Now that Marvel Studios has released the first trailer, we have our first look at Michael B. Jordan as one of Black Panther’s most formidable and dangerous villains, Erik Killmonger.
Not really resembling his comic book counterpart all that much, who typically sports long hair and likes to go shirtless, Jordan’s Killmonger styles his short dreadlocks to the side — like a comb-over.
However, we do see him wearing an African tribal mask — when he blows a hole in the side of the room where Ulysses Klaue is being interrogated by Everett K. Ross — that resemble one that Killmonger wore in the comics.
In the comics, Erik Killmonger — whose real name is N’Jadaka — first appeared in Jungle Action #6 (September 1973) and was created by Don McGregor (writer) and Rich Buckler (artist). When N’Jadaka was just a boy, Ulysses Klaw invaded Wakanda, taking Vibranium, killing the king, T’Chaka, and even kidnapping and enslaving some Wakandans. N’Jadaka and his family were among those unlucky souls. Though his enitre family perished, he eventually escaped to the United States. While in the States, he changed his name to Erik Killmonger and got a top-notch education, studying engineering and business. However, deep down, he wanted to return to Wakanda and seek out revenge against the royal family as he blames the former king for the death of his family and the suffering he endured.
After the events of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), with Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), with Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Additional cast members include Letitia Wright (Urban Hymn), Winston Duke (Modern Family), Florence Kasumba (Emerald City), Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson) and John Kani (Coriolanus).
Ryan Coogler directs from a screenplay he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in theaters now. Spider-Man: Homecoming lands on July 7, 2017, followed by Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017. After that Black Panther debuts on February 16, 2018, while Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp is slated for July 6, 2018, followed by Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.