The comic book villain known as Erik Killmonger has been a fixture of the Marvel Universe since he was created by Don McGregor and Rich Buckler in the early 1970s.
He's always been an iconic nemesis of the Black Panther, but his inclusion in the live-action movie this year (played amazingly by Michael B. Jordan) rocketed him into the main spotlight, as the MCU's best and most multi-faceted bad guy. As such, it was only logical that Marvel would have to give the character, now a fan-favorite, his own comic book series.
That's exactly what's happening in the five-issue limited series, Killmonger, from writer Bryan Edward Hill (What If? X-Men) and artist Juan Ferreyra (Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Death and Life of Oliver Queen).
"I wanted to explore the choices and the failures that lead a person to dedicate their life to revenge, and how that happens," Hill told Vulture. "Because 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. Because 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."
Here's the cover of Issue #1:
"I can say that the events of the stories for the most part begin with Erik graduating from MIT. Like all stories, it begins with him having a fork in the road in front of him," Hill added. "He’s a young man who could have a successful and peaceful life if he could just put away his desire for revenge. In this case he’s really focused on [villain Ulysses] Klaw and the men that took him from Wakanda, and also punishing Wakanda itself for its failures. We begin the story with him making that choice to step away from one potential future and step into another that speaks to more of his darker nature. For me, that’s what a tragedy is, really. Something isn’t tragic unless you can see a way that it could have worked out better. ... It’s about a fall of a person that should have been something much better than what he wound up being, and the story is about how he winds up in that place."
Killmonger #1 goes on sale Wednesday, Dec. 5.