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The Man-Ape is a recurring antagonist of the comic book series Black Panther. He is the leader of the Jabari Tribe, said to be one of the greatest warriors in Wakanda, second to Black Panther.

Comic Book History

M'Baku was known to be the greatest warrior in all of Wakanda, next to the Black Panther. Seeking to best the Panther, he disobeyed the Panther tribe's ban of the White Gorilla cult, and M'Baku hunted and killed a rare white gorilla for the ceremony. He ate the gorilla's flesh and bathed in it's blood, giving him the mystical powers of the creature. Now empowered with superhuman strength, stamina, and reflexes, the Man-Ape challenged the Black Panther to a fight for the kingdom of Wakanda. M'Baku wanted to get rid of the Panther's introduction of technology in Wakanda and return it to it's primitive ways. They fought, and eventually Man-Ape won, but was foiled when the Panther crumbled a large statue on top of him.

Man-Ape survived, and later joined Grim Reaper's Lethal Legion to fight the Avengers and take vengeance upon the Black Panther. They were beaten however, and Black Panther decreed that he was no longer allowed in Wakanda without facing execution. Man-Ape once again joined the Lethal Legion, and later the Masters of Evil.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

M'Baku MCU

M'Baku is a supporting protagonist in the 2018 film Black Panther, portrayed by Winston Duke in his film debut. However, this particular version of the character is portrayed as a hero rather than a villain, and does not use the Man-Ape alias (due to racial implications, according to the producers of the film).

He first appeared challenging against T'Challa for the throne of Wakanda, but failed. However, T'Challa decided to spare him as his tribe needs him the most. This act of kindness is what motivated M'Baku to rescue T'Challa after the latter was dethroned by Erik Killmonger, even having himself and his tribe to help out T'Challa and the Dora Milaje in stopping Killmonger from sending Vibranium to different parts of the world. In the end following Killmonger's death, M'Baku is shown to earn a place in the Wakandan council, symbolizing the unification of all five Wakandan tribes.

M'Baku is set to return in the film Avengers: Infinity War, as he intends to help T'Challa and the other Avengers in fighting off the infamous alien warlord Thanos and his army of the Black Order and Outriders from threatening the Earth.

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