Marvel Studios still has a villain problem ten years into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Too many villains are forgettable, far too many are killed instead of saved for future appearances, and most are basically evil versions of the hero with similar superpowers or super-suits (whether they fly, make you shrink, or coat in you in Vibranium).
Though in the second trailer for Black Panther the main villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), does indeed have a suit that looks exactly like T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman), he still comes across as a fairly unique type of baddie in a few seconds we see him, going from the extremes of Wakandan dress and culture to that wonderful scene in the museum where Killmonger is decked out in some very fashionable western attire. His costume choices already make him more well-rounded than the average MCU villain! (A bit of an exaggeration, but I sure like those fashionable glasses he’s sporting…)
Director Ryan Cooglar was asked by Fandango what makes Killmonger different than other MCU villains:
“I will say what makes him different — not from all Marvel villains, but I think a lot of Marvel villains — is that he has a real world sensibility to him. I think it’s a benefit of having Mike as an actor, but he’s a character that I think will feel very familiar to audiences. I think Marvel has had villains who you can relate to, but I think even more than that, you feel like he’s of this world. He’s very grounded, I would say.”
Though Loki has always stolen the show, my other favorite MCU villains have been the ones more grounded in reality, including the Winter Solider, Alexander Pierce, and Zemo.
Do you think Erik Killmonger will overcome the MCU villain curse? Or is Cooglar being too optimistic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Black Panther roars into theaters on February 16, 2018.
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