Killmonger Was Wrong & That’s Okay: On Why Villians Can’t Just Be Evil Anymore

By:  H.T., Website:  Rogue Black Nerd

Now, let me start by saying that this isn’t the worst idea, but if we have to ask who was right between T’challa and Erik, the answer isn’t a simple one:  T’Challa is right to defend his people and has no obligation to save all the black people of the world.  But in my opinion, Wakanda is basically a nationalist ethno-state and when it comes to Killmonger, the need to stage a revolution to save the African Americans of the world is a noble cause.  But let’s be honest, if nothing else proves that Killmonger’s revolution would be pointless for black people in the west look no further than this:


As far as Killmonger goes, he’s not so much evil as he’s a very motivated revolutionary, not unlike other Marvel villains like Magneto.  The problem is that as far as a character like Killmonger, the irony is that the very people he would try to save would in real life reject him for the reasons above.

While I get that Killmonger is supposed to be the bad guy, as far as MCU villains go, so far, he’s not the most “toxic” if we’re going by this scale.  Loki also killed men and women left and right, Whiplash likely caused many deaths with what he did toward the end of Iron Man 2, and Captain America fought literal Nazis.  Yet here we are with Black nerds doing this thing I hate which is unfairly pressing on black characters because they’re not “woke” enough.  It was one thing when people complained that Black Panther didn’t show LGBT characters, but now even the bad guy has to be ethical?

Was Killmonger homophobic?  I don’t know.  But when you complain that the main antagonist of the movie did shitty things like kill old people and women and then assume “Well, if he’ll kill a woman, he probably hates gay people” and then complain that he’s “the embodiment of toxic masculinity”, I can’t help but feel frustrated because…he’s the bad guy.  He’s SUPPOSED to be terrible.  This goes to the complaint people had about how in Mark Millar’s comics there’s the trope of villains raping women.  Yes, rape is wrong, but they’re the BAD GUYS.  Are we at the point where now the bad guys can only be so evil?  Yes, show a villain that wants to take over the world, but apparently he can’t kill women, any LGBT characters, minorities; he can’t even touch women and rape?  Forget it.  Never mind that villains often just in their pursuance of their goal show plenty of warning signs that, yeah, it’s not hard to believe they’d rape someone.

Yet, this where we are.  The Blavity black elements on the net love to take black characters and make diatribes about how this character talks about the mechanization of black bodies and how that character has toxic masculinity, but when this is the logic of a lot of black nerds, can they really be shocked when plenty of us decide to ignore black created comics that are made to fight these problems in the mainstream?  It’s not that we don’t want better, it’s that no one thinks about this logically.  Logically in that it’s bad when the bad guys are toxic and harm or kill women, when a cast isn’t diverse enough despite that depending on the film that could be a huge shoehorn, and that the politics of the hero has to fit a narrow set of politics or people must debate if this character must be “canceled”.

The problem with this train of logic is that at the end of the day it’s not even as simple as over analyzing a character or a film.  It’s pedantically concluding that elements of a film don’t meet the ideal of intersectionality which to many is a very esoteric issue.  This is why black nerds like me have such an issue dealing with other black nerds on the internet as too many of them have ideals that are so out there that this is why I stay away.  We can’t have fun without people turning anything that includes us into a moment in civil rights.  We can’t disagree about an issue without the stark threat that disagreeing with them means we are dehumanizing them and are on the side of actually hateful people, and this I believe is the true reason why the core voices of the blerd community are so incredibly difficult to work with.  Seriously, when are we going to have fun again without shit being problematic or being called “Ashy”?   

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