N'Jadaka, also known as Erik Stevens, was a former United States Navy SEAL of Wakandan origin through his father, the Prince N'Jobu. N'Jadaka's savagery while serving with a U.S. military black-ops unit earned him the nickname Killmonger. When Killmonger was a child, T'Chaka killed his father for trying to murder Zuri for outing him after betraying Wakanda. This drove Killmonger to dedicate his life to forcibly dethrone his cousin, T'Challa, in order to finally accomplish his father's plan to seize control of the world by using all of Wakanda's Vibranium technology to cease the oppression of people of African descent all across the world. Manipulating and then killing Ulysses Klaue to gain his access to the city, Killmonger seemingly killed T'Challa during their ritual combat and claimed the throne. Shortly before Killmonger unleashed his plans, T'Challa, the Black Panther, returned and challenged Killmonger, eventually defeating and killing him during their final battle.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Seeking Revenge
- 1.3 King of Wakanda
- 1.4 Legacy
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Behind the Scenes
- 9 References
- 10 External Links
Living in the United States
Erik Stevens, born N'Jadaka, was the son of Wakandan Prince N'Jobu and an unknown American woman. The latter was wrongfully incarcerated and died in prison. Although he raised 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. While being raised, N'Jadaka found his father's book which featured many secrets from Wakanda, including N'Jobu's own Wakandan Royal Ring and the way to enter the secret country.
Death of his Father
While Stevens was growing up, N'Jobu planned to share the weapons of Wakanda with the rest of the world so the African Americans who had so little power could rise up and fight back. To achieve this goal, N'Jobu made an alliance with a mercenary named Ulysses Klaue to get into Wakanda and steal their Vibranium deposits. Klaue's actions resulted in the deaths of several Wakandans, but Stevens was unaware of this and continued life as normal.
Unbeknownst to Stevens, T'Chaka learned about his brother's treachery from his friend James, who was secretly T'Chaka's confidant Zuri, and had gained the trust of N'Jobu to learn of his plans against Wakanda. T'Chaka went to Oakland and confronted his brother at his apartment, threatening to return him to Wakanda to face punishment. In response, N'Jobu attempted to kill Zuri. T'Chaka retaliated by impaling N'Jobu with his Panther Habit's claws, killing N'Jobu.
Unaware of his father's death, Stevens was playing basketball with his friends until he sees the Royal Talon Fighter above their apartment complex. He rushed inside, only to find his father lying dead on the floor with panther claws in his chest. Devastated over the death of the only family he had left, Stevens had held his father's body and cried, before recovering his father's diary with his Royal Ring as well as everything Stevens ever needed to know about Wakanda.
Becoming the Killmonger
Growing up with top marks in school, Stevens went on to attend and graduate from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the United States Navy SEALs. Within the SEAL teams, Stevens was deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa, where he had the highest count of confirmed kills amongst everyone from his unit. Stevens also participated in several stateside missions in the United States of America.
Eventually, Stevens was recruited into a Joint Special Operations Command ghost unit associated with the CIA as a highly skilled black ops mercenary. Operating within the JSOC unit, he went off the grid in order to commit assassinations and take down foreign governments on behalf of the United States. As the highly-skilled soldier, Stevens was responsible for eliminating dozens of hostiles, cutting his skin with tribal Crocodile Scarring, with one for each kill. Due to his ruthlessness, while serving within the military, Stevens eventually gained the nickname "Killmonger."
Working with Ulysses Klaue
Seeking to enact his plan to return to Wakanda, Killmonger struck a deal with Ulysses Klaue, who previously worked with his father and had his own history with Wakanda. Together, they had discovered a vibranium weapon which was being shown in the Museum of Great Britain. Killmonger and Klaue made a plan to steal the weapon for themselves, as Killmonger went to investigate personally by going undercover.
While looking at the African masks that were on display, Killmonger was joined by Fiona Thomas, claiming to have an interest in their history. As Killmonger pointed to each mask, Thomas was able to explain where each one came from. Finally, Killmonger pointed to the vibranium axe, which Thomas claimed was from Benin's Fula Tribe, only for Killmonger to correct her and explain that it was actually from Wakanda.
Killmonger then claimed he would take the axe from them, confusing Thomas who noted the items were not for sale, to which Killmonger noted that Thomas' ancestors had stolen all the artifacts like many others from African history. As Thomas then tried to get him to leave, Killmonger had revealed that she was drinking coffee that had been poisoned by Linda, just as Thomas then collapsed onto the ground in pain, causing security to ignore Killmonger and run to her aid.
As Killmonger called out for aid and feigned concern for Thomas, Klaue and Limbani arrived on the scene disguised as ambulance workers and proceeded to execute Thomas and two of the security guards, all while Linda had hacked into the security cameras to ensure they were not being watched. Killmonger then watched as Klaue told the final security guard he could leave, before shooting him anyway, as Klaue explained to Killmonger that spreading out the crime scene made them look like amateurs.
Killmonger and Klaue had then stepped over to the vibranium axe on display, as Klaue used his prosthetic arm to shatter all the glass and take it, vibrating the axe so all the rust fell off as Klaue confirmed that this was indeed vibranium, telling Killmonger that they would soon be rich. Killmonger recommended that Klaue sell the axe sooner rather than later, to which Klaue explained that he already had a buyer while he and Limbani packed the axe away and prepared to leave.
With Klaue and Limbani packing up, Killmonger noted that whatever they did, the Wakandans would likely show up to try and stop them, to which Klaue had simply expressed his excitement at the chance of killing more Wakandans while making his profit. Killmonger, however, then became distracted as he looked at a Dogon Mask on display, telling Klaue that while the mask was not made of vibranium, he liked the design and therefore stole it for his personal use.
Having gotten what they came for, Killmonger and the rest of his crew made their escape, as Klaue and Limbani put Killmonger on the stretcher and wheeled him out to their ambulance where Linda was waiting. Once out of sight, Killmonger sat up and kissed Linda while Klaue shut the door and Limbani drove them away. As the next stage of their plan went ahead, Killmonger stayed out of sight as Klaue had prepared to sell the axe to his buyer for a suitcase full of diamonds.
Rescue of Ulysses Klaue
Unsurprisingly to Killmonger, Ulysses Klaue's attempt at selling their stolen Vibranium axe to the CIA resulted with him being captured due to the interference of the Wakandans. With Klaue being interrogated by the CIA, Killmonger then regrouped with Linda and Limbani as they prepared to get Klaue free, with Killmonger wearing a Bulletproof Vest and the Dogon Mask which he had previously stolen.
While Linda hacked into the CIA's security cameras to ensure they were not seen, Killmonger and Limbani then took position outside of the Facility as Killmonger planted explosives against the wall where Klaue was being held. Before anybody inside the facility could even realize that something was going wrong, Killmonger detonated the explosives, blowing down the wall while Klaue yelled out in hysterical excitement as he realized that his allies had come to his rescue.
Arming himself, Killmonger immediately began firing into the facility at the agents, shooting Everett Ross directly in the spine as Ross had tried to save Nakia from all of Killmonger's bullets. While Killmonger continued firing into the base, Limbani and Linda picked up the still laughing Klaue and carried him and the chair he was handcuffed to into their van, as Killmonger then threw his grenade into the facility to ensure that nobody could follow them as they were escaping.
However, as Killmonger backs away to the van while still shooting into the facility, the Black Panther charges after him, with Killmonger shooting with a grenade launcher and knocking the Panther back, absorbing the impact from his Panther Habit. Killmonger then got onto the van while his crew had driven away, locking eyes with Black Panther who had spotted his Wakandan Royal Ring, all while having successfully rescued Klaue from custody.
Betraying Ulysses Klaue
Having made their escape, Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue prepared to leave South Korea, as Killmonger had then asked Klaue if he had always sold his weapons to the CIA. While they were loading all their equipment onboard the plane to leave, Klaue promised to ensure that Killmonger got paid, as Killmonger then requested that Klaue drop him off in Wakanda, only to be warned against doing so.
However, Killmonger insisted that he needed to go to Wakanda and proceeded to shoot and kill Limbani, while Klaue grabbed Linda and held her at gunpoint, demanding that Killmonger drop his weapon or he would kill his girlfriend. As a tense standoff then began, Linda had apologized before Killmonger reassured her that everything would be okay, and then proceeded to shoot and kill her, wounding Klaue who then made his escape attempt while Killmonger followed him.
While Klaue desperately ran across the airfield in an attempt to get to safety, Killmonger had remained close behind as the two former allies waited for their opportunity to kill the other. When Klaue then spotted Killmonger stepping into sight, he stood up from his hiding place and fired at him, only for Killmonger to shoot back and hit Klaue directly in the chest, causing him to fall to his back in agony and drop his gun, as Killmonger walked over to the mortally wounded Klaue.
As Killmonger stood over the wounded Klaue and kicked his gun away, he listened as Klaue questioned his desire to go to Wakanda, pointing to the brand on his neck and claiming that it was what the Wakandans did to people like them, only for Killmonger to show off all of his scars he gave himself during his time in the United States Navy SEALs, noting that each of one of them had been for a kill. However, Klaue noted that he would never rule and still be seen as an outsider.
With Klaue insisting he could never get in Wakanda, Killmonger then responded by revealing his own secret War Dogs tattoo under his lip, which N'Jobu had given him as a child. Seeing this, Klaue realized Killmonger was actually Wakandan and began laughing, noting that he had assumed Killmonger was just another crazy American. While Klaue continued to laugh out loud, Killmonger raised his gun and shot him once again, finally killing Klaue once and for all.
Having successfully murdered Ulysses Klaue, Killmonger then flew the plane to Africa and soon arrived in Wakanda, with Klaue's corpse in tow. Killmonger then presented the body to W'Kabi, the leader of the Border Tribe that protected Wakanda from any outsiders. W'Kabi was given the body to personally inspect.
Amazed that an outsider had successfully killed their greatest enemy, W'Kabi had brought Killmonger to meet with the Tribal Council where he was presented to T'Challa, who was surrounded by his Dora Milaje, who kept a close watch on Killmonger to ensure that he could not attempt to attack the King. Once invited to speak, Killmonger had noted how he had served justice to Klaue who had been responsible for the previous Attack on Wakanda and had stolen Vibranium, noting that T'Challa had been unable to deliver this justice himself.
Angered by this insult, T'Challa got out of his throne and stepped up to Killmonger, closely followed by Okoye, as T'Challa noted that he did not care that Killmonger had brought him Klaue's corpse, telling him that the only reason why he did not kill him where he stood was because he knew who Killmonger really was, as T'Challa questioned what Killmonger wanted, to which he claimed he wanted the throne, as the Mining Tribe Elder scoffed with all the other council members. However, Killmonger explained his reasoning, noting how Wakanda was keeping their technology from the black communities around the entire world that had been oppressed for hundreds of years.
Killmonger confirmed that he was referring to Vibranium and all of the weapons that Wakanda produced, while T'Challa simply insisted that Wakanda's weapons would not be used to wage war against the rest of the world, although Killmonger claimed that the King of Wakanda should be responsible for all black communities that were being held down across the world. Ramonda declared that they had heard enough from Killmonger as she demanded that they reject his request for Wakanda's throne.
Refusing to back down, Killmonger suggested that they ask him who he really is, to which Shuri stepped up and claimed that Killmonger was merely a Navy SEAL named Erik Stevens, although Killmonger insisted that this was not his real name. T'Challa, however, refused to ask for Killmonger's name and had told the Dora Milaje to remove him, only for the River Tribe Elder to ask Killmonger the same question, revealing it to be N'Jadaka.
Speaking in Xhosa, N'Jadaka finally revealed N'Jobu was his father who had been murdered by T'Chaka years before, and as Ramonda claimed that he was simply lying, W'Kabi confirmed what N'Jadaka was saying by revealing his Royal Ring. With a royal right, N'Jadaka demanded the chance to challenge T'Challa for the mantle of King and of the Black Panther, claiming that he would only need T'Challa to accept the challenge, which T'Challa reluctantly accepted.
Duel for the Throne
As they had prepared for the duel, Killmonger and T'Challa were both taken to Warrior Falls where Killmonger was then given his spear and sword, choosing to break the spear in half so it was easier to strike with as the Tribal Council observed closely. Killmonger watched as Zuri stripped T'Challa of the Black Panther strength, leaving them on equal footing for the challenge, as Killmonger locked eyes with Zuri, who he remembered as N'Jobu's friend and his uncle.
Once T'Challa stood back up, he gave Killmonger one final chance to lay down all his weapons so they could handle the situation another way. Instead, Killmonger then removed his Bulletproof Vest and shirt, revealing his tribal Crocodile Scarring, and told T'Challa how he had lived his entire life for this one moment, noting how he had killed all across the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, just so that he could come and have his chance at killing T'Challa.
With everything in place, Zuri had then announced that the challenge could begin as Killmonger furiously charged at T'Challa and began swinging his weapons at his enemy, with T'Challa being immediately on the defensive as Killmonger used every ounce of strength to land a deadly blow against him. All of Killmonger's military training allowed him to push T'Challa back, but he soon realized T'Challa's true skills with the tribal weapons as he managed to lock Killmonger into a block and held him back, using his shield to his advantage.
Becoming frustrated, Killmonger landed several heavy strikes against T'Challa, repeatedly striking his shield as he leaped through the air and attempt to beat T'Challa into submission. However, T'Challa was able to use all Killmonger's rage against him as he knocked him off balance and onto his back, threatening to kill him if Killmonger did not yield the duel. Killmonger, however, refused to back down once he got back onto his feet, as T'Challa continued gaining the advantage as he sliced Killmonger across the face with a non-fatal strike.
Angered by T'Challa's advantage, Killmonger had furiously continued fighting, as he was eventually able to land a heavy kick and managed to slice T'Challa across his inner thigh. While Shuri still shouted out encouragement to her brother, Killmonger had continued beating him down before managing to slice him across the chest and arm, which caused T'Challa considerable pain. When T'Challa attempted to punch Killmonger, he responded by impaling him with his spear.
With T'Challa now mortally wounded, Killmonger was able to easily beat him down in front of his horrified family. Killmonger then raised his blade and prepared to execute the Wakandan King, telling him that it would be revenge for T'Chaka killing his own father. Before he could land the blow, Zuri stepped forward and blocked his blade with the Spear of Bashenga and knocking Killmonger's blade out of his hands. As everyone looked on, Zuri then confessed responsibility for the death of N'Jobu, further angering Killmonger.
As Zuri told Killmonger to take his life over T'Challa's, Killmonger responded by declaring he would kill them both before he then grabbed the spear and stabbed Zuri in the heart. When the devastated T'Challa grabbed a sword and had tried to strike back at Killmonger, he easily avoided the blow and questioned those watching if T'Challa was truly worthy of being King, before swiftly and brutally beating T'Challa into submission, much to the utter horror of everybody watching.
Killmonger stood over T'Challa, who was now unable to stand as he called out to those watching and claimed that T'Challa would never be able to lead them into the future and was unworthy of holding the power of the Black Panther. When T'Challa finally gathered enough strength to try and fight back, Killmonger responded by lifting him above his head before throwing him off the side of Warrior Falls, seemingly to his death while Ramonda then cried out in grief and horror.
Standing victorious at the conclusion of the challenge with T'Challa, Killmonger told those watching that he was now their one true king, while Nakia had pulled the devastated Ramonda and Shuri away to safety before Killmonger could have them arrested to ensure his own power over Wakanda. Killmonger was then presented with the royal necklace before the Border Tribe and Dora Milaje saluted the newest King of Wakanda while Killmonger looked over his subjects.
King of Wakanda
Burning the Herb Garden
As per tradition, Killmonger entered the City of the Dead and underwent the ritual, where all Kings of Wakanda must go through by drinking the fluid of the Heart-Shaped Herb and speaking with his ancestor's spirit within the Ancestral Plane, becoming the Black Panther. The woman shaman ordered the others to bury Killmonger after the herb's fluid starts to take effect.
Once Killmonger was buried in the sand, he woke up in his apartment from Oakland. Killmonger looked over the windows and looked suspiciously at the plane outside. Killmonger walked over to the apartment guest room and ripped apart the wall, seeing a book. Killmonger observes the book, looking over Wakandan literature and finds his necklace attached to a ring. Killmonger donned the necklace and was happy to have it back again.
Interrupted by his father, Killmonger was told again by him to not look over his stuff without permission. N'Jobu would then smile at Killmonger and asked what he found, Killmonger responded by saying that he's looking for his home. N'Jobu was saving his secret in hopes he'll find his home but was afraid that they won't take him in. Killmonger retorts by telling his father that maybe his home was lost and that is why they can't find him and his father.
After waking up from the ancestral plane, Killmonger was told to calm down and brought to the center of the room to breathe. Killmonger asked the shaman what he just experienced, only to be told that it was a ritual burial and planted each herb on the ground for other future kings. Killmonger questioned the shaman about another King and responded that if there is another King to undergo the ritual burial, they'll be ready. Killmonger ordered the herb garden to be burned, only to be told that they could not, for the sake of tradition.
Frustrated with the woman shaman, Killmonger ferociously grabbed her by the throat and lifted off her feet. As he choked the shaman, Killmonger noted that when he tells her to do something, he means it. Letting go of the woman shaman, Killmonger ordered the rest of the shamans to burn all of the herbs in order to cement his status as king over Wakanda permanently and to prevent anyone from ever opposing him. As the shaman people burn the garden, Killmonger observed the landscape to make sure all of them are burned down.
Seated in Power
In the next day of his reign, Killmonger enters the Tribal Council, walking towards the throne and sitting down on it, breathing heavily for his accomplishment. Once the tribal leaders sit down afterward, Killmonger talked about where he was from, African Americans started a revolution but never had the firepower or the resources to defend themselves from their oppressors and questions where Wakanda was when they needed them.
Furthering the discussion of his next court of action on ruling Wakanda, Killmonger told the Elders that all of the oppression that African Americans face will now end from his ruling. Using examples, Killmonger expressed that spies are embedded in every nation and know how colonizers think, using their own strategy against them. Killmonger proposed the idea of sending Vibranium weapons out to War Dogs, giving their resources to other people of African descent to conquer their oppressors.
Setting up a plan, Killmonger declared that African Americans could finally rise up and kill those in power, including their children and anyone else who takes their side, continuing on by saying the public will now know the truth about Wakanda. Sitting back down in his throne, Killmonger listened to Okoye's rebuttal with Killmonger's objective, saying that Wakanda had survived for years by fighting only when absolutely necessary.
While agreeing with Okoye's statement about Wakanda's history, W'Kabi told Okoye that the world is changing and it would be enough for the outsiders to catch up, saying that it will soon be the conquerors or conquered. As he listened to W'Kabi's logic, Killmonger would then accepted his word and told Okoye to go along with her orders and proceeded to take action.
As ordered by his profound plan, Killmonger prepared shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world, so they may spread it around for other people of African descent in accordance with his father's plan. Walking towards the outside of the aircraft carriers, Killmonger asked W'Kabi if any spies have been alerted, to which he responded with a yes that some resistance was accepted into their new mission, but the War Dogs in London, New York City and Hong Kong are standing by.
Notified by the Border Tribe, Killmonger tells W'Kabi that the Wakandan army will strike there first and other spies will come around to help. Grabbing a Sonic Spear, Killmonger exemplifies how powerful the spear is, explaining that it could stop a tank and leave it itself untraceable by metal detectors, declaring the world will know exactly who Wakandans are. Overseeing the ships fleeing, Killmonger sees one of them shot down and ran across to see it crashed, seeing T'Challa emerging from the wreckage while wearing his Panther Habit.
While his name was shouted out, Killmonger intrusively greeted T'Challa back into Wakanda. While he demanded that he never yielded and wasn't killed, Killmonger mockingly rejects his proposal of continuing his challenge and said that he is now the King of Wakanda. Continuing to send aircraft, Killmonger ordered W'Kabi and his army to murder T'Challa, despite him being stopped by Okoye, only to continue sending out his army.
Enraged by his evil nature, Killmonger was yelled at by Okoye, saying that his heart is full of hatred and not fit to be King of Wakanda. As Okoye sends half of the Dora Milaje to battle with T'Challa, Killmonger is faced with a few of her warriors, as he reached for his dual weapons in order to prepare for his stance. Once he was armed, Killmonger revealed he has taken one of the upgraded Panther Habits for his own use and told the remaining Dora Milaje to fight him.
As Okoye and the Dora Milaje was furiously attacking him, Killmonger managed to withstand their assault and took Xoliswa captive. As Okoye begged for her to not be sacrificed, she mumbled her last words. Killmonger executed her, making Okoye scream in rage and the Dora Milaje resumed their attack. Dodging all of their blows, Killmonger was caught in between their Vibranium Spears, trying to take away his necklace and deactivate his suit. Killmonger released a burst of kinetic energy, sending Okoye and her soldiers away on the battlefield.
When Nakia and Shuri arrived into aircraft space, Killmonger noticed them as they began to attack, looking at them and smiling at their expense. As Nakia makes the first move, Killmonger dodged and rolled his way out of her range and faced Shuri, getting blasted by her Vibranium Gauntlets. After getting attacked by Nakia's strikes, Killmonger dodges her attempts to kill him and sliced her thigh and then threw her across the field. Killmonger then endured many of Shuri's sonic blasts, continuously until parts of his suit are tearing up. Looking at his spear, Killmonger swiftly destroyed Shuri's gauntlets and subdued her from doing it.
Seeing her crawling around, Killmonger cornered Shuri on the ground, mockingly greeting her from her arrival. Preparing for her execution, Killmonger listened to Shuri that he'll never be a true King. Ready to stab her with his spear, Killmonger was tackled down by T'Challa, who threw himself once he noticed his sister in peril, falling deeply into the Great Mound. While falling down, Killmonger broke away from T'Challa's grasp, continuing to fight him and throwing punches at until one of them was knocked away from air.
Noticing T'Challa lying on a railroad, Killmonger focused on his attention to murder him, falling down from another train track and punching him on the ground. Once T'Challa dodged the punch from the ground, Killmonger began to attack him and threw him across the railroad before dodging his panther claws. Pulling each other's punches, both Killmonger and T'Challa release their kinetic energy, resulting in them exploding from impact and lying far away from each other.
As Killmonger continued to charge at T'Challa, they were evenly matched for short time in their duel, only for the Wakandan Maglev Train to be activated, letting sonic stabilizers to disrupt the Vibranium technology in Killmonger's suit. Once they avoided getting hit by the train, Killmonger suddenly noticed that his suit tearing apart, he began responding to T'Challa, saying he doesn't need a suit to kill him and that his reign overruling Wakanda is over.
Despite T'Challa telling he is only becoming just like the people he hates so much, Killmonger responded that he learned from his enemies by beating them at their own position but was told that he had become like his enemies and will destroy the world, including Wakanda. Emotionally, Killmonger argued that the world took everything away from him, everything he ever loved and will make sure that T'Challa and he will be even, by tracking down anyone who would think about being loyal to T'Challa and murdering them, just like he did to Zuri.
Enraged, Killmonger and T'Challa yelled at each other after the argument, continuing to trade blows with each other, they were hit by the train, landing across from the sidelines. Killmonger then noticed his Wakandan spear and began to attack T'Challa with it. With each strike, Killmonger pushed T'Challa toward the edge and pulled the spear towards him. Distracted, Killmonger threatened T'Challa, only for him being impaled by his own short spear.
Choosing to Die
Aching in pain, Killmonger turned off his mask and took a moment to gasp for air, complimenting T'Challa on the clever move he used. Killmonger began to look back on a childhood memory of his father telling him the sunsets on Wakanda were the most beautiful in the world and promised that he would take him to see it one day. Killmonger was carried along by T'Challa to an elevated platform.
As they walked over a cliff behind the Great Mound, Killmonger and T'Challa stood near each other and sat down. Looking forward at the sunset, Killmonger was stunningly impressed by how beautiful it was. Having an idea for him, T'Challa told Killmonger he could possibly be healed from his wound that he inflicted on him. Facing toward him, Killmonger asked him why assuming that it would end up with him being imprisoned for life.
Declining his offer for a second chance, Killmonger told T'Challa to bury him in the ocean like his ancestors who were brought over by their oppressors and jumped out from their ships, as they knew it was better to die that way than bondage. Earning T'Challa's forgiveness, Killmonger decided to die, painfully removing the spearhead from his body, bleeding out and dying peacefully.
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. T'Challa 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.
A power-hungry individual obsessed with overthrowing his cousin, T'Challa; Killmonger was considered utterly sociopathic as he showed no care even for the lives of his allies. He betrayed Ulysses Klaue at a destroyed junkyard, killing him and using his body and resources to get into Wakanda, even killing his own girlfriend when Klaue held her hostage in an attempt to escape. However, this sociopathic nature was only due to being abandoned by the Royal Family following his father's death and his mother's wrongful incarceration, an act that left an orphaned Killmonger to fend for himself in the streets before becoming a ruthless military assassin.
He seemed to take great pride in his capabilities as an assassin and his high body count, as evidenced by the scars he gave himself to mark how many people he murdered. He also displayed a great sense of sadism, as shown when he brutally killed Zuri for the sake of the throne and to avenge his father's death. He is also suicidal, as he preferred to die free than to live as a prisoner.
In spite of his bloodthirsty nature and his violent methods, Killmonger truly believed himself to be doing the right thing. He saw the world as a brutal and violent place that has been hopelessly corrupted by colonialism and imperialism and believed that the only solution was to destroy global society in its entirety and rebuild a new world order under his rule. He looked to empower poor, disenfranchised, and oppressed groups throughout the world (particularly racial and ethnic minorities, especially those of Sub-Saharan African descent) and enable them to take revenge on powerful nations like the United States. However, Killmonger was also a hypocrite whose hatred, bigotry and egotism blinded him to the fact that he was ultimately no different than the imperial powers he despised. Ironically, his belief that Wakanda should rule over 'lesser' nations for their own good was the same logic that the colonialists of the 18th-19th century used to justify their subjugation of the same minority groups that he now claims to be defending. This becomes especially obvious when he arrogantly claimed that "the sun will never set on the Wakandan Empire," referencing a famous saying about the British Empire during the height of its power.
Killmonger's paranoia and narcissism also caused him to do away with Wakanda's tradition of allowing challengers to the throne, out of fear that he would lose the throne he fought so hard to take. This also led him to destroy all of the heart-shaped herbs used by the Royal Family to imbue rulers with the power of the Black Panther, claiming that there would no longer be any need for them since Wakanda would have no more kings after him. Curiously, he did not seem concerned about the fact that he would eventually need to leave a successor to lead the empire he built and preserve his legacy after his death. Everett Ross speculated that he was following his training as a CIA operative, trying to destabilize Wakanda's rules of succession and system of government despite the fact that this contradicted his stated intentions. This suggests that his plan of creating a lasting and stable Wakandan Empire would have been doomed to failure even if he'd won and that his success would have likely brought nothing but more chaos and bloodshed to the world; even when T'Challa angrily pointed this out during the final battle, Killmonger angrily claimed that the world deserves such a fate in revenge for his poor upbringing. This also suggests he did not truly want to liberate African descendants as he claimed but rather used it to justify his crusade as well as use it as a means to bring chaos and bloodshed to the world.
Though Killmonger failed in many of his goals, he did succeed in one of them. He got to see the beautiful sunset that his father told him about. Additionally, his actions led T'Challa to change his mind about keeping Wakanda isolated. As a result, Wakanda's technology and resources would be shared with the people of Oakland, as Erik's father intended, albeit in a much less extreme and violent way.
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. Unlike the Super Soldier Serum, the effects can be removed by drinking a serum that negates the powers of the herbs for ritualistic combat for a fair fight to become King of Wakanda.
- Enhanced Strength: The herb endowed Killmonger with strength proportionate to that of his cousin. Following his ingestion of the herb, he lifted a farmer shaman woman by the neck with one hand after she disobeyed his order to burn the remaining herbs. As the Black Panther, Killmonger was able to challenge both T'Challa and the Dora Milaje in close combat, proving himself an almost indefatigable fighter. He threw Nakia a far distance after he subdued her by slashing her leg with his Vibranium claws.
- Enhanced Durability: Killmonger is much more durable than a normal human being. Even when not wearing his Panther Habit, he can survive blunt force trauma. While wearing his habit, he could sustain damage from the Dora Milaje's Vibranium-bladed weapons, blasts from Shuri's gauntlets, attacks from Nakia's Ring Blades, Black Panther's kinetic energy pulses and even an immense fall into the Great Mound after T'Challa tackled him off of Shuri. He even withstood being knocked back by the Wakandan Maglev Train and quickly got back up. However, Vibranium weapons could pierce his newly dense flesh, as it is how T'Challa managed to fatally wound him, with his own blade.
- Enhanced Speed: Killmonger can run and move at speeds above normal humans. He was quick enough to avoid being hit by the Wakandan Maglev Train even while dueling T'Challa.
- Enhanced Agility: Killmonger's agility is outstanding, far greater than Olympic-level athletes. This allows him to leap great distances with accuracy. He deftly dove over a Ring Blade hurled at him by Nakia and swiftly recovered from landing. He can even jump down from a very high platform and land onto the train track during his final fight with T'Challa.
- 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, and greater than those of normal humans.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Killmonger's reflexes are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: After he ingested the Heart-Shaped Herb, Killmonger quickly healed the cut on his face from T'Challa's Vibranium Iklwa Dagger.
- Master Martial Artist: Due to his life long rigorous training as a SEAL and Black Ops mercenary, Erik was an extremely strong and master martial artist, making him 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 fight reasonably evenly with T'Challa 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 fight off many members of Dora Milaje and kill one before being subdued and quickly outfight Nakia despite her having aid from Shuri using her gauntlets to stun him. In their final fight, with T'Challa fighting to kill now, Killmonger proved able to stalemate and even at times dominate T'Challa wearing his Black Panther Habit, only being beaten due to T'Challa exposing his suits' by being away from the sonic fields of the Wakandan Maglev Train. Erik applied the same martial arts as the Navy Seals, such as boxing, Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Krav Maga, and Muay Thai.
- Sword Mastery: Killmonger was able to wield a sword 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. He killed Xoliswa with the Vibranium Ikakalaka Sword.
- Spear Mastery: Killmonger was able to wield spears (both standard and short variants) with great skill. His skill with a short spear 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. He killed Zuri with the Spear of Bashenga.
- Master Assassin: Due to his intensive experience as a Navy SEAL and mercenary in an American Black Ops Ghost unit, Killmonger is very 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 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. This was best demonstrated when he gunned down several guards in quick succession when rescuing Klaue and later when he betrayed Klaue, he was able to shoot him through a window after finding his position just by where Klaue's gunfire tried to hit him. He also shot and killed Limbani and Linda.
- Master Tactician: Killmonger was a proficient strategist, able to formulate and execute cunning 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 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.
- Bilingualism: Killmonger speaks his native English, and was taught to speak Xhosa by his father.
- Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded MC Operator: Killmonger used this handgun when he betrayeed Ulysses Klaue, quickly killing Limbani and shooting at Linda when Klaue took her as hostage. He pursued Klaue and shot him in the chest, killing him with another bullet once he revealed his Wakandan heritage.
- BCM Recce-14 KMR-A13 with LMT M203 2003: Killmonger carried this rifle outfitted with a grenade launcher in order to rescue Ulysses Klaue. He opened fire on the CIA site, hitting Everett Ross with a bullet when he was protecting Nakia. He kept shooting while escaping, firing a grenade at Black Panther in order to prevent him from pursuing.
- M67 Grenade: Killmonger used this grenade to cover their exit from the CIA South Korean Black Site, rescuing Ulysses Klaue from their imprisonment by the CIA.
- Vibranium Ikakalaka Sword: Killmonger wielded a sword that he had owned in order to combat T'Challa in order to fight for the throne. He kept the weapon as a trophy and would wield it again as he was fighting the Dora Milaje while they surrounded him with their spears.
- Vibranium Zulu 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. He used it to combat T'Challa in order to fight for the throne. He kept the weapon as a trophy and would wield it again as he was fighting the Dora Milaje while they surrounded him with their spears.
- Spear of Bashenga: Prepared to kill T'Challa in the ceremonial duel on Warrior Falls, Killmonger's final strike was blocked by Zuri who asked to kill him in T'Challa's place. However, Killmonger replied that he would kill them both and mortally stabbed Zuri with his own spear.
- Wakandan Royal Ring: The royal ring worn by Killmonger is one of a set originally worn by Azzuri, passed down to T'Chaka and N'Jobu, and later their sons. Killmonger obtained the ring following N'Jobu's death in Oakland.
- War Dogs Tattoo: In his youth, Killmonger was given a War Dog tattoo, a symbol given to Wakandans to mark them as members of the War Dogs.
- Dogon Mask: Killmonger stole a ceremonial mask from the Museum of Great Britain that he could use to conceal his identity. Killmonger wore the mask when he rescued Klaue from questioning.
- Bulletproof Vest: Killmonger wore this bulletproof vest when operating on missions, most notably when breaking Klaue out of captivity.
- Kimoyo Beads: The Kimoyo beads are pieces of advanced communication technology adopted 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.
- 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. The suit's gloves also contained retractable Vibranium claws.
- N'Jobu's Safehouse: Born in Oakland, Stevens lived with his father N'Jobu at his apartment and own safe house in California where he found N'Jobu's Wakandan property. As Stevens played basketball outside of the house with other kids from the block, he suddenly saw the Royal Talon Fighter above them. He rushed back to the apartment where he found N'Jobu killed by T'Chaka, and cried, holding his father's body. Many years later, when Killmonger became the King of Wakanda, he consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb and woke up at the Ancestral Plane. There, he found himself in the recreation of his old house in Oakland where he reunited with N'Jobu's spirit.
- Citadel: Defeating T'Challa in the ceremonial duel, Killmonger became the King of Wakanda, as he always wanted. Taking the rulership of Wakanda and the mantle of the Black Panther, Killmonger was granted with the throne in the Citadel. In front of the Tribal Council, Killmonger stated that they cannot stay dark anymore and Wakanda need to go offensive against the outside world.
- 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.
- Killmonger is the third main antagonist to be killed by the titular character(s) of the film in which he appears, the first being Ronan the Accuser and the second Yellowjacket.
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 also 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."
- Michael B. 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.
- Killmonger's armor bears a resemblance to Vegeta's costume from the Dragon Ball Z anime series, which the actor Michael B. Jordan is a fan of.
- To prepare for the role of Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan wrote a diary from Killmonger's perspective.
- Khalid Ghajji and Aaron Toney were stunt doubles for Michael B. Jordan in the role of Erik Killmonger.
- Though rumors have persisted that Michael B. Jordan will be returning as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, communicating with T'Challa from the Ancestral Plane, Kevin Feige has affirmed that those rumors are false.
- Considering that his legal name is Erik Stevens, is possible that his mother’s maiden last name is Stevens.
- Killmonger's speech on how life began in Africa is not true as life began in the oceans. However, it is likely Killmonger was referring to the fact every living human traces back to Africa at some point in their family tree.
- Black Panther
- Black Panther Mid-credits Scene
- Translates frm Xhosa to: "Who are you?"
- Translates from Xhosa to: "I am N'Jadaka, son of Prince N'Jobu!"
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|King of Wakanda