Black Panther (5th series) #7

Issue Date: 
October 2009
Story Title: 
Power – part 1

Reginald Hudlin & Jonathan Maberry (writers), Will Conrad (art), Peter Pantazis (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Sebastin Girner & Jody LeHeup (assistant editors), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Princess Shuri has taken over both the role of Black Panther and princess regent while T’Challa recovers, leading to concern among many citizens. Now on a tour of Washington DC, Shuri is discussing politics with Agent Everett Ross when they are attacked. Shuri takes their attackers out, only to learn they were equipped with Wakandan technology. Back in Wakanda, much to Storm’s concern, T’Challa overexerts himself. Secretly, he trains with the Dora Milaje.

Full Summary: 

T’Challa mourns at the graves of W’kabi and Zuri, both of whom died defending them against Morlun.

Flanked by Storm and Ramonda, Shuri, the new princess regent, holds a speech to her people in the wake of Morlun’s attack that cost more than five hundred lives. She tells them they look at her and see the little sister of their nation’s great hero. A woman, a daughter, a single fist raised against a sea of enemies and a single voice. She is neither girl, nor woman nor sister nor daughter nor fragile voice in a raging storm! She raises her spear. She is Wakandan! And she is not alone!

A Wakandan news show. One of the two anchormen, N’dega, who is dressed in traditional Wakandan garb, states there has been a lot of muttering following the attack last month and the princess regent’s speech last week. People are concerned about a change of power at so crucial at time.

His colleague, M’toka, dressed in a Western suit, considers this normal coffeehouse chatter. N’dega clarifies that he isn’t talking about idle intellectuals posing hypotheticals over their decaf lattes. These are informed citizens expressing real concerns about policy.

Amused, M’toka asks if he is taking a page from his book. N’dega always criticized him and his “disgruntled liberal slackers.” N’dega points out that they are not talking Liberals or Conservatives. These are voices from across Wakanda that are concerned about a young and untried person stepping into the shoes of a seasoned leader.

He means a woman stepping into a man’s shoes? M’toka asks. N’dega refutes that. It’s not about gender. It’s about whose experience matters most.

M’toka begins that King T’Challa stepped down. Under suspicious circumstances, his colleague reminds him. Has anyone asked him who attacked him? Why has their new princess regent not demanded an answer?

M’toka is sure the royal family knows everything that happened. He urges his colleague to have some patience. When the princess regent returns from her visit to America, there will be a press release that will make everything clear.

Concerned, Ororo watches the news show while in an adjacent room T’Challa is going through physical training.

In the White House, US President Barack Obama welcomes Princess Shuri. After the friendly meeting, Shuri is accosted by Everett Ross of the State Department outside the Oval Office . He explains the president has asked him to serve as her liaison during her visit here. Shuri replies her brother has briefed her on him. He said Ross was a government spook but “occasionally useful.” She takes it he’s been assigned to spy on her. Such an ugly word, Ross admonishes. But accurate? Shuri presses. Not entirely inaccurate, he admits. Honesty in Washington, Shuri marvels. There really has been a change.

Later in the limo, Ross asks if they have any leads as to who attacked her brother. An investigation is underway, she replies curtly. Is that why she is here? he asks. She is here on a diplomatic mission as a newly appointed head of state, she replies. Really? he asks. If it was his brother who had been nearly killed, he thinks he’d move Heaven and Earth to find out who was responsible, no matter what it took or where it took him… even to the shores of a friendly nation. But that’s just him. He’s not a head of state.

Diplomacy is a tricky thing. There are a lot of things that a sitting president cannot directly say to a visiting peer. Just as there are things a visiting head of state cannot discuss openly with the president of a host nation, Shuri agrees. That’s where government spooks like him come in, Ross explains. He can discuss politics abstractly. For example, he could say just as a truism that vigilantism by foreign nationals is frowned upon on US soil. Friends don’t bring their vendettas to their shore. Friends openly ask for help.

Shuri appreciates his candor, but she is still new to her position as princess regent. She is still not entirely sure who her friends are. Ross can’t speak for the president, but it’s his view that the current administration would be willing to cooperate with an open investigation and unwilling to look the other way in mattes of vigilantism.

She’ll bear that in mind if she ever considers becoming a vigilante, she replies wryly. Ross changes the subject, recommending theaters and museums in Washington. That moment, the limousine is attacked by flying men in battle armor. Intending to leave no survivor, the first blast takes out the guards. They run and barely escape with their lives.

Meanwhile, in Wakanda, T’Challa ignores doctor’s orders and tries to move and train again. The doctor tells Ororo that he tried. Concerned, Ororo sees T’Challa fall. He gets up again to start the rehabilitation training. Ororo warns him it’s too soon. The doctor said it would be months before he could even think about rehab. He is still too weak. “Too weak?” he asks, thinking of Dr. Doom and begins the training. They’ll see…

Back in Washington, the armed men look for Shuri in the smoke. One of them has grabbed Everett Ross, and demands to know where the princess is. He is about to shoot Ross, when he is attacked by the Black Panther, who quickly takes him out. Next she attacks the other two men, sure and deadly, using their weaponry against each other. One grabs her from behind in a deadlock, squeezing the life out of her. But the Panther kicks him. Surprised, he falls down and Shuri elbows through his facemask.

A last man comes flying towards her. Before he can fire his wrist gun, she throws a throwing star at it, causing it to explode. The battle is over and only the Black Panther is left standing.

She orders her men that she wants everything before they lose control of the scene. Strip off all the equipment, take tissue samples, the works. They go to work and, shortly, one announces he has found something strange. That moment, their prisoners detonate and burn to ashes.

From a remote location, men watch this from computer screens, announcing to an unseen leader that the inferno failsafes have been activated. They won’t be able to collect DNA: They have captured voices and telemetry. They have complete analysis of her weapons and equipment. Exactly as planned, the leader agrees.

Later, Shuri answers a phone call from the president, thanking him for his concern. She and her people are fine and Mr. Ross will recover. After some polite exchanges, she turns to her people, asking what they’ve got.

Another guard tells her they may have a lead, but one that is making his blood run cold. The wrist cannons their attackers used are remarkably similar to flight suit back-up weapons of their own air guard. The powerpacks on the suits… he has seen the configuration in old catalogues of Stark Industries. Shuri asks them to find a connection between the attack on them and on her brother.

Elsewhere, T’Challa in his wheelchair slips away from his guards and visits an old woman in a hut. They are expecting him, she tells him. She presses a button and a hidden door slips open.

In the cellar, T’Challa joins a group of fighting women. Beloved! they greet him. Adored ones, we have work to do, he tells his Dora Milaje.

Characters Involved: 

Shuri / current Black Panther

T’Challa / former Black Panther



Dora Milaje

Everett Ross

US President Barack Obama




Story Notes: 

The attack by Doctor Doom occurred in issue #1.

Ross was a supporting character in the third Black Panther series.

Issue Information: 
Written By: