Comic fans will know Everett K. Ross as the fictional CIA operative who appears in Marvel comics as an ally of the Black Panther. Ross has featured in Marvel’s shared universe for over 20 years, with his most recent outing coming courtesy of the 2018 movie, Black Panther. Get to know the character better with these 10 things you probably didn’t know about Everett K. Ross.
1. Ross made his first appearance in 1998
Marvel Comic book fans got their first look at Everett Ross in Ka-Zar Volume 3 #17, published in September 1998. This introduction to Ross sees him standing on a toilet seat, pointing a gun at Buster, a massive rodent, while Zuri explains to Ross how T’ Chaka, the Wakanda leader, evicted the “evil white devils from their homeland.” From this, Ross want on to become a key character in multiple issues of Black Panther Vol 3, 4, and 5.
2. Ross has made few appearances outside of the Black Panther Series
While some Marvel characters have appeared in multiple series (Valerie Cooper, for example, originally featured in X-Men but has since popped up in Thunderbolt, Captain America, Avengers and Iron Man, to name just a few), Ross has made only limited appearances outside of the Black Panther series. His appearance in Uncanny X-Men is one of the few exceptions.
3. Ross is based on Friends’ Chandler Bing
According to Ross’ creator, Christopher Priest, Ross’ character takes inspiration from Friends’ Chandler Bing, as played by Matthew Perry. Priest was inspired after watching an episode of the sitcom in which Perry’s character finds himself trapped in an ATM vestibule with the model, Jill Goodacre. According to Priest, Bing was “respected and successful” but nonetheless “the horrified fish out of water”. Drawing inspiration from Bing, Priest created Everett K. Ross, a “hopelessly overwhelmed white man”.
4. Ross had an unhappy childhood
As a child, Ross was socially awkward, bullied relentless by his peers, and unloved by his mother. A heavy, unpopular boy, Ross’ most humiliating moment came when he was beaten up by a girl named Natalie McPhail. Ross’ fortunes took a turn for the better when he left home to start working for the government. The most dramatic change to his life came when he was tasked to T’Challa, the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda. Ross and T’Challa quickly developed a mutual respect, with each showing a willingness to risk their life for the other as they battled rouge agents and threats to Wakanda sovereignty.
5. Ross featured in the 2010 Black Panther animated series
In November 2011, BET broadcast six, 20-minute episodes of an animated production of the Black Panther. Djimon Hounsou provided the voice of the Black Panther, while David Busch voiced Ross’ part. The plot follows the newly appointed Black Panther, T’Challa, as he searches for his father’s assassin. Unknown to T’ Challa, his father’s murderer, Klaw, has bought together a group of villains to help him displace T’Challa and allow Klaw take control of Wakanda.
6. Ross has an impressive skill-set
As an accomplished CIA agent, Everett has matured not only into an expert Spy, but as an accomplished Pilot. Thanks to his background as an officer in the United States Air Force, Ross can pilot Wakandan aircraft without problem. With an ability to speak both English and Xhosa, Ross can also add “linguist” to his list of talents.
7. Ross has a favorite weapon
Ross’ weapon of choice is the SIG- Sauer P226R, which he carries as his main sidearm. Ross carried the handgun with him to his secret rendezvous with Ulysses Klaue, a black-market arms dealer, criminal and general bad guy. Ross was forced to use the weapon when Klaue’s army began attacking Okoye during Ross’ and Klaue’s meeting.
8. Ross has featured as a playable character in a video game
In Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, Ross appears as a character in the Black Panther DLC Pack. As part of the story arc, Ross is abducted by Erik Killmonger, forcing the Black Panther and Shuri to launch a rescue mission on his behalf.
9. Ross’ first big screen appearance came in Captain America: Civil War
Fans got their first look at Everett K. Ross on the big screen in Captain America: Civil War. The movie sees Ross, played by British actor, Martin Freeman, working as an agent of the Joint Counter Terrorist Center. As part of his work, Ross is tasked to oversee the avengers, and later, to supervise the imprisonment of Helmut Zemo after the villain is captured by the Black Panther.
10. Ross is available as a figurine
Ross has featured in several lines of merchandising. In the Heroclix figure game, Ross is available as a character in the Avengers series. Ross also features as part of a twin-pack with T’Challa in the Diamond Select’s Minimates line, while the Marvel Legend line sees him partnered with Erik Killmonger.