Everett Kenneth Ross is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Primarily an ally of superhero Black Panther, the character exists within Marvel's main shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe.
Everett Ross debuted in Ka-Zar Vol. 4, #17, and was created by Christopher Priest and Kenny Martinez. Afterward, Ross went on to be a major character in Black Panther Vol. 3, #1-32, #34-35, #38-49, #57-58, and #62. Ross subsequently appeared in issues #1-2, #4-6, #16, #19, #21-24, #26, and #37 of Black Panther Vol. 4, and issue #7 of Black Panther Vol. 5. Outside of Black Panther, Ross had a guest role in The Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1, #387.
According to creator Christopher Priest, Ross's personality was based on that of Chandler Bing, a character from the television series Friends, while the name was inspired by the Family Ties character Alex P. Keaton. After introducing Ross in Ka-Zar, Priest chose to bring the character back in Black Panther for use as an audience surrogate who "saw Panther the way Panther had ultimately come to be seen by Marvel: Just Some Guy who was routinely overshadowed by heroes in which they were more invested".
Priest further elaborated, "Comics are traditionally created by white males for white males. I figured, and I believe rightly, that for Black Panther to succeed, it needed a white male at the center, and that white male had to give voice to the audience's misgivings or apprehensions or assumptions about this character and this book. Ross needed to be un-PC to the point of being borderline racist"; and clarified, "I don't think Ross was racist at all. I just think that his stream of conscious narrative is a window into things I imagine many whites say or at least think when no blacks are around; myths about black culture and behavior. I was also introducing a paradigm shift to the way Panther was to be portrayed; somebody had to give voice to the expectation of a dull and colorless character who always got his butt kicked or who was overshadowed by Thor and Iron Man suddenly knocking out Mephisto with one punch".
Everett Ross was a U.S. State Department employee, whose job was to escort foreign diplomats on American soil. His world changed forever when he was assigned to T'Challa, the Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda.
Everett and T'Challa faced multiple threats to Wakanda's sovereignty. Ross assists him in many of these threats. In gratitude, the Panther often risks much for Ross in return. The first threat he and Ross encounter is 'Xcon', an alliance of rogue intelligence agents backing a coup led by the Reverend Achebe.
Ross subsequently acts as a liaison for Shuri, the younger sister of Black Panther, during Shuri's first goodwill visit to the United States. When their convoy is attacked by assassins, Shuri saves Ross's life.
In an alternate future seen in the Black Panther storyline "The Once and Future King", an elderly Ross is abducted by a cabal of villains assembled by T'Charra, who intends to use Ross as the bait in his plan to kill and usurp Black Panther. Ross is rescued by Black Panther, who he in turn saves when Black Panther suffers a heart attack, resuscitating the hero while screaming, "Your majesty—come back—blast you, T'Challa—we've been through too much!!"
During the "Rising Storm!" story-arc of the series X-Men Forever, a version of Ross appears on Earth-161. After Storm is outed as a murderer and an ally of a criminal organization called the Consortium, she flees to and is given sanctuary by Wakanda, to the consternation of Ross. Ross subsequently appears on behalf of the President of the United States at both the United Nations (where he warns the other representatives about the threat posed by Storm's takeover of Wakanda) and a meeting with the heads of Genosha and S.H.I.E.L.D.