BLACK PANTHER #34-37 (2001-2002): Gorilla Warfare/The Once and Future King

Issue #1 of Black Panther had Agent Everett Ross in a bathroom trying to shoot a rat. This issue starts with him in a bathroom realizing that his body has become Mephisto. He goes to The Avengers for help, the Defenders beat him up…

…Hulk wants to eat him.

It’s the comic relief subplot of these issues, and we the readers are still not exactly sure what’s going on. It won’t get resolved until after these two stories.

Meanwhile, Man-Ape is back. He and T’Challa fight a lot and then Man-Ape reveals…

…The “true” Black Panther.

Except, no, of course he’s not. He’s an alternate reality Black Panther. Priest has called issue #36-37 a kind of homage to DC’s Dark Knight Returns book–a look at what might happen in the future to Black Panther.

It’s a very cool read, even if it doesn’t “matter” in the big sense of the word.

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