Black Panther as a whole was by far one of the best Marvel movie. Box office numbers is proof that this movie is a certified hit, critics have also given the movie a beaming and solid approval in ratings.
To be honest, the movie is a solid, fun, entertaining, and really a beautifully crafted movie that highlights culture, family, and political beliefs. In short, it hit all the right notes, except for one small detail.
Of course, it stands to reason that from this point on it will be spoiler-filled, so a spoiler warning is in order. If you haven’t seen the movie, its a good time to save this article in your to read list and get back to it after watching the movie.
If you’re still here, then good.
So what is this “one thing” that Black Panther got wrong? To put it simply, the fate of the villains.
It’s no secret that Marvel’s list of stand-out villains are pretty shallow, with the exception of Loki, Thanos, and the Netflix villains. But as to previous villains in the main MCU movies, its rather unfortunate that these villains have yet to put their stamp on the MCU.
What aggravates this is the penchant for Marvel to kill-off the villains. The same rings true with Black Panther.
In the movie, we are introduced with two villains, Erik Killmonger (the main villain), and Ulysses Klaue.
I’d be lying if I said that these two villains fall under the forgettable villains of the MCU. A case can be made for these two as some of the more memorable villains in a MCU movie.
Truth be told, Klaue, in particular, was truly fun to watch. There’s a quality of unpredictability in him, that made him that much more formidable. In an earlier scene in the movie, Klaue even had a museum guard believe that he was being set free by Klaue, only to be shot from behind by Klaue. His reason “to make it look like the thieves were amateurs”. This line of thinking brings about something diabolical in him, that makes his planning and logic all the more terrifying, making him somewhat a formidable foe.
Later in the movie, Klaue again shows how ingenious and practical he is when he presents the stolen vibranium to agent Ross in Busan, South Korea. His whole entrance also evicts power and respect in the criminal underworld and shows just how far his reach is. The fact that he even catches T’Challa off-guard with his vibranium arm shows how crafty he is.
His eventual arrest and interrogation was also an iconic scene for Klaue. The way he toyed with Agent Ross puts him ahead of most of the villains, the same with his escape plan.
His eventual demise, however, was uncalled for. Sure, it gave Killmonger the ticket to enter Wakanda, but the fact that he can prove that he is Wakandan is already enough to get him inside. There really was no reason for Klaue to have been unceremoniously wiped off the board.
It does not help either that Andy Serkis’ performance was spot on. Klaue would have been a perfect foil for T’Challa in future movies as he seeks to reek havoc on Wakanda especially with Wakanda opening its doors to the international community.
The same goes for the fate of Erik Killmonger.
In a sense, Killmonger’s story arc is somewhat similar to that of Loki’s, in the sense that both Killmonger and Loki are outcasts that are looking for the respect that they deserve, albeit in a twisted way.
Killmonger’s motivations is basically that of an abandoned child looking for recognition from his people and to get what should be his birthright. Since Killmonger comes from royal blood, he believes that he has a claim to the throne. What sets him apart from this trope is that he is humanized especially in his astral plane scene.
It is clearly shown that Killmonger is misguided in his intentions. His intentions may be noble, but his means are not. Had he been guided by his father, Erik would undoubtedly be an asset to Wakanda. His intentions are to bring Wakanda to the forefront of world power and consolidate this power, but by means of war and conquering. He intends to help the global community by first conquering it. But had he been guided accordingly, his and T’Challa’s eventual vision would have been the same.
While that was the gist of his character, I believe that Marvel again missed-out on this when they killed-off Killmonger. In Killmonger’s dying moments, there was a moment of clarity for him, one where had he been given the chance, he would have been redeemed. While some will argue that his acceptance of his demise was a redeeming factor and the effect it had on T’Challa further strengthens this, it was still unnecessary. Again, it may have been the superb performance of Michael B. Jordan.
Do you think Killmonger and Klaue should not have been killed-off? Or do you think that both of them should have been given a chance to return for a sequel? Let us know in the comments section below, or jump over to our Facebook, Twitter , Youtube, and Instagram. or Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and comicbook aficionado. He is Matt Murdock by profession in the day, without the vigilante crime fighting at night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse.