Black Panther (3rd series) #26

Issue Date: 
January 2001
Story Title: 
Stürm und Drang: a Story of Love and War

parts 1-8: Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Sharpefont & FT (letters), Steve Oliff (colors), Marc Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief)

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Chris Claremont (writer of Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #100)

Brief Description: 

N’kano has reached Texas and is still in search for Reed Richards. He steals a pickup truck, which gets him the attention of the local police. After a rough drive, N’kano manages to destroy both cars and finally contacts the Fantastic Four. Reed apologizes for it but, due to N’kano’s problems, he thinks that the Black Panther is better suited to solve the problem, so he has no other choice but to return home. In Wakanda, Storm has returned home as well and has a “joyride” with the Black Panther. They talk about recent events, with T’Challa claiming he is feeling fine and that Ororo didn’t need to come, but she was glad to do it. As they continue to have fun and bring up old memories of their past relationship, they are disturbed by a federal agent named Fiddler. He holds what looks like an alien creature hostage and has to bring it back to America for research. Though both Storm and the Panther dislike the idea, they realize they can’t do anything against it. T’Challa gets called away back to his palace, where he meets up with Ghaur, who’s angry thinking T’Challa hurt one of his people. T’Challa at first doesn’t understand, but realizes that the ‘alien creature’ is actually a misshapen citizen of Ghaur’s kingdom. He goes back to warn Storm about it but is too late, as the creature uses its powers to switch minds and goes on a rampage with Storm’s powers. The creature urges for its mother and, after long battles and misunderstandings, are finally reunited. However, upon meeting with Ghaur, he mentions that the child has to be destroyed, as it looks different than most of his species, causing Storm and T’Challa refuse to hand them back over. That’s fine by Ghaur, who then declares war. Later, N’kano makes it back home, but his helicopter is destroyed by White Wolf. He causes N’kano to lose control of his powers, who then flow into the body of… Klaw!

Full Summary: 


The story thus far: N’kano had not quite finished leaving a message for Reed Richards before the county deputies opened fire upon him. They did that, because the pickup truck N’kano was driving in was “borrowed.” Which was probably not the brightest idea when you’re a 19-year old black kid passing through Dustville. N’kano mentions that he used to be a special attaché, assigned to escort King T’Challa on a brief state visit. Now, he’s a refugee in need of a breath mint.

Police officers open fire on N’kano, who crashes his truck against a wall. Its tires fall off, crashing against the police car’s front window and smashing it apart, with the officers barely dodging the tire. N’kano grabs one of the officers, taking away his cellphone. N’kano mentions that the cop made him lose his phone, so now he returns the favor. The officer panics, wanting to know what N’kano is going to do. N’kano mentions that he has shifted the officers vibrational frequency so that he is out of phase with the cars. He mentions that the debris will pass harmlessly through both the officer and his partner, which he thinks is probably more mercy than the officer deserves. He knows the officers won’t understand why, but claims they can trust him, he is trying to save their lives. He’s starting with the officers’ lives, but will certainly end with his. N’kano takes off and starts dialing a number.

the past…

Ororo Munroe mentions that it has turned dawn. T’Challa wants to know what that means for them. Ororo thinks this means the end of their journey. T’Challa suggests that they end it tomorrow. Ororo corrects that actually, it already is tomorrow. T’Challa smiles that he actually meant the next morning, as he is still enjoying her. Ororo is experiencing the same feeling, but she thinks it’s time. T’Challa wants to know how Ororo knows this, with her claiming that the wind speaks to her.

T’Challa, sitting on a tree, jokes he heard it speaking to him as well, and the wind told him “tomorrow.” Ororo, floating into the air, thinks T’Challa’s father, the King, must be worried about him. T’Challa believes that his father doesn’t worry about him because he is both his father and the king. And, because T’Challa is his father’s son, he has been trained well. He touches Ororo’s face, asking if she’s leaving, which she confirms. T’Challa wonders if they’ll ever meet again. Ororo promises she’ll always be with him, as they’re now a part of each other. She mentions to T’Challa that he merely has to speak her name and she shall appear.

T’Challa asks Ororo if he can kiss her now. Ororo gives him permission, if that’s his way. T’Challa wants to know if Ororo is indifferent to a prince’s kiss. Ororo doesn’t know how she could be. She takes off, thinking she’ll save the kiss for a day when it will have a truer meaning. T’Challa wants to know what they’ll do if that day never comes. Ororo claims she will be the poorer for it. But for now, she knows their destinies lie elsewhere.

Part one: the present…

Storm soars through the African skies, and the Panther runs below her with great speed over the snowy landscapes. Ororo thinks this is glorious, admitting she has been away from Africa for too long. T’Challa mentions that it was good of her to come back. But he assures her that he’s feeling fine. He explains that Agent Ross and his Dora Milaje meant well, but he admits they shouldn’t have summoned Ororo on so long a journey for no real purpose. Ororo defends that it was her journey to make. She mentions that the eyes of the world have been fixed on Wakanda and its king.

The Panther confirms that he has been a media favorite of late, referring to the Tomorrow Fund scandal and his strained relations with the Avengers, plus the accusations of the United States toppling T’Challa’s government. He also had a problem with Hydro-Man drowning that jet. Plus, thanks to nationalizing all foreign investments, his own parliament started to dissolve, which meant a bad thing for the Wakandan economy. He’s certain that some people think he’s getting mad.

Storm denies that, at least not those who can see into T’Challa’s spirit. She regrets not coming back sooner. T’Challa thinks that’s nonsense, knowing Storm has her own purposes in life. Ororo thinks T’Challa doesn’t approve them, but T’Challa believes it’s not for him to approve or disapprove the life Ororo has chosen. After all, he remembers he left his throne to become a Brooklyn High School teacher for a while. Storm agrees, but mentions that only was for a brief time period and that the Panther did came back. T’Challa thinks he has offended Ororo. She denies that, as T’Challa could never do that. She knows he has no more reason to trust the X-Men than the world around him.

They stop, as they find a man taking notes. He mentions that he’ll be quickly leaving, as he was already wrapping things up. The man introduces himself as Barney Fiddler and works for the United States Commission on Superhuman Activities. He mentions they have rounded up all the aliens camped out here at the Resurrection temple. He’s about ready to transport back stateside. Storm thinks Fiddler means incarnating the alien. He confirms it. He explains that what they’ve got here are some violent extraterrestrial offenders, “sentenced” to Earth by alien courts of law. Put shortly, these aliens are villains.

Storm wants to know if there will be a hearing. Fiddler doesn’t know, as they just pay him to pick the aliens up. Storm apologizes to T’Challa knowing it’s not her place to complain, but he shares her concerns. Although he has been assured the detainees will be thoroughly investigated, but they obviously know little of alien due process, or even what crimes they have committed. Or of their spirit. Storm walks over to the alien Fiddler holds down with his boot. She notices that the boot seems a bit excessive. Fiddler corrects that he’s just doing his job. Storm mentions they all are. Suddenly, the alien starts shouting the word “Omode.”

Fiddler tells the alien to shut up and gives it an electrical shock. The Panther asks Fiddler if he’s alright, which he confirms and asks the King if he heard that word, which he did. Storm recognizes the word as a Yoruba dialect. T’Challa confirms, and translates the word as “child.” Fiddler reports to the other units that they’ve got an alert status one, meaning a possible alien offspring hidden within their perimeter. Fiddler takes off, telling Storm and the Panther not to worry promising they’ll find the offspring if there is any.

That’s what fears Storm the most. She tells T’Challa that, whatever crimes these aliens have committed, a child shouldn’t be punished like that. T’Challa agrees and contacts Taku. Taku can hear his king, who orders him take the American forces off their satellite grid and to simulate a diagnostic routine to avert suspicion. Taku understands and promises to do as told.

As Storm takes off, the Panther adds that Taku also has to run a level 4 sensor sweep of grids B-490-9612, thinking their may be an alien child there of an unknown race. Taku mentions he’ll do that, though it will be difficult and will take some time. He tells his king that in the meantime, there is a Head of State awaiting him at the Mansion claiming it’s about urgent business.

Part two…

At the same time, at the Fantastic Four’s temporary headquarters in the offices of Damage Control, Reed Richards finally picked up the phone. He apologizes to N’kano, as they’ve only just returned. He agrees about the shock wave problem, as the “sonic cancer” that was exploding vibranium deposits around the world could certainly have destabilized N’kano’s vibrational powers. Reed is certain he could help N’kano, but the risk of him entering populated areas in his present state is tremendous. Reed thinks the fact is that, if they’re talking about vibranium-related cause and effect, the one man who could help N’kano is the King who N’kano has renounced.

N’kano, sitting in front of a house, tells Dr. Richards it is as he feared. He mentions that, if it were merely his life, it wouldn’t matter. But the lives of many hang in the balance. For both their and honor’s sake, N’kano thinks he must immediately return to Wakanda.

part three…

Ghaur thinks this is an outrage. The Panther, sitting on his throne, thinks then he will assume they will be dispensing with the diplomatic pleasantries and Ghaur can come quickly to the point of this unannounced visit. Ghaur mentions that the Avenger speaks his name, thus he is doubtless aware that he is Lord of the Deviant Lemurians. He explains that his people kept the peace with T’Challa’s land for years, but claims this outrage shall not stand. T’Challa, not understanding why Ghaur is so angry, wants to know what they have done wrong.

Ghaur thinks T’Challa is faking his innocence and wants to kill him for it, shouting it shall not be tolerated. T’Challa mentions to Ghaur that his Deviant Lemurians are genetically unstable. T’Challa knows that each of their children is radically different from its parents, creating a society compromised of endless species types. Given the proliferation of aliens in the area, they had no way of knowing that was one of Ghaur’s people. He can assure Ghaur that, if he had known the man belonged to Ghaur, he wouldn’t have harmed him. Ghaur doesn’t like the arrogant tone. He explains that they Lemurians existed hundreds of generations before the humans could even stand upright!

Ghaur takes off and gives the Panther one hour to release his man and warns him that any form of abuse shall be acted upon in a form of war. Ross and Monica enter, with Ross wanting to know why there’s talk about war at breakfast time. Monica asks the Panther who that guy was he was talking to, but soon has second thoughts and doesn’t really want to know. T’Challa mentions that their state visit will have to wait. This upsets Monica. She reminds him that she has been stuck in Wakanda for months and she is an American citizen, wanting to go home. Ross mentions that his citizenship hearing is in a few hours and should be getting ready. The Panther takes off, telling Ross to do whatever is right, no matter the price. Time is of essence.

part four…

Storm continues to search the Wakandan skies for the child, and finds one lying motionless in the snow. Ororo descends and tries to find out if it’s still alive. Suddenly, the child gets up and attacks her! Storm falls back and, on that moment, Fiddler and his other agents arrive, thinking they have found their alien child. They place it in plasma containment in their transport vehicle and set course home.

part five…

Ten minutes later, the Panther finds Storm, still unconscious. He tries to help her up, and she slowly wakes up again. Suddenly, she shouts the name of “Iya” and unleashes an incredible amount of lightning! The Panther can barely dodge the bolts by hiding behind a tree. He wonders what’s wrong with Ororo and notices her going up into the sky, still shouting the Iya name. He notices Storm heading towards Fiddler’s helicopter, and grabs her lag so he can tag along. Storm angrily brings up a wind shear, causing the helicopter to crash!

Black Panther lets go off her and safely lands back into the snow. Luckily, none of the soldiers in harmed, but they are angry and open fire upon Storm. The Panther meets up with the soldiers’ captain, ordering him to stand down. Fiddler claims that, under article 24, section 7 of their diplomatic treaty, they’ve got the right to defend themselves. And he wants Storm in custody! Panther shouts that the soldiers are making a terrible mistake, promising he’ll explain everything if they stand down. With them not listening, the Panther starts fighting the soldiers along the way, explaining they’ve accidentally captured a native species. And if they attempt to remove the creature, they are risking a war.

Fiddler mentions to the Panther that his orders are to rendezvous with the carrier Roussos in the Mediterranean, and that’s precisely what he intends to do. The Panther tells Fiddler he’s a fool if he’s going to try and do that, since T’Challa’s forces stand ready to prevent him from leaving Wakandan skies. The Panther tries to tell them that this battle is senseless and that they have a greater responsibility, namely to protect life. Fiddler notices that Storm has grabbed his grown-up ‘alien creature’ and orders her to stop, but Ororo doesn’t listen and flies back into the skies, with the creature.

Fiddler wants to open fire again, but the Panther holds him back telling the captain not to do anything without his permission, as they are in his country. Fiddler defends he’s got jurisdiction here. Panther is certain Fiddler believes that, but mentions that Fiddler’s team is there by his leave. T’Challa warns Fiddler for the last time not to interfere, hoping that what he feared hasn’t happened. The child the soldiers earlier kidnapped claims that it has. The child introduces himself as Ororo, and the alien somehow switched their minds! T’Challa suggests that they hurry then, as the fate of the entire realm lies in the hands of that child.

part 6…

A helicopter approaches Wakandan Airlines. Far beneath it, an armored sniper aims at the helicopter, and hits it! The helicopter explodes and its pilot falls down. It’s N’kano! He’s barely alive, mentioning that he was so close. The sniper meets up with N’kano, thinking he must be Vibraxis. The sniper introduces himself as White Wolf, and had been expecting N’kano.

part 7:

The Black Panther meets up with Storm’s actual body. It still screams Iya’s name. The Panther explains to her that he knows who that is now and that they are friends. Ororo, who’s trapped in the body of the actual child, explains that she now knows the true meaning of the word “Iya.” It doesn’t mean “child”, but “mother”. She knows that the bigger creature is the mother and risked everything to save her child. Of course, the child could do no less for the mother. The two walk over to each other and switch the minds back into the right bodies, and Storm promises they shall both be protected.

Ghaur angrily enters, and wants his people back to him this instant, claiming they belong by his side. Storm explains that Ghaur’s people are free to return whenever they please. However, she concludes, they are also free to stay if they prefer it. Ghaur tells Storm she is playing with fire. The Panther wants to know why this Deviant mother was there in the first place. He wants to know what she was seeking and running away from. Ghaur wants to know why he is interrogated. Storm proudly mentions that T’Challa is the king there, and that Ghaur is evil incarnated.

Ghaur defends that “evil” is a relative. In his eyes, Storm and her X-Men were the evil ones. Storm wants to know, if that’s true, what will become of the mother should King T’Challa allow her to return to his side. Ghaur claims nothing shall happen and that the mother can live in peace. Storm asks about the child as well. Ghaur thinks it’s only natural it shall be destroyed, condemned to the Flame Pits at Purity Time. It’s their way of cleansing their species of Deviants who are born with the most extreme and grotesque genetic differences. But he doesn’t think this is any of T’Challa’s concern. He has to make a choice, namely to surrender his people or to suffer the consequences. T’Challa remains silent, but Ghaur gets the idea, and war it is!

part 8:

N’kano gets up again, warning the White Wolf that he has no idea what he’s doing. He begs to differ claiming he knows exactly what he’s doing. He is restoring the king to power and helping him reclaim his dignity. Of course, White Wolf knows he shall never be thanked. His soldiers open fire upon N’kano, who screams in fear as he can’t control his powers, and starts attacking the soldiers.

Lots of shock waves are spread across the entire African country, and all concentrate in one specific being. White Wolf smiles, as all is happening as he hoped it would be. He welcomes his master home again, and looks at him. It’s Klaw, and he’s ready for action!

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther

Storm (all X-Men)

Mr. Fantastic, the Thing (both Fantastic Four)



Vibraxas (N’kano)

White Wolf

Everett Ross, Monica Lynne, Taku (employees of the Black Panther)

Barney Fiddler (employee of US Commission on Superhuman Activities)

several police officers (all unnamed)

Iya and her child

in flash-back:

a young Black Panther & Storm

Story Notes: 

Ross and the Black Panther’s Dora Milaje asked Storm to come back to Africa to spend some time with the Panther in Uncanny X-Men #387.

The story of how Storm and the Black Panther met can be found in Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #100.

For more information about Ghaur and his people, read Eternals (2nd series) #2.

The vibranium shock waves that Reed Richards talks about were released in Captain America (3rd series) #21-22.

Criminal aliens being dropped on Earth was decided during the Maximum Security crossover.

The Black Panther originally joined the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #52. Black Panther fought Hydro-Man in Black Panther (3rd series) #14.

Storm and the other X-Men originally fought Ghaur during the “Atlantis Attacks” crossover, which for the X-Men happened more specifically throughout Uncanny X-Men Annual #13, New Mutants (1st series) Annual #5 and X-Factor (1st series) Annual #4.

Vibraxas first appeared in Fantastic Four (1st series) #416 and used to be a member of the Fantastic Force. White Wolf first appeared in Black Panther (3rd series) #4. Klaw is a long-time enemy of the Black Panther, though he has also clashed many times with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. His actual first appearance was in Fantastic Four (1st series) #53.

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