- "How much more are you hiding?"
- ―Everett Ross to T'Challa
Everett Kenneth Ross is a CIA operative and the former Deputy Task Force Commander of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre. Working alongside Thaddeus Ross, Ross had been tasked to control and regulate the actions of the Avengers following the creation of the newly formed Sokovia Accords. However Ross had soon come into conflict with Captain America after the Winter Soldier had been targeting for his own part in seemingly committing a sudden horrific terrorist act. After Tony Stark revealed that Helmut Zemo was the one to blame for the attack and Zemo was apprehended by the Black Panther, before Ross took Zemo into custody.
Returning to the CIA, Ross had been given the task of purchasing a Vibranium weapon from Ulysses Klaue, which put Ross back into contact with Black Panther. Upon being mortally wounded by Erik Killmonger, Ross was nursed back to health in Wakanda, where he discovered their technological advancements. During his time at Wakanda, Ross witnessed Killmonger taking control and, due to owing T'Challa a debt, then aided the Black Panther in defeating Killmonger's forces. As a result, Ross supported T'Challa while he began sharing Wakanda's wealth with the rest of the world.
Everett Ross served in the United States Armed Forces as a pilot before joining the CIA. During his time in the Armed Forces, Ross encountered Erik Killmonger, who was known to be an exceptional killer within the American Military. Moving swiftly up within the ranks of the CIA, Ross was put in charge of the newly formed the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, where he was then tasked by the new Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross with ensuring that the rules of the Sokovia Accords were being correctly followed by any and all hero groups, which had included the Avengers.
Capturing the Winter Soldier
- "You'll be provided with an office instead of a cell. And do me a favor, stay in it."
"I don't intend on going anywhere."
- ―Everett Ross and T'Challa
Once the Winter Soldier had been successfully apprehended by the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre agents for the recent terrorist bombing he was imprisoned in their headquarters in Berlin along with Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson and T'Challa who had had a public clash. There, they met Ross, who was introduced to them by Sharon Carter. Ross confiscated all their equipment, telling Rogers that he will write them out a receipt for his shield and the EXO-7 Falcon. When Rogers asked what would happen to Barnes, Ross claimed he would go through a psychological evaluation before being moved to prison, which he believed should also happen to all the rest of them.
Ross then escorted the heroes to the control room, along the way informing them that they would be provided with offices rather than prison cells and insisted upon them staying there, which T'Challa explained that he would do until Barnes was moved. Ross then left them to continue his work while allowing them to survey Barnes during the interrogation. He also left Tony Stark to try and convince Rogers to sign the Sokovia Accords at long last.
While Barnes was held in his cell, Ross awaited the arrival of Theo Broussard to begin the questioning. During this time Ross was contacted by the Wakandan government who informed him that King T'Challa had requested that Barnes be given to him as his prisoner to be punished for the murder of T'Chaka. Ross agreed and informed T'Challa of this, sarcastically clapping him for his success as he had wanted the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre to keep Barnes.
Ross took time to watch as Bucky Barnes was questioned by a man posing as psychiatrist Theo Broussard. Ross listened as Broussard asked Barnes about his time as an assassin for HYDRA and what he remembered about this time, although Barnes remained mostly silent and only insisted that he be called Bucky and that he was not a murderer any more since he had gotten away from HYDRA and had been trying to live as peacefully as possible while on the run in Romania.
However suddenly during the interrogation the power throughout the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building was cut out, leaving Ross unable to see or hear what was happening in the room. While Ross ordered his men to find a solution, Captain America and Sam Wilson charged downstairs only to discover that Broussard had freed Barnes who managed to escape along with Rogers and Wilson who were still trying to protect him due to their belief that this was not his fault.
Capturing Helmut Zemo
- "So, how does it feel? To spend all that time, all that effort and to see it fail so spectacularly?"
- ―Everett Ross and Helmut Zemo
Eventually it was discovered that Helmut Zemo had actually been the one responsible for the terrorist bombing and had also been secretly attempting to use the false accusation of the Winter Soldier to then destroy the Avengers from within. Zemo was eventually captured by Black Panther, and handed over to Ross for his incarceration, as Ross then personally took some measures to ensure that Wakanda's involvement in the arrest was being kept under wraps.
With Zemo imprisoned by the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, Ross then came to explain how his imprisonment would work while also mocking the terrorist for all of his failings in trying to dismantle the Avengers. However, Zemo countered by saying he had won, as his goal was to destroy the Avengers; he had succeeded in breaking up the team thanks to using the Sokovia Accords to his advantage by framing Captain America's closest friend for the attacks.
Reunion with T'Challa
- "What I'm doing, or not doing on behalf of the U.S. government is none of your concern. Now, whatever the hell you're up to, do me a favor, stay out of my way."
- ―Everett Ross to T'Challa
Having learnt that Ulysses Klaue had just recently managed to get his hands on a Vibranium weapon, the CIA sent Ross to South Korea to collect the weapon from him. Ross and Klaue arranged to meet in a Hidden Casino, as Ross had arrived there first and gambled while he waited, only to notice T'Challa was likewise in attendance, who was likely there to find Klaue.
Ross, declaring his respect for the new King of Wakanda, implored him to back down, while initially denying he was there to meet Klaue. When T'Challa then reminded Ross about how he had helped him to capture Helmut Zemo, Ross had noted that he had also covered up T'Challa's identity as the Black Panther, insisting that this made them even for Zemo, although T'Challa insisted he would be taking Klaue into custody himself before walking away from the table.
Once T'Challa had left, Ross noticed he had won at the casino game, as an Old Man took T'Challa's winnings. Having warned the CIA of T'Challa's presence, Ross went back to T'Challa and noted that the Vibranium Klaue had managed to steal appeared to link back to what was used by Ultron during the Battle of Sokovia, promising that they could then discuss handing Klaue over to T'Challa once the CIA was finished with him, although T'Challa refused to make a deal.
Clash with Ulysses Klaue
- "That is quite the entourage. You got a mixtape coming out?"
"Oh yeah, yeah, actually there is one. I'll send you a Soundcloud link if you'd like... Hey Dave, can you get the link to..."
"Please, don't make me listen to your music, I just meant you got a lot of people with you."
- ―Everett Ross and Ulysses Klaue
Eventually, Ulysses Klaue arrived at the Jagalchi Market Casino, with Klaue surrounded by bodyguards who filled up the casino as Klaue went downstairs to make the exchange with Ross, with Ross noting Klaue's entourage and questioned if Klaue had his mixtape coming out. When Klaue had joked about an actual mixtape and told one of his bodyguards to collect the link for him, Ross stopped him and expressed his mistrust of Klaue due to him bringing so many guards to the meeting which likely meant that it was actually a setup.
As Klaue began rubbing Ross' shoulder, he requested the diamonds which the CIA were giving up in exchange for the Vibranium which Klaue had stolen. While Ross was handed the suitcase of diamonds, Klaue unzipped his trousers and pulled the Vibranium weapon out from his crotch, which was wrapped in a paper bag as Klaue noted that he had decided to save himself some money by using the paper bag rather than purchasing a fancy suitcase like Ross had done.
However, the exchange was then unexpectedly interrupted when the position of one of T'Challa's cohorts, head bodyguard Okoye, was compromised, resulting in Okoye furiously throwing one of Klaue's bodyguards off the balcony. Seeing this, Klaue instantly believed that Ross had betrayed them as a furious shootout then broke out as a result, while Ross took cover and later fired several shots at Klaue's bodyguards, while T'Challa helped him get away to safety.
Once he had gotten out of the casino, Ross witnessed Klaue and his men desperately attempting to get away by dangerously driving at high speeds through South Korea, while the Wakandans gave chase. Witnessing Klaue using his own Prosthetic Arm to completely destroy their car, Ross then picked up Okoye and Nakia, a Wakandan spy as they survived the crash, telling Okoye to put her Vibranium Spear in the trunk of his car as they continued to chase down Klaue.
Before long, Ross had managed to catch up to T'Challa, who had caused Klaue's car to crash before ripping out Klaue's Prosthetic Arm and threatening him with his Panther Claws. Seeing that Black Panther was preparing to execute Klaue on the spot in revenge for the previous Attack on Wakanda, Okoye and Nakia had managed to convince him to stop as he was being filmed by several people, as Ross then apprehended Klaue, taking him into their custody.
Interrogation of Klaue
Having taken Ulysses Klaue back into CIA custody, Ross left Klaue alone in the interrogation room before speaking with T'Challa about what was to be done about Klaue, who was mockingly kissing at their mirrored glass while he was waiting. Although Ross suggested he and T'Challa speak to Klaue one by one, Okoye spoke to T'Challa in Xhosa, which left Ross unsure of what they were saying.
Speaking in English again, T'Challa then insisted that he he allowed to take Klaue back to Wakanda once Ross finished his interrogation, which Ross rejected. When Ross casually tapped T'Challa on the chest, Okoye appeared to threaten him in Xhosa, leading to Ross confirming if she spoke English or not. As Ross went inside to speak with Klaue, T'Challa placed his hand onto his shoulder and thanked Ross for all of his help with capturing and interrogating Klaue.
Aware that T'Challa had actually put a hearing device onto his jacket, Ross then interrogated Klaue who was currently singing as loudly as he could to amuse himself. Klaue recommended that Ross put more trust in him rather than the Wakandans, which Ross dismissed before asking about Klaue's Prothetic Arm and where Klaue had gotten it from. Klaue explained that the arm was an old mining tool which he had modified before then informing Ross that the person to speak to about it was T'Challa as the arm was from Wakanda originally.
Klaue insisted that deeper secrets hid within Wakanda, questioning what Ross actually knew about Wakanda and telling Ross that his understanding of Wakanda as a third world country within Africa was completely false. Klaue then went on to explain that Wakanda was in fact the fabled El Dorado from legend before he then revealed that T'Challa and his family's Golden Tribe were in actually possession of massive amount of Vibranium which had already made them more technologically advanced than anywhere else on the planet.
While Ross had doubted Klaue's claims, he became more interested when Klaue mentioned that Wakanda had their supply of Vibranium weapons. Ross noted that Klaue had stolen T'Chaka's entire supply of Vibranium during the Attack on Wakanda, which angered Klaue as he insisted he had stolen a tiny piece while Wakanda had an entire mountain filled with it which they had been mining for thousands of years, noting that T'Challa's Panther Habit was made of Vibranium, leaving Ross determined to discover what T'Challa was hiding.
Stepping out of the interrogation room having listened to everything Klaue had to say, Ross confronted T'Challa and Okoye over Klaue's claims about Wakanda's secrets, noting that T'Chaka had previously told the United Nations that Klaue had stolen all of the Vibranium that they had, although T'Challa had questioned how much Klaue could actually be trusted. Not believing T'Challa, Ross questioned what he was hiding from him, which T'Challa still did not answer.
They were then interrupted as Nakia then entered the room to warn everyone of Erik Killmonger's plot to free Klaue, but it was too late as Killmonger blew a hole in the side of the CIA Safe House and fired into the room, as Ross dove on top of Nakia, taking a bullet into his spine as a result. Having used a Kimoyo Bead to stabilize his wound, T'Challa offered to take Ross back to Wakanda to help him recover, despite the country's strong attitudes toward outsiders.
Recovering in Wakanda
Following his shooting, Ross was quickly taken away and was then treated by T'Challa's brilliant sister Shuri. Ross eventually woke up in a strange room, finding his gunshot wound had seemingly healed, since he was able to stand and found Shuri working with her Vibranium Gauntlets. Ross confronted Shuri, questioning if he was in Wakanda, demanding to know how long it had been since South Korea since he believed it would have taken him months to heal.
Shuri however then explained that she had been able to heal Ross by using Vibranium, which Ross was still skeptical about, since the rest of the world did not have the technology to heal a wound completely within a day. While Ross looked around Shuri's Lab at her tech, he overlooked Mount Bashenga while Shuri explained to him how much Vibranium was in Wakanda, before pointing to the Wakandan Maglev Train which allowed them to safely transport all the Vibranium.
Their conversation was interrupted when Okoye contacted Shuri on her holographic phone and demanded to know where T'Challa was. Although Shuri was initially jokingly dismissive of the question, Okoye explained that they were receiving word that Erik Killmonger had just reached Wakanda, being stopped by the Border Tribe and had also seemingly killed Ulysses Klaue. Seeing Killmonger's image in front of him, Ross immediately recognized Killmonger as an American.
Having been joined by T'Challa and Nakia, Ross had then briefed the group on everything he knew of Killmonger's background due to his time within the CIA. While T'Challa and the other Wakandans listened closely, Ross began explaining that Erik Stevens had been a member of a highly trained section of the United States Armed Forces where he got a reputation as a killer, nicknamed Killmonger, as Shuri noted he had a War Dog tattoo although there was no record of him.
While T'Challa and the others were talking with Killmonger, who was claiming to be the son of T'Challa's uncle N'Jobu, Ross was locked inside one of the rooms to keep him out of sight. Eventually Nakia returned to Ross' room and explained that Killmonger had just killed T'Challa in Ritual Combat, forcing them to make their escape with the rest of the Golden Tribe, fearing that Killmonger would soon seek to assassinate them to ensure nobody else could overthrow him.
Escape from Killmonger
With Erik Killmonger now sitting on the throne of Wakanda, Ross was forced to escape from the city with the Golden Tribe in order to avoid being captured and executed by Killmonger. As Ross regrouped with the others who mourned T'Challa and T'Chaka's deaths, Nakia introduced Ross as a friend when Ramonda had expressed her distrust of him. Nakia then explained that Okoye would not be joining them as she and the rest of the Dora Milaje had chosen to continue serving Wakanda, even despite Killmonger now sitting on the throne.
While retreating into the mountains, Ross asked Nakia what the plan was, as she explained that they were going into the Jabari Land to potentially give the Heart-Shaped Herb to a warrior there who could help them lead an army and then overthrow Killmonger. While it was explained that the Herb made T'Challa the Black Panther, Romonda suggested that Nakia herself take it, but she insisted that without an army she alone would not be enough to defeat Killmonger.
Before long however, Ross and all his allies were captured and were brought before M'Baku, the ruler of the Jabari Tribe. As they tried to make peace and explain the situation, M'Baku would not allow Ross to speak, with M'Baku barking at Ross when he tried to explain that Killmonger was a member of the United States Armed Forces. While M'Baku jokingly stated that he would feed Ross to his children before noting they were vegetarian, Nakia presented him with the Herb.
Rather than take the Herb however, M'Baku then took them outside and presented them with T'Challa, who had been found barely alive and was being treated by the Jabari. With little time to spare, Ross looked on as Shuri and Ramonda crushed the Herb and fed it to him, praying to Bast as T'Challa was sent to the Ancestral Plane where he spoke with his father before being given new life, with all his wounds completely healed, much to the relief of Ross and the others.
As T'Challa recovered, Ross and Nakia had discussed Killmonger's actions, as Nakia noted he had burned the City of the Dead as Ross confirmed this is what he was trained to do. Realizing that Killmonger now had access to all their Vibranium weapons and Shuri's designs, they vowed to bring him down, with Ross also pledging to fight with T'Challa in his battle against Killmonger, although M'Baku refused to give them access to his Jabari army for his upcoming fight.
- "Okay, Shuri. I got 'em. What do I do?"
"Shoot them down, genius!"
"All right. Here goes nothing."
- ―Everett Ross and Shuri
With Erik Killmonger transporting Wakandan weapons to the outside world with the goal of starting a mass cultural change in which black society could rise up and slaughter the white men who were still in power, Ross snuck into Shuri's Lab with his allies while the Black Panther challenged Killmonger. Ross watched as Shuri and Nakia got their weapons ready for the fight, before giving the flustered Ross his orders so he could then assist in defeating Killmonger.
Ross was tasked with remotely piloting the Royal Talon Flyer to stop the technology from getting outside Wakanda, using all his skills as a former United States Air Force pilot. Once the mission went ahead, Ross was then equipped with a Holographic Projection of the craft in Shuri's Lab, with the princess modifying the controls of the ship to mimic an American fighter setup so that Ross could still control the craft and fire the weapon systems without any real difficulty.
Before long, Ross had caught up with the Dragon Flyers as he was told by Shuri to shoot them all down, however as Ross took down several of Killmonger's transports, the ships turned around and then began firing back at him, forcing Ross to avoid their shots as best he could while still trying to shoot them out of the sky. Flying through the mountains of Wakanda, Ross kept Shuri updated on the situation as he still continued trying to get a clear shot at the other ships.
At one stage however, Ross felt the entire room begin to shake, as he was then informed by Griot that they were currently under attack as another Dragon Flyer had begun to fire its way into the lab. Although Shuri ordered Ross to get out while he still could, Griot confirmed that the glass was only fifty percent damaged, although the Flyer was still shooting. Defiant, Ross decided that he would still continue with his mission, regardless of the immediate danger before him.
Although the glass had continued to be damaged to the point that it reached just fifteen percent, Ross still remained in the holographic cockpit. However, he soon found that Killmonger's Dragon Flyers had fired electric hooks into his ship and were stopping it from getting away. Asking for assistance, Ross was told by Shuri to make an X with his arms and then break it, which had caused the ship to go into sonic overload and destroy the remaining Dragon Flyers.
With limited time to get to the final ship before it reached the boarder of Wakanda, Ross put his ship at all power and crashed into the final ship, completely destroying it and his own ship. With his own mission complete, Ross celebrated before being told by Shuri to make his escape. Eventually Killmonger was defeated and lost with life, while the Border Tribe, led by W'Kabi, surrendered as M'Baku and his own Jabari Tribe soldiers arrived, allowing T'Challa to claim victory.
Wakanda Meets World
- "It's not my place to say, but man I really don't think you should do this. What you guys have is going to scare a lot of people in that room. They're going to come after you."
"Yes, but I will no longer rule out of fear."
- ―Everett Ross and T'Challa
Some time following the Battle of Mount Bashenga, Ross was present at the Vienna International Centre as King T'Challa arrived with his entourage. Ross personally greeted T'Challa and Nakia before asking for a private conversation with T'Challa in which Ross recommended that he should not reveal their wealth and power to the United Nations, fearing the response could be dangerous.
T'Challa however insisted to Ross that he would no longer rule out of fear like T'Chaka had done, believing they should lead by example. Hearing this Ross accepted T'Challa's decision and let him make his speech. Before leaving however, Ross attempted to wish T'Challa good luck in Xhosa, however he mispronounced some words which caused Okoye and Ayo to laugh alongside T'Challa and Nakia while Ross insisted they not laugh as he had practiced the speech.
Despite Ross' warnings, T'Challa then gave his speech in which he established full relations between Wakanda and the rest of the world, promising to share their Vibranium and technology, as Ross sat at the back of the room and smiled at T'Challa's decision. When one of the senators questioned what a small country in Africa with no resources could do, Ross simply smiled as the truth was revealed, much to the utter amazement of the rest of the world who were watching.
From what can be seen of him, Ross possesses a sarcastic and taunting personality to both his prisoners and allies alike. This is shown in both his mocking of Helmut Zemo during his imprisonment and his belief that Captain America's request of a lawyer for the earlier imprisoned Winter Soldier was hilarious. From these interactions, Ross displayed a belief that if a person has committed serious crimes, they did not deserve a trial and were to be imprisoned without hesitation. Despite this, Ross is shown to be a compassionate and bold man as he jumped in front of Nakia and shielded her from a bullet, suffering a would-be fatal injury in the process had he not been taken to Wakanda.
Despite his immense distrust of others due to his position as a CIA operative, he was a staunch ally of T'Challa and the Wakandan royal family, and was more than willing to help them retake the country after they saved his life. Also, despite working for the CIA, Everett evidently did not disclose Wakanda's secrets, evidenced by the fact during T'Challa's announcement, the world still saw Wakanda as "A nation of farmers". He was also against Wakanda coming out to the world because he was worried about how fear from other countries could cause them to retaliate against Wakanda. However, when T'Challa was adamant about coming out, Ross swore to do everything in his power to keep other countries from attacking Wakanda out of fear.
- Spy: Ross is a CIA agent who was investigating arms dealer Ulysses Klaue. He's a seasoned Intelligence agent and spy, he used his abilities to blend into the high rolling crowd in Busan.
- Expert Pilot: Ross is an accomplished pilot who was once a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force.
- Multilingualism: Ross is able to speak both fluid English and some Xhosa, albeit the latter still needs improvements.
- SIG-Sauer P226: Everett Ross possesses this handgun as his own main sidearm, taking it with him to his secret meeting with Ulysses Klaue where he was forced to fire it when Klaue's soldiers had begun fighting against Okoye while Ross and Klaue's meeting was happening.
- Remote Access Kimoyo Beads: Ross utilized the Remote Access Kimoyo Beads to pilot the Royal Talon Flyer during the Battle of Mount Bashenga, tasked with destroying the weapons cashes carried by rogue Dragon Flyers. Using the sand table interface, modified to fit the cockpit of an American fighter jet, Ross was able to destroy most of the ships before they cloaked and left Wakanda's borders. The Beads allowed him to use the Royal Talon Flyer's full capabilities, as seen when he was able to activate the craft's sonic pulse to destroy two Dragon Flyers.
- In the comics, Everett Ross worked for the United States Department of State, escorting foreign diplomats on American soil, one of them being Black Panther.
Behind the Scenes
- Actor Martin Freeman described his character as: "someone who works for the American government and works in conjunction with the superheroes, and certain agencies that help to tame the superheroes' power". Freeman also added that Ross is "ambiguous" and "you don't know whether he's good or bad, so you’re not quite sure which side he's on. It looks a little bit like he's playing one game when actually he's playing another."
- Matt Emig was a stunt double for Martin Freeman in the role of Everett Ross.
- Adam Pedicini was a stand-in for Martin Freeman in the role of Everett Ross.
- Martin Freeman states that Ross "has an uneasy peace with T'Challa", and that he "goes on a strange journey, an enlightening journey to Wakanda."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Black Panther
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ Captain America: Civil War Deleted Scene
- ↑ Black Panther (film) Deleted Scene
- ↑ Black Panther Mid-credits scene
- ↑ Translates from Xhosa to:Good luck and many shoelaces.
- ↑ Martin Freeman Teases His Role In Captain America: Civil War!
- ↑ http://comicbook.com/marvel/2017/11/20/black-panther-martin-freeman/