The Marvel Cinematic Universe is as popular as ever among fans, yet has had a long-standing issue of character depth getting lost in the background of their comedic relief and repetitive action sequences. This is a common fault in terms of superhero films as a whole, but recently, we have begun to see the potential future of these films past 2018.

"Black Panther" absolutely tore apart the box office within its first week of release. It depicts romance, conflict, and, above all, family, on a level Marvel had yet to explore, reported Game Spot.

Behind Killmonger

Erik Killmonger, the film’s primary villain, is represented as a young child in Oakland, CA and as an angry, wrath-filled adult. He comes from a place many people can relate to: a single-parent family struggling to make ends meet. As he continues to grow, he carries the same sentiments of revolution that his father did. Erik seeks to make the oppressors of his community and his family understand what it is like to struggle to survive underneath a group of people that ruthlessly dominates them. This carries a strong political undertone; speaking clear as day about systematic racism.

Keep in mind, never before has Marvel spoken so loud and clear about issues that real people, outside of these films, deal with.

A question of what is 'right and wrong'

In his older self, Killmonger’s villainous attitude shines through. "Black Panther" illustrates that heroes can become the creators of evil due to their own faults. Despite his heinous acts, Erik is not solely defined by them. He speaks and reacts with anger that found its origins in confusion, hurt, and sadness.

"Black Panther" brings an age-old conflict into a more than realistic setting, making even the audience question what is the right method of action. Is it correct to seek power for one’s people even if the cost is chaos and revolution? Or, is there a peaceful method to the madness? Can humans help each other and successfully strive towards equality?

Erik’s hurt was visible as his selfishness took over. Was he simply blinded by the craving for power? Or, was the source of all his anger towards racism and inequality based on his father’s death and never feeling like he truly had anything for himself to love and care?

With this, we can also question: Was Erik’s upbringing also caused by these systematic issues? Ultimately, did these problems create the monster that is Killmonger? Erik placed the blame on the world and motivated himself by masking his pain with righteousness. Killmonger questions the basis for these feelings and the outcome we all search for. He is created directly from the political problems he seeks to end and because of his nature, driven by hate, he is unable to create harmony.

At the end of the film, we see T’Challa offering Erik the potential to live and assist them by peaceful means, but he refuses. Erik kills himself because he is unable to see hope in changing the world via any method other than war. He spent his life killing and training for the moment that he could overthrow T’Challa and believes death is better than accepting his wrongs and attempting peace.

With "Black Panther," the MCU brought characters to life that were buried under pages of comic books. Decades after their creation, they play a significant role in empowering those who have felt underrepresented in all sides of media. These characters, even the villain, combat issues and faults we can see in our own world.

We hope that the future of the MCU, and further, stays bright, continues to strive towards films that make their audiences feel understood, and depicts characters as human: strengths and weaknesses together.

In its last scene, "Black Panther" depicts Bucky being dubbed the "White Wolf," which is another important character within the "Black Panther" comic series. We wonder how he is going to be represented within the coming Infinity War and what Wakanda's role will be in other movies to come.