How [Spoiler] Still Has a Huge Legacy in Wakanda Forever

Where would the sequel be without this integral character?

by J.R. Waugh

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out now and has had a strong opening since its November 11, 2022 release. Along with continuing the narrative of the first film, particularly as Wakanda takes a greater presence on the world stage, we see glimpses of the advanced nation reeling from the events of the first film and Avengers: Endgame. T’Challa is dead, and Wakanda’s people are missing their charismatic leader, but one character’s legacy, however challenging it may be for them to look back upon, is that of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens as shown in Wakanda Forever. There are spoilers ahead, so if you’ve not watched the movie, we advise you do so, or tread carefully.

Killmonger Might Be Dead, but Wakanda Will Never Forget

For better or worse, Killmonger left his mark on Wakanda in his attempted overthrow during the 2018 film Black Panther, cementing his status as one of the greatest MCU villains. He challenged the status quo and shattered the trust among Wakanda’s people, such as bringing the former head of security W’Kabi under his influence and manipulating him into waging war on his countrymen. Additionally, Okoye, his wife, had her allegiance under heavy scrutiny by association, along with her loyalty to the throne even with Killmonger’s overthrow. But one other way Killmonger left his mark if you’ve watched Wakanda Forever, is how he presents himself in the ancestral plane to Shuri when she consumes the heart-shaped herb.

Shocked and upset by the appearance of Killmonger instead of perhaps T’Challa, Shuri takes his message to heart: T’Challa would be noble and attempt diplomacy or negotiate peace, but if she wanted results, she should consider Killmonger’s methods to “take care of business.” This resulted in her mounting a counterattack on the Talokanians, as well as an epic fight against Namor, whose strength makes this a challenging confrontation. But it’s this vengeance that allows her to prevent Wakanda from buckling to Talokan’s pressure.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiered worldwide on November 11, 2022.

- This article was updated on November 17th, 2022

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