When Excalibur were visiting the African Nation of Wakanda, on business for the Braddock Foundation, Icon was spying on them, and the king of his country. After observing Lockheed and Kitty Pryde relaxing, Icon them made his way to a party hosted by the countries King, the Black Panther, with the guests of Captain America, the Current Iron Man, Captain Britain and Meggan.
Infiltrating the party, Icon managed to transform all the native people of Wakanda into versions of himself, that he controlled completely. Forcing T'Challa to hand the throne over to him, Icon was shocked when Kitty Pryde blasted herself in the face with an energy gun. He them admitted that he only wanted the throne, not to hurt anyone.
When it was revealed that Kitty was unhurt by the energy blast, Icon lost his temper even more and threatened to kill Meggan, who had turned into the form of a native woman herself. In the mean time, Captain Britain who had been encased in a Vibranium protective tower, had managed to free himself and taken on the impromptu identity of "Jungle Man". Swinging to save Meggan, it allowed the other heroes to begin their fight with Icon, and defeat him swiftly. His powers only last an hour at a time, and he reverted back to his human form, that of Dr. A'Kurru U'mbaya, the most brilliant scientist in Wakanda. He blamed himself, and science for not being able to save his daughter, as well as his progression mental degradation condition. As he passed out from his exertion, T'Challa took him into custody and away from the scene of the battle.
A brilliant bio-chemist, Dr. U'mbaya is able to transform human flesh into wood for up-to an hour. It also allows him to transform those around him into similarly shaped "Icons" and to shift his shape to create weapons from his hands, and to stretch his limbs.