N'Jadaka, legally changed to Erik Killmonger
Place of Birth
N'Jadaka village, Wakanda
Jungle Action #6 (1973)
Jungle Action #8 (1974)
In the wake of the sorcerer Reverend Achebe's attempted takeover of Wakanda, with T'Challa absent and control of the country left with his regent Everett Ross, Killmonger tried to gain control of the country via its economy, forcing T'Challa to stop him by nationalizing all foreign companies in Wakanda and cause a run on the stock market. The two foes fought in a vicious ritual combat over the right to rule the country, and Killmonger was finally able to defeat his foe and gain the status of Black Panther for his own. He maintained control of Wakanda for a while and even attempted to inherit T'Challa's Avengers status, but when he underwent the ascension rite needed to cement his position, his body had a severe reaction to the heart-shaped herb that he was required to consume - it was poisonous to all but the royal bloodline. Although it would have been convenient to allow him to die, and be unquestionably entitled to the position of the Black Panther, T'Challa preserved his rival's life.
Killmonger eventually came out of his coma, thus reclaiming his position as chieftain over Wakanda. He went to New York and contacted Kasper Cole, an inner-city police officer masquerading as the Black Panther to help him with cases, and attempted to gain him as an ally (and one-up T'Challa) by offering him a buffered version of the Panther's heart-shaped herb and help finding his supervisor's kidnapped son. In exchange, he had to drop the Panther identity and take up that of a White Tiger acolyte of the Panther cult, and would owe Killmonger a favor. While Kasper agreed to this, he then used his new herb-enhanced abilities to track down the boy on his own to avoid owing Killmonger an unpayable debt.T'Challa is then once again the sole ruler of Wakanda when Killmonger resurfaces.