M'Baku, one of the greatest warriors of Wakanda, is a fictional character from Marvel Comics. He was born and raised by the Jabari Tribe. He is believed to be the second greatest warrior behind T'Challa, the Black Panther himself.
Being a member of the Jabari Tribe, M'Baku has always stayed away from the mainstream society of Wakanda. But that hasn't stopped him from setting his sight on the throne.
When the Black Panther was away from Wakanda to help the Avengers. And during his absence, M'Baku, who had his eyes set on the throne of Wakanda, started plotting to take over.
Wakanda has a tradition, it is ruled by its greatest warrior, the Black Panther. But Panther cult is not the only cult present in Wakanda.
White-Gorilla cult is there as well, but the Panther cult has been the dominant force since the beginning of the Wakandan civilization.
Is M'Baku the Man-Ape?
Going against T'Challa's order, M'Baku revived the White-Gorilla cult. After killing one of the rare white gorillas, he bathed in its blood and ate the flesh. This allowed him to be blessed with great strength.
When the Black Panther returned to Wakanda from New York, M'Baku calling himself a Man-Ape, issued a challenge against him. M'Baku was against the evolution of technology in Wakanda and wanted things to return to their old ways.
After a fierce battle, M'Baku took T'Challa to a giant statue of a Panther and tried to bury him. But the statue collapsed, which resulted in M'Baku getting buried instead.
What is Lethal Legion?
Lethal Legion was a team created to defeat the Avengers by the Grim Reaper. The Black Panther thought that Man-Ape got buried during their fight. Thinking that M'Baku won't return, T'Challa returned to New York.
However, the chief supporter of M'Baku revived him. Later, M'Baku followed the Black Panther to New York. There he created an alliance with the Grim Reaper and his Lethal Legion.
M'Baku in Marvel Cinematic Universe
M'Baku has a similar story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as well. Being the leader of the Jabari Tribe, he does have an eye on the throne. But ends up helping the Black Panther to defend Wakanda from Erik Killmonger.
M'Baku realizes the threat Killmonger possesses to Wakanda. And because of this, he decides to stand beside the Black Panther in the final fight. His decision to help the Black Panther blesses him with a position in the Tribal Council.
Is M'Baku a Villian?
It would be fair to say that M'Baku is an anti-villain. His heroics got displayed when Thanos's army arrived in Wakanda.
During the Infinity War, M'Baku aided other tribes to defend Wakanda. He succeeded in killing the army. But when Thanos himself arrived in Wakanda, he could not stop Thanos from securing the Mind Stone from Vision.
Many characters disappeared after the snap. Even the Black Panther vanished, but M'Baku was one of the survivors. Later, he got selected by the Master of Mystic Arts to help the Avengers and get involved in the Battle of Earth.
Appearance in MCU
M'Baku is not just an ordinary character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He portrays a big role in the storyline and no doubt, he will make a huge impact in the future as well.
As of now, M'Baku has appeared in three Marvel movies. He first appeared in the Black Panther, then followed by Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. With the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, he will be making his fourth appearance.
Challenge for the Throne
During the coronation, Zuri allowed any warrior to challenge T'Challa for the throne. During that moment, M’Baku stepped up and declared himself a challenger.
Throughout the fight, M’Baku had the upper hand, but the situation started to shift when Wakandans started chanting T’Challa’s name.
When T’Challa pinned him, T’Challa spared his life and asked to yield. M’Baku kept struggling, but when T’Challa told him that the Jabari Tribe needed him. He yielded and then went back to the Jabari Land.
Saving T'Challa's Life
Everyone thought Erik Killmonger killed T’Challa, but the fishermen of Jabari Tribe found him. They brought him back to the Jabari Land, and to stabilize his falling vital signs, they covered him in snow.
To repay the debt he owed to T'Challa, he wanted to save him. But the tribe had no access to advanced technology. And because of that, the nurse could not bring him back to health.
Did M'Baku become Black Panther?
Erik Killmonger took over the throne of Wakanda beating T'Challa. He took the sacred herbs to gain the powers of Black Panther. Then, he destroyed all the sacred herbs. Ramonda, Shuri, Nakia, and Everett Ross went to M’Baku with a Heart-Shaped Herb.
M'Baku had the opportunity to ingest the herb and become Black Panther himself. Instead, the herb was used to heal T'Challa.
Providing Shelter to Ramonda
After T'Challa recovered, everyone except Ramonda returned to fight Killmonger. M’Baku made sure that Ramonda is safe so he provided shelter for her. To defeat Killmonger, T’Challa even made a request for help from the Jabari Tribe. But M’Baku refused to get involved.
Battle of Mount Bashenga
Dora Milaje and the Border Tribe were having a fierce battle. At one point, Dora Milaje was about to get defeated. But the Jabari Tribe showed up to provide help alongside Ramonda.
M’Baku realized that it would be better to keep Wakandans technology out of Killmonger’s hand. That is why he joined the battle with his army.
During the battle, W’Kabi even tried to run M'Baku over with a rhino, only to be stopped by Okoye. Soon after, W'Kabi ordered the Border Tribe to surrender as he didn’t want to see his own people kill each other.
Fight against Thanos's Army in Wakanda
When Thanos’s army arrived in Wakanda in search of the Mind Stone, M’Baku joined the army under the leadership of T’Challa.
As the Outriders started invading Wakanda, M’Baku along with the rest of Jabari Tribe shouted the traditional battle cry before moving towards the battle. M’Baku fought the Outriders with his best efforts but despite such efforts, they were not able to stop the Snap.
Final Battle against Thanos
Five years after the snap, the Avengers were successful in bringing back everyone who disappeared because of the snap. But in doing so, an alternate Thanos arrived as well. This led to a final battle where everyone arrived.
M’Baku and his tribe along with the Wakandans arrived through a portal led by Okoye, T’Challa, and Shuri. During the battle, he got outnumbered by a few Chitauri but in no time, he was able to gain the upper hand. After the battle was over, M’Baku returned home with his tribe.
- Skillful Combatant
- Weapon Master
- Genius Tactician
- Hardened Jabari Wood Armor
- Ceremonial Gorilla Mask
Who portrays the role of M'Baku in the MCU?
Winston Duke is a Tobagonian actor who portrays the role of M’Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apart from MCU, he has appeared in Us, Nine Days, and Spenser Confidential.
As per various rumors, it has come to the light that Duke might take the mantle from Black Panther. But, it is not sure about the path that Marvel will take in terms of the Black Panther.
The director of the movie has confirmed that there won't be a recast for the role of Black Panther. So there are fair chances of Duke being the next face for the movie. But only time will tell what is going to happen in the movie.