The Interesting Thing about the Bad Guy in Black Panther

And why he reminds me of the villains in another black film, Set It Off.

Comments

1
I guess the author was getting popcorn when the villain of Black Panther was choking and shooting his non-violent subjects, mostly because he likes it. I wouldn't necessarily call him that complicated. He became the evil that hurt him as a child. He doesn't want equality, just to take his place as an oppressor.
2
>Under white directors, villains have tended to be evil in the metaphysical sense, and if a person became a villain because of a life-changing experience, that event was almost never complicated.

This is a sweeping statement I've almost always heard as the other argument. That white people love to make their villains into complex anti-heroes. Prestige television is predicated on that exact thing, to the point of parody.

Surely the villain of Winter Soldier is at least as sympathetic as Erik Killmonger, and just as right. Arguably, so is Loki or even Ultron.

Killmonger is unnecessarily evil, shooting his romantic partner without hesitation, burning the heart-shaped herb, being autocratic immediately and lustily killing his bodyguards and attempting to kill Shuri, having a plan that consists of giving weapons to 'war dogs' but really just putting hugely destructive rapids in the hands of people to kill for the sake of causing global disorder.

There's a version of the movie out there where Killmonger isn't cartoonishly evil in addition to being right. But that's not the movie I saw.
3
That should be villain from Civil War, rather. But maybe Winter Soldier would count, too.
4
Dude's named "Killmonger" for some reason.
5
This is an argument desperately in need of way more supporting examples. The Joker alone simply does not typify villainy as depicted by white America.
6
I enjoyed this commentary, CM--and I'm keen now to watch "Set It Off".