- Everything dies. You, me. Everyone on this planet. Our sun. Our galaxy. And, eventually, the universe itself. This is simply how things are. It's inevitable. And I accept it.
Appearing in "Memento Mori"
- Black Panther (T'Challa) (Only in flashback)
- Makers (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Illuminati (Main story and flashback)
- Black Swan (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Manifold (Only appearance; dies) (Only in flashback)
- Unnamed soldiers (Only in flashback)
- Lost Tribe (Mentioned)
- Artificial Man (Mentioned)
- Council of Progress (Mentioned)
- Rabum Alal (Mentioned)
- Lockjaw (Only in flashback)
- Dora Milaje (Only in flashback)
- Black Panther (T'Konda "The Wall") (Mentioned) (First mention) (N'Kono's great-grandfather)
- Wakandan Royal Family (Mentioned)
- Griot bards (Mentioned)
- Hout (Named only)
- D'Kihu (Named only)
- Yool (Named only)
Races and Species:
- Earth-616 (Main story and flashback)
- Earth-1331 (Only appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Earth (Only appearance, destruction) (Only in flashback)
- Antimatter Injection System (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Cloak of Levitation (Only in flashback)
- Eye of Agamotto (Only in flashback)
- Captain America's Shield (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "Memento Mori"
In a flashback scene, set in Wakanda many years ago, Tony Stark convenes the first meeting of the group who would become the Illuminati. Black Panther refuses the offered membership, claiming it is a bad idea which will only lead to ruin, but the others do not listen.
In present-day Wakanda, a trio of promising youngsters solve the last puzzle of an obstacle course and are commended by T'Challa, King of the Dead and Black Panther, as the country's newest Makers. Suddenly, a startled rhinoceros breaks through a sort of barrier. T'Challa investigates and finds that the barrier is a veil. Behind it, the sky is dark and a second Earth looms large in the sky. Six figures descend from that Earth to land on Wakanda.
The figures are a strike team, armed, and lead by an alternate-universe version of Manifold and a blond woman in black. T'Challa and the three teenagers confront them. The woman calls herself a Black Swan but denies that the dark sky and the encroaching Earth is her doing. She tells him she has come to destroy a world. When T'Challa replies that he will stop her, she calmly orders the guards to kill them.
Two of the teens are killed instantly by blasts which break through T'Challa's shields. He takes the third, N'Kono, and runs for cover, but the guards find them and the boy dies in T'Challa's arms. The Black Panther goes on the offensive, killing the guards and working his way back to the Black Swan and Manifold.
She takes a device from Manifold and asks if he can pay the "offering." When he refuses, she kills him with a blast from her eyes and directs the device at the world overhead. Just as she triggers it, Black Panther tears through the last of her guards and reaches her. He knocks her down, but the Earth explodes overhead and the world around him instantly returns to normal.
The next day, T'Challa prays to Bast for salvation... from what he is about to do. One or two at a time, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Namor, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange, and Black Bolt -- the Illuminati -- are arriving in Wakanda.
To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati, led by the Black Panther, must assemble NOW! It’s the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe--The Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and The Beast--against an infinite legion of parallel realities.
- This story is based on Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Black Swan Theory.
- The title of the story "memento mori" is a Latin expression meaning "remember that you have to die". It also refers to an object kept as a reminder of the inevitability of death.
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