Erik Killmonger is a major antagonist of Marvel Cinematic Universe. He appears as the main antagonist of Black Panther and an alternate variant of him appears in the What If series as a major antagonist of the first season, being the main antagonist of "What Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark" and one of the final antagonists of "What If The Watched Broke His Oath". He is an African-American black-ops operative turned opportunistic revolutionary who is the son of N’Jobu and cousin of T'Challa, he planned to overthrow the Wakandan kingdom so he could distribute vibranium weaponry worldwide to avenge the death and goals of his father.
He is portrayed by Michael B Jordan.
N’Jadaka started off as the son of Prince N'Jobu, being raised in Oakland, California in America. N'Jobu promised to N’Jadaka that he would visit their homeland Wakanda, claiming that the sunsets there were the most beautiful in the world. Needless to say, N’Jadaka was unaware that his father was conspiring a global revolution and is illegally selling vibranium to Ulysses Klaue.
Eventually, T'Chaka (the king of Wakanda) learned about N'Jobu's intentions and forced himself to kill N'Jobu to save his closest friend Zuri. At the same time, N’Jadaka was playing basketball until he found his father's body, which left him in tears, just as T'Chaka and Zuri returned back to Wakanda. Feeling betrayed by his family, N’Jadaka angrily vowed to avenge his father's death and continue on with his plot.
Taking on the name Erik Stevens, he grew up to be a U.S. Navy SEAL officer and black ops mercenary, and his incredibly high body count earned him the nickname "Killmonger."
Several days following the death of T'Chaka at the hands of Helmut Zemo, Killmonger is first seen visiting a museum of national weapons of offense and defense, observing several African artifacts. He joins in a conversation with a museum curator, whom he confuses and disturbs by telling her that one of the artifacts is made out of vibranium, and that he will take it off her hands.
The curator threatens to call security, but Killmonger casually remarks how the guards are watching him every second, yet she is not watching what she is drinking, and the curator falls down, having been poisoned. In the confusion, Klaue and his minions, disguised as paramedics, arrive and kill all the guards in the room, while Killmonger's girlfriend Linda hacks the cameras to prevent any more security from arriving. Killmonger, Klaue and Linbani then escape the museum with the vibranium in an ambulance driven by Linda, Klaw planning to sell it to a buyer in an underground casino in Busan, South Korea. However, Klaue is later captured and brought into a high-security prison by the Wakandans and Agent Ross.
Despite the setback, Killmonger managed to formulate a plan to rescue Klaue from custody, which forced T'Challa to the scene, eventually learning about his true relationship with Killmonger after noticing the Wakandan royal ring that Killmonger was wearing on a necklace chain. Killmonger manages to free Klaue, only to betray and kill him, Linda and Linbani for a purpose to get into Wakanda. He offers Klaue’s body as an offering in order to sneak inside for the throne, with the help from T'Challa's treacherous best friend W'Kabi, who is disappointed over T'Challa's failed attempt to bring Klaue to justice (since Klaue was responsible for the death of W'Kabi's parents). With the opportunity finally in his hand, Killmonger challenged T'Challa to a duel for the throne of Wakanda and won (as T'Challa was forced to strip his powers to make the duel fair). A triumphant Killmonger then proceeded to kill Zuri by impaling him with his own iron spear staff before throwing a defeated T'Challa within the waterfalls of Wakanda to his seeming demise.
Having become the king of Wakanda, Killmonger also gained the power of the Black Panther during a ritual. Immediately after the transformation, Killmonger ordered the herb garden to be burned so that he would be the last to hold the power of the Black Panther. From Shuri's laboratory, Killmonger also received the Black Panther-like Golden Jaguar armor.
With all of Wakanda finally under his fist, Killmonger proceeded to prepare shipments of Wakandan weapons to be distributed to operatives around the world to finish up what his father started. Fortunately, T'Challa was rescued by the Jabari Tribe (led by M'Baku, who was indebted towards T'Challa for sparing his life), and healed with a powerful herb smuggled by Nakia in which she secretly obtained it before Killmonger furiously instructs the servants to burn it. As such, T'Challa and the Jabari Tribe conspired to overthrow Killmonger and stop the shipments.
As the Dora Milaje and Jabari Tribe engaged in a battle against W'Kabi and his army, Killmonger dons his new battle suit to engage into another battle against T'Challa inside Wakanda's vibranium mine. However, T'Challa defeats Killmonger by disrupting his battle suit using a sonic mining technology and fatally stabbing him just as W'Kabi and his remaining men are forced to surrender. Despite being mortally injured, Killmonger gains a genuine respect for T'Challa and calls the final blow one "hell of a move." He laments that his father had always promised to show him how amazing the Wakandan country was, and T'Challa decides to honor his opponent's request.
Being transported to the breathtaking view of the capital during sunset, Killmonger comments on its beauty. T'Challa, feeling remorse for what Killmonger had become, says that they might still be able to heal him, but Killmonger chooses to die rather than getting cured and imprisoned in disgrace for his crimes, asking T'Challa to bury him at sea with his ancestors who jumped from ships, believing that "death was better than bondage." Killmonger looks at the sun one last time as he finishes himself off by pulling the spear out of his chest, sharing his final moments with his once-hated cousin before willingly succumbing to his injuries. T'Challa presumably honors his request to bury him at sea.