Zuri is a mighty warrior of Wakanda and bodyguard to the nation’s royalty, including the Black Panther mantel-wearers. He offers sage advice on war and strategy to the Panthers, fighting for and beside them no matter the cost to his own life.
Royal Regent and Bodyguard
Born in the African warrior nation of Wakanda, Zuri becomes the Wakandan monarch T’Chaka, AKA Black Panther’s closest friend.
Unfortunately, T’Chaka makes an ill-advised alliance with Ulysses Klaw, AKA Klaw, who betrays T’Chaka to harvest the nation’s Vibranium mound and enslave the Wakandans. T’Chaka is killed by Klaw, but not before T’Chaka asks him to love T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, as he loves his King, so Zuri saves Prince T’Challa from death. Zuri also tutors T’Challa as a fighter and strategist, and serves as the nation’s regent.
Zuri wields the Spear of Bashenga, a legendary weapon wielded by the first Black Panther, which also signifies the bearer as chieftain of the Wakandans. Zuri takes this position seriously, not trusting outsiders.
T’Challa ascends to the throne and, when he reaches adulthood years later, proves his right to rule by besting Zuri in combat. Remaining regent, and despite having aged past his prime, Zuri acts as T’Challa’s bodyguard when he travels abroad.
Keeper of the Spear of Bashenga
Zuri is an expert hunter, tracker, and a master of armed and unarmed combat. As a war veteran and warrior of Wakanda, Zuri uses his knowledge to train T’Challa at a young age. He wields the spear of Bashenga, which marks him as the chieftain of the Wakandans until T’Challa comes of age.
The Reverend Dr. Michael Ibn al-hajj Achebe, AKA Achebe, coordinates a coup in Wakanda and sends agents to the United States where Zuri is acting as Black Panther’s bodyguard. Zuri stands against the usurper alongside the Black Panther, and later against the Panther’s longtime adversary Erik Killmonger, AKA Killmonger, when he makes a claim to the throne.
When Morlun, a totem-hunting creature, seeks to kill T’Challa, Zuri sacrifices himself while defending T’Challa’s sister, Princess Shuri.
Compatriots and Chief Allies
Zuri fiercely protects the Royal Family of Wakanda: King T’Chaka, his first wife Queen N’Yami and second wife Queen-Mother Ramonda, Prince T’Challa, and Princess Shuri. Whether as bodyguard or Regent, Zuri stands against usurpers, supporting the family and Black Panther mantel-wearers.
While acting as Black Panther’s bodyguard, he allies with the Panther’s security chief W’Kabi; the Dora Milaje, warrior women of Wakanda; the U.S. State Department’s liaison Everett Ross; and the Avengers, especially Thor Odinson, AKA Thor. Thor and Zuri become as close as cousins, trying to best each other at every opportunity, but in defense of those the Panther anoints to be protected, he will use his immense strength to safeguard them.
A Wakandan Warrior’s Way
While accompanying T’Challa to New York to investigate the scandal of the misappropriated Tomorrow Fund, Zuri befriended T’Challa’s U.S. State Department liaison Everett Ross and the Avengers’ Thor.
As T’Challa’s bodyguard and advisor, Zuri also guided T’Challa against his relationship with the Caucasian Nikki Adams, not because of her race but because she was not of the Wakandan realm.
He subsequently aided T’Challa against the usurper Achebe and stood against Killmonger when he attempted to lay official claim to Wakanda’s throne. Later, Zuri joined Wakanda’s forces in repelling an extraterrestrial Skrull invasion.
After T’Challa was nearly killed by Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, Zuri helped advise Princess Shuri as she sought to assume her brother’s role as the Black Panther.
When the totem-hunting creature Morlun came to claim T’Challa’s life, Zuri and security chief W’Kabi defended T’Challa’s chambers to give Shuri time to claim the Black Panther’s power. Morlun killed Zuri and W’Kabi, but Shuri subsequently slew Morlun, saving her brother. Zuri’s remains were then laid to rest in Wakanda.