Black Panther (4th series) #21

Issue Date: 
December 2006
Story Title: 
World Tour: Part 3- Aqua-Boogie

Reginald Hudlin (writer), Manuel Garcia (penciler), Jay Leisten (Inks), Matt Milla (Colors), VC’s Gent (Letters), Daniel Ketchum (Assistant Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor), Joe Quesada (Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The Black Panther visit Prince Namor in Atlantis on their world tour. The Panther and Namor reveal the existence of the clandestine Illuminati to Storm and Namor regals T’challa with the tale of how he met and was impressed with T’challa’s grandfather during Word War II. Namor quickly comes to the true point of the meeting: he feels the US heroes under Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic have gone to far in this Civil War. Eventually it will impact on the international community. There must be a resistance and the Black Panther has the credibility to lead it. Storm is doubtful about whether they should do it and T’challa is doubtful on whether he is the right man for the role, but eventually they decide the events in the US can no longer be ignored, even if their potential allies in this are partially more than doubtful.
The US government is less than pleased that T’chall intends to visit the American president next. Both the Sentinels and Iron Man are already getting ready, just in case.

Full Summary: 

In Washington D. C. Everett Ross is speaking with the Secretary of State. The Secretary is worried about T’Challa’s recent trips to Latveria, the Moon, and now Atlantis. With the King of Wakanda meeting with so many foreign foes, the Secretary worries about who is next. Ross hands the Secretary a file and tells him that T’Challa requested to meet with the President. Slamming his fist down, the Secretary of State refuses to allow that to happen.

Meanwhile, T’Challa and Ororo travel beneath the sea on their way to Atlantis. Ororo complains about the smallness of space and traveling underwater is just as bad as going into space. T’Challa tries to calm her by pointing out the sea life and telling her that you can’t find those outside a spaceship. Ororo jokes that it depends on the galaxy. It’s then that they stumble upon the beauty of Atlantis. T’Challa explains that Atlantis almost rivals the beauty of Wakanda, and some archeologists have noticed similarities in architecture.
Once inside Namor quickly welcomes the two and asks if they’re hungry. He then brags to have the freshest sushi. As he kisses Ororo’s hand, she comments that she’s never seen him smile, let alone joke. Namor comments that his late wife often told him he had a great smile, when he would show it.
Namor then quickly moves the conversation along telling the royal couple that at the ocean’s floor their conversations can be private without fear of Tony Stark or Reed Richards listening in. Ororo comments that they’re getting right into it. Namor says that small talk is a luxury men do not have. As T’Challa warns Namor, he quickly lets them know that no offense was meant and that he would like to speak with both of them about the coming choices.

The three move to a private room and sit down, ready to discuss matters. Ororo talks about the nerve of Reed Richards going to Wakanda to try and recruit T’Challa to the Pro-Registration side of the war. Namor agrees and says Reed’s formidable intelligence is failing him, too many equations, not enough common sense. As T’Challa agrees that Reed’s stance is disappointing, Namor asks if he’s really surprised. Storm wonders what this means and Namor begins to explain. He tells her that when Tony Stark and Reed Richards first formed the Illuminati, T’Challa declared it was the road to ruin and would have no part of it. Namor continues telling her that it was a group of super powers that would represent the factions of super heroes including Professor X of the X-Men. Storm asks how, since the Avengers, the X-Men, and other groups were founded on similar principles, they could all go wrong. To that, Namor tells her to ask her husband
The Black Panther, though a bit surprised Namor knew, then explains that when he first joined the Avengers it was because he had planned to spy on them to see their true intentions. He believed he had found people of good heart, but also that they could have been containable if things got out of hand. Namor praises T’Challa and tells him he wishes he had his patience. T’Challa came by it honestly, inherited from his grandfather. T’Challa wonders what that means exactly. Namor is surprised he never told T’Challa of his first trip to Wakanda. Namor begins his tale, telling them it was during World War II.

Namor’s story:

Namor tells how Captain America was chasing Nazis through the jungles of Africa, but the Nazis’ luck was about to change. When the Nazis hit Wakandan borders, they were beheaded long before Captain America could find them.

The present:

T’Challa interrupts the story and tells Namor that this was the tale of when Captain America first came to Wakanda. Namor agrees, but tells him that all of them were in Africa at the time. Ororo wonders what he means by ‘us.’ Namor continues explaining they were joined together from around the world to fight fascism.
Namor’s story continues.

The Nazis with their super powered Master Man are fighting in Africa against the Invaders. Spitfire, Union Jack, the Human Torch, and Namor himself descend upon them. It was hard fighting in the desert without dehydrating.

Master Man, having had half his face burned by the Human Torch stands above the fighting and searches for a statue to destroy the head. Smacking him with a tank, Namor insists that Master Man stop his desecration of ancient ruins. Master Man is sent flying landing hard on his face. He looks up, his face mangled and destroyed.
As Namor flies to impale Master Man with the gun of the tank, a fist comes out of nowhere to deflect it. A massive woman stands over the fallen Master Man threatening Namor. Quipping that if Warrior Woman was supposed to be the Nazi’s best man, then she should meet theirs, Spitfire attacks Warrior Woman in rapid succession, pummeling her with her fists.
Elsewhere Union Jack makes his way through the Nazi’s camp to their Command Tent. There, he finds the soldiers dead and their plans missing. Namor explains that whoever had done it held no allegiance to either side. Quickly, Spitfire goes out in search of who it could have been.
On board a jet, the Black Panther of World War II looks over the plans realizing that the Nazis were planning an invasion to steal vibranium to use in atomic testing. The Dora Milaje inform him that another ship is approaching. They’re surprised to find that it is not American, English, or German. Suddenly Namor flies at the Black Panther’s ship ordering them to land. When they don’t he tries to force them to.
As Namor orders them out of the ship, the Black Panther tells him to calm down. The Dora Milaje ask Namor’s name, when he doesn’t respond one blows some powder in his face. The Black Panther then steps out of the jet holding a cup of water. He asks Namor why he’s involved in the war, after all Namor would have to fight whoever wins anyway. The Black Panther explains that the water will counteract the powder. He makes Namor promise not to attack him if he pours the water on him, because they have a lot more powder. Weakly, Namor agrees.

The present:

Storm asks if Namor tried to rip his head off. Namor is quick to tell her, of course, but after three times with the powder, he calmed down. He tells T’Challa that his grandfather saw it all coming: the cold war, Namor’s attacks on the surface, conflicts between super-teams and human governments. Namor then asks T’Challa what he sees and what he’s going to do about it. T’Challa is silent for a moment before asking what Namor wants him to do. Namor tells T’Challa that he knows what has to be done.

Namor continues by explaining that the world is watching what is happening in America with horror. They have yet to respond because they hope it will all sort itself out. They worry that if Captain America can’t stop Tony Stark and Reed Richards, it will extend beyond America. Namor continues saying that no one believes US registration is the end goal. They believe that once a super team has been assembled, they will continue exporting the Pro-Registration ideals throughout the world, gathering more and more heroes forcibly.

T’Challa leans forward saying that it’s funny because Doom said the same thing. Namor looks at T’Challa and tells him that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Namor then explains that someone needs to lead the global resistance or else it will boil down to random acts of violence that will merely help the US. T’Challa agrees, but wonders why Namor himself won’t be the leader.

Namor explains that T’Challa knows Namor lacks the credibility to lead against American aggression. He then lists T’Challa’s many qualities to prove that he’s right for the job. He tells T’Challa he was meant for this because he has an unshakeable moral fiber, saying what he means and meaning what he says.
Ororo stands to confront Namor saying that they’re charming words, but not quite the point. She confronts him that Namor simply wants to use T’Challa in his rivalry against Reed Richards. Ororo tells Namor that he needs to stop vying for Sue Richards’s attention. Namor shrugs off the insult and asks Ororo if she doesn’t see larger stakes. T’Challa stops her, saying she is just looking out for him. Storm quickly complains that they just got married, don’t they deserve a moment of peace? T’Challa relaxes and says that they will make the decision together.

Namor leaves the two, telling them they should have time to talk. As he leaves a servant asks if he needs anything. Namor quickly responds to remind him never to remarry. Back inside, Ororo asks to really talk and wants to know what is truly bothering T’Challa. He says that for one thing, they would be violating a non-aggression pact that has been in place for centuries. Storm quickly fights back on the subject saying that Wakanda has worked around that in the past including his time with the Avengers. T’Challa asks if she’s ready to take on all of SHIELD. Storm quickly replies if that is what they decide to do, absolutely.
T’Challa becomes confused wondering what her scene with Namor was really all about. Storm laughs and says she just didn’t like Namor playing T’Challa like they were Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. She then asks, very seriously, what they’re going to do.
T’Challa thinks for a moment, and then states that he’s skeptical about him being the natural leader. Storm tells him that he’s absolutely right about that. T’Challa asks if Captain Britain wouldn’t be better for the role. Storm explains that she doubts Brian Braddock would go against his country. Though Britain may not have passed a Registration Act, they will shortly. T’Challa then asks if they should still try to recruit him. Storm hugs him and realizes he has decided to do it. The Black Panther tells her that they could very well lose, especially with their allies: Namor, the Inhumans, Dr. Doom. He tells her that none of them have won against the Fantastic Four, let alone a super-powered army. Storm tells him that Warren Worthington, Archangel, is gathering a group of wealthy individuals who oppose the act to pressure Congress. She then jokes that he’ll also have Captain America on his side, and he always wins.
T’Challa thinks of the future. He explains that if they lose he’ll lose control of his kingdom and both he and Ororo would be locked in the Negative Zone prison. Storm becomes angry at the thought of heroes being locked up by their friends. She snaps that Reed had the nerve to try and recruit T’Challa. Namor returns, believing that a decision might have been made. Storm turns to him and asks what he’s doing about it all. Namor explains that he has prepared for a day like this. T’Challa asks Namor if he decides to do this, will Namor follow him and do as T’Challa says. Reluctantly Namor agrees.
Before Storm and Namor, the Black Panther steps forward and declares them as protectors of the oppressed.

Elsewhere two Sentinels process the information that Black Panther and Storm, a possible Omega level mutant, wish to meet with the President of the United States. At that, their weapons systems come online and files on both the Black Panther and Storm are uploaded into their systems. After sending the information to the Sentinels, Iron Man tells them that if they can’t handle T’Challa and Ororo, he’ll have to.

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther


Iron Man

Namor the Sub-Mariner

Everett Ross

Secretary of State


In Flashback:

Captain America, Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Namor, Spitefire, Union Jack I (All Invaders)

Black Panther (T’Challa’s grandfather, possibly Azzari the Wise)

Dora Milaje (Black Panther’s Body Guards)

Master Man

Warrior Woman

Nazi Soldiers

In Montage:

Ant-Man (Henry Pym), Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp (All Avengers)

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) (All X-Men)


Recognizable on View Screens

Luke Cage, Captain America, Dagger, Daredevil (Danny Rand), Falcon (All Members of Secret Avengers

Deadpool, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket (All Pro-Registration Heroes)

Cyclops, Wolverine (Both X-Men)





Atlantean Agents


Story Notes: 

This issue was not originally a part of the Civil War crossover, though much of what takes place deals with the Civil War. After the first printing sold out, the second edition was reprinted with the Civil War style cover, making it an official part of the crossover.

The meeting Namor speaks of was a meeting of the Illuminati. T’Challa was one of the founding members, though he quickly decided what they were doing was wrong. This matter was first addressed in New Avengers: Illuminati Special. The other members include: Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Professor Xavier, Dr. Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Black Bolt.

Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic tried to convince T’Challa to join the Pro-Registration side in Civil War #3.

Captain America’s first meeting with a Black Panther involved him giving his original badge shaped shield as a token of trust.

Namor’s preparations can be see in Wolverine (3rd series) #42-47. They involve Atlantian sleeper agents hiding amongst humans.

Storm has long rumored to be an Omega level mutant. It has never definitively been stated, though.

Thanks to Monolith for character identification and information.

Issue Information: 

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