Michael B. Jordan is ready to start a revolution in Black Panther for his role as Erik Kilmonger.
The wait to return to Wakanda is almost over! With Black Panther premiering on Friday, theaters are getting ready for wave after wave of Black patrons to show up (and show out) for Marvel’s latest entry in the MCU.
The trailers have been spectacular, supplying us with a quick peek at some of the characters and the setting. But who are the people surrounding T’Challa?
This week, HelloBeautiful is giving you a few notes on the cast of Black Panther, and we’re diving in with Michael’s character Erik Killmonger.
What we know about Erik is that he is a strong warrior with an incredibly sharp and sophisticated mind, but there is more to this antagonist than simply having ambitions for the throne of Wakanda. Erik Killmonger, born N’Jadaka and also known as Erik Stevens, has a complicated history with the Black Panther tribe.
Once a proud and loyal citizen of Wakanda, Erik became bent on seeking revenge against the royals once his family was cast out of Wakanda. He was exiled after being enslaved by Ulysses Klaue to mine Vibranium, Wakanda’s most valuable and most protected natural resource. In exile, Erik’s people wound up moving all the way to Harlem and struggled to survive. This is also where N’Jadaka changed his name to Erik Stevens. In a way, feeling like a forgotten son of Wakanda fueled his resolve to overthrow the royal family and change the kingdom.
Despite difficulties growing up, Erik grew up to earn a PhD in Engineering and an MBA. According to Comic Vine, there is word that he also taught at M.I.T. for a while. Outside of academics, Erik proved to have skill as a soldier with a particularly destructive streak and even served as an American Black Ops agent. It is no surprise that he was well-versed in combat because he was raised to be a warrior, just like T’Challa.
Not only does Erik have the wits and physical strength to be an even match for T’Challa, he also has his own special suit: The Golden Jaguar suit. Erik’s fit may even be slightly more technologically advanced than the Black Panther suit we saw in Captain America: Civil War. Aside from members of the Avengers, Erik might be one of the few men who could really give T’Challa a real challenge for the throne. Now, he’s returning to Wakanda under the name Erik Killmonger to challenge the new king.
See what happens when Erik and T’Challa clash once Black Panther debuts on Friday!