– by David Kozlowski

Superhero “origin” films are complex juggling acts, introducing new characters, tone, story, and settings often while also serving the larger brand (MCU or DCEU). Establishing these elements absorbs an inordinate amount of screen time, so naturally something has to give, and it’s usually the villain. As we all know, a hero is only as good as his nemesis.

Arguably, there are really only four really well-crafted and enduring super-villains in the recent DC and Marvel movie pantheons: Magneto, Lex Luthor, Loki, and the Joker — it’s fair to say that Heath Ledger’s performance as Joker in The Dark Knight is the standard by which all others are measured.

Related – Black Panther: Michael B. Jordan Says Killmonger Took Him To A Dark Place

Enter Black Panther, who was a key player in Captain America: Civil War, and we’re within a few weeks of his proper origin story. In this upcoming film we’re treated to multiple bad guys, including Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue, Winston Duke’s M’Baku, and of course Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger — apparently the film’s primary or most-aggreived antagonist.

As Jammer wrote the other day, Killmonger is a dark and damaged character, which affected Jordan deeply. Now he’s sharing a bit more insight into his character, as reported by We Got This Covered:

“You see performances as an actor, and as a fan — you look at Heath Ledger’s performance, say, in The Dark Knight, and it’s like, ‘Wow’. I want to try to get something like that. You want Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. Just trying to find my place amongst those roles, and strive for that, even if I don’t make it.”

Between Joker and Magneto you’ve got two very different yet quite similar villains. Each were motivated by personal or societal issues, each embraced chaos rather than outright evil, and each was so committed to his point-of-view that audiences could identify with them. If that’s the bar Jordan is setting for himself — and the film manages to deliver — then Black Panther could be truly remarkable. As an actor, Jordan has the range and intensity to pull it off. I can’t wait to find out.

Do you think that Jordan’s Killmonger will compare favorably to Ledger’s Joker? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: We Got This Covered

  • Smerdyakov

    “Do you want to know how I got these abs?”

    • I’m not sure anyone will ever supersede Ledger’s performance, but I admire Jordan for aiming high!

  • Vector

    Not sure how Lex Luthor was on your list of great MOVIE villains.

  • CrystalClearTruth

    some studio exec realized there’s too many white super heroes and put together a committee to make a politically correct, black friendly, retcon to the the franchise. Blah. Stinks to high heaven.

    • Smerdyakov

      Oh, go wash your sheet.

  • Jeremy Keeler

    Black Panther is an example of how introducing more people of color into the superhero genre should be done. Instead of taking established characters that are white or male and turning them black or making them female to check a PC box, they should introduce characters that are super and just happen to be black, female or whatever. This is who the character is and always has been.
    It should go both ways, no white washing of characters either.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.