka gets to know about the culprit behind the attack through Zuri, the king's confidant. The informer has been living in disguise with N'Jobu to monitor his actions.

Then, the king visits his younger brother, N'Jobu in order to arrest him. Knowing about Zuri's deception, Erik's father tries to kill T'Chaka's informer. The king kills his own brother in an attempt to defend Zuri.

At that time, Erik has been playing in his neighborhood. He sees the Royal Talon Fighter above their house. Stevens rushes to his room to find the dead body of his father with the wound from Panther claws.

A young Erik Killmonger hugging the dead body of his father
Young Erik founds his father, N'Jobu dead. Source: Marvel Studios

Then, he finds N'Jobu's diary and the Wakandan Royal ring. He learns everything about Wakanda with the help of his father's documentation.

Becoming Erik Killmonger

Erik grew up and graduated from Annapolis Naval Academy at the age of 19 and got Ph.D. from MIT. Then, he joined the U.S Navy Seals and was posted out in Afghanistan.

There Erik became a killing machine, thus earning the name of Killmonger. He joined the JSOC ghost unit and was involved in high-profile political assassinations.

Attacking the Museum and Rescuing Ulysses Klaue

Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue plan to attack the Museum of Great Britain. They had discovered a Vibranium mounted in an ancient axe. The duo kills the museum's personnel and gets away with the world's most powerful metal.

Klaue then tries to sell the Vibranium but falls for the CIA's trap. Then, Ulysses gets arrested by the CIA with the help of Black Panther, Okoye, and Dora Milaje.

Erik Killmonger wears a mask while helping Klaue to escape
Erik Killmonger saves Ulysses Klaue. Source: Marvel Studios

Klaue is being interrogated by Everett Ross in CIA's custody. Then, Killmonger makes an attack to rescue the mercenary. Erik successfully escapes with Klaue leaving T'Challa in confusion.

Killing Ulysses Klaue and Return to Wakanda

While making a plan of returning to Wakanda, Erik murders Ulysses Klaue. When he reaches Wakanda, he encounters with W'Kabi and the Border Tribe. He is not allowed to go further into the lands.

And, with the help of Klaue's dead body, Erik gets consolation from the border chief. Then, Killmonger is brought before the Tribal Council and the Wakandan king.

There he reveals that he is son of T'Chaka's younger brother, N'Jobu. And as a royal blood, he challenges T'Challa for a battle.

Erik Killmonger becomes The Black Panther

Killmonger is set for a battle with T'Challa for the throne of Wakanda. All the tribesman and council people are presented in the Warrior Falls. And, to everyone's surprise he defeats the reigning king and throws him off the waterfall.

Then, Erik claims himself the new king of Wakanda. Shuri, Ramonda and Nakia left the scene in grief. And, as in Wakanda's tradition, Killmonger is taken to the sacred temple.

The new king is then provided with the elixir of the sacred herb and goes in a trance. He wakes up with a new rejuvenation and orders to burn down all the sacred herbs.

Erik Killmonger in his golden suit
Erik Killmonger as the new Black Panther. Source: Marvel Studios

As a new king and taking the mantle of Black Panther, Erik leads the council. He demands to supply Wakanda's weapon to his contacts all over the globe. He wants to take the control of the entire world and looks to build a new empire.

The Death of Erik Killmonger

T'Challa returns to Wakanda and tries to stop Erik from waging war in the world. At that moment, all the tribes are fighting T'Challa, as they serve a new king. But, the Jabari Tribes under the command of their leader, M'Baku comes to the aid of T'Challa.

Killmonger and T'Challa goes on with one-on-one battle. And, finally Erik is killed by T'Challa stopping the war in Wakanda.

Erik Killmonger's Ability

  1. Top Level Martial Artist
  2. Weapons Expert
  3. Skilled Combatant
  4. Master Assassin and Tactician
  5. Superhuman Strength and Ability (After Sacred herb intake)

Erik Killmonger's Equipment

  1. Vibranium Black Panther Suit (Panther Habit)
  2. Vibranium Sword
  3. Vibranium Spear
  4. Assault Rifle
  5. Dogon Mask
  6. Vegeta inspired Bulletproof Vest

Who portrays the role of Erik Killmonger in MCU?

Michael B. Jordan plays the character of Erik Killmonger in the movie, Black Panther. And, this is the only appearance that Erik Killmonger has made so far in the MCU.

Besides that, Michael has reprised the role of alternate version of Erik Killmonger in the animated series, "What If...?".

Michael B. Jordan wears a black sweatshirt at Comic Con
Michael B. Jordan at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International. Source: Gage Skidmore

As, we have witnessed the revival of Erik Killmonger several times in the comics. And, there is every possibility that Erik could return in The Black Panther 2

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