#ComicBytes: The origin story of Killmonger, 'Black Panther's misunderstood antagonist
Black Panther, a colorful celebration of African culture, introduced us to a misunderstood antagonist, Erik Killmonger. While millions around the world hailed Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa as a king, people also emphasized with Michael B. Jordan's portrayal of Killmonger, Black Panther's arch-nemesis. The movie showed a rebooted version of this villain, but here is the comic book origin story of this supervillain.
Named N'Jadaka at birth, Killmonger is not related to T'Challa
Killmonger, formerly known as N'Jadaka, grew up in Wakanda and was not related to the royal family. When the Vibranium-hungry arms dealer Ulysses Klaw attacked Wakanda, he took young N'Jadaka as a slave. Soon, T'Challa forced Klaw out of Wakanda, but he took N'Jadaka with him. The now-orphaned boy escaped Klaw's clutches after reaching America, and renamed himself as Erik Killmonger.
Killmonger was a professor in MIT before returning to Wakanda
While in New York, Erik got a Ph.D. and became a professor at MIT. But after seeing T'Challa in the US with the Avengers, Erik contacted him as a lost citizen of Wakanda, who wanted to return to his country. However, his real motive was to take revenge from the Wakandan monarchy, because they failed to keep his family safe during the Klaw crisis.
After reaching Wakanda, Killmonger raised an army to attack T'Challa
In Wakanda, Killmonger gathered followers who were not happy with T'Challa's connection with the Avengers. Soon, he raised an army called the Death Regiment, after using the Resurrection Altar to turn his followers into superhumans. During the army's attack on the palace, Killmonger and Black Panther fought on the Warrior Falls, where Kantu, a boy wronged by Killmonger, pushed him over the falls.
A sharp-minded fighter who has been resurrected multiple times
Since his death due to the fall, he has been resurrected many times with the use of mystical powers. However he has always remained an expert fighter, who knows many martial arts techniques and uses advanced combat technology like force field generators, laser rifles, magnetic beams, and buzz-saws. Along with his superhuman strength, agility, speed, and stamina, Killmonger also has a brilliant mind.
He had a good reason to hate the Wakandan monarchy
Killmonger's portrayal as a misunderstood hero in the movie is similar to the one in the comics. Here, he had a good reason to hate the Wakandan monarchy, because they did ignore Klaw's wrath on his family and village. But even with all this hatred, when he returned to his village, he helped the place so much that it was renamed N'Jadaka, after him.