Black Panther is roaring and clawing its way to box office glory in huge feline style.
It has been praised for raising social awareness and breaking down race barriers in Hollywood and society as a whole. However, it has also drawn applause for finally providing a truly great Marvel villain.
The MCU is an undisputed cinematic juggernaut but has not escaped criticism for its endlessly underwhelming bad guys.
Erik Killmoger, born N’Jadaka, provides a troubling moral arc and mirror to the heroic T’Challa that is integral to the movies success. How can Marvel ensure this continues in the next movies?
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS
After a complex examination of shifting moral foundations, Killmonger dies at the end of Black Panther.
It is a powerful moment and part of T’Challa’s journey to greater understanding of the legacy of his family and his role in moving his nation into the modern world.
But is this really the end for his troubled and tragic cousin?
The movies and comic book source material provide plenty of ways to bring back the fan favourite…
In the Marvel movies death is not always final and the upcoming Avengers Infinity War is expected to set up a mind-bending and time-travelling storyline which could potentially rewrite life, death and the universe as we know it.
The Black Panther movie and comics both highlight the technological wonders available in Wakanda, including extraordinary medical advances far ahead of the rest of the world.
The movie, however, stresses that Killmonger rejects the offer to save his life with his people’s technology.
The comic books have already used far more exotic and supernatural ways to bring him back in dramatic fashion…
Of course, in the comics he is not Black Panther’s cousin. However may of the storylines and iconic moments (including the battle for the throne and throwing T’Challa over the edge of the waterfall) remain faithful to the character on the page.
In the comic books, Killmonger is killed and resurrected by the Mandarin.
Obviously the MCU Ben Kingsley version of the Mandarin from the Iron Man franchise is no terrifying sorcerer with magic rings, but the source material opens up inriguing chance that Killmonger may one day return…
BLACK PANTHER IS OUT NOW IN CINEMAS