|Black Panther (4th series) # 7|| || |
Issue Date: October 2005
Story Title: Soul Power In The House Of M
Staff: Reginald Hudlin (writer), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), John Dell (inks), Dean White (colors), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Omar Otieku (production), Cory Sedlmeier (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Quicksilver, moaning for the love of Queen Ororo, travels to Africa with a present for her. Still uninterested in Pietro, he sadly departs again, having to take enough with just her friendship. He returns to his father, Magneto. He has watched an interview with Ororo earlier, on Alison Blaire’s TV show. There, she attacks Magneto, thinking that his current leadership isn’t as good as hers, since he is a white man. Magneto believes that Ororo’s attack problem comes straight from T’Challa, the Black Panther and leader of Africa, as Ororo is in love with him and thinks that she does it because he told her to. Angry, Magneto sends out Sabretooth to murder the Panther. After a short battle, the Panther victories after cutting off Sabretooth’s head! He sends it sarcastically back to Magneto, who declares war. He goes to Egypt, where he enrolls Apocalypse and his Horsemen to finish the job. T’Challa himself tries to find some allies and, despite the fact that Dr. Doom isn’t interested, T’Challa does get the help of Namor, Storm and Sunfire. Once Apocalypse enters Africa, they all work together to defeat his Horsemen. Apocalypse moves over to T’Challa himself but, after some fast thinking and hiding in a titanium coffin, the Panther has yet another ace up his sleeve: Black Bolt! Black Bolt just barely opens his mouth and its strong sound wave destroy Apocalypse entirely. Afterwards, T’Challa thanks Black Bolt, as thanks to him he still has a kingdom left.
Tsavo West, Kenya…
Quicksilver, while holding something in his arms, runs quickly through the desert. He arrives in front of a big building, and presses the doorbell. Storm gallantly descends, and is pleasantly surprised to see Pietro again. Pietro is breathless, and Storm notices it. She thinks something is wrong. Pietro apologizes, but just thinks that Ororo is… breathtaking. Storm calls him sweet, but is certain that he didn’t came all this way just to tell her that. Pietro admits that he actually is. He was in Italy, but kept thinking about Ororo, and was wondering if it was also hot in this country. And, he thought that Ororo might like an ice cream cone.
Ororo is surprised, and asks Pietro if it’s hand-delivered from Rome. Pietro corrects it actually came from Tuscany. Ororo smiles, and kisses Pietro on his cheek. She feels a little guilty, as Pietro does so many wonderful things for her. Pietro tells her not to feel guilty, and to just give him a chance. Ororo hates it how Pietro keeps battering his heart against a wall. Pietro remarks that he hates the fact that Ororo wastes her love to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Storm gets an angry look on her face, recognizing that she recognizes Pietro’s father talking now.
Pietro defends that he didn’t say that because “he” is a human. Pietro learned that the guy spends his time with tarts while Ororo pines away, waiting for him to say what he feels. Pietro knows that nobody can love Ororo the way he does. Storm apologizes, and walks away. Pietro frowns his eyes, and sadly takes off.
Genosha, Magneto’s palace…
Pietro has already returned to his father, and told him about Storm. Magneto jokes that, apparently, he didn’t taught Pietro anything about women. Pietro confirms that Magneto really didn’t. Pietro never saw his father together with his mother, and knows that Magneto’s adult relationships have ended up into being nothing. He jokes that attracting women while being the ruler of a land doesn’t take a lot of effort. Magneto agrees. But, he fears that Pietro’s attempts to seduce Ororo will bring a whole lot more trouble than just his broken heart. Magneto asks Pietro if he has seen Storm on TV yesterday. Magnus has recorded the interview, and puts on a big TV screen.
A reporter starts describing Africa as the world once knew it… as a continent of starvation, tribal warfare, disease and drought. But today, all those things belong to the past, and Africa has evolved into a much richer, and freer country, thanks to mutant leadership replacing corrupt human rule. Literacy is up, unemployment is down and peace is breaking out everywhere. Africa is on the move! On TV’s show, “Alison,” they have an exclusive interview who made this change possible: Queen Ororo of Kenya!
Everybody gives Ororo a loud applause. Alison asks Ororo if she agrees with the statement that Africa is the best example of how life is better under mutant rule. While watching Ororo on TV, Pietro happily smiles to see her, but isn’t really sure what to think. Ororo answers Alison’s question. She believes there’s no doubt that the previous regimes exploited Africa terribly. From the slave trade to apartheid, Africa has been a victim of a series or moral abominations condoned by world governments, religions and business. Alison thinks that’s well answered, and everyone again claps their hands.
Ororo replies that she is very, very proud of being a mutant. But, she does not believe the mutant gene includes some inherent moral superiority. She sees mutation as a scientific fact and not as a character statement. Alison smirks, thinking that Ororo better explains what she just said, just in case viewers don’t get the wrong idea. Magneto, calling Storm a traitorous witch, also demands an explanation. Pietro tries to calm his father down. Ororo is glad to do that.
She continues by saying that Castro once claimed that racism was a natural byproduct of capitalism, and that the communist system would naturally eradicate prejudice. Ororo doesn’t agree with that. Magneto doesn’t think that you can compare the two, as he believes humans really do hate difference! Ororo claims that no “ism” is going to fix the persistence of prejudice without specific solutions. They have to acknowledge that the myth of white supremacy continues in the mutant-controlled world.
Both Magneto and Alison want to know what Storm means by that. Ororo means that the ideal is still a white person with a human appearance. Though she hasn’t noticed any fury, feathered or scaled beings still deliver the news, don’t they, Ororo asks. Pietro thinks she has made a good point by that. Alison has had enough about the politics, and changes the subject by asking what’s going on in Ororo’s love life.
Magneto gets angry, and magnetically destroys the TV. He can’t believe that Pietro just said that Ororo made “a good point.” Pietro thinks that Ororo is right, and that it’s that simple. Magneto thinks that this is wonderful: his own son gives him no credit for giving the humans in Africa a free pass when he consolidated his power around the rest of the globe. Pietro defends that it was more trouble than it was before, but now he doesn’t know. Magneto corrects that, now, Africa’s economy is so powerful they could overtake them in a decade!
Pietro jokes that, now, the truth comes out. Magneto believes that his mistake was allowing that human to remain king of Africa. He’s got Ororo’s heart and mind. Magneto knows that this man tells her to criticize him in public. Magneto asks Pietro if he has seen Ororo’s support on college campuses? Magneto gets a serious, angry look on his face, telling Pietro that since he failed at undoing their romance, he shall do it his way.
Storm, over a holographic image of herself, tells T’Challa that he isn’t her husband. Even if he were, T’Challa would not be certain if he could stop her. All he is saying is that the war with Magneto will come soon enough. He wants to continue to confine their conflict with them to the stock market for now. Ororo jokes: is this T’Challa, the reluctant warrior?
T’Challa defends that, once it starts, the war will quickly escalate to a world war. He knows that they will win, but also that innocent people will die. Ororo notices that T’Challa seems confident and sensitive. It’s no wonder the ladies love him. Ororo wonders what girl it will be for T’Challa tonight… Monica Lynne? T’Challa tries to stop Ororo, but she won’t. She continues to wonder, thinking it might be perhaps Shanna, the She-Devil?
Actually, T’Challa corrects, he was wondering what Ororo was doing this evening. Ororo doesn’t have time for playboys. She will leave him to his harem. T’Challa tells Storm that she knows he only cares for her. He wants to know when Ororo’s flying nude in a thundercloud, if she ever thinks of him. Ororo ends the transmission, and wishes T’Challa a goodnight. T’Challa goes to sit on his throne, thinking that Ororo is like that song from America: “You have me straight trippin’ boo.”
The Panther turns his chair around, facing it towards a wall. He doesn’t seem to notice that someone teleports inside his castle… it’s Sabretooth! Creed takes out his gun but, before he can aim, he gets already shot by… the Panther?! Creed can’t believe T’Challa shot him like this, and starts to bleed. T’Challa jokes, as he would have anyway since he’s a pretty good shot.
Sabretooth means, he could be a diplomat, conducting back door negotiations. T’Challa knows that, if that were true, you wouldn’t have a mercenary named “Sabretooth” for that job. He wants to know if there’re any messages from Magneto he should know about. Creed jokes that there are none besides “make sure that he is dead.” The Panther opens fire on Creed again, but he has healed enough to jump high up in the sky. Creed quotes that the message is actually for Queen Ororo, but it does require that he cut off the Panther’s head.
The Black Panther manages to hit Creed again, who falls down. T’Challa grabs him, and hits Creed a couple of times with his claws, making him bleed heavily. Creed falls down. T’Challa, thinking that Creed is dead, moves closer to make it certain. However, Creed faked it, and quickly gets up again, using his claws to hit T’Challa straight through his chest!
Creed jokes that he missed, but that’s what brain damage does for you. He asks T’Challa to wait a second, as he needs some time to heal. The Panther stands up again, and keeps fighting Sabretooth until he falls down again. T’Challa goes to a nearby wall, where he picks up a sword. Creed, out of breath, tries to get up again, but T’Challa has had enough. He raises the sword, and… cuts off Sabretooth’s head!
A few hours later, Quicksilver and Magneto receive Sabretooth’s head as a present in a box. Pietro thinks that the Panther must have used Creed’s teleporter unit they had given him to get the head there so quickly. Magneto wants to know if the Panther send the body back as well, but Pietro denies that, thinking that, apparently, the Panther favors brevity in his messages. Magneto believes that now, things are going to get nasty.
The Black Panther has summoned a Council of Kings, consisting out of himself, Dr. Doom, Namor, Sunfire and Storm. T’Challa explains that, now that things are about to get nasty, the next sequence of events is pretty obvious. They’ve always known that Magneto would rescind his promise to not invade their respective monarchies. T’Challa knows that Magneto will start in Africa, then eventually pick them off one by one. The question is whether they will all work together to defeat him, or stand alone in the big fight.
Doom asks if they are supposed to risk their kingdoms, expend their resources on T’Challa’s behalf of some supposed alliance based on… what, he wonders… race? He thinks that’s fine for T’Challa and Ororo, and perhaps Namor and Sunfire if they subscribe to some broader notion of “ethnic unity,” but since Magneto is of gypsy stock like Doom himself, he wonders if he should be a race traitor. Storm asks Doom not to be a fool, as he and T’Challa have more in common than anyone else present. Doom defends that he is nobodies fool, and calls Ororo lucky that this meeting is virtual. And human or not… Doom stands alone!
Ororo jokes Victor that boys sheathed in metal shouldn’t threaten storm goddesses. T’Challa realizes that Doom has made his decision, and asks about the others.
Meanwhile, in Cairo, Egypt…
Apocalypse is watching over his slaves building pyramids for him. Magneto approaches the man, asking how business is. Apocalypse was wondering when he would hear from Magnus. He hated it the fact that he had to re-teach the “stupid humans” everything they had forgotten, but he laughs that the old school ways are still the best. Magneto tells Apocalypse that he knows he has been waiting for an opportunity to spread his empire beyond North Africa, so Magnus wants to give him that chance.
Apocalypse asks if it’s about the human. Magneto confirms it, but asks to leave Queen Ororo alone for now. He thinks that this lesson will bring her to her kneels. Apocalypse promises to consider it done.
Pietro whispers to his father that he is aware that Apocalypse pilots against him. Magneto agrees, and also that Apocalypse has to be brought down one day, but for now, his services can still be used.
Apocalypse’s plane arrives in Wakanda, and he warns his pilots to be aware of potential attacks. Suddenly, they get hit by a powerful bolt of lightning! The plane starts to crash. The pilots desperately try to pull it back up, but their electrical system has been shorted out.
Storm arrives, and traps the plane in a tornado, making it sink a few moments later in the ocean!
On the ocean floor, water starts floating inside the plane. The pilots, gasping for breath, warn Apocalypse that help is on the way. On that moment, somebody wrecks open the plane’s walls, and starts attacking Apocalypse. Imperius Rex! It’s Namor!
Namor punches Apocalypse back towards the surface, but Apocalypse soon regains his strength. Namor had hoped that Apocalypse wouldn’t have drowned yet, as he wanted to fight some more. Apocalypse asks Namor to shut up, and punches him in the face, and he flies out of the water. And, in mid-air, he gets frozen solid thanks to Iceman!
Bobby jokes that now “Prince Tuna” has been taking care off, it’s time for him and Ororo to check the forecast and see if it’s snow or rain. Iceman starts attacking Storm but, instead, Bobby gets hit by a blaze of fire, coming from none other than Sunfire. Storm thanks Shiro for the help, and asks him once he’s done with Iceman to unthaw Namor. She sets of in the lookout for any more of Apocalypse’s Horsemen.
Below, Nightcrawler gets impatient and asks Archangel what he’s waiting for. Kurt suggests that Warren go attack Ororo, while Kurt will take on Sunfire. Warren believes that Kurt has gone crazy, as the people they are supposed to fight are way out of their weight class. He thinks that they can better wait for Apocalypse to resurface, and then make a move. Kurt doesn’t understand why Warren even volunteered for this mission. Warren explains that he’s got a little P.R. problem, as some girl released a videotape of him and her, and, to make a long story short, Warren wants to be a hero, but not a dead one.
The Black Panther’s castle…
Apocalypse has made it to the castle, and guards open fire when they spot him. Unharmed, Apocalypse kills them and continues his way. Inside the castle, he finds Monica and Shanna arguing over T’Challa’s love. Shanna wonders how many girls T’Challe even has in his castle. Ignoring them, Apocalypse continues his way towards the Panther. He almost hits Monica, but Shanna rescues her just in time.
A few moments later, Apocalypse finds the Black Panther sitting in his throne. Apocalypse sarcastically thanks T’Challa for not hiding, and in return promises to kill him quick. He starts to attack but, instead of getting hit, T’Challa jumps high up. He runs towards the wall behind them, and opens a hidden door, which closes as he goes through.
This won’t stop Apocalypse. He breaks the wall open, but freaks out at what he finds behind it: Black Bolt! Black Bolt smiles. He opens his mouth, but even though he doesn’t say anything, the entire room around him gets destroyed, including Apocalypse!
T’Challa opens the titanium coffin he was hiding in. Even with the coffin, the sound waves were still very loud. It’s a good thing Black Bolt doesn’t talk during conference calls. Even though there’s a lot of rebuilding ahead, T’Challa thanks Black Bolt, as thanks to him, he still has a kingdom. As Storm, Namor and Sunfire fly inside, T’Challa gently places his hand on Black Bolt’s shoulder, asking if it felt nice to speak… if only a syllable?
Magneto, with an angry look, as Quicksilver what he’s smiling about. And he doesn’t want to hear the words “I told you so.” Pietro, smiling, tells his father that he didn’t say a word.
Magneto, Quicksilver (both House of M)
Archangel, Iceman, Nightcrawler (all Horsemen of Apocalypse)
Namor the Sub-Mariner, Sunfire
Dr. Doom (on virtual image during the Council of Kings)
Shanna, the She-Devil
Apocalypse’s pilots (both unnamed)
servants of the Black Panther (all unnamed)
In earlier issues, the new Avengers and the astonishing X-Men met to discuss the fate of the Scarlet Witch – the powerful daughter of Magneto – after her recent breakdown which resulted in the death of some heroes. After that battle, Magneto learned of his daughter’s actions, and took her back to his island of Genosha, so that his friend, Professor Charles Xavier, could take care of her. Though, this was easier said than done, and Wanda kept losing control of reality by the day. When the heroes and mutants had their meeting, Quicksilver, the son of Magneto, was also present. Hating the fact that the Avengers might agree to kill Wanda as the only way to deal with the problem, he ran back to his father and warned him to do something. When the Avengers and the X-Men arrived on Genosha, they found nothing. Both Magneto, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch had vanished. On arrival, Xavier vanished as well. On that moment, the entire world suddenly changed completely. [Avengers (1st series) #503, Excalibur (2nd series) #14, House of M #1]
In this new, yet old but altered world, T’Challa is still heir and the current ruler of his African nation known as Wakanda. During the earlier Mutant-Human War, T’Challa did his best to stay neutral, though that wasn’t always easy. During this war, T’Challa was injured in battle, but rescued by a young, beautiful girl named Ororo Munroe. They became lovers, yet Ororo declined T’Challa’s proposal to marry him. In current days, T’Challa does his best to keep his nation safe, and makes battle plans, fearing that one day Magneto might start attack his country, despite they have established a treaty. [facts taken from the “Secrets of the House of M” handbook]
The possible 5,000 year old mutant known as Apocalypse once fought against Magneto, in a war with him trying to become the leader of the mutants. However, Magneto won the battle and, instead of killing Apocalypse, they became allies. Apocalypse freed a lot of captured mutants in concentration camps in the United States, and later on kept working for Magneto. However, recently, Apocalypse has been taking some actions against Wakanda, despite Magneto’s orders not to do it. [facts taken from the “Secrets of the House of M” handbook]
Little is known about Sabretooth’s past prior his involvement in the Mutant-Human War. He is responsible for the murder of Senator Robert Kelly, who was the head of the Council on Mutant Affairs. Following the end of the War, Sabretooth returned to his possible homeland of Canada. There, he somehow lost control of himself and his powers, and began killing humans randomly. Magneto sent out SHIELD’s Red Guard in order to deal with the situation. Wolverine took Creed out, and put him in prison for many years. However, recently, Sabretooth was released into the custody of Magneto for reasons only known to himself. [facts taken from the “Secrets of the House of M” handbook]
Namor McKenzie, better known as the Sub-Mariner, is seen as the world’s very first mutant. This is because he went public in 1939, after helping two divers out of danger. That’s how he first got to know about the surface world. During World War II, Namor aligned himself with the super-soldier group known as the Invaders, and helped win that war. However, having enough of the surface world and its apparent constant war, he returned to the oceans, where he eventually became ruler of his own kingdom, Atlantis. In current days, Namor rarely makes contact with the surface world, as he dislikes the way Magneto rules it. [facts taken from the “Secrets of the House of M” handbook]
Archangel has been changed into a successful businessman, yet suffers under the constant eye of the TV media and the watching public. Recently, he has been involved in a sex scandal, and keeps himself occupied trying to stay one step ahead of rival businessman Jason Wyngarde. Nightcrawler is part of SHIELD’s elite Red Guard, consisting out of nothing but mutants. Storm, here not born in Africa but in New York, later traveled to her mother’s homeland where she met, but didn’t marry T’Challa. She helped turn Africa into a world order. She now secretly works together with T’Challa making battle plans, should Magneto choose to attack their country. Dazzler hosts a successful talk show, which goes about nothing else but heroes, movie stars and mutants. Sunfire is the current ruler of Japan. [facts taken from the “Secrets of the House of M” handbook]
This Issue has been reprinted in:
House of M: World of M, Featuring Wolverine (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Homer Jay