The sensational villain from the first Black Panther (2018) is just one of the many factors that made it so successful.
There was a time when the Marvel Cinematic Universe received harsh criticism for having bland, forgettable antagonists that lacked individuality or anything approximating a character journey.
. Thankfully, Phase 3 of the MCU is now beginning to solve that problem, and Erik Killmonger is one of its many byproducts (Michael B. Jordan). In many ways, King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Killmonger are mirror images of each other.
Killmonger possesses everything. Michael B. Jordan gives an outstanding performance, and most importantly, the character has a compelling past and drive that also offers insightful commentary.
Any hypothetical sequel to the movie would struggle to live up to the fame of such a legendary figure, and the added burden of having to pay honour to the late Chadwick Boseman further makes matters worse.
Director Ryan Coogler (Creed) accepted the challenge and decided that the villain who will replace Killmonger should be a significant person from the Marvel Comics universe.
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Namor the Submariner (Tenoch Huerta Mejia) joins the MCU as K'uk'ulkan (the feathered serpent god) and the head of the Talokanil, an ancient race of underwater Mayans who are growing more and more resentful of the surface world (2022).
Wakanda will require a new Black Panther as the unrest worsens in order to stave off Namor's wrath.
Even though Killmonger may have been vanquished in the first movie, the usurper king's influence can be sensed throughout the sequel. This anger has been caused by decades of generational suffering.