Marvel’s Black Panther re-introduced Erik Killmonger as the sympathetic villain on the big screen in Feb. 2018. While the winter blockbuster teased Killmonger’s backstory, Marvel is looking to go deeper behind the character in an upcoming comic book mini-series, appropriately entitled Killmonger, this Dec. 2018.
The upcoming series will reportedly chronicle the tale of a Wakandan – formally known as N”Jadaka – who was exiled to the United States. Over time, he was consumed by his bitterness, evolving into a supervillain.
Green Arrow’s Juan Ferreyra will serve as the lead artist on the book, while Bryan Edward Hill will write it. In an interview with Vulture (published Sept. 17), Hill discussed how the Black Panther film inspired the upcoming series. “With Erik, I feel like it’s really a tragedy. It’s a story of a guy who was failed a lot by Wakanda in certain ways, by the people he met outside of Wakanda, by his own conscience in other ways, and I wanted to paint a portrait of that,” he said.
He also explained the significance of the final battle scene between Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan in the film) and Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman), and how he wanted to expand on it. “To me the iconic fight between Erik Killmonger and T’Challa is tragic. It’s something that shouldn’t happen. It’s a conflict that’s borne from a tragic misunderstanding and a young man who was violently taken from his home,” he explained. “He grew up in exile and had only his anger to nurture him. So by the time we get to the event of the waterfall [fight between Killmonger and T’Challa in Don McGregor’s run], it doesn’t read hero and villain to me as much as, the world failed. So I wanted to explore it from that context, and I wanted to explore the thoughts and the feelings of a person exiled from his homeland, from his belief system, who’s using revenge as a guiding light.”
Hill noted that the new series will delve into the “Wakandan spiritualism and how [Killmonger is] wrestling with what he desires in the moment.” “Hopefully readers will get to see new dimensions of the character, and the story will take them into pretty unexpected places,” he added.
Killmonger is slated to be released sometime in Dec. 2018.