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Mumm-Ra (original)

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For the 2011 incarnation, please see Mumm-Ra (2011)
Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decayed form into Mumm-Ra, The Ever Living!
~ Mumm-Ra

Mumm-Ra is an ancient mummy that serves the four Ancient Spirits of Evil and the main antagonist of the original ThunderCats series.

History

Origins

In Wildstorm’s comic Thundercats Origins: Heroes and Villains an ancient Egyptian man named Wahankh - one of the reigning Pharaoh's most trusted advisers - decided to betray the Pharaoh and overthrow him in a coup. Wahankh used four magic runes which represented each of the spirits to summon them for the first time. When they appeared Wahankh requested they grant him some of their power in order to overthrow the Pharaoh and in exchange he would rule Egypt as their humble servant.

The spirits granted Wahankh's request. They infused Wahankh with their evil power, creating a powerful sorcerer. Wahankh's body mutated into a cadaverous grey form, and he was given the new name Mumm-Ra.

Mumm-Ra confronted the Pharaoh and demanded he bow down in front of him. However the Pharaoh's son soon defeated him in battle. Due to his years of loyal service the Pharaoh - unaware that his former adviser was now immortal - decided to grant Wahankh a noble death, being entombed alive as a mummified being in a pyramid. The Pharaoh's son, who was fully aware of Mumm-Ra's immortality took great joy in seeing Mumm-Ra entombed.

Following his entombment Mumm-Ra begged the Ancient Spirits to help him. However the spirits were not having any of that due to Mumm-Ra's incompetence in facing the Pharaoh. They ordered their servant to build the four giant statues seen in his pyramid, a task that would take over 600 years to finish. Once he completed his task they gave him the ability to become Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living - a being of great power with the capability to defeat any Pharaoh.

Engaging the Thundercats

An ancient native to Third-Earth, Mumm-Ra was the servant of the Ancient Spirits of Evil, four god-like beings of incredible power. However they could not extend their influence beyond the Black Pyramid that contained four statues of them. Thus the Spirits of Evil used Mumm-Ra to extend their influence upon Third Earth, providing him with a sarcophagus that granted him eternal life. After the Mutants of Plun-Darr came to Third Earth in pursuit of the Thundercats, they came across Mumm-Ra’s pyramid. He forced them join forces with him to obtain the Sword of Omens.
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Mumm-Ra's reflection

However Lion-O managed to defeat Mumm-Ra, who was undone when he saw his own reflection, and the mutants in their first battle, marking the beginning of a long-lasting conflict between Mumm-Ra and the Thundercats.

Later Battles

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Mumm-Ra as Pumm-Ra

At one point, Mumm-Ra turned himself into a Thunderian named Pumm-Ra to infiltrate the Thundercats. He began sabotaging everything and eventually tried to steal the Sword of Omens, but the Sword of Omens couldn’t be used for an evil deed. Thus Mumm-Ra was blasted by lightning and forced to retreat, allowing Lion-O to retrieve the sword.
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Mumm-Ra as Silky

Later on, Mumm-Ra turned into a nymph-like creature called Silky to give Tygra a drug-like fruit that brought the Thundercat under his control. Mumm-Ra made Tygra obtain the Sword of Omens for him, but he could not use its power or destroy it. Thus he captured a warrior maiden named Willa, telling her she could use the Sword of Omens to become Queen of Third Earth. She helped Mumm-Ra capture the Thundercats, but before the mummy could kill Lion-O, Willa threw the Sword of Omens to Lion-O, allowing the Thundercats to defeat Mumm-Ra and his minions. Some time after this, Mumm-Ra summoned a mechanoid being called Driller to capture Panthro for him. He created a clone body of Panthro, which he had Hammerhand inhabit, allowing him to wreck havoc on Third Earth. Mumm-Ra then threw Panthro into the Bottomless Chasm, but he was saved by Lion-O, allowing him to defeat Hammerhand. Later on, Lion-O was seeking a method of freeing Jaga from the astral plane and thus he sought out the legendary Nether-Witch.

However Mumm-Ra posed as the Nether-Witch, trapping Lion-O in the astral plane, but he and Jaga escaped with help from a sorcerer named Brodo. Some time after this, Mumm-Ra’s ancient enemy, Wizz-Ra, returned from the 7th dimension and Mumm-Ra stole his magic helmet, allowing him to enslave most of the Thundercats. But Cheetara and Snarf helped Wizz-Ra retrieve his helmet and free the Thundercats. On another occasion, Mumm-Ra tried to lure Lion-O into the Kingdom of Webs to make him the victim of the spider queen, Spidera. He took the form of a diamond fairy to do so and Snarf ended up trapped, but the Thundercats saved him and defeat Spidera. Soon afterwards, Mumm-Ra hired a group of mercenaries that managed to capture Lion-O and retrieve the Sword of Omens. Mumm-Ra threw the sword into a black hole, but the Thundercats managed to get it back. Later on, Mumm-Ra was approached by a mutant named Monkian who offered him anything he wanted in exchange for the power to take over Third Earth. Mumm-Ra gave him Power Spheres to increase his power and he managed to freeze the Thundercats and defeat Lion-O, bringing the Sword of Omens to Mumm-Ra. However the mummy turned on Monkian, saying that as part of the bargain, he was stuck in the Black Pyramid forever. The walls closed in around Monkian and when he destroyed them, they just reformed. As Mumm-Ra and Monkian were arguing, Lion-O snuck in, freed his comrades, and stole the Sword of Omens back. Meanwhile, Monkian gave up his new power to free himself. Some time later, Mumm-Ra took the form of a Berbil and pretended to be injured, tricking the Thundercats into letting him stay at their base. He then defeated all the Thundercats, except for Snarf, who managed to escape and find Lion-O. Lion-O fought Mumm-Ra, but could not match him since this time, he was wearing glasses that prevented him from seeing his reflection.

However Lion-O used the Thundercats signal to break the glasses, driving Mumm-Ra back with his reflection.
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Mumm-Ra disguised as King Arthur

Later on, the Ancient Spirits of Evil told Mumm-Ra about the strongest sword in existence, Excalibur. He disguised himself as King Arthur and found the lake where Excalibur was kept by the Lady of the Lake, who fell for his disguise and gave him the sword. Mumm-Ra challenged Lion-O to a duel and managed to win, driving Excalibur into the Eye of Thundera. This rendered the Thundercats powerless and almost resulted in their destruction, but Merlin showed up, stopping Mumm-Ra and restoring the Eye of Thundera. At one point, Vultureman created a super power potion, allowing him to challenge Mumm-Ra and defeat him, taking command. However the mutants ended up fighting over the potion and the last of it was destroyed. Soon afterwards, Lion-O, having completed a series of challenges against the other Thundercats to prove himself as leader, was left with one last challenge, fight Mumm-Ra without the Sword of Omens and Power Claw. Despite having nothing but his bare hands and his wits, Lion-O managed to defeat Mumm-Ra, throwing his sarcophagus into the cauldron in Mumm-Ra’s tomb and destroying him.
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Mumm-Ra with Mumm-Rana

However Mumm-Ra was revived and after the Thundercats met Mumm-Rana, who was basically a good counterpart of Mumm-Ra, he brought her under his control. However the Thundercats managed to free Mumm-Rana and defeat Mumm-Ra again. Later on, Mumm-Ra attempted to capture three other surviving Thunderians, but the Thundercats put an end to his plans. Weakened and with three new Thundercats to deal with, Mumm-Ra had the Mutants free his old enemies, the Lunataks, to occupy the Thundercats. Eventually Mumm-Ra gained his power back and by shape shifting into Jaga, tricking Lion-O into believing the new Thundercats were traitors.

However the Thundercats stopped fighting amongst themselves and defeated Mumm-Ra and the Lunataks. On one occasion, Mumm-Ra did actually manage to obtain the Eye of Thundera. He sought to awake a giant turned to stone, the Child of Gorgon, with the Mask of Gorgon, which could turn flesh to stone, but if granted the ability of sight beyond sight, it could turn stone to flesh. Mumm-Ra summoned the mask to him and used it to turn Lion-O, Panthro, and Willa to stone, taking the Eye of Thundera. He successfully awoke the Child of Gorgon, but the Thundercats defeated the giant and smashed the mask, restoring everything that had been turned to stone. The Eye of Thundera also destroyed the book that told Mumm-Ra about the Mask of Gorgon, before it found its way back to the Thundercats. Later, the day of a centennial solar eclipse came, a day on which any spell Mumm-Ra cast would last until the next eclipse. He cast a spell of decay on the Thundercats lair, causing it to start falling apart, but Lion-O eventually overcame the spell using the Sword of Omens to block out the sun. On another occasion, Mumm-Ra made his pet demonic bulldog, Ma-Mutt, look like Snarf and captured the real Snarf. Ma-Mutt went to the Thundercats’ base in Snarf’s place and poisoned Lion-O, allowing Mumm-Ra to defeat him. The other Thundercats came to Lion-O’s aid, only to be caught in a trap by Mumm-Ra, who then sent Ma-Mutt after Snarfer. However Lion-O overcame the poison and battled Mumm-Ra again while Snarf, who looked like Ma-Mutt, actually managed to call on the Ancient Spirits of Evil as Mumm-Ra did to become Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living. He became Snarf-Ra the Ever-Living, a huge and more muscular version of his normal form. He rescued the other Thundercats and managed to defeat Mumm-Ra.

Treasures of Thundera

Mumm-Ra eventually found out about the Treasure of Thundera, a cache of Thunderian artifacts, and the Sword of Plun-Darr, the weapon that destroyed Thundera. Determined to claim the sword, Mumm-Ra and Ma-Mutt traveled back through space and time to search the remains of Thundera for it. However this caused the planet to reform and the Thundercats prepared to go after him. But just as they arrived, Mumm-Ra found the Sword of Plun-Darr and eventually captured Snarf and Snarfer. Taking the form of Snarfer, Mumm-Ra lead the Thundercats to the Treasure of Thundera, which could only be accessed with the Sword of Omens.
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Mumm-Ra losing the Treasures of Thundera

After it was released, Mumm-Ra revealed himself, defeating the Thundercats, and taking the treasures for himself. However they ended up scattered across the planet. He had the Mutants hide a fake Book of Omens, one of the Treasures of Thundera, to send the Thundercats in the wrong direction. After Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, Snarf, and Snarfer were changed into children (dubbed the Thundercubs) by the Canyon of Youth, Lion-O sent them to Earth to help the other Thundercats, who’d been captured, while he continued looking for the Book of Omens. But as they were preparing to leave, Mumm-Ra attacked, though Lion-O saved them. The Thundercubs went back to Third Earth, while Lion-O and Snarf confronted Mumm-Ra so as to get the Book of Omens back. They managed to defeat him and made Ma-Mutt bring them back to Third Earth using a magical flute while
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Mumm-Ra with the Totem of Dera

Mumm-Ra was brought back to the planet by the Ancient Spirits of Evil. Mumm-Ra’s next move was to give the Totem of Dera, another of the treasures with the power to heal and bring inanimate objects to life, to the Mutants so they could build a device to destroy the Thundercats.

However the Thundercats managed to get the Totem of Dera after destroying the swamp monster the Mutants used the totem to create. After this, Mumm-Ra went after another treasure, a necklace called the Chain of Loyalty, overhearing Jaga telling Lion-O to find it on Thundera. He managed to obtain the Chain of Loyalty first and broke it, causing the Thundercats to fight amongst themselves. However Lion-O used the Sword of Omens to restore the necklace, stopping Mumm-Ra’s plans. Later on, Lion-O accidentally trapped himself in the Book of Omens and Mumm-Ra took the opportunity to steal it. He was about to throw it into his cauldron, when Lion-O called out to the Sword of Omens and the sword freed him. Mumm-Ra took the sword and tried to look through it into the book only to get sucked in himself, but Lion-O rescued him due to the Code of Thundera. After some of the Thundercats went to Thundera in search of the treasures, Mumm-Ra shot down their ship, sending them into the Canyon of Youth where they became the Thundercubs again. Disguising himself as Lion-O, Mumm-Ra ordered them to find the treasure for him. Eventually, Cheetara used her sixth sense to locate the Mirror of Truth, but the real Lion-O showed up, using the Sword of Omens to restore the Thundercubs to normal. Mumm-Ra transformed into Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, but was defeated when Cheetara used the Mirror of Truth against him.

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Mumm-Ra with the Bracelet of Power

Later on, Snarf found the Bracelet of Power, another treasure that gives the possessor the ability to control others. Mumm-Ra found out about it and successfully stole it, using the bracelet to make Lion-O, Panthro, Tygra, and Cheetara his slaves. Snarf, Wilykat, and Wilykit went to rescue them and Snarf pretended to be under Mumm-Ra’s control, while Wilykat got the Sword of Omens back. Trusting Snarf, Mumm-Ra went to sleep in his sarcophagus and Snarf took the Bracelet of Power back. Mumm-Ra later tried to obtain the Thunderscope, a telescope that allowed the user to find the Treasures of Thundera, but Lion-O kept it out of his clutches.

The next treasure Mumm-Ra went after was the Jade Dragon, which he discovered could entrap other creatures in its stomach. He managed to trap Lion-O and Cheetara inside it, but Hachiman saved them. Soon after this, the Ancient Spirits of Evil, tired of Mumm-Ra’s constant defeats, told him had 24 hours to defeat the Thundercats or be exiled forever.
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Mumm-Ra with all the power of the Spirits of Evil

To do so, they granted Mumm-Ra more evil energy than ever before, transforming him into a gigantic version of his Ever-Living form with incredible power. Mumm-Ra proceeded to rampage throughout Third Earth, sending Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro, Wilykat, and Wilykit to limbo, destroying the Tower of Omens, and burying Lion-O alive. Snarf went into the Book of Omens to find a way to defeat Mumm-Ra while Lion-O managed to free himself. He took on Mumm-Ra and found out from Snarf that Mumm-Ra had to win before sunset. Eventually, Mumm-Ra’s time ran out and the spirits exiled him from Third Earth.

Conflicts on New Thundera

However the Ancient Spirits changed their minds and resurrected Mumm-Ra and Ma-Mutt, sending them to a new pyramid on New Thundera. Mumm-Ra found out that the planet’s gravity was controlled by a gyroscope at the center of the planet and planned to use it to destroy the Thundercats, who had decided to make their home on the planet. Mumm-Ra made the gyroscope malfunction by taking control of the sorceress who guarded it, Jaguara, causing earthquakes throughout the planet, before resurrecting Grune the Destroyer to fight the Thundercats. Eventually the Thundercats found out what Mumm-Ra was doing, but before they could confront him, Mumm-Ra had Ma-Mutt free the Mutants, who he ordered to get rid of Tygra and Pumyra. The Thundercats managed to recapture the mutants, but the earthquakes grew worse. They went to stop Mumm-Ra, but he used a forcefield to keep them away from the gyroscope. However Lion-O used the Eye of Thundera to get himself and the other Thundercats through the forcefield. They fired all their weapons at Mumm-Ra, defeating him, but broke the cord holding the gyroscope, causing it to fall into the bottomless pit below it, making New Thundera start falling apart. Later on, Mumm-Ra sabotaged a robot named Screwloose who was intended to help Jaguara. Thus Screwloose caused more and more problems, but the Thundercats managed to get him back under control. Some time later, Mumm-Ra became worried that the Ancient Spirits of Evil would abandon him in favor of the Shadowmaster, who actually started to beat Lion-O.

Thus Mumm-Ra had Ma-Mutt steal the Sword of Omens from the Shadowmaster, putting it near the Book of Omens, and allowing Lion-O to defeat the Shadowmaster. In his final battle with the Thundercats, Mumm-Ra stole the Key of Omens and entered the Book of Omens. Lion-O needed to present the key to the guardian of the book or the Thundercats would be frozen in time and New Thundera would be destroyed. Mumm-Ra sought to save New Thundera, but freeze the Thundercats in time. Lion-O managed to enter the Book of Omens with the Sword of Omens and they fought one on one without any magic. Despite Mumm-Ra trying to cheat, he lost to Lion-O and called on the Ancient Spirits of Evil for help, who sent their champion, Pyron. But Lion-O managed to destroy Pyron with the dragons that served the Book of Omens’ entity and took the Key of Omens from Mumm-Ra, allowing Lion-O and the Thundercats to preserve and restore New Thundera.

Personality

Mumm-Ra is utterly evil, completely merciless, sadistic, and cold, as well as a very scheming and manipulative personality. He thinks that everyone around him is likely to turn on him, so he often betrays them first. Mumm-Ra hates the Thundercats with a passion and is determined to be rid of them, using whatever means it takes to do so. He is extremely deceptive, with his plans often involving changing himself into other beings to trick his enemies. Mumm-Ra refused to accept death, which is what caused him to turn to the Ancient Spirits of Evil for immortality.
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Mumm-Ra with Ma-Mutt

Thus he seeks to spread their influence across the planet. The only thing Mumm-Ra shows some compassion towards is his pet dog, Ma-Mutt. However, Mumm-Ra has one weakness, upon seeing his reflection, he is forced to retreat back to his pyramid in his normal form. But the Ancient Spirits of Evil eventually helped Mumm-Ra overcome this weakness.

Powers

Mumm-Ra is an extremely powerful sorcerer and has seemingly limitless knowledge and skill in magical arts from all over the universe. This grants him various powers, including levitation, necromancy, alchemy, shapeshifting, teleportation, telekinesis, brain-washing, astral projectionforeseeing the future, and energy blasts. Mumm-Ra is also immortal and whenever he’s destroyed, he reforms in his sarcophagus.
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Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living

He states that “Wherever evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives!” Mumm-Ra can call on the Ancient Spirits of Evil to transform him into Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living by saying, “Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!” In this form, Mumm-Ra is a conduit for the Ancient Spirits of Evil’s power, increasing his own abilities to an incredible level. He has great strength, the power of flight, and greater magical abilities. However this form has a limited amount of energy and once it runs out, Mumm-Ra returns to normal and he has to go back to his sarcophagus to restore himself.

Trivia

  • Mumm-Ra has made a number of appearances on the TV show, Robot Chicken.
  • He also appears in South Park’s Imaginationland Trilogy amongst the other evil characters, though he has horns on his helmet instead of snakes.
  • In the song, Touch the Sky, there is the line, “I’m trying to stop lion like I’m Mumm-Ra/but I’m not lyin’ when I’m layin’ on the beat.”
  • Mumm-Ra was fairly well received by audiences. Viewers took note of Mumm-Ra's deep voice along with him regularly exhibiting a much higher level of competence than other 80s cartoon villains, such as Skeletor. The website WatchMojo.com put Mumm-Ra 5th in their "Top 10 Television Cartoon Villains."

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