In folk tradition, Shango was the fourth ruler of the Oyo Empire (modern day Benin and western Nigeria), of the Western African Yoruba people. A violent and war-hungry king, he was constantly in battle for the seven years that he ruled. Though, the exact reason his imperial end is disputed from tale-to-tale, most agree that he was overthrown. After which, his palace, being inhabited by those who overthrew him, was burned down after being struck by lightning. Believed to have been done by Shango himself, he became venerated as a Orisha, a class of spirits in Yoruba spiritualism.
Shango is the Orisha of thunder and lightning, as well as dancing, fire, and masculinity. He wields a double-sided battle ax, and has three wives; Oba, Oshun (the Orisha of love and beauty), and Oya (the Orisha of storms and graves). His wive Oya, whom he stole from his twin brother -Ogun, follows him into battle, wielding a whip of lightning.
Shango is widely agreed to have genealogically been the third ruler of the Oyo Empire. A famous king, he was deified in Yoruba religion after his death, becoming a Orisha. Tales of him and his exploits would spread from West Africa into the folklore of Cuba, Brazil, and numerous other American regions, during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, which saw the spread of Yoruba traditions throughout the New World. He would be adapted into various comic book stories, including Marvel comics.
Powers and Abilities
Shango is a god of thunder and lightning, as well as fire and strength. He traditionally possesses super strength, enhanced durability, and other physical super human attributes. He is a elite warrior, being trained in war and physical battle - arguably considered the best combatant of his pantheon.
He wields a double-bladed battleaxe, that he could use to hurl flames and bolts of lightning. He can manipulate and generate the elements of both fire and lightning. And, it is said that he anger causes storms.