Erik Killmonger

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Erik Killmonger
Black Panther Vol4 37.jpg
Erik Killmonger (right). Black Panther #37 (Aug. 2008). Cover art by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceJungle Action #6 (Sept. 1973)
Created byDon McGregor
Rich Buckler
In-story information
Full nameN'Jadaka
Notable aliasesErik Killmonger
  • Superhuman intelligence
  • Expert tactician
  • Skilled hunter and tracker
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant
  • Enhanced strength, speed, agility, and durability
  • Alchemical precognition and protection against mystical attacks
  • Uses high-tech equipment and weapons, including vibranium outfit

Erik Killmonger is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Don McGregor and Rich Buckler, the character first appeared in Jungle Action vol. 2, #6 (Sept. 1973). Killmonger, whose birth name is N'Jadaka, is an enemy of Black Panther.

Michael B. Jordan portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Panther (2018).

Publication history[edit]

Erik Killmonger first appeared in the "Panther's Rage" storyline, initially in Jungle Action vol. 2, #6-8 (Sept. 1973 - Jan. 1974), and was created by writer Don McGregor and penciler Rich Buckler.

The character subsequently appeared in Jungle Action vol. 2, #12-18 (Nov. 1974-Nov. 1975), Iron Man Annual #5 (1982), Over the Edge #6 (April 1996), Black Panther vol. 3, #13 (Dec. 1999), #15-16 (Feb.-March 2000), #18-21 (May-Aug. 2000), Deadpool #44 (Sept. 2000), Black Panther vol. 3, #23-25 (Oct.-Dec. 2000), #60 (July 2003), and Black Panther vol. 4, #35-38 (May-Sept. 2008).

Erik Killmonger appeared in an entry in the 2006 reference book All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6.

Fictional character biography[edit]

A native of Wakanda, he was born under the name N'Jadaka. When Ulysses Klaue and his mercenaries attacked Wakanda, they press-ganged N'Jadaka's father, N'Jobu, into helping them; when Klaue was defeated, his father died and his family was exiled. N'Jadaka ended up in Harlem, New York, nursing a hatred against the supervillain and T'Chaka, the king who had exiled him. He changed his name to Erik Killmonger and studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, desperate to avenge his father's death.[volume & issue needed]

He eventually contacted King T'Challa and was repatriated back to Wakanda, settling in a village that would later change its name to N'Jadaka Village in his honor. He became a subversive, with dreams of ridding Wakanda of what he termed "white colonialist" cultural influences and return it entirely to its ancient ways.[volume & issue needed] He then took advantage of the Black Panther's frequent absences in America with the Avengers to stage a coup d'état, along with Baron Macabre.[volume & issue needed] He was defeated and killed,[1] until the Mandarin claimed his body.[2]


Using his rings, the Mandarin was able to amplify the Resurrection Altar and restore Killmonger to life. Killmonger returned to his lover and ally, Madam Slay, and the two plotted to kill the Black Panther and return Wakanda to its ancient ways. While Tony Stark visited Wakanda, Madam Slay drugged Jim Rhodes and took him prisoner. Killmonger appeared to have killed the Black Panther, and blamed Rhodes and Stark, convincing the Wakandans that he could lead them to vengeance. The Black Panther returned, revealing that he had faked his death using a Life Model Decoy. The Black Panther defeated Killmonger. The Mandarin recalled his ring, and Killmonger reverted to an inanimate skeleton. Killmonger's followers resurrected him again and he would clash with T'Challa on several other occasions.[3]

Wakanda takeover[edit]

In the wake of the sorcerer Reverend Achebe's attempted takeover of Wakanda, with T'Challa absent and control of the country left with his regent Everett Ross, Killmonger tried to gain control of the country via its economy, forcing T'Challa to stop him by nationalizing all foreign companies in Wakanda and cause a run on the stock market. The two foes fought in a vicious ritual combat over the right to rule the country, and Killmonger was finally able to defeat his foe and gain the status of Black Panther for his own. He maintained control of Wakanda for a while and even attempted to inherit T'Challa's Avengers status, but when he underwent the ascension rite needed to cement his position, his body had a severe reaction to the heart-shaped herb that he was required to consume - it was poisonous to all but the royal bloodline. Although it would have been convenient to allow him to die, and be unquestionably entitled to the position of the Black Panther, T'Challa preserved his rival's life.[volume & issue needed]

Killmonger eventually came out of his coma, thus reclaiming his position as chieftain over Wakanda. He went to New York and contacted Kasper Cole, an inner-city police officer masquerading as the Black Panther to help him with cases, and attempted to gain him as an ally (and one-up T'Challa) by offering him a buffered version of the Panther's heart-shaped herb and help finding his supervisor's kidnapped son. In exchange, he had to drop the Panther identity and take up that of a White Tiger acolyte of the Panther cult, and would owe Killmonger a favor. While Kasper agreed to this, he then used his new herb-enhanced abilities to track down the boy on his own to avoid owing Killmonger an unpayable debt.[volume & issue needed]

T'Challa is then once again the sole ruler of Wakanda when Killmonger resurfaces and takes control of the neighboring country of Niganda.[4] During a subsequent duel with T'Challa, Killmonger is killed by Monica Rambeau, whom he had previously captured and imprisoned. Killmonger's young son is last seen swearing vengeance against the Black Panther, much like N'Jadaka had done years earlier after the death of his own father.[5]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Erik Killmonger is an expert martial artist with peak-level strength and a genius-level intellect. He is also an expert tactician.

In other media[edit]


  • Erik Killmonger appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda, voiced by Keston John.[6]
  • Erik Killmonger appears in Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest, voiced again by Keston John.[7] This version is the leader of the Shadow Council and T'Challa's teacher. In the two-part episode "Shadow of Atlantis", Killmonger hires Tiger Shark to break into the Wakandan Embassy to steal a jar containing a seal with the crest of the Wakandan Royal Family. After escaping with the seal with the Avengers pursuing him, Tiger Shark contacts Killmonger for an extraction only for Killmonger to turn him down upon failing to have his heist go off without a hitch. In the third episode "Into the Deep", Erik takes to the role of ambassador of Wakanda to the city of Atlantis and its king Attuma while secretly working to spring Tiger Shark from captivity. Revealing his true colors to both Attuma and Wakandan Royals T'Challa, who secretly snuck into the sunken city, and Shuri, who was invited as a diplomatic guest, Killmonger detonated Wakandan tech depthcharges which threatened to destroy Attuma's kingdom while the villains made their escape.[8]


Michael B. Jordan portrays Erik Killmonger in Black Panther (2018).[9][10] This version is an American black-ops soldier named Erik Stevens but born N'Jadaka[11] and earned his "Killmonger" nickname from his military actions.[12] Rather than a Wakandan exile, he is rewritten as the son of Prince N'Jobu and an American woman from Oakland, California, and is also T'Challa's cousin. Also unlike the comics, his chest is covered with self-inflicted scarification dots, one for each of his confirmed kills. Seeking revenge for his father's death, and angry at Wakanda's refusal to assist disenfranchised black people around the globe, Killmonger challenges T'Challa for his birthright to the throne, and apparently defeats him. After becoming King he orders Wakanda's high-tech weapons be sent to marginalized groups in London, New York City and Hong Kong to help oppressed people rise up and overthrow the government. He wears a version of T'Challa's energy absorbing suit that, reminiscent of his comic book counterpart, has pronounced fangs and glows gold when being used. At the climax of the film, he is mortally wounded when T'Challa stabs him in the chest with a vibranium spear, dying after watching the sunset over Wakanda.

He has a new costume in the film, different from the comic books. It bears a resemblance to Vegeta's costume from the Dragon Ball Z anime series, which the actor Michael B. Jordan is a fan of.[13][14] Jordan said Killmonger's battle armor may have been inspired by Vegeta's battle armor.[15]

Video games[edit]



  1. ^ Jungle Action #17 (September 1975)
  2. ^ Iron Man Annual #5 (1982)
  3. ^ Iron Man Annual #5 (1982)
  4. ^ Black Panther vol.3 #35 (April 2008)
  5. ^ Black Panther (vol. 3) #38
  6. ^ " - The Official Site for Marvel Movies, Characters, Comics, TV".
  7. ^ "Shadow of Atlantis Pt. 2". Avengers Assemble. Season 5. Episode 2. September 23, 2018. Disney XD.
  8. ^ "Into the Deep". Avengers Assemble. Season 5. Episode 3. September 30, 2018. Disney XD.
  9. ^ "SDCC 2016: Marvel's 'Black Panther' Confirms Additional Cast | News |". Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  10. ^ MTV (24 July 2016). "Michael B. Jordan Talks About Becoming a Bad Guy - Comic Con 2016 - MTV" – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Killmonger". Marvel. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Medina, Joseph Jammer (January 2, 2018). "Black Panther Bios Hit The Web". Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  13. ^ "Black Panther's Killmonger May Have Borrowed His Costume From Vegeta". Comic Book Resources. 22 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger Costume Honors His Anime Love". Screen Rant. 21 February 2018.
  15. ^ "'Black Panther's Michael B. Jordan Says Killmonger's Armor May Be Based on Vegeta From 'Dragon Ball Z'". November 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Paget, Mat (March 17, 2016). "Lego Avengers DLC Season Pass Detailed". Gamespot.
  17. ^ Dornbush, Jonathon (13 February 2018). "LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Black Panther DLC Revealed". IGN. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  18. ^ "The King of Wakanda Rules Marvel Games". Marvel.
  19. ^ "Champion Spotlight – Killmonger". Contest of Champions official website. Retrieved February 16, 2018.

External links[edit]