Black Panther (3rd series) #23

Issue Date: 
October 2000
Story Title: 
Cat Trap: part 2: More Business With The Avengers

Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Vallente & Bob Almond (pencils), Sharpefront & PT (inks), Steve Oliff (colors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool, Constrictor and Titania are in police custody after being defeated by the Avengers, and are being questioned. Meanwhile, the Avengers have arrived in Africa in search of the missing Triathlon. However, pilots intervene and are ready to attack, but once Killmonger reminds them who he is to this country, they step down and the Avengers are welcomed in Wakanda. At the same time, Triathlon and Preyy the leopard wake up to find themselves in the presence of Achebe, who is ready for the next phase of his plan, and teleports Wade out of jail. Achebe orders him to meet up with Triathlon and help him get back home, as his kidnapping was a mere accident. Wade does, and Triathlon tries to have a heart-to-heart conversation to him about why Wade is a merc, but he refuses to dig into it. The Avengers meet up with agent Ross and, even though he denies them access into T’Challa’s Techno-jungle, they enter it anyway. They are soon attacked by T’Challa’s guards, and Eric is confronted with Deadpool. Achebe messed with his teleporter unit to separate him from Triathlon, in the hopes that Wade would kill Killmonger. Triathlon finds himself lost, but meets a mysterious stranger who tells him to move out of the Avengers, as they don’t even really want him on the team. Their battle moves back upwards, and Deadpool and Eric are ordered by Ross to stop fighting, as that’s forbidden on Saturdays. Deadpool has had enough of this nonsense and teleports home. Not much later, the Avengers find Triathlon again and also leave, but Killmonger decides to stay in Africa to undo the work of Ross, as he dislikes seeing Africa and America united into one. Later, Taku updates T’Challa about recent events, and that they unfortunately lost track of Malice.

Full Summary: 

Deadpool, Constrictor and Titania have been captured by the Avengers and are now in police custody. An officer asks Wade if he truly is Wade Wilson. Wade jokes he is, at least in a yes-and-no way. The officer asks Wade if he’s also known as “Death pool.” Wade corrects that people actually call him “Deadpool,” as in “the officer who will be dead once he gets his hands on him.”

The officer is also aware that Wade is a free-lance super-villain. Wade defends that, actually, he’s a merc and only lives with super-villains. The officer is also aware of the fact that Loki placed a curse on Wade, making him a dead ringer for the actor Thom Cruz. Wade mentions that’s a long story.

Constrictor asks the officer if he can ask him something. He wants the guy to be honest with him for a second. Frank admits that he is the super-villain known as the Constrictor, actually a major villain with electrified vibranium coils, who even went toe-to-toe with the Hulk and all that. He just wants to know why he doesn’t have a “wanted” posted hanging here at the office. He can even see losers like Jack O’Lantern and Matador for God’s sake! Frank has had it. He demands to see the agent in charge of the posters. He’s fed up and can’t believe Matador has a “wanted” poster. And by the way, he jokes, he thinks that Titania is a man.

Titania defends that Frank is an idiot. She claims she just had a little spat with her husband and needed a place to crash for a while. She explains that, together with Frank and Wade, they sublet an underground condo that used to belong to Doctor Octopus. She doesn’t think it’s that big a deal. The officers want to know about the robberies and extortion the villains all are responsible for, and the recent business they had with the Avengers. Skeeter smiles that they are villains, and that’s what they do.

Meanwhile, the Avengers have arrived in Wakanda…

Wakandan pilots alert the Avengers that they have crossed their international boundary and are trespassing in sovereign Wakandan air space! They want the heroes to reverse their course immediately, or else they will be fired upon. While sitting in their Quinjet, She-Hulk wants a confirmation from Janet that they aren’t going to start shooting. Jennifer won’t if she can help it. She tries to contact the Wakandan Interceptor aircrafts, and report that they are on a rescue mission. She requests an escort to the Central City. But that request gets denied.

Iron Man, who’s scouting the area outside the Quinjet, reports to his teammates that they are getting a little tight up. He suggests that they better make a choice, now that they are still able. He reminds them that Triathlon was kidnapped during their battle against Deadpool and his friends. T’Challa has been ignoring his hails, and for all they know he could be in need for their help. Janet realizes that nobody wants to fire upon the Wakandans, and they sure don’t want to be fired upon, but she doesn’t know what else to do.

Eric tells Janet to fire, as the Wakandans are warriors under orders. He doesn’t want to see those warriors to be demeaned like this. Jennifer tells Eric to get a grip. Eric doesn’t think so. He believes that none of the Avengers get what this is all about. They aren’t in America right now, and their adversaries aren’t American people either. T’Challa doesn’t think like an American or acts like one. And he also doesn’t owe them any kind of explanation. He explains that those pilots are Wakandan warriors and not diplomats. If the Avengers want to talk to them, it will have to be by the means of war.

Janet notices that the pilots got a missile lock on them. Iron Man explains that his vintage armor has limited defensive capabilities. He might be able to use a broadband EM Pulse to crash the pilots’ CCC, and turn those talon fighters into 83 billion gliders, but he worries about the pilots if they can’t manually eject from their ships. And the Avengers don’t want to become murderers. Janet reminds Eric that they don’t trust him. But she realizes they are in a tough situation right now. She reminds him to act good or else her husband Hank will step on him.

Eric reminds Janet that warriors must be spoken to by the language of war. He contacts the pilots in his native Wakandan tongue and asks them how they dare to threaten the lord of their realm. He warns them to let them pass or else they will be destroyed. Eric orders Iron Man to lock all weapons. He reminds the Avengers that they aren’t heroes in this country, and are in his world now.

Elsewhere, Triathlon starts to wake up. Still completely out of it, he jokes and tells his mother that he’s already up. Triathlon gets himself back together, and a voice welcomes him back to reality. But Triathlon doesn’t think he’s actually there yet. Achebe assures Mr. Garrett that he is in no danger and free to leave at any time he wants and his teammates have just arrived to escort him home. Achebe introduces himself as Reverend Michael Ibn All-Haijj Achebe, and claims he’s a humble minister and friend of Wakanda. Triathlon notices that Preyy is with him as well but wants to know why he has been brought there.

Achebe smiles that he didn’t exactly “brought” Triathlon there. He claims that all of this is just a misunderstanding. He asks Garrett if he can offer him a biscuit. He wonders if it’s a 4 or a 6. Triathlon confirms it’s a six. Achebe wants to know for sure. Triathlon explains that his vision is three times as accurate as the best human potential. Achebe knew that, and that’s why he is three times as grateful. He thinks it’s no wonder he couldn’t get his device to work. He initiates a 6 and is ready for his next move.


Wade realizes he’s in jail, which has been a while for him. Frank suggests they ask for the Kosher meal. Wade doesn’t know what kind of meal that is… the guards won’t spit in it? Frank denies that, but at least it will be spat on by a Rabbi. Titania calls Frank an idiot. She can’t believe he’s worrying about food when there’s not even a toilet in their holding cells! She wonders how it comes the super-villain cells never have toilets in them. Frank doesn’t know why Titania cares about that. She doesn’t understand. Frank tells Skeeter – if that is her real name – that they know she doesn’t really want a toilet in her cell, because if there was one, they would all get to learn that she’s actually a man! Frank thinks that’s the secret Titania holds, at least according to Achebe she has one. Skeeter defends that she’s not a man, and neither is Frank. Frank gets angry hearing that remark and suggests they unzip their pants right now and find out. Wade defends that if he has to see the Constrictor naked, he’ll kill them both.

Suddenly, Wade gets teleported away! Frank thinks that’s great, as they will all be rescued now. Skeeter doesn’t think so, as they only busted Wade out, apparently. Frank thinks that’s just about energy reserves, and their rescuers have to save energy to beam them all out one at the time. But, nothing happens. Frank really hates Deadpool now. Titania thinks it’s clear that Wilson has to die now. Frank agrees.

Deadpool emerges at Achebe’s place, and is ready for some serious butt-kicking! But Achebe tells his friend he doesn’t want to start anything so serious just yet. Wade states that he isn’t Achebe’s friend, and also that he owes him three hundred long and one hand puppet. Achebe remembers that and has brought everything with him Wade needs. He asks Wade if he would like to freshen up first. Triathlon takes a closer look at Wade, and asks if he isn’t Thom Cruz.

Wakanda city…

The Avengers arrive in the city and, with Eric leading them into it, they all get greeted and welcomed like kings. He walks over to the Royal Palace and demands to speak to T’Challa. Ross holds him back, telling him to pull a number and get back in line. Iron Man reminds Ross that he spoke to T’Challa a few hours ago, and that he sounded a little… off. Ross refuses to let the Avengers pass. Janet reminds Ross that she and her husband were among the first people to embrace T’Challa. She admits that they don’t always understand his actions, but they will always respect him and will not leave without their missing teammate. She tells Ross that the sooner he helps them, the sooner they will leave.

Deadpool is back in costume and finds it amazing what red spandex can do for one’s mood. He demands his money now. Achebe promises to give it to him, in due time, but first wants him to run a little errand. Wade leaves, and finds Triathlon running in the woods for some fun. He shoots at the hero, but misses him. Triathlon recognizes him now, as Wade had some dealings with the X-Men. He admits he’s still new at this hero-villain thing, so he doesn’t really understand if they’ve got to fight each other now, or not.

Deadpool explains that, since nobody is paying him to fight Triathlon, he won’t do it. He’s actually there to bring him home. He also wants to know why Triathlon was running like that. Triathlon admits that’s because he’s in Africa, a country he always wanted to visit. And now he got here by accident. He loves the smell of the air. Wade takes off his mask. He doesn’t smell anything. He reveals he has been a couple of times in Africa before, but usually with a machine gun in his hands.

Triathlon places his hand gently on Wade’s shoulder, telling him that maybe it’s time for him to put the gun down. He promises he isn’t trying to hustle Wade, but he seems to be like searching for something, something that’s really missing in his life. Triathlon claims he is able to share some things with Wade that could make some difference. Wade hesitates. He sure hopes Triathlon isn’t going to kiss him. Triathlon won’t. Wade mentions that’s good, and suggests they move out.

Despite Ross’ warnings not to, Eric and the Avengers have entered T’Challa’s Techno-jungle. Janet asks Iron Man how they are doing. Tony tells her they have to go left at the next junction, and he mentions that the tracker Killmonger placed on his pet is coming in loud and clear into his sensors. And that’s also what worries Stark. Eric thinks this is ridiculous, confident they are walking right into a trap. Jennifer smirks that Eric sure is a team player. He’s got her vote, anyway.

Meanwhile, T’Challa has gotten word of the Avengers being present at his home, and asks Taku where they are. Taku reports their position and asks if he should repel them. T’Challa refuses to do that, claiming that their unwanted guests are about to be taught a very stiff lesson. He wants Taku to keep monitoring them, and to alert him if necessary. Taku understands.

Hank believes that this plan of theirs isn’t working at all, as his power is at complete odds with the conditions of the Techno-jungle. Eric jokes this makes an idiot out of Pym for being there. Hank wants Eric to tell him what he really thinks, no matter the words. Eric believes he really made a mistake trying to join the Avengers. He explains that, during his forced exile in Harlem, he remembers admiring the Avengers, especially the days when T’Challa first joined them. But Eric never imagined they were all such a bunch of calcified, hand-wringing bureaucrats. From what he can tell, Triathlon was even forced on the team because they had no active minority members. Eric isn’t sure whom he respects less: the Avengers for wanting a token, or Triathlon for accepting the membership.

The Avengers are surrounded by security guards, wearing white Black Panther outfits. They want to fight, but Eric tells them not to and instead just keep on moving. The Avengers aren’t sure what to do. Eric tries to open a door, thinking it’s the place where Taku is. But, instead of Taku, he finds Deadpool! Eric demands to know what he is doing there. Wade doesn’t know, claiming he had set his teleporter to Albuquerque, but somehow, he doesn’t think this is it. The other Avengers are surprised to see Deadpool so soon after their last battle, as they thought he was still in jail.

Wade smiles he escaped, and shoots on the ceiling, which collapses on Tony. Janet flies towards him, but Wade remembers the stunt she and her husband pulled with the truck yesterday, causing him and his mates in crime to end up as prisoners. He takes out a bug spray and uses it on Janet, causing her to fall down. Eric faces Deadpool, angrily shouting that he just wants his leopard back. Wade gets confused, as he thought the beast belonged to Achebe. Eric is startled to hear that Wade actually serves Achebe, but he smirks he just does it for the money. The two fight each other. Killmonger promises he’ll kill Deadpool for this, but Wade jokes he isn’t impressed, as he heard that threat before and even bought the Underoos.

Meanwhile, Triathlon finds himself lost in the Techno-jungle and calls out for help. A voice answers. Triathlon explains that he didn’t mean to come in there, explaining that Deadpool was supposed to bring him home but instead landed here. He believes he could be in Jersey. The voice claims he isn’t in Jersey, but still in Africa and in the Techno-jungle, which lies beneath the city. Triathlon asks for help, but first wants to know if he’s talking to a good or bad guy. The voice claims that’s hard to say these days. He also explains that Achebe probably redirected Deadpool’s teleported unit to bring Triathlon here and have Deadpool face Killmonger, in the hopes of killing him and to vex T’Challa. Triathlon asks the voice if he’s living down here. “For now,” the voice responds…

At the same time, Iron Man has recovered and tries to help Killmonger out, but he attacks Tony back, believing the Avengers don’t know anything about honor. Deadpool has been sent to kill him, therefore not making this a team issue. Deadpool jokes there’s plenty enough for him to go around, and by Morris, he would love to fight the Avengers again, no matter how hard they want him back in jail.

Triathlon talks to the mysterious stranger about why he is hiding down there. He claims it’s where he finds wisdom. Triathlon thinks the guy is just in denial about something. The stranger asks Triathlon why he is on the Avengers, a team that doesn’t even want him. Triathlon isn’t sure. He just accepted it, and thinks it’s just a time of trial until he’s ready to merge from it. The stranger thinks that Mr. Garrett needs to live on his own, now that he still can. The stranger leaves, even before Triathlon has the chance to ask how he knows his name.

Deadpool and Eric are still fighting each other, and fly up into Taku’s gravity-less escape pod. They land back upstairs, where Wade jokes he knows the secret of life, something he thinks Eric is interested in. Eric demands to know what it is. Wade jokes that he believes there is a certain man, a typewriter… - Ross interrupts, and orders Wade and Killmonger to stop fighting each other as that’s forbidden on Saturdays.

Some time later…

The Avengers have found Triathlon and are ready to go home. Deadpool has teleported back to his Deadlounge. Eric swears he’ll stay in Africa from now on, as he’s sickened by the fact Ross tried to unite Africa and America into one. Ross thinks that’s fine, as this will give him the chance to go back home. W’Kabi suggests that he’ll become the new king’s regent, as he never liked Ross for the fact he’s an American. Ross doesn’t care and just wants to go home. But Jennifer explains that won’t be possible, because Ross’ U.S. citizenship has been revoked!

A few moments later, Taku reports to T’Challa that the Avengers have cleared Wakandan airspace. T’Challa asks Taku how he feels after Deadpool tackled him down like that, before Killmonger busted in. Taku feels fine. He asks if there has been any sign of the girl. Taku explains that Malice, whom they suspect has killed Dr. Drumm, remains unseen. It’s possible she has fled the mansion. T’Challa can sense that she is here. And she wishes them to find her. He suggests they honor that request. As T’Challa continues to make plans, he doesn’t realize that Malice is watching him…

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther I (T’Challa)

Black Panther II, Giant-Man, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Triathlon, Wasp (all Avengers)





Preyy (the leopard)

Malice V

Everett Ross, Taku (employees of T’Challa)

Black Panther’s security guards (all unnamed)

Wakandan pilots (all unnamed)

Wakandan citizens (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This story continues from Deadpool (3rd series) #44.

Deadpool got cursed by Loki, who made him look like actor Tom Cruz in Deadpool (3rd series) #37.

Constrictor went toe-to-toe with the Hulk in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #212, which was also Frank’s first appearance at the same time. Schlichting and the Green Goliath faced each other a couple of times afterwards as well.

Jack O’Lantern is a villain whose identity has been taken over by several men. The first identity, Jason Macendale, first appeared in Machine Man #19. Matador is also known as Manuel Eloganto and first appeared in Daredevil (1st series) #5.

“CCC” stands for Command & Control Capabilities, having radars, computers and the likes as weapons.

The Malice in this issue is not to be confused with the Marauder Malice, who once took over both Dazzler’s and Polaris’ bodies.

Triathlon’s real name is Delroy Garrett.

Achebe claimed that Titania had a secret in Deadpool (3rd series) #44.

Deadpool has fought some members of the X-Men before: he fought Juggernaut in both of his mini-series, Banshee in Deadpool (2nd series) #1-4, and Wolverine and Shadowcat in Deadpool (3rd series) #27. Logan and Wade also faced each other in Wolverine (2nd series) #88 and in Wolverine Annual 1999.

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