The ‘Civil War’ Character We’re Probably Going To See In ‘Black Panther’ (Is Not Who You Think)

With the already intense character saturation of superheroes, supposed villains, and everyone in between, we were a little surprised when we first learned Martin Freeman had signed on for a minor role in the full-to-bursting Marvel blockbuster .

But minor is a good way to describe the role of Everett K. Ross, the Deputy Task Force commander of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, and second in command to General “Thunderbolt” Ross.

Martin Freeman as Everett Ross in 'Civil War'

Martin Freeman as Everett Ross in ‘Civil War’

In Civil War Ross was tasked with bringing in James “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who was accused of the Vienna bombing which took the life of T’Chaka (John Kani). The last we saw of Ross, he was attempting to interrogate the villainous Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), and thus far there’s been no confirmation that he’s set to appear in any movies in the near future.

Ross To Appear In Black Panther?

But it’s highly likely that he’s going to pop up again in . A weird choice, you might think, but Ross as a comic book character has always been closely aligned with T’Challa/Black Panther (portrayed in the MCU by Chadwick Boseman).

Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther — 'Civil War'

Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther — ‘Civil War’

Indeed he was created by writer Christopher Priest in order to provide a clueless white man to highlight and react to a white audience’s misgivings about the character at a time when Black Panther was going through some revitalizing changes.

Priest intended for him to be un-PC, to bring to the surface some social issues still existing around issues of race.

I am surprised, still, that Joe and Jimmy Palmiotti and Nanci Dakesian allowed some of [Ross’s] lines to get through, like his belief that he’d hear lots of black people singing in the streets of Brooklyn. “I was lied to….” or that, arriving at his hotel, Panther would just “order up some ribs.”
I don’t think Ross was racist at all. I just think that his stream of conscious narrative is a window into things I imagine many whites say or at least think when no blacks are around; myths about black culture and behavior.

The Emperor of Useless White Boys

Real gangsta Ross, well done. Marvel comics.
Real gangsta Ross, well done. Marvel comics.

Ross isn’t exactly a character you would pick first to include in the MCU. Self-described as “The Emperor of Useless White Boys”, he was introduced into the Black Panther comics in the late 1990s as a US State Department liason to T’Challa, and later for his younger sister Shuri.

His first misadventure with T’Challa in New York proved an eventful one: he managed get his ID badge stolen by a street thug, had a fight with a group of strippers, lost his pants and got the whole group arrested.

He then managed to lose track of T’Challa — who left to investigate a funding scandal — and ended up hanging out with the demon Mephisto, who was seeking Black Panther. Mephisto conjured him a pair of Devil’s Pants to wear whilst they waited, cause even Mephisto isn’t cruel enough to make a dude sit around for ages with missing pants.

Mephiso gives Ross some pants, what a dude. Marvel comics
Mephiso gives Ross some pants, what a dude. Marvel comics

The MCU Everett Ross

Clearly there’s been somewhat of a paradigm shift for Ross’s character in the MCU. He might not be the best at his job but he’s far from the awkward and ineffectual character we’re used to seeing in the comic books, if a little smug and quick to take credit.

In Captain America: Civil War Ross and T’Challa are ostensibly on the same side, both initially hunting down the fugitive Bucky, and then later bringing Zemo to justice. But that camaraderie aside they didn’t have all that much to do with each other, and Black Panther’s kingdom of Wakanda now houses the fugitive Bucky and — at least for a time — Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans).

Everett Ross talks about Wakanda. Marvel comics.
Everett Ross talks about Wakanda. Marvel comics.

But it would be odd for him not to show up, as outside of the few Black Panther comics in which he appears Ross doesn’t really exist in the wider Marvel continuity in the same way as, say, Government liason Henry Gyrich does. There’s an Earth-161 version of Ross who shows up once in X-Men Forever, but that’s about it.

A likely explanation could be that — for whatever reason — the US sends a representative to Wakanda in the wake of the events of Civil War, and who better to send than someone who has had contact with T’Challa before, Everett K. Ross?

to be joining the cast of Black Panther we should be finding out more about the cast list for the upcoming Marvel movie, but until then all we have is speculation. Good thing speculation is so much fun.

Black Panther is set for a February 16, 2018 release.

Who do you think we’ll be seeing in Black Panther? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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MP Staff Writer. Superheroes, comic books, Marvel and DC, film, sci-fi, video games.