The Dream Of Erik Killmonger Revealed In Killmonger #3

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Kingpin has sent Bullseye to kill Killmonger, Knight, Rook, and King. Rook is already dead, but Killmonger isn’t one to back down from a fight no matter the odds. He charges at Bullseye, but the assassin is able to deflect or dodge every attack thrown at him. King forces Erik and Knight to retreat, and the crew agree to split up and leave town, possibly country. Erik and Knight have one last rendezvous before leaving, but Knight leaves Killmonger to join up with S.H.I.E.L.D and get out. She has Erik “kidnapped” (though Erik doesn’t know it’s a fake kidnapping) to get him away from Kingpin, but this doesn’t stop Erik from having a real crisis of faith. N’Jadaka prays to Bast.

Killmonger #3 cover by Juan Ferreyra
Killmonger #3 cover by Juan Ferreyra

Killmonger #3 arguably takes the most from the changes made to N’Jadaka in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther film. While the entire miniseries was openly trying to re-adapt that interpretation back into the pre-existing character, Killmonger #3 works hard to establish this new fusion of film and comic N’Jadaka.

As such, some of this feels like retreading the movie. Erik Killmonger dreams of returning to Wakanda rule. He blames Wakanda for not interfering whenever Africans and their descendants have been enslaved, oppressed, and killed. He feels that Wakanda should be a sanctuary state for everyone of African blood, and he feels that T’Challa is a usurper if only through his inaction to save those taken by Klaw.

The rest of the tale, of course, treads new ground. The involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D and Kingpin obviously parts from the movie and past stories about N’Jadaka. Knight, whose real name is Patricia Jackson, proves to be an interesting figure in all of this, and I look forward to seeing where her story goes.

Killmonger #3 art by Juan Ferreyra, Eduardo Ferreyra, and letterer VC's Joe Sabino
Killmonger #3 art by Juan Ferreyra, Eduardo Ferreyra, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino

Juan Ferreyra continues to stun with his beautiful artwork. The fight sequence between Killmonger’s crew and Bullseye is well-realized and feels very kinetic. There are some parts where the layout can confuse, but this only happens once or twice in the fight. The detailing is impeccable and dazzles the reader. The color work, with assists from Eduardo Ferreyra, is well-graded and keeps the atmosphere palpable throughout the book.

Killmonger #3 continues the fascinating rebirth of this character while making him more compelling than he’s ever been before. N’Jadaka easily became one of the most interesting Marvel Cinematic Universe villains after Black Panther, and Bryan Hill and Juan Ferreyra are working hard to bring that to the comics too. This one easily earns a recommendation. Give it a read.

Killmonger #3 comes to us from artist Bryan Hill, artist and cover artist Juan Ferreyra, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, and color assistant Eduardo Ferreyra.

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