Black Panther: 10 Reasons Why It's The Most Important Marvel Film Yet

9. Killmonger Is The First Truly Brilliant MCU Villain

Black Panther Erik Killmonger
Marvel Studios

Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger is Black Panther's best character, but to call him a villain in the traditional sense would be a mistake.

Killmonger's journey from the streets of Oakland to the ruler of Wakanda is one of the best the genre's ever seen, because - at its core - his motivations are genuine. He was wronged by a nation that should champion liberation, but instead hides in the shadows; he lost his father and his place on the throne, and has spent his entire life preparing for an attempt at what yes, could be considered revenge, but also as justice.

And, to that end, the character could be considered as something of an anti-villain. His manifesto as Wakanda's ruler is ripped straight from the pages of Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, and while he's ultimately defeated - tragically - in the film's climax, he's still able to impart an incredible impact on T'Challa by making the King reassess Wakanda's isolationist approach to foreign affairs.

He's complex, charismatic and, at the end of the day, not entirely in the wrong either. Killmonger's the kind of villain Marvel have been crying out for for years, and the best they've seen yet.

Comics Editor
Comics Editor

WhatCulture's very own Comics Editor. Cats, comic books and spaghetti westerns are my thing. Rants about stuff @EwanRuinsThings