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Wakanda Forever Proves Killmonger Was Always Beyond Redemption (& He'd Agree)

Warning: Contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, is believed to be one of the best Marvel villains. And that was 100% by design. For years, Marvel got flack from fans and entertainment critics who were frustrated with the MCU's flat, two-dimensional villains. There's even an entry for this issue in the official Marvel Cinematic Universe Fandom Wiki. Kevin Feige has previously acknowledged the problem (via ET Online) with Marvel villains. So "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler and Jordan sat down together to create a villain that would shake up the universe.

In another exclusive ET interview, both men went into detail about what went into making the character so dynamic. Jordan said that his goal was "to build a character that will entertain you, educate you, inspire and also scare you a little bit." Coogler added that "we wanted to have a villain that was complicated and we wanted to have a villain that could challenge T'Challa and hit him where he's most vulnerable," adding that Killmonger "has something about him that triggers empathy with people, no matter what he's doing ... in a way, that's kind of the secret weapon."

That empathy trigger has led to extensive debates among fans about whether or not Killmonger has any potential for redemption. He's a villain so beloved that fans want an opportunity for him to turn good. Sadly for them, his surprise cameo in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"  has set his villain status in stone. And that's not even the only Marvel property to do so.

Even in death, Killmonger still desires vengeance and bloodshed

In "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," when Shuri's mother dies, it forces her to become the new queen and take the mantle of the Black Panther. As part of the Wakandan accession customs, she takes the synthetic heart-shaped herb and visits the ancestral plane. She wants to meet her mother there, but is surprised and horrified to see Killmonger sitting on the Wakandan throne, smirking menacingly at her.

During their verbal exchange, it's implied that Shuri subconsciously manifested Killmonger's spirit because she's still angry over the sudden deaths of both her brother and mother. And that anger wants vengeance for their deaths — just like how Killmonger was bloodthirsty for vengeance in his life. He taunts her during their conversation, insisting that the two of them are more alike than Shuri wants to admit, egging her on to go after Namor and slaughter his people in retribution. At one point, he even asks her "are you going to be more like your brother, or are you going to take care of business like me?"

Shuri almost falls for his persuasive tactics but chooses a more peaceful option in the end. But fans think that the powers that be at Marvel were holding on to Killmonger's intrinsic evil. As /u/SuperCoenBros mused on Reddit: "FANS: I bet Ryan Coogler really regrets killing Killmonger. He could've been redeemed. What a huge blunder. RYAN COOGLER: imma bring back Killmonger worse than ever before."

Jordan's commitment to Killmonger's savagery can be seen in his What If...? appearance

Another point of evidence is that Jordan chose to reprise his Killmonger role for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and also for the Marvel animated series "What If...?" which explores alternate MCU timelines and scenarios. He voiced Killmonger in two separate episodes: Season 1, Episode 6, "What If ... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?", and Season 1, Episode 9, "What If ... The Watcher Broke His Oath?". In the first episode, Killmonger rescues Tony Stark in Afghanistan, only to betray him and kill him in an effort to get revenge on T'Challa — which he does, racking up a sizeable body count in the process and taking the mantle of Black Panther for himself.

In the next episode, Killmonger is recruited to the "Guardians of the Multiverse" due to his Black Panther powers. He's considered one of the "good" guys, but betraying the Guardians and tries to steal the Infinity Stones. Clearly, Jordan signed up to be a pure, 100% villain as Killmonger. If he had wanted the character to experience any sort of redemption, it's unlikely he would have reprised the role for either the "Black Panther" sequel or the animated show. As /u/ponodude astutely (and colorfully) pointed out on Reddit, "I f****** loved [Killgrave's cameo], even when being brought back, they had him double down on his views. No redemption. No regret. That was so good."