In the 11th century BC, N'Kantu was born to an African Chieftain named T'Chombi. He was raised to be a mighty warrior for the tribe and like all warriors was put through the Test of the Lion. Completion of this test had special meaning for N'Kantu for not only did it mean that he would be worthy of being called a warrior of the Swarili, his father's tribe, but he would be considered powerful enough to one day succeed his father as king.
Upon returning from his completed quest N'Kantu found his tribe had been attacked and captured by Egyptians. He fought valiantly to release his tribesmen but was overwhelmed by the vast number of Egyptians and was added to the number of those captured. N'Kantu and his tribesmen were taken to Egypt where they were put to work building monuments to the current pharaoh Aram-Set. N'Kantu was quickly recognized by the Egyptians to be the most powerful and strong-minded of his tribesmen; as a result he was instantly separated from the rest of the Swarili and forced to work harder than any other in an attempt to break his spirit. Though this had no affect on N'Kantu.
At night, he and his fellow Swarili would meet and plot a rebellion against their Egyptian captors. But, unbeknownst to N'Kantu all of their activity was being reported to Aram-Set and his chief priest Nephrus. After the monument was completed, the Egyptians brought the Swarili into the monument for a mass execution, but moments before it was underway N'Kantu raised the signal for the revolt. The Swarili slaughtered their would-be executors and made ready their escape.
N'Kantu slew Aram-Set with his spear and turned to destroy Nephrus. The priest, however was ready. Moments before N'Kantu could kill him, Nephrus sprayed N'Kantu with a paralyzing fluid and took him into the catacombs. N'Kantu was wrapped in papyrus and his blood was drained and simultaneously replaced with a chemical preservative. He was conscious through this whole ordeal and considered to be alive. Once this was completed he was sealed in the sarcophagus meant for Aram-Set.
The Living Mummy was created by Steve Gerber and Rich Buckler and first appeared in Supernatural Thrillers issue 5 (1973).
Major Story Arcs
Rise of the Mummy
3,000 years later N'Kantu regained control from his paralyzing fluid. He had long since gone insane from being trapped in the sarcophagus for so many years and dug himself free to wreak havoc on those that had wronged him. He goes on a murderous rampage in Cairo, Egypt until he locates Dr. Alexi Skarab. Dr. Skarab is a decedent of Nephrus, but works with N'Kantu to help him regain his sanity and convinces him to leave Egypt and search for his purpose.
Adventures of the Mummy
After leaving Egypt N'Kantu was kidnapped by the Grandmaster for use as a combatant in his Tournament of Champions. But after later consideration the Grandmaster dubs him unworthy of competition and sends him back to Earth.
While on Earth N'Kantu is approaced and asked to join the Shock Troop. He accepts and alongside his new allies defeats Quagmire, a Darkforce entity, freeing Quasar. Later he finds himself fighting Raksus alongside Elsa Bloodstone, descendant of a former ally of N'Kantu.
After Raksus was defeated N'Kantu spent a good deal of time protecting the mystical Orb of Ra before being approached by Nick Fury to join SHIELD's Howling Commandos. The Living Mummy accepted the invitation and became part of a Special-Forces squad that was composed of supernaturals. After a few missions, the team disbannded.
Civil War Appearance
N'Kantu is seen in the Civil War story arc as a super-hero against the registration act. He is later seen as a captive on Fantasy Island where he is caged on a stone slab surrounded by constant flame. When Tony Stark is asked about this, he states that because of the powers many people require special confinement. This, however, is actually a form of torture for N'Kantu because of his phobia of flame. He is released along with numerous other heroes when the Hulkling impersonates Hank Pym and uses his voice to release all the captives of Fantasy Island.
Legion of Monsters
Recently Living Mummy has joined the ranks of the Legion of Monster. He protects monsters from being killed by those who wish to kill them. He tries to form a friendship with the Punisher who was just recently killed by Daken and put back together. It is unknown whether or not he still has the Orb of Ra or if he has stopped collecting souls for Anubis.
When Doctor Strange sends Thunderbolt Ross, is sent to sneak the aide, of the Legion of Monsters to remove a dark presence that has been torturing. It is the Living Mummy, enchanted by Strange, whom captures the dark escence, The Living Mummy is able to contain the power, just long enough for Ross to realize it is Doc Samson's evil half. Living Mummy is weaken when the dark essence leaves his body and is not in the fight to destroy the essence but is there for the celebration of a mission completed.
N'Kantu has been granted superhuman strength and dexterity due to the mystical process by which he was mummified. His skin has gained a rock-hard consistency which makes him invulnerable to most forms of attack, however his wrappings are incredibly susceptible to fire. Thus he has a great fear of it. Being considered dead, N'Kantu also has no need for food, water or air.
In Franken-Castle #21, it is revealed that his bandages are prehensile. It has yet to be revealed whether or not this power is mystical or not.
(Earth-37072): The Living Mummy was drawn to New York by Kulan Gath's Master Spell before the Exiles could defeat him.