The Scars of Erik Killmonger

As indelible images go, I do not think 2018 will offer a more memorable one than that of Erik Killmonger revealing the scars covering his entire upper body in Black Panther.

Killmonger, played by the wonderful Michael B. Jordan, is perhaps the most compelling villain Marvel Studios has been able to offer up to date - a not-quite-intentionally exiled Wakandan who, rather than growing up in a hidden African utopia, comes of age in the United States, and as a result comes to see the deliberate reclusion of the nation as a deep moral failure.

There is so much about Black Panther that felt fresh and new - a true achievement in this movie climate. The cast and the costumes looked totally different because, well, they were.

But the buff, sinewy Jordan, shirt off, revealing that each of the countless scars represented a kill on behalf of the government by a special ops soldier trained to destabilize governments around the world and generally cause mayhem felt painfully familiar.

If you've flipped through Civil War history books and had the scars of former slaves photographed in all their brutal detail seared in to memory, then Killmonger's scars - self-inflicted, but signifying unseen, unappreciated, dehumanizing work on behalf of an empire - then you are likely to be haunted. 

I know I certainly am.