Why 'Captain America: Civil War' Needs Martin Freeman's Everett Ross Character To Succeed

Captain America: Civil War needs Everett Ross. Not just for Captain America: Civil War, but for the Marvel films that follow. He is closely linked to Black Panther. Marvel is now setting the fertile ground that will bring about a perfect situation for Black Panther to come to the forefront. If there were no Black Panther in this movie playing a critical role, there would be no need for Everett Ross. But consider this a further jumping off point for the 2018 Black Panther solo movie. By then, both Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman's characters will be well-known to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Back in 1998, Everett Ross was created as a goofy government bureaucrat. Christopher Priest used the character as a way to bring out his vision for a new kind of Black Panther comic. He merely served to connect a white comic book buying audience to a black superhero. But Priest carried out this connection process in often ironic and comedic ways. He told Newsarama about the purpose of using Everett Ross.

"'Black' comic books traditionally do not sell well, another reason I was reluctant to take on Black Panther. 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."
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Ross actually first appeared in comics with Ka-Zar, a Marvel character likely inspired by Tarzan. But he soon shifted to Black Panther duties until the two were almost inseparable. If Marvel intends to use Martin Freeman as Ross for the same purpose on film, then it is likely for the same reasons that Christopher Priest used him in comics; to showcase a powerful, non-white character, even a leader, and give him mainstream clout. The template set down by Priest may work well in Captain America: Civil War and in the future movies. Neither Nick Fury, War Machine, nor Falcon has been given solo films. But Marvel hasn't attempted to build their realities and backstories with the same effort they are making for the Black Panther.Captain America: Civil War already has too many people in it without Martin Freeman. At the same time, well-known characters are sure to be dealt with in unexpected ways. The Russo brothers have already shown the world that they thrive on suspense and the unexpected. Anyone who has seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier will tell you that. The conclusion of this movie will probably not be the same as the Civil War of the comics, or the plot points of the climactic final event may change.

Marvel may shift Black Panther to the forefront and have him carry a large part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the way that Iron Man and Captain America have carried it before. By Infinity War, he will likely have taken the starring role, or at least, the pivotal role. Marvel also needs someone to compete with the DC cinematic overlords of Batman and Superman. Both of those guys have had a much longer legacy in the movies than any Marvel character has had. Black Panther is Marvel's best bet for competing with the Batman mystique. But Black Panther has the potential to be an even more mysterious, unique character than Batman. That's why they are rallying behind his success.

Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor are all great characters. But Marvel doesn't want DC and the Justice League movies to overpower them and make the Avengers look like weaklings in comparison. There is a real chance that could happen. But not with Black Panther in Marvel's corner. Fans will have to wait for what he means to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War when he makes his debut on May 6.

[Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI]