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Not to be confused with Ape-Man.
Man-Ape, in Black Panther #49
art by Sal Velluto
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #62 (Mar 1969)
Created by Roy Thomas (writer)
John Buscema (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego M'Baku
Species Human Mutate
Team affiliations Lethal Legion
Masters of Evil
Villains for Hire
Partnerships Grim Reaper
Notable aliases White Gorilla
Abilities Expert hand to hand combatant
Superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and durability

Man-Ape (M'Baku) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted as a frequent enemy of the Black Panther.

Publication history[edit]

He first appeared in Avengers #62 (March 1969) and was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema.

Fictional character biography[edit]

M'Baku was born in Wakanda, in Africa. He became one of Wakanda's greatest warriors, second only to the Black Panther. He plotted to usurp the throne of Wakanda with the help of the outlawed rival White Gorilla Cult and return Wakanda to a primitive state. M'Baku became a renegade and gains his powers by bathing in white gorilla blood and eating white gorilla flesh, taking the alias of Man-Ape. He fought with the Black Panther and was believed to be dead when the Panther Totem that the Black Panther was bound to crumbled on him.[1] He is revived by his aide N'Gamo and goes to America where the Black Panther is with the Avengers at the time.[2]

He allies himself with the original Lethal Legion made up of Grim Reaper, Living Laser, Power Man, and Swordsman. He is the first member met by the Avengers. He attacks Captain America, but is beaten back by the rest of the Avengers. He then captures the Black Panther's girlfriend Monica Lynne, binding her hand and foot with metal clamps. The Black Panther is lured into a trap and knocked out by an exploding dummy of Monica. He is chained up and meets the other members. The Legion straps him and Monica to chairs before leaving, though he is able to escape and contact the other members, before the Grim Reaper defeats him. The Legion is defeated by the Avengers after Vision overcomes Power Man and frees the other members.[3] Man-Ape bests Black Panther again until he is defeated by Captain America.[4] Black Panther banishes Man-Ape from Wakanda on order of execution if he returns.[4]

Man-Ape later joins a new Lethal Legion (consisting of the Grim Reaper, Black Talon, Goliath (Erik Josten's latest alias), Nekra, and Ultron-12) and battles Tigra,[5] but abandons the Grim Reaper alongside Black Talon when the Reaper's racism became too much for him to tolerate.[6]

Man-Ape travels to uninhabited parts of the world before joining Crimson Cowl's incarnation of the Masters of Evil which is defeated by the Thunderbolts.[7]

Despite his rivalry with T'Challa, M'Baku was invited to the wedding of T'Challa and Ororo Munroe (also known as Storm of the X-Men), where he gets drunk on scotch and tries to pick a fight with Spider-Man.[8]

Man-Ape is next seen at the end of Heroes for Hire #6, teamed with Grim Reaper & Saboteur.[9]

Man-Ape is killed by Morlun: Devourer of Totems while defending his people from Morlun's attack on the Man-Ape's kingdom. But before his apparent death, he sends an envoy to Wakanda to warn them of the approaching danger.[10] Man-Ape later appears alive when he was seen as a member of Purple Man's Villains for Hire.[11]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Man-Ape gained superhuman powers by consuming the flesh of a sacred white gorilla and bathing in white gorilla blood, enchanting him through the mystical transference of the abilities of the rare Wakandan white gorilla. M'Baku's mystically augmented powers include superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina and durability equal to that of the mystical Wakandan white gorilla.

He has extensive formal military training in hand-to-hand combat from the Wakandan Royal Militia.

Other versions[edit]


The Man-Ape is among the mind-controlled villains who attack the heroes as they assault Krona's Stronghold and fights Big Bertha.[12]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, M'Baku is the name of T'Challa's older brother. After the young T'Challa failed to complete the "Trial of the Black Panther", M'Baku derided him, saying that he should have taken the trial instead. Later, angry that his father had decided to share Wakanda’s technology in exchange for America’s help in saving T’Challa’s life, M'Baku left the kingdom.[13]

In other media[edit]


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 kills him in combat 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. While Captain America fights the guards, Man-Ape ends up fighting Black Panther where Man-Ape uses a sound device given to him by Klaw. Black Panther overcomes the sound device and takes down Man-Ape liberating Wakanda from Man-Ape's rule.


Man-Ape will appear in the 2018 film Black Panther, portrayed by Winston Duke.[14]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Avengers #62
  2. ^ Avengers #78 (July 1970)
  3. ^ Avengers #78 & 79 (July & August 1970)
  4. ^ a b Avengers #79 (August 1970)
  5. ^ West Coast Avengers #1-2
  6. ^ Vision and Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 #2
  7. ^ Thunderbolts #24 & 25 (March & April 1999)
  8. ^ Black Panther Vol. 4 #18
  9. ^ Heroes for Hire #6
  10. ^ Black Panther Vol. 4 #4
  11. ^ Villains for Hire #3
  12. ^ JLA/Avengers #4
  13. ^ Ultimate Captain America Annual #1
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 28, 2016). "'Black Panther' Taps 'Person of Interest' Actor Winston Duke to Play M'Baku (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 
  15. ^

External links[edit]

  • Man-Ape at
  • Man-Ape at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe