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Lion God (Avengers enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Lion God

(Sekhmet)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“Not a demon, whelp of Asgard — not a demon but rather one like yourself — a GOD ! The Lion God, in truth — liege to the king of the beasts and all who worship him ; lord of the veldt and the vast, churning jungle ; a god ! Take them, you who follow !”


Context

The Lion God is an obscure and inchoate foe of the Avengers, and particularly the Black Panther. While the character is forgettable, their power level is formidable.

That it logically was the Ancient Egyptian Sekhmet, given later revelations about the Panther God, also made the Lion God more interesting in insight.

I’m assuming that Sekhmet (and Bast) are genderless entities, and will thus use the usual neutral “they”. In the story the Lion God was clearly male, but traditionally Sekhmet is a goddess, so let’s just go with “they” and call it a day.


Background

  • Real Name: Sekhmet
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Bast aka Bastet (sibling) and various other Ennead members (Ammon Ra as their father, Toth as their uncle, Hathor as another sibling, etc.)
  • Group Affiliation: Ennead
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed
  • Height: 7’3” (variable) Weight: 382 lbs (variable)
  • Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Unrevealed


Powers & Abilities

The Lion God is an unusually powerful god-like being, much like Thor. They move with massively superhuman speed, agility and power, and have a host of magical powers. Their energy-emitting totem stick could fell any Avenger in one blow, though Thor did get back up through sheer willpower.

Sekhmet needs to possess and freshly-killed human’s body to manifest on Earth. This may not have been the case back in their heydays.

After Thor destroyed the Lion God’s mighty totem stick, Sekhmet armed themselves with a giant spear that could project energy beams from the haft. It was less powerful than the totem stick.

The Lion God is normally pretty big (04 APs of Growth in DC Heroes terms). If angered enough, they can become an even bigger giant — like they did during their second fight with the Avengers. In this form, Thor’s hammer bounced off their chest.

Misc. abilities and weaknesses

Sekhmet can also briefly appear in two places at once, though the range is but a few metres. Though the two Sekhmets look identical, one is the mortal body being possessed and the other is the godly form. This trick is thus chiefly useful as a decoy.

The Lion God faces the Avengers during a protest

Sekhmet could control minds and take over crowds through simple concentration, even taking control of T’Challa within seconds. However, the narcissistic Sekhmet wants respect and fear rather than artificial obedience./ Thus they will seldom use their mind-control powers for long.

The Lion God was also easily transfixed by rhythmic movements and lights.

Cat power

It is not clear why Sekhmet was so powerful. They could maul even Thor, who is one of the most powerful gods aside from pantheon heads (usually sky gods). Maybe they kept hoarding the mystical energy from worship to turn it into personal power. This would help explain why veneration of the Lion God faded away whilst the cult of Bast remains strong.

Or maybe it’s just a product of having been such a major and feared divinity for centuries.

There were indications that the “human form” of the Lion God was less powerful. But this one cannot tell from the story what this means or how this works, leading this one to leave that aspect out of the game stats.


History

In the original story, the Lion God is from an unspecified part of Africa, and of unknown background. They might come from an unspecified part of Western Africa, since one of the characters seems Francophone. Decades later, secondary sources established that they are Sekhmet of the Ennead.

Though Wakanda lies well South of Egypt, in the Great Lakes region, the gods of ancient Egypt (aka the Ennead, aka the Gods of Heliopolis) have long had a presence there. The main example is Bast, who localised their presence to become the Panther God. Their cult has been the dominant religion of Wakanda for at least a century.

While Bast thus diversified their portfolio and implantation, Sekhmet apparently remained focused on ancient Egypt. For centuries they were a major divinity there as the lion goddess. For a long, long while Sekhmet the huntress/warrior was the patron divinity of the Pharaohs. Many major rituals to appease the angry, bloodthirsty lion were conducted throughout Upper Egypt.

(Our colleagues over at Marvunapp.com  also suggested a connection or identity between Amra the Lion, a divinity of Conan’s time, and Sekhmet).

However, Sekhmet eventually lost the ability to easily manifest on Earth. Perhaps the placating rituals were successful after all. As Egypt evolved and entered the Greek-dominated era, the lion cult dwindled into historical obscurity.

Sekhmet developed a rivalry with their sibling Bast. The Lion God would appear to their worshippers whenever properly summoned, while the Cat God remained aloof and in the shadows. Yet, while both cults disappeared from Egypt, Bast developed an entrenched power base in Wakanda. They even overcame seemingly more local deities, such as the Gorilla God.

As to Sekhmet, they were left with very little.

The Lion God lives !

In 1973, an unspecified African group wearing traditional garb organised a religious, magical ritual. Based on subsequent events, it is possible that these folks were Wakandans opposing the Panther cult. A journalist only known as Mr. Umbala was invited to the ceremony, as he was told that a god just like Thor of the Avengers would be summoned to Earth.

Again from context, it is possible that Umbala was from the US.

However, the cultists unexpectedly killed Umbala. This sacrifice was necessary to the ceremony – so the Lion God could possess the body of the journalist and manifest on Earth.

As Umbala, the Lion God came to New York City to confront the Black Panther (T’Challa) and learn the secret of Bast’s continued success.

The Panther was then an Avenger. To approach, the Lion God used their mind control powers to assemble a rowdy, armed crowd of African-Americans. They demonstrated in front of Avenger’s Mansion making nonsensical claims about the Panther’s role in the US and Africa.

When the Panther came to meet them the Lion God took mental control of him. They teleported away with the Panther, leaving both the freed protesters and the Avengers puzzled and frustrated.

The Lion God's staff is struck by lightning

The egotistical and bloodthirsty Lion God came back with the captive Panther. Their goal was to kill the Avengers in front of T’Challa to break his spirit and facilitate interrogation. Despite Sekhmet’s sheer power it didn’t work. A huge lightning strike called by Thor eventually destroyed the Lion God’s stick, their most powerful weapon.

Sekhmet’s body was seemingly disintegrated in the explosion.

Who knows what evil

A few weeks later, the Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and Mantis (Ms. Brandt) more or less joined the Avengers. The preternaturally sensitive Mantis sensed an evil presence in the Mansion. This was the Lion God, who was still haunting the place.

Mantis decided to summon the presence using her limited mystical skills, so as to trap it. However, the Avengers were very wary of her and her companion the Swordsman. Thus, the couple launched their plan without warning the rest. The Lion God was successfully summoned. Apparently they still could use Mr. Umbala’s body though it had seemed destroyed.

The plot worked perfectly. Mantis and the Swordsman pretended to ally with the revenge-crazed Lion God and assist them against the Avengers. The powerful Sekhmet quickly gained the upper hand against the Avengers, especially with its new allies.

However, once the Lion God was standing in a certain spot, Mantis and the Swordsman insisted on celebrating the victory. The Swordsman waved his flashing blade in intricate patterns and Mantis performed a similarly mesmerising dance, leaving the Lion God transfixed until Iron Man (Anthony Stark) revived and trapped the immobile Sekhmet in an Adamantium  cylinder.

Iron Man then implied that Thor would blast the cylinder and its prisoner into another dimension to get rid of the Lion God. This presumably took place, as the Lion God has not been seen since.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

The narcissistic Lion God is full of rage and power – and pride, which makes sense for a lion. That was a joke.

They demand fear, respect, power and the glory of battle and do not seem to be any sort of deep thinker. The Lion God is misogynistic, which is curious for an entity that was chiefly known as a goddess during their heydays.


Quotes

“Behold their faces, Black Panther — engrave each visage indelibly upon your memory — for this is the last moment you will see the Avengers alive !”

“And next, a woman leaps to battle — but such a contest is not the way of the Lion Lord ! In preference, I let my savage jungle beasts engage the female, while I face warriors !” (orders his lions to attack)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Lion God

Dex: 12 Str: 12 Bod: 12 Motivation: Power
Int: 08 Wil: 06 Min: 10 Occupation: God
Inf: 10 Aur: 09 Spi: 11 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 032 HP: 075

Powers:
Control: 14, Detect (Lions): 17, Growth: 10, Hypnotism: 10, Self-link (Spirit Travel): 08, Split: 01, Teleportation: 17

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth beyond 04 APs is a Serious Marginal Power
  • Hypnotism has a 4 APs Area of Effect
  • Split can only last for one Phase (or the Lion God will return to his Spirit Travel state), and the Split will have the normal characteristics of the God’s human host — though it will look like the Lion God
  • Teleportation and Detect can be Combined to teleport a pair of full-grown lions to him as a single Dice Action

Skills:
Weaponry (Traditional North-Eastern African weapons)*: 12

Advantages
Insta Change (limited to the form of the person sacrificed to host him), Language (Wakandan and presumably others such as Hausa, Ancient Egyptian, Egyptian Arabic, etc.), Lightning Reflexes

Connections:
Gods of Heliopolis (Low)

Drawbacks:
Misc.: Cannot manifest on Earth without possessing a ritually “sacrificed” human. This is a Personality Transfer Ritual, except it allows the Lion God to use their full powers once they ride a human, Attack Vulnerability (-3CS OV/RV against hypnotic movement patterns)

Equipment:

  • Totem Stick [BODY 18, Energy blast (Diminishing): 22, Limitation: Can likely only be wielded by a god ; the Lion God prefers to use it as a melee weapon]
  • After the Totem Stick was lost to Thor’s lightning strike, the Lion God was armed with a Spear [BODY 15, EV 05 (13+ w/STR), Energy blast: 19. Bonus: the Spear can grow as the Lion God does]

Design Notes

There isn’t much material, so the game stats are speculative.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Avengers volume 1 #112 and #114 in 1973.

Writeup completed on the 11th of August, 2013.

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