Major spoilers ahead for Black Panther.
Cultural critics have had a lot to say about how Black Panther’s Erik Killmonger is a sympathetic villain, and how black viewers can identify with his point of view. He’s a casual murderer with a lengthy kill list literally carved into his own body, but Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) isn’t just fighting for personal reasons. He’s avenging his father and his lost childhood, but he identifies with other black people who’ve grown up in poverty, and he wants to use Wakanda’s advanced technology to liberate people of color who’ve been oppressed by Western imperialism. His goals have real political weight, and they’re more interesting than those of a lot of superhero-movie villains, who are often…
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Author: Shannon Liao
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