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The difference between you and me, is that you can't see the difference between you and me.
~ Erik Killmonger's famous quote to Tony Stark.
The cure is power. And now, I have it.
~ Killmonger to Black Panther.

First Lieutenant Erik Stevens (born N'Jadaka), also known as Erik Killmonger, is a major antagonist of the first season of What If...?, serving as the titular villain protagonist of "What If... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?" and one of the two final antagonists (alongside Arnim Zola) of "What If... the Watcher Broke His Oath?".

He is an Wakandan-American assassin and mercenary who is the son of N'Jobu was murdered by T'Chaka for selling Wakandan weapons unbeknownst to Erik, growing to have a deep hatred for America and Wakanda not supporting African people and on a mission he saw Tony Stark. He rescued the billionaire and they started a friendship that would end up in an unexpected way.

Like his main timeline iteration, he was voiced by Michael B. Jordan, who also voiced Nemesis in gen:Lock.

Biography

Background

Erik Stevens, born as N'Jadaka, was the only child of N'Jobu, a Wakandan prince stationed in America and a mother who wrongfully died in prison. His father wanted to show him Wakanda but for the time being gave him a decent life in America until the day that N'Jobu died to gang violence. In truth T'Chaka had murdered him for selling Wakandan weapons and this drove Erik into a delusional view that black people were neglected by America and Wakanda.

Erik studied at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Maryland, from where he graduated and later at MIT. He designed a system called Project Liberator that was a robot that could replace humans in times of war. This plan never saw the light of day due to interface issues and Stevens moved on to the military, where he became a covert assassin in the NAVY seals and managed to get the highest kill count in his squad.

What If...

Erik Stevens infiltrated the Ten Rings on a secret mission to expose Obadiah Stane and the Ten Rings in 2009. He had found information regarding this conspiracy to kill Stark and now was arriving to rescue Stark. When the Ten Rings had prepared to finish Stark Killmonger had found him and evacuated him away from the missile that if not dealt with would have sure damaged Stark very greatly. All the Ten rings operatives there were massacred promptly by Killmonger. Stark was amazed at this new man and thanked him very much.

Tony Stark was very pleased with Stevens so appointed him as CSO of Stark Industries and in Los Angeles in front of the press he described everything. From being undercover in the Ten Rings and before he was going to reveal everything Stane tried to stop him from finishing. Although this didn't work and Killmonger managed to expose Stane to everyone as attempting to murder Tony Stark. Stane then found himself punched by Happy Hogan and arrested after Stevens leaked phone records and bank documents.

Tony after this gave the chance for Stevens to become the COO of his company at his mansion that night at a party. Stevens accepted but with some reluctance although he revealed to Stark about his robots. They then discussed their backgrounds and weapons finding each others creations marvelous. Stark decided after this to make the robots that Killmonger tried to create a reality, with him using Erik's vibranium ring necklace to develop the robots.

Stopping Infinity Ultron

Though successful in starting a war between the United States and Wakanda, Killmonger's actions were exposed as Shuri and Pepper worked together. Before he could be confronted, Killmonger was chosen by the Watcher to assist him, Captain Carter, T'Challa, Party Thor, Gamora and Strange Supreme in stopping Infinity Ultron. While the group discussed their plan to stop the artificial intelligence, Killmonger observed an Ultron sentry head that Party Thor had brought with him. Joining the Guardians of the Multiverse, Killmonger assisted his teammates in defeating Ultron as Black Widow implanted Arnim Zola's conscious into the artificial intelligence with Hawkeye's arrow. Upon defeating Ultron, Killmonger proceeded to combine his panther habit suit with Ultron's body with the Ultron sentry head, and attempted to persuade his teammates in betraying the Watcher to fix their realities.

The rest of the group refused and prepared to fight him, but Erik proceeded to unleash the powers of the Infinity Stones to attack his former teammates. Before he could kill them, Killmonger was put into a standstill by Arnim Zola, who demanded the stones himself after taking over Infinity Ultron's body. During their fight over the stones, Strange Supreme trapped the two into a pocket dimension upon realizing that the Guardians were never suppose to win, but separate the Infinity Stones. Killmonger and Zola are left fighting over the stones for all eternity, as the Watcher tasks Strange with overseeing the pocket dimension.

Personality

Killmonger is a delusional individual who believes he is helping African Americans while he is a psychopathic hypocrite all too willing to murder them (such as T-Challa and Rhodey) to further his goals.

He is far more charming and manipulative than his Scared Timeline counterpart, only killing when he absolutely had to by any means necessary. He’s perfectly willing to trick the U.S and Wakanda into war.

Despite his manipulations, Killmonger does still love his father and expresses sorrow upon killing T'Challa, as well as admitting he wishes he never had to kill Tony. He helps the Guardians defeat Infinity Ultron, though after the battle he attempts to take the stones for himself. He claims to be upset when the heroes refuse his offer to fix their universes, although he easily could have been lying due to his manipulative nature.

Trivia

  • The character is revealed to be a fan of anime, and his voice actor, Michael B. Jordan, is also a well-known fan of anime.

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