Certain fans have been wondering for a while now while David Liss' 'Black Panther' series is set in New York instead of the character's home country, the fictional Wakanda. Last time Wakanda appeared in a story was during Jonathan Maberry's Doomwar event miniseries, in which Doctor Doom manages to steal the country, the Queen, and force Panther to liquidate the World's supply of vibranium - the natural mineral which essentially keeps Wakanda's economy going. Without a way of making money, the country was seen in a state of total disrepair. So why would Black Panther spend his time in New York, instead of his homeland, when it so clearly needs him?
Now we may finally have an answer: it's because apparently Jonathan Hickman had first-dibs on the story. The return of Wakanda is going to happen in FF after the current 'War of Four Cities' mini-event finishes, with Black Panther making his much-vaunted first appearance as a part of the FF team. We should first see She-Hulk joining the team for a little while, before Reed then recruits his long-term friend T'Challa to the maths party.
This looks like it'll be a story of Reed and T'Challa working together to find a way to rebuild the city, which could be just the thing that FF needs after the fight-heavy War storyline. Now, we don't know anything beyond the fact that Black Panther and Wakanda are going to return either later this year or in early 2012. But this, if true, should give fans some explanation as to why Black Panther has been in New York all this time.