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N'Jobu, a prince of the African nation of Wakanda had come to the United States as a war dog, a Wakandan spies and informants stationed all over the globe. In the United States, N'Jobu met an unnamed African-American woman, and they had a child, N'Jadaka. Raised under the American name of Erik Stevens, N'Jobu taught his son all about his Wakandan heritage, and gave his son a war dog tattoo so hopefully, the boy would be able to see it for himself.

However, N'Jobu's time in the United States made him painfully aware of the racism and oppression people of African descent had to endure, and went against the wishes of his brother, King T'Chaka, to take action. He colluded with one of Wakanda's enemies, a black-market arms dealer named Ulysses Klaue, to bring Vibranium weapons and technology to other black people so that they may counter their oppressors. Through another war dog stationed in the United States, Zuri, the King learned of his brother's plan and went to N'Jobu's home in Oakland, California, where he killed his younger brother, leaving young Erik behind.

Erik grew up to be an intelligent, talented young man, but was so consumed by his hatred for the oppressors and for Wakanda, he vowed to dedicate his skills to fulfilling his father's dream of black liberation through Vibranium armament. At age 19, Stevens graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for graduate school, before joining the Navy SEALs, working as a soldier who specializes in destabilizing governments deemed "hostile" by the United States. Stevens also began to cover his torso in scars, each one representing a life that he has taken. His ruthlessness and efficiency in combat earned him the nickname Killmonger.

Black Panther (film) poster 012 Textless

Eventually, Killmonger went rogue and found Ulysses Klaue. The pair formed an alliance -- Killmonger would help Klaue secure more Vibranium if Klaue would help Killmonger get into Wakanda. However, Killmonger double-crossed Klaue, killing him and using the man's body to ingratiate himself to Wakanda's border tribe. He was brought before the royal family, where he revealed himself as N'Jadaka, Prince N'Jobu's son, and declared his intention to take the Wakandan throne from the current king, his cousin T'Challa. Killmonger bested T'Challa in combat and seemingly killed him. As such, he became the new king of Wakanda and forced the remaining members of the royal family on the run.

Now king, N'Jakada ingested the ceremonial Heart-Shaped Herb, granting him the superhuman abilities of the Black Panther, and his spirit was transported to the Ancestral Plane, where he was reunited with the spirit of his father. N'Jobu tried to convince his son to realize the dangers of going down this path any farther, but N'Jadaka refused to listen and when he awoke, he ordered the entire garden of the Heart-Shaped Herb to be burned.

He then proceeded to go forth with his plan to send out Vibranium weapons to war dogs all over the world, inciting a global black uprising. However, before the plan could be completely set in motion, T'Challa revealed himself, very much alive, thus rendering their challenge incomplete. While T'Challa's allies and N'Jadaka's allies of the border tribe battled, N'Jadaka and T'Challa singled each other out, with N'Jadaka donning a Black Panther habit of his own. T'Challa echoed N'Jobu's statements in the Ancestral Plane: by allowing himself to be consumed by his hatred for the oppressors, he has effectively become their equal. They dueled until N'Jadaka was mortally wounded. Realizing his final moments were at hand, Erik recalled that in his boyhood, his father had told him that Wakanda had the loveliest sunsets in the world. T'Challa took his cousin to admire a Wakandan sunset for himself. T'Challa offered to let Erik see a doctor to heal him, but knowing that he would just spend the rest of his days in prison for his crimes, N'Jadaka opted to let himself die. His final wish was to be buried in the Atlantic Ocean, with his maternal ancestors who committed suicide by jumping from slave ships, aware that bondage was a fate worse than death.

N'Jadaka's actions forced T'Challa to reconsider Wakanda's centuries-long tradition of isolationism, and vowed to do everything in his power to see that Killmonger's story would never repeat itself. Shortly after N'Jadaka's death, T'Challa purchased his cousin's boyhood home in Oakland and declared that he would make it the first of many Wakandan outreach programs, to share Wakanda's resources and innovations with people in need around the world.[2]

Powers

Enhanced Physiology: N'Jadaka has been empowered by the Heart-Shaped Herb to attain a physically enhanced state superior to a normal man.

  • Superhuman Strength: N'Jadaka possesses superhuman strength on par with any other Black Panther.
  • Superhuman Durability: The Heart-Shaped Herb makes N'Jadaka much more durable and more resilient than a normal human.
  • Superhuman Speed: N'Jadaka possesses superhuman speed on par with T'Challa.
  • Superhuman Agility: N'Jadaka has cat-like agility, giving him enhanced acrobatic and gymnastic capabilities, as well as parkour and free running, which allowed him to easily evade attacks and take down enemies.
  • Superhuman Stamina: N'Jadaka's musculature produces far less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. He showed no signs of fatigue until he was mortally wounded.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: N;Jadaka's reflexes are enhanced beyond the levels of normal humans.

Abilities

  • Master Martial Artist
  • Multilingual
  • US Navy SEAL Training: Much of what Killmonger knows comes from his time in the United States military, where he was trained not only to be a ruthlessly effective combatant but specifically trained in destablizing governments.
  • Gifted Intelligence: A remarkably intelligent man, Erik Stevens completed his military training at age 19 and immediately after attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Additionally, he is a master tactician and strategist.



Equipment

Black Panther Suit/Panther Habit:

  • Vibranium Microweave Mesh
  • Vibranium Claws

Weapons

  • Blades
  • Michael B. Jordan portrayed Killmonger in the film Black Panther, while Seth Carr portrayed a younger Killmonger in flashbacks.
  • While this version of Killmonger is T'Challa's cousin, the two have no familial relation in the continuity of Earth-616.
  • Michael B. Jordan previously portrayed the Marvel Comics character Johnny Storm / Human Torch in the 2015 film Fantastic Four. Jordan revealed he had no hesitation in deciding to play Killmonger, due to his frequent collaboration with writer/director Ryan Coogler.[3]
  • In preparation for the role of Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan wrote a journal from the character's perspective.[4]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Parker, Ryan (May 4, 2018). 'Black Panther': Ryan Coogler Reveals What Happened to Killmonger's Mother. THR. Retrieved on May 4, 2018.
  2. Black Panther (film)
  3. MTV News (14 February 2018). 'Black Panther's Michael B. Jordan & Chadwick Boseman on Cultural Impact & Identity. Youtube. Retrieved on 19 February 2018.
  4. Matadeen, Renaldo (9 May 2018). Black Panther’s Jordan Wrote a Diary From Killmonger’s Perspective. CBR.com. Retrieved on 9 May 2018.



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