Black Panther (4th series) #34

Issue Date: 
March 2008
Story Title: 
Endgame - conclusion

Reginald Hudlin (writer), Cafu (penciler), Bit (Inker), Val Staples (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Salvador Larocca & Paco Roca (cover), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Storm sees through Bumpy Johnson’s trap and she and the Black Panthers make short work of the gangsters waiting for them, as well as demolishing the cannon that threatens Earth. The Panther and the Thing use their fight against the gangsters. The Thing propels the Panther towards the bleachers where the Panther first takes Biggie hostage and eventually kills the villains. The heroes and the civil rights movement win and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King together are supposed to rebuild a better society. Bumpy Johnson bargains for his life by offering he heroes a means to get home – a spaceship Biggie hid away. At that moment, Solomon’ frogs reappear and teleport the heroes back to Earth.

Full Summary: 

The Black Panthers and Storm have used the sewers to reach their goal of infiltrating the arena where Storm’s teammates are forced to fight each other to the death. Having almost reached their goal, their guide, Bumpy Johnson, asks Storm who looks at him suspiciously, if she’s okay. Why does he ask? she retorts. It’s just… well, a lot of folks don’t like the sewers, he explains. The smells, the sights, just being underground… But he seems right at home here, she replies pointedly. Still don’t trust him? he asks with a smile. That’s okay. He don’t trust them either. As long as they understand each other…

Above the exit manhole a group of armed gangsters are waiting. This is where their “moolie” said they’d come out. But he’s gotta get clear first, before they start blasting. And if he don’t? one of them asks. Eggplant salad, he guesses, another of them laughs. Suddenly, one of them moans. His shoulder where he got shot, it’s aching like it’s about to rain or snow or something, like the whole weather just changed.

The manhole cover suddenly blows right into their face, carried aloft by Storm’s gust of wind.
How the hell did she do that? Bumpy asks surprised. Just think of what she’s going to do to him if he doesn’t explain why those thugs were waiting for them, she replies.

Like he’s responsible for every hood in town? he asks defensively. How should he know why they’re there? Can she vouch for every person here? Who knows who might have talked? Storm suggests they see if the coast is clear. With a cruel smile she causes her winds to carry him up and out. He shouts at the gangsters hold their fire. Following him are Malcolm X and his Black Panthers and the firefight begins.

Down below, Storm order the others not to just focus on this manhole, but go to the others before and after. They need to outflank their enemies.

One of the Panthers apologizes for leading her into this situation. She asks how much of the information is good since this part was already compromised. The location of the cannon is real, he replies. That’s what they use to keep the gladiators in check. If they destroy that, not only will the threat to her world be averted, but another slave revolt will erupt. Clear away, she orders him and flies upward, threatening the gangsters to stand down or be destroyed.

In the arena, Biggie reminds the Thing and the Black Panther of the stakes. They are to fight each other to the death or their homeplanet will be destroyed.

Impatient, Ben shouts at the audience to listen to him. Do they remember him? Do they remember who he is? Sure they do! They might have erased every image of him when he tore this little playhouse down years ago, but they know who he is and what he did to them!

Is that true? a young boy asks his father who shushes him. Ben continues. All of them who remember him: tell a friend. In an hour from now, this place will be history! They hear him? History! And this time they won’t stop until they destroy everything. This world will never rise again.

The audience is silent. Barnesworth whispers to Biggie that the Thing is scaring them. Angrily Biggie orders him to start the music and make them fight.

Ah, for the luvva pete, Ben swears. They cut him off with the band. What is this, the Oscars? T’Challa warns him this is just the first step. The next moment the slave with electric powers who helped capture them fires an energy blast at Ben and orders him to fight or he’ll get more of this. T’Challa warns him that he will have to choose sides soon. He hopes he will choose the wrong side.

Is Ben ready? he asks. Yeah, comes the stuttering reply, once his teeth stop chattering.

The two heroes move towards each other. Biggie smirks in anticipation. But instead of beginning to fight, Ben gives T’Challa momentum as he hurls him up towards the bleachers where Biggie is sitting. They believe the force field will stop the Panther. Unfortunately, he cuts through it with his suit’s energy blades.

What did he promise him? the Panther asks Biggie who begins to run. The Panther drags him back by his suit’s lapels and takes him as a hostage. Holding his claws to Biggie’s throat, he reminds him of his promise to cut his throat. When the other man threatens to destroy Earth, T’Challa begins drawing blood, pointing out Biggie will still be dead.

Elsewhere in the building, Storm has reached the cannon. Biggie’s men try to blast her out of the sky, but are attacked by Malcolm X’s people. It’s nation time, brothers! One of them shouts.

Cops and criminals both try to defend the cannon but Storm tears through all their defenses, and destroys the cannon with lightning.

From elsewhere, criminals watch the explosion, realizing this isn’t just the end of Biggie. They are all up the creek now.

Inside one of the cells the Torch shouts at the Thing to let him out. He wants some action as well. Before Ben can free him, the electric slave lets loose another blast at him. Ben finally gets his revenge and clobbers him. Afterwards he frees Johnny and the other slaves. Anybody who wants some, get some, he tells them. And they though the Chicago fire was bad, Johnny announces as he flies up.

Still holding Biggie by the throat, the Panther tells his men that the cannon is destroyed. The warriors they enslaved are free and are all looking for them. Are they really going to stand here and attempt to protect a dead man? They look at each other and flee. The Panther slits Biggie’s throat, telling him he had his chance to surrender. He could have negotiated a peace. His time is over.

He steps outside the burning arena where he is expected by Storm and the Black Panthers. Power to the people, the Panthers shout. Amandla… brothers and sisters, T’Challa replies.

He sees she made friends, he remarks wryly to Ororo and they kiss passionately. Ororo introduces him to Malcolm X, who in turn introduces his friend Martin Luther King. Storm explains that these are the two leaders qualified to bring the planet back to civilization. The Panther remarks they have quite a task ahead of them. They have to… Move beyond the anger over the past and create a fair and pluralistic society where black and white, human and alien, can all live together in peace King continues.

But they can only do that if there is justice, Malcolm X points out. There must be tribunals where the prime movers and collaborators of this evil regime have their crimes exposed to the world and proper punishment is applied.

Suddenly, they look up, hearing booming noise as Ben topples the pillars holding the arena.

Two Panthers holding Bumpy Johnson, ask what to do with this rat. He asks Storm not to take this personal. It was just business! Angrily, she retorts their business in concluded. His trial will be short and his death an example. He likes it! Malcolm X remarks. Does this sister have a sister?

Johnson suggests a deal. He knows a spaceship that can get them home. Storm and the Panther look at each other. A little later the Four follow Bumpy down a cellar. He explains that Biggie kept an escape craft in case things went south. The Panther warns him this doesn’t mean clemency for him. It’s gotta count for something, comes the reply.

T’Challa remarks he read Reed’ manual on Skrull technology. He should be able to pilot them home. Sounds like a great read on the beach, Johnny jokes. Actually yes, T’Challa replies. Bumpy shows them the preset destination is Earth. Biggie figured he could make it big there

Suddenly, King Solomon’s frogs appear, announcing they won’t be needing this craft. They are going home to Earth all right. They teleport the four away. Bumpy is left alone with the spacecraft. With a grin he vows that Bumpy Johnson will rise again.

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther, the Human Torch, Storm, the Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Reverend Martin Luther King”

“Malcolm X”

Black Panthers


Gangsters working for Biggie


Bumpy Johnson

Story Notes: 

Actually the Panther’s weaponry was taken away from him last issue.

Amandla is a Xhosa and Zulu word meaning "power."

Issue Information: 
Written By: