The Avengers Are Declaring War on Black Panther (& Wakanda Won’t Help)
The Avengers are declaring war on the Black Panther – and Wakanda will not be of any help. In the past year, some of Black Panther’s deepest and darkest secrets have been brought to light, which has frayed his relationship not only with his Avengers teammates, but also his home country of Wakanda. In January 2023’s Black Panther #13, matters come to a head as Black Panther takes on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Since John Ridley took over writing duties on Black Panther, he and his collaborators have put T’Challa through the wringer. Readers learned that Black Panther created a network of Wakandan sleeper agents, scattered across the globe to act as T’Challa’s eyes and ears. No one, not even his sister Shuri, knew about this – and when the agents started turning up dead, Black Panther had much to answer for, and he left Wakanda. Meanwhile, Wakanda has transitioned away from a monarchy and is embracing democracy – and its new leaders are not happy with T’Challa’s actions. These events have not gone unnoticed by the Avengers either, who have questions of their own; ultimately, Black Panther was removed from his position as the team’s chair. Black Panther’s world is seemingly crumbling around him, but he will not give up on himself or Wakanda, and in Black Panther #13, he may have to go through his former teammates to do so.
A solicitation for Black Panther #13, shared on CBR, reveals more information about the story, as well as a look at its variant covers, shared below. International terrorists, led by the White Wolf, are making moves in Wakanda – and Black Panther is committed to taking them down. Panther has assembled a band of allies to help, but now they must face the Avengers. The solicitation states that the Avengers are going to “make T’Challa understand he’s been benched.” It goes on to reveal that an unexpected ally will come to Black Panther’s aid. The issue will be written by John Ridley and illustrated by German Peralta.
The last year of Black Panther’s life has been his most tumultuous, filled with betrayal and loss – and judging from the solicitation for issue 13, it will not be letting up. Black Panther has done more in the past year to alienate allies than ever. Paranoia has been part of the Black Panther’s character for a long time – fans will recall he joined the Avengers in order to spy on them, but he took it to new heights this year. His plan to safeguard Wakandan interests with sleeper agents blew up in his face, and has cost him the trust of not only the Avengers, but his family and the entire nation of Wakanda as well. Black Panther’s secretive nature will not allow him to tell the Avengers the truth of why he left Wakanda, fraying the relationship further. Now, it has deteriorated to the point of violence. Will Black Panther be able to get back into the Avengers’ good graces? And what about his family? Will he be reconciled with them?
Furthermore, T’Challa has alienated almost all of Wakanda. As the nation’s experiment with democracy moves forward, he will be less and less important a figure in Wakanda’s affairs. Black Panther’s quest to earn back his friends, family and nation’s trust will be a long one, and it is one he may never fully complete. His actions over the past year have become indefensible, and now Black Panther’s woes are compounded as he must fight the Avengers without Wakanda’s help.