M'Baku was once one of Wakanda's greatest warriors. The Black Panther entrusted him to watch over Wakanda while he was with the Avengers. When T'Challa returned he found his throne was overthrown by M'Baku. The two men clashed and have been enemies ever since. M'Baku has joined the Lethal Legion twice and the Masters of Evil once. He holds a extreme hatred for the Black Panther.
Man-Ape was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1969 and first appeared in Avengers # 62.
M'Baku was one of the greatest warriors of the African nation Wakanda, second only to T'Challa, the Black Panther himself. While the Panther, king of the Wakanda, was on leave from his royal duties to serve the Avengers in America, the ambitious M'Baku plotted to usurp the throne. The Wakanda culture had evolved from a hunter-warrior society and was traditionally ruled by its greatest warrior. The Black Panther had outlawed the rival White Gorilla Cult from Wakanda while the Panther cult was dominant. M'Baku flouted T'Challa's edicts and revived the White Gorilla cult, personally stalking and killing one of the rare white gorillas living in the jungles near Wakanda. Bathing in the gorilla's blood and eating the gorilla's flesh mystically conferred its great strength upon M'Baku.
When the Black Panther returned to Wakanda with the hero team Avengers, M'Baku, calling himself the Man-Ape, openly challenged the Panther's right to rule. M'Baku deplored T'Challa's technological revitalization of Wakanda and sought to have all technology outlawed so the nation could return to its natural primitivism. After a protracted battle, the Man-Ape bested the Panther. However, when he bound T'Challa to the giant statue of a panther and tried to topple it upon his enemy, the statue instead crumbled, burying M'Baku.
The Black Panther, believing the Man-Ape had been crushed, returned to New York with the Avengers. But M'Baku's chief supporter N'gamo revived the rebel. M'Baku followed the Panther to New York. There the Man-Ape allied himself with the Grim Reaper and his Lethal Legion, a short-lived team of Avengers' foes including the Living Laser, the original Power Man, and the Swordsman. The Man-Ape kidnapped Monica Lynne, the Black Panther's American girlfriend Monica Lynn, and lured the Panther into captivity. When the rest of the Avengers came to the Panther's rescue, it was, in the end, Captain America who physically bested the Man-Ape.
The Panther decreed that the Man-Ape could never return to Wakanda without facing the death penalty. Humiliated, the Man-Ape chose to wander the less civilized parts of the world, performing mercenary work to survive and keeping a low profile. He was eventually contacted again by the Grim Reaper, who was trying to assemble a new Lethal Legion to exact revenge upon the Avengers. The Man-Ape served as one of the Grim Reaper's henchmen until the Reaper's racist attitudes prompted the Man-Ape (and fellow Legionnaire Black Talon) to abandon the Reaper's cause.
More recently, Man-Ape was invited to join the most recent version of the villain team Masters of Evil, but soon after, the Master's ultimate plans were thwarted by the hero team Thunderbolts.
M'Baku died in battle against Morlun, the Devourer of Totems. Morlun resurfaced in Wakanda and wanted to devourer the Panther Totem. Morlun made his way into King M'Baku's land leaving nothing but a trail of death. Man-Ape fought like the warrior he was while protecting his people against Morlun but to no avail. Morlun clutched M'Baku's throat and sucked the life out of him until Man-Ape was reduced to ashes.
He was one of the numerous villains who escaped during the collapse of Pleasant Hill. When the bad guys took notice of the presence of the Avengers on the scene, they used their numbers to their advantage and mercilessly stroke down the heroes. However, Kobik took compassion on the Avengers and healed them.
M'Baku's younger brother, Mandala, took up the mantle of Man-Ape after the death of his brother, consolidating power in their home, the Crystal Forest region of Wakanda. Mandala's time as the Man-Ape was extremely short-lived, though. The aggressive attacks of his White Gorilla Army were halted by the renegade Dora Milaje known as the Midnight Angels, who delivered Mandala's corpse to his people with the words "No One Man" carved into his chest.
- Height: 7'0"
- Weight: 355 lbs
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Brown
Powers and Abilities
Man-Ape possesses various superhuman abilities as the result of a magical ritual in which he killed a sacred White Gorilla, bathed in it's blood, and consumed it's flesh.
- Superhuman Strength: Due to the ritual, Man-Ape possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift about 10 tons.
- Superhuman Stamina: Man-Ape's advanced musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. He can physically exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his bloodstream begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Agility: Man-Ape's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Man-Ape's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Durability: Man-Ape's bodily tissues are somewhat harder and more resistant to certain types of injury than the body of an ordinary human. However, he is far from invulnerable. Man-Ape's body is more resistant to blunt force and impact trauma than the body of an ordinary human. For example, he can withstand being hit repeatedly by a superhumanly strong adversary or falling from a height of several stories with little to no injury to show for it, whereas an ordinary human would be severely injured or killed.
Man-Ape is a seasoned warrior and skilled hand to hand combatant. Since gaining his powers, he's become an even more formidable combatant
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Man-Ape appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "The Man in the Ant Hill" voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. He challenges T'Chaka for the throne of Wakanda and manages to defeat him with some unseen help from Klaw. As Man-Ape takes the throne, T'Challa leaves and becomes Black Panther in order to prepare to take back Wakanda from Man-Ape. With Wakanda under their control, Man-Ape and Klaw have the Wakandans mine for Vibranium. In the episode "Panther's Quest," Man-Ape speaks with Grim Reaper about HYDRA's purchasing of the Vibranium. He tells Grim Reaper that if he and HYDRA double-cross him, he won't live to regret it. Black Panther and Captain America confront Man-Ape who sends the guards to fight them. Man-Ape ends up fighting Black Panther where Man-Ape uses a sound device given to him by Klaw. Black Panther manages to overcomes the sound device and takes down Man-Ape liberating Wakanda from Man-Ape's rule.
M'Baku will appear in the live-action Black Panther movie, portrayed by Winston Duke. In the film, he is the ruler of a mountain tribe that worships the white gorillas.
- Man-Ape appears as a boss for the Wakanda level in the PS2, PSP, NDS, and Wii versions of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. In a fashion similar to his comic book origin, M'Baku leads an attack on Wakanda in a bid to usurp the throne from T'Challa whilst the country is incapacitated by a wave of hostile nanite machines.
- Man-Ape is a boss character in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Man-Ape is a boss character in Marvel Heroes.
- Man-Ape is a playable character in the Black Panther DLC pack for Lego Marvel's Avengers.