Erik Killmonger, Who Was Right, Is The Star Of A New Comics Series

Erik Killmonger, Who Was Right, Is The Star Of A New Comics Series

Following in the industry trend of releasing a slew of limited series comics designed to capitalise on the box office success of live-action movies, Marvel’s just announced an all-new miniseries about the early life of Black Panther’s central villain.

This December, writer Bryan Edward Hill and artist Juan Ferreyra will dig into the psyche of one Erik Killmonger, a character who’s been dead for some time now in Marvel’s comics, in a five-issue series about the events in his life that led to his rise as a villain.

Speaking to Vulture, Hill talked about the kind of existential questions weighing heavy on Killmonger that the comic will explore:

Like when you just committed something horrible, when you’ve just done an act of violence, what’s it like the morning after? What’s it like the day of? When you believe in a gun and its ability to keep you safe and execute your will, what is that belief like? What’s it like to know that you’re a hunted person and to live your life? How do you forge relationships?

I can say that the events of the stories for the most part begin with Erik graduating from MIT. Like all stories, it begins with him having a fork in the road in front of him. He’s a young man who could have a successful and peaceful life if he could just put away his desire for revenge.

Image Killmonger #1. (Image: Juan Ferreyra, Marvel)

While Killmonger’s aesthetics will be clearly inspired by the character’s appearance in this year’s Black Panther film, the story will focus on Erik’s hunt for Ulysses Klaw and the other men who dragged him away from Wakanda as a child.

Between the Shuri series on the horizon and T’Challa’s intergalactic and (potentially mystical) adventures in the comics, it’s obvious that Marvel’s trying to bring the pillars of the Black Panther mythos to the fore in a big way.

The question now is whether the characters are going to stick around in any meaningful way in the long term. Killmonger drops this December.


    • I’m assuming “…about the themes regarding the few privileged POCs using their means to help the masses of disenfranchised POCs rather than ensconcing themselves in a bubble of self-serving safety” rather than his means, or pretty much anything else.

      • This is from the Kotaku US that complained about Spiderman working with the cops so I don’t even know anymore.

    • Break it down. What did Killmonger do wrong?

      He was a prince, he challenged for the right to rule, as per the countries traditions, and as far as anyone was aware, won. He even delivered Wakanda’s Most Wanted to their doorstep for them. Then he wanted to take Wakanda to the world, knowing their superiority would make them a super power.

      Fast forward to the end, T’Challa attacked him, and ignored the traditions Killmonger had followed. When he won, he… took Wakanda to the world, knowing their superiority would make them a super power. That started to play out in Infinity War.

      Functionally there is little difference between what Killmonger was doing, and what T’Challa ended up doing.

      What was wrong was the reaction of everyone that supported T’Challa, like the Dora Milaje (thats the female guards) and his sister, and T’Challa himself not accepting defeat, with all of them ignoring the traditions they took advantage of when it suited them.

      If anything, THEY were the bad guys.

      • If you’re going to be pedantic about rules then the plot point in the movie about T’Challa neither dying nor surrounding shows the combat was never finished which means Killmonger was not a legitimate ruler. You can’t make an argument about how all he did was follow the rules (when Killmonger didn’t as the right to challenge is held on a specific day and can’t just be challenged anytime, T’Challa let the challenge go forward but didn’t have too) and then ignore other rules because they don’t fit your anti-hero narrative.

        Also launching an assault on nations you’re currently at peace without giving them a declaration of war notice in this modern era or any era is not considered good guy intentions.

        Also remember that everything bad that happened to Killmonger was not T’Challa’s fault you can’t blame a guy for stuff that he had literally zero control over as he was either not born at the time or at best less than 8 years old.

        • Which is why I said “as far as anyone was aware”. The Dora Milaje and T’Challa’s sister acted against Killmonger believing that T’Challa was dead, and it was only later they found T’Challa alive. Killmonger’s challenge was accepted, he won, they should have been supporting him. Instead, they commited treason because they didn’t like the outcome.

          You could argue that T’Challa lost as soon as he fell from the platform. The fight was meant to be limited to that platform alone, not spread as they saw fit. Once Killmonger was deemed the winner, again because they all believed T’Challa to be dead, or at the very least had lost because he couldn’t continue he could rewrite the rules any way he wanted – he was King, it was his decision.

          And the Dora Milaje and Shuri should have supported him as King. They were pledged to the throne and position, not the person, so their personal feelings meant they commited treason as things stood. Then overturned the rightful ruler.

          Not saying Killmonger’s choices were good, they weren’t. But the only major difference between what he wanted and what T’Challa ended up doing was to want to attack others. Also remember that Killmonger never actually attacked anyone. Nothing left Wakanda.

          T’Challa would have also known full well though that by exposing Wakanda in ANY way either opened them up for attack from others, or released their technology out into the wider world to be reverse engineered.

          • What movie did you watch where the Dora Milaje were not supporting the king, they literally had an argument with Shuri saying they’re loyal to the crown(Killmonger or whomever) and not to the family. Also if you look at history the previous family of an overthrown monarch is typically killed, raped, the extended family slaughtered, tortured till they die, publicly executed and much more and Shuri isn’t an idiot so obviously the best course of action is to flee and seek refuge in an ally. This is normal behaviour of losers of war/regicide.

      • There’s a line between “right because followed some arbitrary, kind of primitive rules (that really should have no place in a modern society)” and “right because doing the right thing”. Hell, I’ll give you this: his burning the plants, although a selfish, tyrannical move was a good development because it’s likely to force Wakanda to be democratic next time they need to elect a ruler.

        The problem with Killmonger is that while his motivations were legitimate, his intentions, means and goals were founded in violence. he didn’t just want to “take Wakanda to the world”. He wanted to start a war and to fund highly advanced guerrillas within developed countries. No matter how “legal” his actions were to achieve the power to do all that, he was not right.

        • I’m not defending Killmonger, I’m saying he followed protocols, while the others didn’t, and that gives legitimacy in his decisions. As soon as he’s in charge, who are they to question those decisions?

          If he thinks the best thing for Wakanda is to go to war (or similar), what right do they have to disagree? He has a council, but they’re just advisors, not a congress that can veto his decisions.

          An arsehole in charge can still be an arsehole, simply because they’re in charge. I’m sure you can think of real world examples. He makes the rules, and where theres no process to block them, which there isn’t in Wakanda, they become law.

          But to the original point. His belief was that Wakanda needed to play a bigger role in the world. Given T’Challa ultimately did the same thing, that makes Killmonger right. Doesn’t matter what the details are as to how, they both wanted or chose to stop hiding Wakanda.

          • An arsehole in charge can still be an arsehole, simply because they’re in charge. I’m sure you can think of real world examples. He makes the rules, and where theres no process to block them, which there isn’t in Wakanda, they become law.

            Your post is confused about the definition of “can”. Yes he can “legally”. But laws can be wrong.

            As for “no process to block them”, yes, according to law, but… the process is simply rebellion which is what the Dora Milaje did (though it was mixed up with bad writing and a technical allegiance to T’Challa who was still alive and didn’t submit blah blah). They don’t need a “Congress with veto power”, they have free will. The “right” they have to disagree is a human right.

            “Doesn’t matter what the details are.”

            Clearly a wrong statement and a stark example of denial. “Ah, it doesn’t matter how fundamentally different they were, we can characterize both of them with a vague abstract theme divorced from reality and the evidence right in front of us.”

            You say you’re not defending him, when you are, using legal appeal, fallacy of authority, and ignorance about civil disobedience or morals.

          • This is making me laugh at this point. All I’m doing is pointing out that he followed the traditions, and after he won the people he replaced didn’t like the outcome. So then went against tradition and broke their own laws.

            It started with a simple statement in the title – Killmonger was right. I took that to refer to him being right about wanting Wakanda to play a bigger role in the world, which T’Challa also ended up doing. This has expanded ridiculously from that single thing.

            The arguments are coming from you guys, expanding and isolating single words and comments. Grow up, its a fricking movie with a political system you don’t see anywhere in reality.

            I was happy T’Challa won. But that doesn’t stop that everyone fighting with him were overthrowing a legitimate Government. What does that make them? Then T’Challa became a hypocrite when he decided to still do what the ruler he overthrew wanted to do – reveal Wakanda to the world.

            And no, the details behind what they were revealing aren’t important. You’re putting words in my mouth from that point onwards, along with deliberately misquoting me on it anyway. Cover the entire line, and what it references. Not partially quote it and use it to refer to something else.

            I’m done. This is whats wrong with the world. People isolate single parts of a comment and misrepresent whats being said, in their attempt to feel outrage. I was only ever talking about Killmonger being right about Wakanda needing to play a bigger role in the world. Everything else is ridiculous bullshit you and others are deciding is worth feeling butthurt over.

        • His motivations were questionable. He was extremely selfish and angry. I mean he earned the name Killmonger. He was just as likely to burn Wakanda to the ground once he was done with it. He clearly resented everyone there. It seems like his only real motivation was revenge against everything. I never really got the impression he wanted to help anyone.

      • “What did Killmonger do wrong”

        He choked a woman. He stabbed an innocent guy to death. He wanted to conquer. He killed innocent people around the world as a merc. Almost murdered Shuri. Murdered a captured disarmed Dora Milaje. (Oops, I guess with your extremely immature and undeveloped moral compass, you will see those last two as “all right” because it was “on the battlefield”,or some other garbage idea used to justify atrocities throughout human history.)

        All things that even a 5 year old recognizes are bad and wrong. Meanwhile, with your supposedly advanced “adult” mind, you can’t tell the difference between superficial legal “legitimacy” and moral, ethical legitimacy. And apparently you’re not familiar with the concept of human rights. Just because your law says people aren’t allowed to disagree with you doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to disagree with you.

        This is a textbook case in psychology, where an immature person does not understand right and wrong beyond “The Rules!”.

  • Given how popular the character was in BP, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they brought him back to life during the inevitable wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans that undo the events of infinity war.

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