This Week in Wakanda: Could Killmonger kill Thanos?

Are we still reeling over the Wakandan devastation Thanos created in Infinity War? I know I am, and I won’t be able to rest well if T’Challa stays dead any longer.

Well, let me honest–I’m being a little hyperbolic. I rest pretty well knowing T’Challa’s a fictional character and his death can either be ignored or, in all likelihood, well on its way to being retconned at the end of Infinity War 2. But what’s still annoying is that Marvel thought they could get away with T’Challa’s death in the first place, completely underestimating his audience appeal.

After watching Black Panther, I think most audience members would bet everything they have on T’Challa and the Wakandans single-handedly defeating Thanos without any of the Avengers’ help. I mean, they’ve got tech that brings people’s severed spines back in working order and allows folks to operate cars using advanced sand! How could they not defeat Thanos even with his Infinity Gauntlet? So consider me mad that Infinity War makes Wakanda just a standard backdrop for a melee that could have easily gone against Thanos’ favor if it was just T’Challa, Shuri, M’Baku and the Dora Milaje handling things.

But there’s one other Wakandan we aren’t considering: Killmonger. Sure, Killmonger (aka Erik aka N’Jadaka) was dead by the time Thanos came to Earth (or was he?), but if he was alive, would Killmonger be able to take on the purple intergalactic eugenicist? Michael B. Jordan, who played Killmonger, thinks he could. Not only would Killmonger be able to take on Thanos, but if you let Jordan tell it, Killmonger might be able to beat Thanos.

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Here’s what Jordan told the A.V. Club while in L.A. for his MBJAM event supporting Lupus LA (which raised over $250,000 for the organization, so we can add “charitable” to the list of attributes N’Jadaka might have had if he was raised properly with his Wakandan kin).

“…I think one thing about Killmonger is he really plans his attacks, and they’re well thought out. So if he ever stepped in a situation with Thanos, he would feel confident that he had the upper hand–at the very least, he would know he had a shot. So I mean, we already know that Erik’s willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, so I don’t think he’s ever fearful of losing his life. So I think if he ever stepped in front of Thanos, he’d already have a plan for taking him down.”

Before you scoff and say, “But the Infinity Gauntlet!” think about how Killmonger was able to infiltrate Wakanda, an impenetrable place. Not only did he make it into Wakanda, he achieved his goal of becoming king. If T’Challa hadn’t been saved by M’Baku’s people, Killmonger would have fully realized his long-term goal of arming every oppressed black person with Wakandan technology. So let’s not count Killmonger out as being unable to defeat Thanos. Speaking personally, I’d put more of my trust in Killmonger’s abilities than I would the entirety of the Avengers, who make me nervous sometimes, plus they don’t own up to their own hypocritical crap, which gets in the way of the supeheroism. I love you, Cap, but I’ve been looking at you side-eyed ever since you let it slip that you knew Bucky killed Tony’s parents.

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At least Killmonger knows he’s a bad guy, and his self-awareness could also be an asset against Thanos, who has conned himself into thinking he’s a good guy doing the tough job of saving the world when he’s just a mass murderer. I think if they ever got into a battle of wits, Killmonger would be able to out-wit Thanos by challenging him on his ethics and code of conduct, villain to villain.

Do you think Killmonger could beat Thanos? Give your opinions below!