Black Panther has finally hit theaters and both critics and fans who have seen the film can do nothing but praise the performance by Michael B. Jordan as the villainous Killmonger. The hype is real, and the trailers have fans wondering what drives the MCU's newest bad guy to hate Wakanda and its king so much.
In a twist that many didn't see coming, the movie reveals exactly where Killmonger's passion comes from, and how his history is directly tied to Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Marvel's Black Panther! Continue reading at your own risk..
Comic readers familiar with Black Panther know that Erik Killmonger was a child in Wakanda whose father was roped into helping Klaw attack the country. As a result, his dad was killed and he was exiled, along with the rest of his family. Killmonger then grows up in Harlem, studies at M.I.T., and returns as an adult to begin a revolution in Wakanda to get revenge on the throne for what happened to his family.
The movie flips the script on the character just a bit, revealing that Killmonger is actually T'Challa's first cousin and that his father N'Jobu (played by Sterling K. Brown) was killed by his own brother, King T'Chaka.
Wakanda has a series of spies living all over the world called War Dogs, and their purpose is to learn the ways of the world outside of their nation, acting out missions for the king.
N'Jobu was the Prince of Wakanda, brother to King T'Chaka, and he was a War Dog living in Oakland, California. In the beginning of the film, T'Chaka found his brother after Klaw attacked Wakanda and revealed that he knew it was N'Jobu who helped Klaw plan his attack, and steal the vibranium.
As N'Jobu explained, he didn't want to hurt anyone in Wakanda, but he wanted to help the oppressed people living around the world. He knew that Wakanda's resources could do just that.
Sadly, N'Jobu was going to take his ideas to his grave, as his brother killed him for betraying the throne.
Later in the movie, it was revealed that N'Jobu had met an American woman and they had a son together. T'Chaka left the child in behind in Oakland and he grew up to become Killmonger, spending his entire life preparing to return to Wakanda, capture the throne, and spread the weapons and technology to oppressed people around the world. His ultimate goal was to start a black uprising on a global scale, allowing Wakanda to eventually rule over it all.
On top of all that, Killmonger just had it out for T'Challa. It was his mission to see the king dead. Instead of just wanting revenge because his father was killed, Killmonger had a personal vendetta his cousin because his father was murdered by T'Chaka, his very own brother.
This connection made the storyline between T'Challa and Killmonger so much more personal, allowing him to have even more impact as a villain.
Black Panther is currently playing in theaters. If you've seen the movie, be sure to give it a rating below!