Name: Everett Ross
Superhero Name: N/A
Created By: Kenny Martinez and Christopher Priest
Played By: Martin Freeman
Powers: Everett has no powers to speak of, but he is an expert in Wakandan culture, including their history, customs and technology, to the point where he is now the United States’ foremost expert on the country. He is also fluent in Wakandan.
Mini Bio: Everett Ross (of no relation to General, or Betty, Ross) started out in the U.S State Department, escorting foreign diplomats on American soil, but when he was tasked with looking after T’Challa. The two, along with Zuri, Nakia and Okoye, who were also on the trip, ended up with battling low-level street gangs in New York.
It escalated to a fight with Mephisto (the Marvel equivalent of the Devil), and a battle with Kraven The Hunter. During this time, Zuri told Ross about Wakanda, and eventually, Ross followed them back to the country.
From there, he served as a diplomatic liaison between Wakanda and the United States. He worked closely with T’Challa and Shuri, became, briefly, regent while T’Challa was absent during an attempted invasion by Erik Killmonger, worked with the N.S.A. and other U.S. government officials in understanding more about Wakanda, and generally got himself involved in a lot of fights.
Unlike his MCU counterpart, Everett Ross is usually seen as a bit of comic relief, and generally hopeless in battle. He’s managed to smooth over a few diplomatic incidents but has been used more as an audience-insert type character.
Christopher Priest, his creator, said this about the character: “Comics are traditionally created by white males for white males. I figured, and I believe rightly, that for Black Panther to succeed, it needed a white male at the centre, and that white male had to give voice to the audience’s misgivings or apprehensions or assumptions about this character and this book. Ross needed to be un-PC to the point of being borderline racist”; and clarified, “I don’t think Ross was racist at all. I just think that his stream-of-conscious narrative is a window into things I imagine many whites say or at least think when no blacks are around; myths about black culture and behaviour. I was also introducing a paradigm shift to the way Panther was to be portrayed; somebody had to give voice to the expectation of a dull and colourless character who always got his butt kicked or who was overshadowed by Thor and Iron Man suddenly knocking out Mephisto with one punch”.
Interesting trivia: Everett Ross has been known to worry about messing up his hair during a fight, he’s been seen multiple times shouting ‘not the hair’ when in danger.
First Comic Appearance: Ka-Zar (1998)
Most Common Team Ups: State Department, S.H.I.E.L.D., Black Panther
Comic Recommendations: Black Panther (1998) by Christopher Preist, Black Panther (2005) by Reginald Hudlin