Ibis first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (dated February 1940), created by writer Bill Parker and artist Bob Kingett. He was most likely inspired by Mandrake the Magician. Originally, Ibis was published by Fawcett Comics but like many of his fellow superhero characters he ceased publication in the 1950's before being licensed and eventually aquired by DC Comics in the 1970s.
Ibis, the Invincible, began his life 4,000 years ago as Prince Amentep of the 12 Dynasty of Egypt. He was in love with the beautiful Princess Taia of Thebes. At the time was plagued by the evil magician known as the Black Pharaoh. Appointed with the banishing of Black Pharaoh, Amentep was soon aware that his own knowledge of Egyptian magic was inadequate to stop the evil magician. The Black Pharaoh kidnapped Taia and imprisoned Amentep.
Amentep participated in a ritual to prove his bravery and in succeeding, was giving the powerful Ibistick by his uncle. He uses the Ibistick to conjure a sword and shield and escapes his imprisonment. In battle Amentep dispatches the Black Pharaoh, but not before Princess Taia was struck by an enchanted arrow that placed her in a coma. Heart-broken, Amentep places the both of them in suspended animation until the day Taia awakens. 4,000 years later the mummified body of Prince Amentep is found displayed in a glass casket in the Egyptian wing of a famous American museum. Inscribed on the casket is the ancient Egyptian symbol for rebirth and eternal life, the sacred Ibis bird. Nicked named “Old Man Ibis”,
Amentep awakens in the 1940s from his sleep and melts the glass coffin to free himself. After using the Ibistick to cloth him in a black business suit and red turban, he sets out to find his ancient lover. Taia is found in a similar manner within a European museum and the two are reunited.
Using his new name as Ibis, the invincible he decided to use the Ibistick to fight the evil of the modern world. Along with Taia, Ibis would encounter horror, the occult and grotesque creatures through out his career. Ibis would discover that the Ibistick would glow in the presence of evil and be susceptible to black magic.
DC Comics: Rebirth and Reboot
In the Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC universe, Ibis and his wife Taia were from Earth-S along with the Marvel Family and the rest of the Fawcett heroes. At one point Ibis was a member of Captain Marvel’s Squadron of Justice (along with Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Spy Smasher, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky). The Squadron would meet and team-up with the Justice League of America (Earth-1) and the Justice Society of America (Earth-2) in what was called a “Crisis on Multiple Earths”. The three teams fought King Kull and villains from all three Earths.
Post-Crisis the origin of Ibis was altered. When he was just a babe he was saved from being bitten by a snake by an Ibis on the banks of the Nile. Years later as an adult and a prince of Egypt , he was granted the Ibis-Stick by the Egyptian god Thoth. With the Ibis-Stick and the beautiful Queen Taia at his side, Ibis ruled his lands with fairness and prosperity. However, Ibis grew bored of his life and had the Ibis-Stick place both Taia and himself in a death-like sleep to be awaken in more exciting times.
Major Story Arcs
Power of Shazam!
4,000 years later in the 1940s, the mummified body of Ibis would lay in rest within a sarcophagus incased in glass and displayed in a museum. It was placed there after being discovered during an archaeological dig lead by Billy Batson’s father and grandfather. The wizard Shazam would visit his sarcophagus on regular bases, each time speaking a spell in hopes of reviving Ibis. Eventually one of the spells worked and Ibis awoke and he commanded the Ibis-Stick to restore and cloth him.
Ibis not only protected and the of tyranny, but along with other Fawcett heroes of that era were enlisted in Shazam’s battle against his daughter, Blaze. Blaze had released the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. With Ibis and the others help Shazam was able to trap the Seven in ridiculous containment shells. Ibis had lost his beloved Taia and was eager to return to the sleep of death, but Shazam requested Ibis use the Ibis-Stick to place a protective barrier around . The barrier would protect the city of anything demonic entering its borders as well as slow the advancement of time.
Ibis was awakened once more by Mary Marvel who chanted a magic spell told by Shazam, in order to save the wizard from being held captive in Hell by his daughter Blaze. Ibis helped the Marvel Family and an aged Bulletman recapture the Seven Sins let loose by Blaze. Ibis would soon learn that Taia was alive and had been living as a model in the 1940s. Taia would end up placing Ibis in suspended animation once in order to reverse the aging he encountered after saving the majority of when the robotic Mr. Atom blew itself up.
His slumber didn’t last long as he would attend a gathering of magical beings. He was drugged along with others and all had their magical talisman and weapons stolen from them by Tannarak and a band of magical villains. Apparently Ibis reclaims the Ibis-Stick as he and Taia aid Zatanna.
Seven Soldiers of Victory and Death
Ibis and Taia presumably lost their lives along with Doctor Thirteen, Swamp Thing and supporting character Timothy Ravenwind at the hands of the shapeless creature known as Gwydion during a séance conducted by Zatanna. Doctor Thirteen and The Swamp Thing did survive the seance conducted by Zatanna.
Skills and Abilities
Amentep possess no special powers of his own, only a keen intellectual mind. He was well versed in the occult and magic
The Ibistick is a magical wand with the Ibis symbol at the top. It is capable of almost any feat when used for good purposes. It capabilities included magical fields, teleportation, conjuring objects out of thin air and performing magical spells. It would glow in presence of evil and would be ineffective against most black magic.
Danny Khalifa is an Egyptian-American adolescent, who was the brunt of prejudice and bullying after the events of 9/11. So much so that he was given the nickname “Osama” at school. His life would soon change as he is visited by the spiritual remains of Amentep. Danny is revealed to be part of an ancient bloodline and is chosen by Amentep to be his successor. He inherits the Ibis-stick and immediately thrust into a conflict between ancient Egyptian gods, on the side of Thoth and Horus. As the new Ibis, Danny prevents the helmet of Dr. Fate from falling into the hands of the dark god Set.
Ibis' Ibistick can be seen along with other magical artifacts the pilot episode of NBC's Constantine.