A self-proclaimed Emperor of Useless White Boys and U.S. State Department schlub, Everett K. Ross is more than just a self-deprecating government worker. He is the Special Attaché to foreign diplomats and most notably to King T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, of the technologically advanced African nation, Wakanda.
From Survivor to State Department
Everett Kenneth “Kenny” Ross survives a rough childhood. At a young age, Kenny is bullied by other kids who make fun of him for his weight, and when he loses a fistfight to Natalie McPhail, the event lost him his dignity and still haunts him. His mother treats him unkindly, and as such, Ross imagines another life where he is thin, popular and his dog Rex, whom his mother named Spunky, is an 80-pound Rottweiler. During his imaginary life, he accidentally drove a pickup truck over their dog.
Despite his dysfunctional family, he grows up to be a semi well-adjusted person and receives a law degree from Oxford University. He becomes an employee of the United States Government. He works for the State Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol and escorts foreign diplomats while they visit the U.S. While there, he manages Lord Kevin Plunder, AKA Ka-Zar, Shanna Plunder, AKA Shanna, and Zabu’s visit to the U.S. but when the State Department assigns Ross to serve as an aide to the Wakandan King T’Challa, his life changes forever. Ross refers to Black Panther as his client and learns Wakandan history and customs during his time serving as an attaché.
As an attaché to foreign diplomats working for the U.S. State Department, Ross is trained in diplomacy and negotiation skills. He studied law at Oxford University and drives a red Mazda Miata, which only seats two people.
After spending time with the Black Panther, Ross becomes a leading expert on Wakanda, well-versed in their history thanks to Zuri, and understands their customs as well as advanced Vibranium technology. When T’Challa is absent, the trustworthy Ross acts as Wakanda’s Regent.
The Bad Guys
Reverend Achebe, aided by the Hell-lord Mephisto who craves T’Challa’s soul, leads a coup d’etat against T’Challa in Wakanda. Ross and T’Challa force him to flee the country, though Achebe always has a way of coming back.
Mephisto, in waiting for T’Challa to retrieve his soul, becomes Ross’ unwanted house guest. Mephisto gifts Ross mystical pants that continually pull down revealing another pair of pants, which in turn makes Ross relive the worst parts of his childhood being bullied.
Erik Killmonger, AKA Killmonger, proves to be a thorn in Ross’ side when he vies for T’Challa’s throne and succeeds in killing Ross’ client with Ross’ unwitting help.
The Good Guys
When the King of Wakanda T’Challa visits the U.S., Ross acts as his attaché. Despite their cultural differences and radically differing personalities, Ross and T’Challa form a mutually respectful friendship. He even trusts Ross enough to leave him as the Regent of Wakanda to manage affairs of state.
Ross is also connected to T’Challa’s Dora Malije and the special attendant and Wakandan Warrior, Zuri. Additional connections Ross makes through T’Challa include the Avengers since T’Challa is an Avengers member.
Nikki Adams is Ross’ boss and girlfriend who had a relationship with T’Challa in her college years, a fact she keeps from Ross. When the truth comes to light, the two fight and never resolve their conflict due to Nikki getting caught in the crossfire between Monica Lynne and former Dora Milaje Nakia, AKA Malice. Ross is saved from the battle by Dora Milaje member, Queen Divine Justice.
T’Challa’s adopted elder brother Hunter, AKA White Wolf, becomes Ross’ ally in a time of need and helps to restore T’Challa’s title.
A G-Man & Regent’s Record
Ross is assigned to escort T’Challa and his Wakandan compatriots, Zuri, Nakia, and Okoye, while they visited the U.S. Ross drives them around in his two-seater convertible Mazda Miata but when they stop for Chinese food, Ross is bullied by Manuel Ramos who steals his wallet and identification. In tracking Ramos down at a strip club, Ross loses his pants in a brawl between the strippers, himself and Zuri. The group gets arrested but then later freed thanks to diplomatic immunity.
Ross learned more about the history of Wakanda from Zuri while Black Panther investigated a scandal involving the Tomorrow Fund, the reason he was in the U.S. to begin with. While they waited, Mephisto arrived looking for the Panther. Ross entertained him until the Panther returned and while they waited, Mephisto conjured a pair of “Devil’s Pants” for Ross which would fall only to reveal another set of pants.
Through Mephisto, Ross experienced vivid memories of his traumatic childhood where he was bullied by Natalie McPhail who beat him up and pulled down his pants. Ross terrified he sold his soul was then consoled by Mephisto who reminded him he worked for the government, and he only collected pure souls. Shortly thereafter, the Panther arrived and ripped Mephisto’s heart out to which Ross placed in a pickle jar. Mephisto, his mystical power running out the longer he spends time on Earth, transported Ross and the Panther to Hell.
While in Hell, an illusion of Reverend Achebe attacked the Panther while Ross faced off large rats. As the Panther defeated Mephisto and his illusions, Ross was transported back to his apartment, this time excited to be without pants.
Ross later comes into close contact with Avengers member Thor Odinson, AKA Thor, and is nearly accidentally smashed by his hammer, but is saved by Zuri during an attack coordinated by Wakandan Reverend Achebe.
Ross helped T’Challa against Achebe’s group of intelligence agents known as Xcon, while Achebe, craving power over Wakanda, coordinated a coup d’état and successfully drove T’Challa out alongside Ramonda and with the help of Mephisto.
When T’Challa returned to the U.S. on a diplomatic mission, he left Ross in charge as regent of Wakanda until Erik Killmonger tried to destroy Wakanda’s economy. To thwart this, the Panther nationalized all foreign companies in Wakanda, causing a global run on the stock market, which Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, used to secure a controlling interest in the Wakandan Design Group.
When Ross discovered his boss and girlfriend Nikki Adams had formerly dated T’Challa, they have a physical altercation and Ross apparently quits as T’Challa’s Regent.
Later, returning home, the Panther fought Killmonger in ritual combat, but was distracted at a critical juncture by Ross and beaten nearly to death. Killmonger only relented when Ross, still acting regent, yielded on T’Challa’s behalf, unwittingly giving the Black Panther title to Killmonger.
Though Ross still acted as Wakanda’s Regent, and T’Challa’s life was mystically saved by his allies Jericho Drumm, AKA Brother Voodoo (later Doctor Voodoo) and Marc Spector, AKA Moon Knight. While T’Challa recovered, Killmonger tried to join the Avengers as the new Black Panther, and Achebe enlisted super-mercenaries such as Deadpool to attack Wakanda again.
As a result of becoming the Wakandan Regent, Ross’ U.S. citizenship was revoked for acting as an agent of a foreign power.
Still fighting over Nikki’s omission that T’Challa and her had a prior romantic relationship, Nikki is killed in crossfire on Wakanda in front of Ross before they could reconcile. In his grief, Ross tried to resurrect her, but she came back wrong. Ross and T’Challa fought about many things, mostly about what Ross endured as an attaché and Regent, and when T’Challa expressed his admiration for Ross, Ross’ anger towards T’Challa subsided.
During the resultant Avengers visit to Wakanda, Ross freed Hunter, aka White Wolf, whose scheming resulted in Killmonger’s apparent death and the restoration of T’Challa’s title.
Wakanda next came into conflict with Deviant Lemuria during a dispute over custody of a Deviant child found in Wakanda. As tensions mounted, warships from Wakanda, the U.S. and Atlantis all entered the area, and Hunter made matters worse when he decided to force T’Challa to “reclaim his dignity” by reviving Ulysses Klaw, AKA Klaw, who tried to spark outright war between the nations involved. In the end, Ross’s negotiation skills and information supplied by Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, and Victor Von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, resolved the conflict.
Ross later becomes a liaison to T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri during her first visit to the U.S. While their convoy is attacked by assassins, Shuri saves Ross’ life.
Often, Ross has been employed as a liaison to the Wakandans, even working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to encourage Wakandan security forces to cooperate with the intelligence and security organization. When the World Security Council was looking into S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill for an incident at the superhuman prison, Pleasant Hill, Ross was asked to prosecute her. He gathered witnesses and built a case against Maria while having to face the opposition’s testimonials, but Captain America turned the case in Ross’ favor and Maria was discharged.