Killmonger's return in Black Panther 2 could reveal a multiverse twist

Is the character really dead?

Will Black Panther 2 see the return of Killmonger? In the months since Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing, a cloud of uncertainty loomed over the Marvel sequel. Many have wondered how Marvel and writer-director Ryan Coogler will honor Boseman in the film, along with who they’re thinking of taking over the Black Panther mantle in Boseman’s stead. Most fans believe Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, will take her brother’s place in the sequel, but until an official announcement is made by Marvel, everything about Black Panther 2 remains a mystery. (For now, all we know is that Marvel definitely won't stick a CGI'd Boseman in the sequel.)

Boseman won't return, but Black Panther 2 could still bring back another major character from the original film — even if this one died at the end of Black Panther. A new rumor claims Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger could return. But how is that even possible? And what would it mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let's dive in.

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther.

Marvel Studios

Killmonger in Black Panther 2?

A new, but unconfirmed, report from FandomWire claims Jordan will return as Killmonger in Black Panther 2. However, we’re taking that with a big grain of salt for the time being — as should you. After all, this is pretty much as far from a confirmed source as you can get, but the implications here are too interesting not to consider.

Killmonger coming back from his presumed death in Black Panther does open up some interesting possibilities for Black Panther 2. Is it possible that Killmonger could return a different man, changed by the mercy and kindness that T’Challa showed him in his final moments? Will T’Challa’s peaceful opening up of Wakanda to the rest of the world force Killmonger to realize that there are ways of solving problems other than violence?

That’d make for an unexpected and moving character arc, for arguably the most dimensional and memorable villain in all of the MCU. Michael B. Jordan already got considerable acclaim for his performance as Killmonger, and he and Coogler have maintained a strong working relationship throughout their careers, so the option for Killmonger to return is definitely open.

Black Panther 2 could explore the multiverse

This wouldn’t be the first time that Marvel has brought a character back from the dead either, and as the MCU veers into multiverse territory, there are plenty of creative ways to bring revive fallen heroes and villains.

Black Panther 2 could feature a Killmonger from another universe, one who became the Black Panther instead of T'Challah — maybe that's the same universe where T'Challah became Star-Lord from the What If...? teaser. The possibilities are literally endless, but that doesn't mean bringing back Michael B. Jordan is the best path forward from the highly anticipated sequel.

Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther.

Marvel Studios

Black Panther 2 needs to be more grounded

The Black Panther sequel shouldn’t be called "Black Panther 2." It should focus on the characters still around in Wakanda as they mourn the loss of their leader. (The Warriors of Wakanda has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) Kevin Feige essentially confirmed that the sequel will take a path like that earlier this week.

During an interview with Deadline, Feige said, “Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures,” adding that Black Panther 2 was “always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda.”

So while the possibility of Jordan reprising his role as Killmonger is certainly an interesting one, it seems infinitely more likely that Black Panther 2 will focus more on the characters from the first film that are still alive, as opposed to revisiting Killmonger’s story.

Black Panther 2 is scheduled for release on July 8, 2022.

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