5712 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Man-Ape (Marvel Comics) (Black Panther character)

Man-Ape

(M'Baku)


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

“I am M‘Baku — the Man-Ape ! Chieftain of the White Gorilla clan ! Rightful ruler of the Wakandans ! There is nothing I cannot do !”


Context

The Man-Ape (M’Baku) is one of the main enemies of Marvel’s Black Panther (T’Challa). Like his foe, he is both a tribal ruler and a religious figure empowered by an animal god. He appeared in 1969.

M’Baku is a curious character. Early on he was cool – he’s remarkably dangerous, and “jungle adventures” were still a popular genre (Tarzan, Ka-Zar, Shanna, etc.). As decades passed a big guy wearing a gorilla skin seemed increasingly ridiculous.

And then, Black Panther writer Christopher Priest  made him cool again by showing — but never quite explaining — the background of the White Gorilla Cult.


Background

  • Real Name: M’Baku
  • Other Aliases: “M‘Burger”, “Magilla”, “Binky”
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Ce’athauna Asira Davin (aka Chanté Brown, aka Queen Divine Justice, cousin), Damola (cousin, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Jabari tribe, former member of the Lethal Legion and the Masters of Evil
  • Base Of Operations: Wakanda
  • Height: 7’ Weight: 355 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown (though he can make them glow a fierce red-orange or a duller yellow when he wears the pelt) Hair: Brownish black


Powers and Abilities

M‘Baku gained superhuman physical might and prowess when he ritually ate the flesh of the sacred white gorilla. Even prior to that he was recognised as one of the greatest warriors in Wakanda. As the Man-Ape he can withstand blows delivered with peak human strength, uproot trees and use them as throwing weapons, shred metal between his fingers, etc.

Man-Ape is fast and agile enough to engage even the Black Panther (T’Challa) or Captain America (Steve Rogers) in hand-to-hand combat, and have a good chance of winning.

Though those who have never seen him fight tend to dismiss him as ludicrous, this is a mistake. M‘Baku is a truly formidable opponent unless met with strong superhuman powers. In DC Heroes terms he tends to reserve his Manic Pace Schtick HP expenditure for when he’s facing the Black Panther, though.

M‘Baku is a good tactician. Although his fighting style (and his acrobatics style) are reminiscent of how a gorilla moves, he actually makes good use of his environment and has no problem using all sorts of devious ruses de guerre. These include playing possum, pretending to surrender, taking hostages and booby-trapping their cell, etc. He also favours sudden, unexpected distractions.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) on a white background

When he attacks he is relentless, seeking to keep his opponent on the defensive and to maintain initiative. Since his gorilla-like moves lead his opponents — even experienced ones — to underestimate him, he will frequently perform indirect attacks, such as hitting a high-pressure water main right behind his opponent while feigning a clumsy strike.

M‘Baku is also a competent jet fighter pilot. He is also surprisingly good at infiltration and stealth despite his gigantic physique. Perhaps he learned these skills during his career as a mercenary.

Gorilla warfare

M‘Baku is a fearsome, world-class fighter… except when he’s part of a group. In such circumstances, he performs noticeably below his normal level. No explanation is given for this, though it might be the result of pride and honour, or of a highly mobile fighting style. It might also be a mystical weakness having to do with the Gorilla God.

The difference in combat skill is marked, and has been consistent over the decades. In fact M’Baku seems to become less redoubtable as the size of the group he is a part of. This was almost certainly not intended by the successive writers, but our proposed game mechanics matches observed performance very well.

Whilst Man-Ape is inexplicably much weaker when he works as a part of a group, he still uses sound, team-oriented tactics in those circumstances. So even then he shouldn’t be underestimated.

Faithful N’Gamo of the Gorilla priesthood

N’Gamo was initially depicted as M‘Baku’s Alfred Pennyworth, but with a strong “witch doctor from Darkest Africa” pulp vibe.

He’s a sort of alchemist. He has brewed tasteless sleeping potions which made all the Avengers (including the synthezoid  Vision !) fall asleep within seconds when mixed with their food. He also revived and evacuated M‘Baku after he had been trapped under tons of rock (an Invulnerability potion and a Dispersal oil, maybe).

N’Gamo has also proved to be a good getaway driver and pilot. When spiriting away M‘Baku from Avengers’ Mansion, he was piloting a high-tech Wakandan aircraft and even managed to daze Giant-Man by dropping the rapid extraction rig intended for the Man-Ape on Pym’s head.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) and a White Gorilla army

He also seems handy with a spiked mace (Weaponry (Melee): 04, possibly 05), and may have been the person who built a very realistic mannequin of Monica Lynne that fooled even the Panther.

It is unclear whether N’Gamo remained M‘Baku’s henchman after the first Lethal Legion was defeated. He presumably was arrested, deported to Wakanda and imprisoned. Since faithful N’Gamo started working with Man-Ape again shortly after Malice snuck M‘Baku back into Wakanda, it is possible the Man-Ape sprang his loyal henchman out of prison once he returned in-country.


History

The best-known Wakandan religion is close to ancient Egyptian faiths. It incorporates stories about the extradimensional gods known as the Heliopolitans and as the Ennead. In particular the god most associated with Wakanda, the Panther God, has been established as being the feline Ennead, Bast  (occasionally “Bastet”).

Another major Wakandan god is the Gorilla God. Though some have speculated it might be Toth , who does have an ape form, the Gorilla might not be of the Ennead. From context, one gets the impression that the Gorilla God is native to Wakanda (and more generally the Great Lakes region) whereas the Panther God/Bast is an import from the North, as adapted to local tales and traditions.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) vs. the Black Panther

In Wakandan myths, the Gorilla God is the enemy of the Panther God. This might reflect a previous history of conflict between 2 tribes or factions. When the Panther God cult is ascendant the Gorilla God cult tends to be outlawed.

The Gorilla God is closely associated with the Wakandan white gorillas, and is chiefly worshipped by the Jabari tribe. Both the silver-pelted apes and the Jabari traditionally live in the Crystal Forest, an exotic area of Wakanda where the trees seem made of glass and where the weather is usually freezing.

There are 12,000 Jabari tribespersons, chiefly armed with longbows and spears. The Jabari, clad in clothing reminiscent of Lapp  or Inuit folk traditions, are reputed as fighters and raiders. The tamed sacred gorillas accompanying them to war seem to have abnormal strength and durability.

King T‘Chaka’s edict

During the reign of T‘Chaka, father of T‘Challa, the Panther worshippers pretty much controlled the nations and tribes making up Wakanda. They even had the Jabari officially renounce the Gorilla God to be converted to the Panther cult.

However, when T‘Chaka died at the hand of Dutch criminal and physicist Ulysses Klaw, Wakanda was cast into turmoil and civil war. The Jabari revolted once again. They resumed worship of the sacred white gorillas, to the furore of Panther fundamentalists. This made the Jabari the lynchpin of the civil war.

Meanwhile, the canny King T‘Challa son of T‘chaka leveraged the anger of the Panther-worshipping conservatives about the sacrilegious ways of the Gorilla-worshipping conservatives. While these were all caught in the controversy, he deployed his pro-technology agenda without much opposition.

The Panther worshippers had the upper hand during the civil war. T‘Challa ordered the dissolution of the Jabari tribe. Presumably, this was part of his horse-trading with Panther conservatives as well as an honest attempt to put an end to the perpetual war between the 2 religious currents.

According to T‘Challa’s edicts, the Jabari were to scatter and join various other Wakandan communities. They were to leave their traditions and the Gorilla way of life behind.

Chief Damola’s daughter

However, Panther fundamentalists interpreted this as a licence to kill. The Jabari, outnumbered and without allies, had to flee and become outcasts. Chief Damola of the Jabari vanished. It was later discovered he had fled to the US where he secretly fathered a little girl. Several years later, Panther fanatics found Damola and his wife, and murdered them.

Their infant girl survived, and American policemen eventually identified her as a Wakandan national and brought her to the consulate. True to form, T‘Challa son of T‘chaka came up with a cunning long-term plan involving the orphan.

Ce’athauna daughter of Damola was not just the rightful Queen of the Jabari. The Gorilla priests had a prophecy where the child of Damola would be Asira Davin, a peacemaker between the gods and in particular Panther and Gorilla.

T‘Challa’s functionaries in the US received orders not to tell Ce’athauna Asira Davin of her parentage. She was given the African-America-style name Chanté Brown. Chanté was only vaguely aware that she was ethnically Wakandan, never mind Jabari.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) vs. Henry Peter Gyrich

King T‘Challa further made preparations so Ce’athauna would become a Dora Milaje upon coming to age. As a Dora Milaje (“betrothed to the King”), the Jabari Queen would be part of a cadre of women symbolically wedded to the ruler of Wakanda, establishing a bond of marriage between the Wakandan and Jabari tribes.

Between this and by playing up the Asira Davin prophecy and his own status as the Chosen of the Panther, T‘Challa had a long term gambit to finally bring peace between the Panther and Gorilla cultists.

M‘Baku’s ascendance

Meanwhile the outcast and decimated Jabari tribesmen, abandoned by Chief Damola, turned to the high priest of the Gorilla God. That was M‘Baku, who became the de facto Jabari leader. To prevent further killing between Panther and Gorilla militants, T‘Challa approached M‘Baku and made him a close associate so he could keep him under control.

M‘Baku couldn’t be acknowledged as the leader of a forbidden cult, but he was made interim tribal leader by the Wakandan throne. T‘Challa made a big show of entrusting the Jabari with important responsibilities and of being his friend, culminating with an arrangement where M‘Baku would run everyday affairs during the King’s frequent absences.

While officially M‘Baku and T‘Challa were closer than brothers, M‘Baku hated what T‘Challa had done with Wakanda. He had always planned to abuse the King’s politically-motivated trust. He cultivated allies among the discontents, focusing on fellow traditionalists opposing the high technology now pervading Wakanda.

M‘Baku also performed a forbidden ritual of the Gorilla God. This was the equivalent of the heart-shaped herb empowering the Black Panther. Secretly entering the strange Crystal Forest, M‘Baku ritually stalked, killed and ate one of the sacred white gorillas.

Completing the ritual as his god bestowed superhuman strength on him, M‘Baku skinned the beast and fashioned a sort of hooded vest with the pelt, though he kept it hidden.

Man-Ape (M'Baku)'s aide N'Gamo

While the King was away, fighting along with the Avengers and Doctor Strange, M‘Baku made many unauthorised changes in Wakanda. Most of the new policies centred on getting rid of the technology which had the most impact on traditional ways of life.

When T‘Challa came back, M‘Baku had his henchman N’Gamo poison the King and the Avengers. He took everybody prisoner while they were knocked out by the toxins. The Gorilla priest then challenged T‘Challa to a duel.

The vengeful M‘Baku was now openly wearing his white gorilla pelt, called himself the Man-Ape and unveiled a large statue of the Gorilla God, with which he intended to replace the main statue of the Panther God at the royal palace.

The 2 master fighters clashed, and the Man-Ape won.

M‘Baku tied T‘Challa to the giant Panther God statue. When the King woke up, the Jabari started pounding the Panther statue so it would collapse and crash the Black Panther. However, instead of toppling the statue crumbled, burying M‘Baku and seemingly killing him.

This was probably the result of the super-strong Vision battering the walls of his cell under the statue to break free, through most Wakandans attributed the events to the will of the Panther God.

The Lethal Legion

N’Gamo somehow secretly rescued his chief and healed his wounds. In 1970, yearning for vengeance, M‘Baku flew to New York City to find a way to attack the Black Panther. This was difficult, since the Panther had joined the Avengers.

Needing allies to take on the Avengers, the Man-Ape joined the Lethal Legion. The members were the Living Laser (Arthur Parks), the Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne) and Power Man (Erik Josten). They were commanded by the Grim Reaper (Eric Williams), who was plotting to kill the Avengers.

M‘Baku’s new allies forged a note from Black Panther to Captain America, then sent the Jabari to ambush Cap. The Man-Ape prevailed and threw the unconscious Cap from a rooftop, though other Avengers came in in time to catch the Sentinel of Liberty.

With faithful N’Gamo’s help M‘Baku evaded the Avengers then went straight to kidnap Monica Lynne, a Harlem singer and activist with romantic ties to King T‘Challa.

The Gorilla Palace of the Jabari of Wakanda

Another ambush was set for the Black Panther. A mannequin of Monica Lynne laced with explosives was used to finish T‘Challa off after M‘Baku dominated him in a fight. M‘Baku wanted to execute T‘Challa, but the Grim Reaper refused him.

The Legion attacked the Avengers and overcame them (with M‘Baku again performing well against Captain America), but fell into a trap orchestrated by the Vision and was captured. The Black Panther was unwilling to let American authorities take custody of M‘Baku, and decreed that the Jabari could go free but would be killed if he ever set foot in Wakanda.

The angry priest then wandered the world and worked as a mercenary. His crimes and adventures during that time are unchronicled.

The new Lethal Legion

In 1985, the mercenary M‘Baku joined the Grim Reaper’s new Lethal Legion. Other members included two voodoo priests – the Black Talon (Samuel Barone), and the Reaper’s companion Nekra – plus the robotic Ultron, whom the technophobic M‘Baku disliked and severely underestimated.

The Reaper sent Ultron and Man-Ape to recover Goliath, another alumni of the first Lethal Legion, then held at the West Coast Avengers’s compound.

After breaking in, Man-Ape fought Tigra (Greer Nelson) until Ultron blasted Nelson unconscious from behind. This angered M‘Baku, and Ultron summarily blasted him too to demonstrate his power. Nevertheless Man-Ape, Ultron and Goliath captured Wonder Man (Simon Williams) and Doctor Pym, then left.

M‘Baku had become less proud during his mercenary career. He could now accept taking orders and the like. But this wasn’t sufficient to work smoothly with the Grim Reaper, whose racial bigotry was a problem for Man-Ape and the Black Talon (an Haitian of African ancestry).

M‘Baku nearly came to blows with his employer several times, though his wariness about the Reaper’s deadly scythe helped stay his hand. The Talon and M‘Baku eventually left the team over the Reaper’s racism. This left the Legion short on manpower, and led to its defeat when the Avengers escaped.

M‘Baku later had a handful of “face in the crowd” appearances. He was one of the random villains mind-controlled by Dr. Doom into attacking the trial of the Fantastic Four. Like the others, he attacked as little better than a sleepwalker, and when the trance broke was very confused and had no idea what he was doing here and why he was being arrested.

Released, he visited the landmark 1993 A.I.M. weapons expo which pretty much every costumed mercenary attended. In 1999 he was one of the 25 supervillains working for the Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer), but was ambushed by a group of Thunderbolts and clubbed unconscious without much of a chance to defend himself.

Queen Divine Justice

M‘Baku finally got his chance to go back to Wakanda. In 2001 the renegade Dora Milaje Nakia (a.k.a. Malice) had her contacts smuggle Man-Ape in-country without being detected. Nakia sent M‘Baku to kill Chanté Brown as she was flown to Wakanda after having been made a Dora Milaje.

The furry mercenary Jabari was successful – sneaking into the aircraft carrying Brown, hijacking it, gunning down the escort fighters and taking Brown to the Crystal Forest, a place not covered by royal surveillance.

M‘Baku was planning to tear the American kid to bits to feed the sacred gorillas. However the faithful N’Gamo came running to tell his boss that the brat was the prophesied peacebringer. Taken aback, M‘Baku and other Jabari warriors realised that Brown was actually Ce’athauna daughter of Damola, and made ritual allegiance to her.

Not knowing anything about the strange Africans around her and not speaking the language, Chanté took the hip-hop style name Queen Divine Justice, a loose translation of her full Jabari name which she had trouble pronouncing. She was then taken to the Crystal Forest’s central stronghold, and assigned English-speaking Jabari handmaidens.

The Wakandan superhuman Vibraxas, who was Brown’s lover but did not know that she was Asira Davin, misunderstood the situation. He launched a daring one-man rescue in the Crystal Forest – only to be slapped unconscious within seconds by the annoyed M‘Baku.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) talking to Spider-Man

The arrival of Ce’athauna Asira Davin on tribal land wasd a game-changer. Now wanting to prepare for her reign, M’Baku negotiated a permanent truce with T‘Challa and secured authorisations making it legal for Jabari tribespersons to live in the Crystal Forest.

However, T‘Challa then revealed that ChantéBrown was a Dora Milaje, and demanded obedience as the tribes were now tied through Brown’s symbolic marriage to the King.

Angered, M‘Baku accused T‘Challa of having been behind the murder of Chief Damola and his wife. The protocol allowed the priest to defend his accusations, and M‘Baku chose trial by combat.

However, 2 things went awry. The young Jabari-American Queen forbade M‘baku from killing the King even in a duel, and the Black Panther declared that his champion would be Peter Henry Gyrich of the US State Department.

Knowing that he was grossly physically outmatched, Gyrich instead used his legal and bureaucratic skills to point out that a duel wasn’t an allowable form of petition under these specific circumstances. He supported his case by citing Wakandan oral traditions, international diplomatic treaties and US law.

Things seemed headed toward negotiation, but the goal of the Panther was just to stall for time and he eventually agreed to meet Man-Ape in combat.

It was now M‘Baku’s turn to produce an ace from his sleeve. As the 2 men fought, M‘Baku revealed that he held the body of the real T‘Challa, which had been found in suspended animation in the Crystal Forest.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) vs. Black Panther and Queen Divine Justice

What happened during the next few hours is unrevealed. The T‘Challa in suspended animation was revealed to T’Challa’s future self dying from an aneurysm. M‘Baku ended up in a Wakandan prison.

It is possible that the Panther fought and defeated him, but since he never managed that before it may not be a good assumption to make. Perhaps Queen Divine Justice ordered M‘Baku to surrender to stop the brutal duel.

In any case, Brown and Vibraxas soon raided the Wakandan penitentiary holding Man-Ape and freed him. Brown considered that M‘Baku had committed no crime and didn’t want to hear about political prisoners. She had M‘Baku make a series of promises, including an oath not to harm the Black Panther.

However, the Man-Ape respected the letter but not the spirit of his oath. He soon confronted the Black Panther and destroyed T‘Challa’s suspended future self, condemning the king to die at some unknown point in the future.

War and reconciliation

As a result, a new war briefly erupted between the Jabari and the rest of Wakanda. The armies had been facing each other when T‘Challa attacked. A recent wound (which would eventually result in the aneurysm evidenced by his future self) had him hallucinating and he though that Queen Divine Justice was his foe Magneto.

The wounded Asira Davin beseeched him to stop, and the shamed T‘Challa accepted her petition to let her people go free.

The Queen and Vibraxas soon eloped, leaving M‘Baku to handle the regency. Many more Jabari tribals came back to the snow-covered Crystal Forest to resume their way of life. M‘Baku keept things as he liked them – traditional, austere and low-tech.

M‘Baku made an appearance during the marriage of King T‘Challa with Ororo Munroe, in 2006.

He mistakenly thought that he had not been invited, and was angry that the King was marrying a non-Jabari (and a non-Wakandan, for that matter). He had come for a super-villainous rampage, but officials cleared the matter by determining he was on the guests list after all.

M‘Baku, being presumably unaccustomed to strong liquor, got drunk on scotch whiskey during the ceremony. He ended up brawling with Spider-Man after the American made an ill-considered remark about gorillas not being considered cool anymore.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) during a war in Wakanda

M‘Baku later had one of those Heroes for Hire vol. 2 appearances that… doesn’t make sense on numerous levels and is best left ignored.

In 2009, Man-Ape was reportedly killed by Morlun the Totem-Slayer during the latter’s assault on Wakanda. The Jabari diplomat who claimed this made other misleading comments, though, so this was assumed to be a ruse by the highly authoritative and much-celebrated writeups.org researchers. This stunningly insightful take was inevitably proved vibrantly right 3 years later. Toldja.

In 2012, M’Baku was again working as a mercenary. He was hired by Misty Knight as part of a strange crew – Crossfire (William Cross), Speed Demon (James Sanders) and the female Silt-Man (formerly Lady Stilt-Man). Upon learning that Knight was his employer, M’Baku switched sides to work for her enemy the Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave).

However, he and his colleagues then discovered that it was a revenge scheme by the Puppet Master (Phillip Masters). They then realized that a *third* mind-controller called Headhunter was involved. Mentally battered by all the mental influence powers flying around and feeling used, the Man-Ape and most of his colleagues chose to disengage and fled.


Description

As with other very large comic book characters his size varies. Sometimes he’s just a big guy, sometimes he’s a giant who can hold the entire torso of Queen Divine Justice (a petite 16-year old) in his fist.

M‘Baku sometimes poses like a gorilla (i.e., semi-crouched with much of his weight resting on his knuckles), but this seems to be a ritual stance used in ceremonies in his role as the high priest of the Gorilla God.

During the 1980s, he started shaving his head. During the 2000s, he started wearing some kind of metal gloves on his hands and his feet, the later making him look more ape-like. In DC Heroes terms it’s entirely possible those ’shoes’ give him the Prehensile Feet Advantage (through cybernetics), but the Man-Ape’s dislike for technology make that somewhat improbable.


Personality

M‘Baku is an important player in Wakanda, and tends to behave in a regal manner. When fighting he’s very intense and aggressive, and makes bombastic, elaborate threats in combat, pressing the attack verbally as well as physically.

M‘Baku borders on overconfidence, even beyond what one would expect from a guy who’s 355 lbs. of solid muscle and can bench-press trucks.

One of his main character traits is traditionalism. He just wants things to continue as has been the way of his people for centuries. This conservatism leads him to underestimate some factors, such as the role women can play or the power of technology.

He’s very proud of being Jabari. His ability to tolerate insults about his people (or even African skin tones in general) is mediocre at best, no matter how hard he tries to be pragmatic and diplomatic.

During his mercenary days, the Man-Ape learned to put a sock on his pride and accept orders, but even then he kept his peculiar sense of honour. Though he routinely uses treachery and ruses to win the day, he considers receiving help from others to be a dishonour and will become angry if another intervenes in ’his’ fight.

He tolerates this behaviour from the occasionally overeager N’Gamo, but he may very well become violent against anybody else shaming him in this way.

Likewise, he keeps his word to the letter, but will not hesitate to game the wording of such oaths. He seems to be more concerned with the letter than with the spirit of traditions, but he would never stray from said letter. M‘Baku is a devious legalist.

Man-Ape (M'Baku) addresses White Gorilla priestesses and warriors

As part of his traditionalist views, M‘Baku is a racist. He does not consider African-Americans (and presumably other descendants of deported slaves, such as darker-skinned Brazilians) to be ’real‘ Black people, but mongrels. Likewise he does not consider city dwellers to be a ’real‘ Africans.

Generally, anybody who doesn’t live in M‘Baku idealised image of XIXth century Eastern-Central African tribal lifestyles is not ’pure‘. When M‘Baku holds the reins of power, things take a sharp turn toward the low-tech, the patriarchal and the pastoral.

Though Queen Divine Justice, being a young American, has plenty of values and attitudes that M‘Baku considers debased and corrupt, he’s not very good at hiding how much he likes her. Despite his villainy, M‘Baku protects and nurtures Asira Davin as if she were his own daughter — and this is on top of her being Queen of everything he cherishes.

M‘Baku follows Jabari protocol to the letter, of course, and always drop to his knees and prostrates when addressing his Queen.

Curiously, when he achieved many of his goals — becoming ruler of a practically independent Jabari tribe and living according to the old ways — he seemed almost bored and bitter. It’s almost as if he missed his more cosmopolitan and chaotic days and his clashes with T‘Challa.


Quotes

“M‘Baku shall never answer to the like of you, American.”

“Such golden words may serve you well in the outer world, puny one ! But in the jungle, they only waste precious moments — during which I can turn this uprooted tree into a deadly missile !”

Captain America: “Huh ? What does it take to make you go down ?”
M‘Baku: “More force than you can muster, little man ! For, as the tsetse fly is to the thick-hided elephant… so are you to the Man-Ape !” (SWAT !) “Again you drop to your knees, masked one ! And this time, you shall never rise again !”

Man-Ape (M'Baku) throws the Black Panther away

“You may demand answers of M‘Baku, fool… when the slinking Panther possesses the strength of the sacred White Gorilla !”

Queen Divine Justice: “So, you only want ’pure‘ Africans — that it ?”
Man-Ape: “Pure Wakandans, unsullied by bankrupt Western culture… or the evils of technology.”

“Yield, dog-king ! You have NEVER defeated M‘Baku before ! Yield and live !”

“How generous of the dog-king to offer we wretched Jabari a ’choice‘ — between death and extinction ! You who preach tolerance and acceptance in all things political practice religious bigotry — denying us who worship the one, true god — the White Gorilla God !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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M‘Baku

Dex: 10 Str: 10 Bod: 08 Motivation: Power
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Political dissident
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 026 HP: 060

Powers:
Growth: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is Always On and Already Factored In (-1)

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Martial artist*: 10, Thief (Security systems, Stealth): 05, Vehicles (Land, air): 04, Weaponry (Traditional Jabari weapons, thrown stuff)*: 08, Weaponry (Heavy): 04

Advantages:
Confidant (N’Gamo of the Gorilla God cult), Credentials (Jabari tribe, High), Language (Wakandan, Hausa, and a Jabari tribal language or dialect if one still exists), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Manic Pace)

Connections:
Gorilla God cult (High), Mercenary scene (Low)

Drawbacks:
Power Loss (see below), Partial Attack vulnerability (all attacks other than blunt weapons, short claws and unarmed blows, -1CS RV), MPR (easily intoxicated by alcohol despite his mass and strength), Authority figure (Jabari tribe), Creepy Appearance (great size and enormous physique, memorable costume), MIA toward under-estimating non-Jabari people and equipment, Dependent (Ce’athauna Asira Davin), SIA toward Obeying tribal rules and the authority of the Jabari Queen. For years he has the Exile Drawback.


Gorilla Warfare – M’Baku’ Power Loss Drawback

If somebody takes a Dice Action against one of M‘Baku’s opponents, Man-Ape suffers a 02 APs Power Loss to his DEX for the remainder of the fight.

This effect is less pronounced when it’s Man-Ape’s Confidant who intervenes. If N’Gamo takes a Dice Action against an opponent of Man-Ape, M‘Baku only suffers from his Power Loss for the current Phase and the next.

If M‘Baku is part of a large group (9 or more persons), his Power Loss Vulnerability worsens. He loses 2 APs of DEX plus his entire Martial Artist Skill as long as he’s affiliated with the group. Furthermore, all of his HPs expenditure are penalised by one Genre.

Such penalties make M‘Baku uncharacteristically reluctant to spend his HPs, as he feels it would be a waste.


It’s good to be the king

M‘Baku later became regent of the Jabari Wakandan tribals. His occupation shifts to Ruler, he acquires Low Credentials with the Wakandan state, his Wealth shoots up to 009, he acquires a military Rank (the equivalent of a Commander, from what we can see from the Jabari’s military size and strength) and he loses the Exile Drawback.

His Jabari Credentials also become far more meaningful, as they were more symbolic than anything while the tribals were disenfranchised.


Linguistic note

I’m not very clear as to the Wakandan lingua franca. It seems to be a dialect of Hausa, in which case considering it to be Hausa would be simpler for game purposes. So for now I’ve stuck to the convention we used for Black Panther.

Maybe ’Wakandan’ is the tribal language of T‘Challa’s people, and Hausa is used throughout Wakanda as a trade language between tribes ?

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe – chiefly Avengers and Black Panther comics

Helper(s): Paul Ewande, Adam Fuqua, Darci

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