Take a minute to think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s always a good and bad guy. However, each good guy has that one sidekick or partner who resembles them in some type of fashion. One area where Marvel has failed in most of their films came at the cost of the villains. However, Black Panther nailed it with Killmonger. Not because of superpowers but due to his need for vengeance.
But here is where Marvel may have something up their sleeve as far as a Killmonger return. It started with Captain America: The First Avenger. In his first movie, Captain America was the lone wolf. However, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he shared the screen with his friend Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier. Whereas the Winter Soldier first entered as the villain, Marvel would eventually make him an ally. Moving forward, the same can be said for Thor. What appealed to most fans with the Thor movies was how great of a villain Loki was. Loki wanted power but he was also driven by jealousy of his brother Thor. As the Thor and Avengers movies continued to grow, so did Loki’s roles in each. Much like Killmonger, we grew attached to his villainous role and hoped he would change his ways.
While The Hulk is basically a one-man wrecking crew, his time spent with Loki and Thor in Thor: Ragnarok was exceptional. Even Ironman has a sidekick in War Machine. Most of the Avengers in their solo movies have that one person that is almost equal to them in terms of technology or skills. Which brings us back to Black Panther and Killmonger.
At the end, after their epic battle, Black Panther told Killmonger he could save him. What he offered was another chance to turn it around. However, Killmonger, still holding on to the pain from the past, refused and “supposedly” died while looking over Wakanda. But what if he didn’t die? What if he just passed out and T’Challa took him back to his sister’s lab to heal?
This is where a Black Panther series, or even yet, Avengers: Infinity War could get interesting.
— IGN (@IGN) February 18, 2018
While each hero may have their own sidekick or equal, could the MCU be big enough for two Black Panthers? Yes. While Killmonger started out as the villain, he only did so out of revenge for his father’s death. Once healed, he and his cousin T’Challa could come to some understanding and find a way to bridge the gap between the two of them. Their pairing could be more along the lines of Thor and Loki’s relationship. Loki is perceived as the bad guy but he still has helped his brother in times of need. Killmonger could do the same for his cousin. Maybe the animosity will still be present, but their pairing could be done for the love of Wakanda.
According to Comic Book, Black Panther is set to have other movies in the works and if so, bringing back Killmonger in a different role would be beneficial to the plot. The reaction from the audience and reviews I’ve come across have placed Killmonger as not only a central character in the film, but he may have taken the spotlight from Black Panther himself. It would be amazing to see T’Challa and Killmonger both suited up as Black Panther to fight alongside Nakia, Okoye, and M’Baku.
Remember, this is Marvel where anything is possible and nothing is as it seems.