WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Black Panther #1, available now from Marvel.
The Marvel Universe has never been a stranger to shadowy operations, deeply held secrets, or mysterious threats, yet it is still surprising when all three simultaneously emerge in the life of someone like the Black Panther. As an Avenger, T’Challa has helped unveil and undo his fair share of plots, although it seems that as king of Wakanda he has had a hand in at least one of his own making.
Even worse is the fact that someone has uncovered T’Challa’s dark dealings, and the Black Panther is about to pay the price for them in the present.
T’Challa has been busier than ever between acting as chairperson of the Avengers, ruler of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, and his duties as king of Wakanda on Earth. The latter of these titles isn’t quite what the Black Panther is used to, though, as the transition to a parliamentary system rather than an outright monarchy has left him with less input. This isn’t the first big shift that T’Challa has led Wakanda through, however, as he was there when his nation was revealed to the world at large.
Much like his concerns with Wakanda’s current government now, T’Challa had grave worries over how the rest of the world would react to Wakanda’s presence. This led him to place sleeper agents around the globe, all having faked their deaths before awaiting the order to strike, which may have never come. Unfortunately, someone has finally discovered T’Challa’s secrets, and they’ve even managed to locate two of his spies, ending the life of one of them in an assault in the pages of Black Panther #1 by John Ridley, Juann Cabal, Federico Blee, and VC’s Joe Sabino.
There is no doubt that T’Challa’s darkest secrets are on the verge of being exposed, but the questions of who is behind it all and why still remain. As T’Challa explains to his sister Shuri, he had only selected ten Wakandans to take part in his sleeper agent program. Considering the spies Jhai and Omolola were assaulted by five mysterious figures, there is little to no chance that the other agents have turned on their fellow Wakandans. That being the case, the number of people on the outside of the program who could have known about its existence in the first place is presumably zero.
Whoever is uncovering the Black Panther’s past isn’t just digging up whatever dirt they can find. They have wormed their way into the kind of secrets that only exist in the minds of those who already know about them. There are certainly villains who T’Challa has faced in the past that might be capable of such feats, though there is another group of people that could house the culprit.
The Black Panther isn’t just a superhero, he is a ruler, a monarch, and a politician; one who has both a kingdom and an empire under his purview. As Wakanda on Earth moved away from the monarchy, there are plenty of terrestrial politicians who now stand to gain something by seeing T’Challa fall.
This is also true in regards to the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda which, despite being relegated to the stars, is still very much under T’Challa’s watchful eye. Assuming the person plotting against the king of Wakanda is in fact one of his own subjects, there might not be much that T’Challa can do to save his reputation no matter how hard he tries, especially when they have already uncovered the most questionable decision he ever made.
KEEP READING: Is Marvel Turning Black Panther into a Villain?
from Ultimate Comic Blog