Real Name: Unrevealed (Solomon Prey is not his original, Wakandan name)
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: Drug dealer; conspirator
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Tanzika (lover, ally); Dr. Kaza, Dr. Gathala, Dr. Wenkara, Zambada and the Lightning Lancers; Victor Calabrese (drug connection) and Gabriel Mason
Enemies: Black Panther (T'Challa), Victor Calabrese, Iba (guard of Vibranium Mound, killed by him), Kantu (pawn), Gabriel Mason
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Wakanda
First Appearance: Black Panther: Panther's Prey#1 (1991)
Powers/Abilities: Solomon Prey possesses bat-like
wings enabling him to fly at great speeds. He has razor sharp
claws able to rend flesh and even score bone. In addition, he had
an ability which used technology known as Crypt-Optics, which
allowed him to vanish from most forms of detection (visual,
smell, sound, etc.)--even T'Challa's enhanced senses could not
detect him in this form.
He had red irises, which may have indicated some kind of enhanced nocturnal, or infra-red vision...or they were just to be nasty looking.
Weight: 210 lbs.
History: Only bits and pieces of Prey's history have been revealed. He is native to Wakanda, but schooled in the USA at Harvard. Upon returning to Wakanda, he changed his name to Solomon Prey, became involved with Tanzika, a woman who sought revenge on the Black Panther. Alongside Tanzika, Prey helped bring drug trafficking into Wakanda. They managed to recruit a small following in their conspiracy against T'Challa and the throne of Wakanda. Technicians working under Prey devised means to control (to some degree) the Pteranodons of the Valley of the Serpent.
(Black Panter:Panther's Prey#1-4) - Solomon Prey had Dr. Kaza implant cells into his back and hands, which grew into wings and claws. However, these remained subcutaneous (under the skin) until stimulated by a "Pulsar Activator" which stimulated endocrine function in his posterior pituitary and adrenal cortex. The sudden cortisol (steroid) surge caused the wings and claws to grow to full size and tear free from his body. Prey would hear nothing on allowing incisions to be made to make the release of the tissues less painful, nor would he accept any pain medication. He then took a few weeks to recover, heal, and fight the resultant infection.
While Prey was healing, his agents began to
take action against T'Challa. Kantu, a young Wakandan who had
actually saved the Panther's life in battle against Killmonger
some time before, had become involved in the drug trade filtered
down through Prey. Agents of Prey attacked Kantu, allowing him to
survive, but revealing his activities and betrayal to T'Challa.
Kantu died from a drug overdose while imprisoned for questioning
(it was presumed that he had suffered some sort on aneurysm
as a result of routine drug use, rather than being poisoned, etc.
by agents of Prey).
After healing, Prey confronted T'Challa personally and badly beat him (most of McGregor's stories featured T'Challa getting severely injured), but let him live, knowing the threat of Prey's powers (and his own helplessness). When T'Challa next traveled to the USA, Prey and his men implanted bombs within Wakanda's sacred Vibranium Mound, planning to destroy it as a last recourse in case the Panther would manage to defeat their other plots. Prey again defeated the Black Panther in the USA while illegally purchasing some Vibranium Ore--this time burying T'Challa alive. The Panther, of course, dug his way to freedom.
They met for a final battle in Wakanda, as Prey, Tanzika, and his Lightning Lancers attacked Central Wakanda, planning to detonate the sacred Mound. Prey knew that Tanzika's obsession with the Panther was more than just hatred, but he was determined to see their plot through nonetheless. Prey granted her the honor of holding the detonator, which allowed T'Challa to snatch from her grasp and save the Mound. Prey attacked T'Challa, who this time managed to hold his own against Prey. Zambada, the leader of the Lightning Lancers, flew his Pteranodon to Prey's aid, hoping to slay the Panther himself. However, the uncontrollable beast grabbed Prey's leathern wings with its talons and ripped them from his back. The nerves and vessels of the wings were part of Prey's body and had grown into his own central nervous system. When they were torn off, they took a large portion of his spine with them. Prey died instantly and fell to the ground. Tanzika began kicking his dead body, cursing his failure, until she was pulled away by guards.
Comments: Created by Don McGregor and Dwayne Turner.
Solomon was a very interesting character, and I
wish we could have see more of him.
He was supremely cool and confident, he had a pretty kinky relationship with Tanzika (she licked his wounds after his wings erupted, despite doctor's orders to the contrary; she raked his wings with her own finger nails, and he licked the blood off her fingers), and he had an odd sense of humor.
You'll have to read the issues to appreciate him fully, but here's one interesting exchange:
After receiving the drugs from his connections, Prey didn't want any witnesses.
He told Mason, "Pick two fingers. Any two fingers."
As Mason stood their dumbfounded, Prey said, "Don't want to play? Okay, then I'll pick them out for you," and promptly shoved two of his taloned digits into Mason's eyes, penetrating them and continuing on into his brain, killing him.
Prey explained: "Gabriel obviously did not watch enough Three Stooges. I majored in them when I was at Harvard...Like me the stooges faced pain directly...Plus, they kept me from becoming intellectually bored."
I'm uncertain whether Solomon Prey had any direct connection or interaction with Erik Killmonger, or if they just had similar acquaintances.
As revealed in the brief Marvel Universe series, the dinosaurs of the Valley of the Serpent, in Wakanda, were originally bred/created by Deviants.
McGregor wrote some beautiful stories, and I highly recommend Panther's Rage (featuring Erik Killmonger) and Panther's Prey. For more wonderful Black Panther stories, check out the work of Christopher Priest, on sale in the Black Panther NOW!
In Panther's Prey, the next saga was revealed to be Panther's Vows, which would feature the marriage of T'Challa and Monica Lynne. Alas, it never happened. Anyone have any idea why?
Tanzika's history is more exstensive, running all the way back to Panther's Rage. She'll get her own entry, at some point.
Solomon Prey has an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1990s Handbook.
No known connection to:
(presumably the same cat as the one in the modern Panther stories who was killed by that nutjob Achebe)
Dr. Kaza is an old ally of
Solomon Prey. It was he who performed the surgery to mutate Prey.
He knew and respected Prey, and gave his medical recommendations,
knowing that Prey would likely ignore them in favor of the tribal
or mystic remedies of Tanzika.
--Black Panther. Panther's Prey#1 (4
The Lightning Lancers were agents of Prey, trained to ride the Pteronodons. This method of transport was chosen to avoid heat-seeking detection, which would uncover most mechanical means of air transport. The Lightning Lancers controlled their steeds via electrical controls mounted on the reptiles' backs and connected directly to their brains. Their weapon could two settings: Lightning, which fired razor-sharp jagged spears, and Thunder, which fired energy blasts able to blow a hole through a person.
The Pteronodons (said to be translated as
"the toothless wing") were flying dinosaurs taken from
the Valley of the Serpent, and trained and controlled via
electrical implants within the brains. Due to their limited
intelligence, they could prove quite difficult to control, and
would quickly turn on their rider or each other, given the
opportunity. They could fly at great speeds, even carrying the
weight of several people. Their talons could grasp, crush, or
skewer a human with ease. Although they have no teeth, the point
of their beaks could pierce a victim just fine.
--Black Panther. Panther's Prey#1 (2-4
Zambada was the leader of the
Lightning Lancers. He led the assault on Kantu, and got his face
smashed in by T'Challa in the process. As a result, several
Americans thought he was speaking an obscure Wakandan dialect,
but he was actually speaking English, in (as T'Challa put it)
the language of broken teeth and swollen lips.
--Black Panther. Panther's Prey#1 (2-4
images: (without ads)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#4, back cover (main image)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#2, back cover (head shot)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#1, p11, pan8 (new wings)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#2, Cover (VS Black Panther)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#1, p8, pan4 (Dr. Kaza)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#1-4 (1991) - Don McGregor (writer), Dwayne Turner (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
First Posted: 04/04/2002
Last updated: 08/01/2002
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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