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Man-Ape has been cast for Black Panther

Winston Duke (Person of Interest, The Messengers) has been added to Marvel‘s Black Panther movie. Duke will be playing M’Baku, aka Man-Ape!

In the comics, M’Baku was born in Wakanda, in Africa. He became one of Wakanda’s greatest warriors, second only to the Black Panther. Jealous, he plotted to usurp the throne of Wakanda with the help of the outlawed rival White Gorilla Cult and return Wakanda to a primitive state.

M’Baku became a renegade and gains his powers by bathing in white gorilla blood and eating white gorilla flesh, taking the alias of Man-Ape. He fought with the Black Panther and was believed to be dead when the Panther Totem that the Black Panther was bound to crumbled on him. N’Gamo revives him and Man-Ape goes to America where the Black Panther is with the Avengers at the time.

He allies himself with the original Lethal Legion made up of Grim Reaper, Living Laser, Power Man, and Swordsman. He is the first member met by the Avengers. He attacks Captain America, but is beaten back by the rest of the Avengers. He then captures the Black Panther’s girlfriend Monica Lynne, binding her hand and foot with metal clamps. Black Panther is lured into a trap and knocked out by an exploding dummy of Monica. He is chained up and meets the other members. The Legion straps him and Monica to chairs before leaving, though he is able to escape and contact the other members, before the Grim Reaper defeats him. The Legion is defeated by the Avengers after Vision overcomes Power Man and frees the other members. Man-Ape bests Black Panther again until he is defeated by Captain America. Black Panther banishes Man-Ape from Wakanda on order of execution if he returns.

Man-Ape later joins a new Lethal Legion (consisting of the Grim Reaper, Black Talon, Goliath (Erik Josten’s latest alias), Nekra, and Ultron-12) and battles Tigra. He then abandons the Grim Reaper alongside Black Talon.

Later, Man-Ape travels to uninhabited parts of the world before joining Crimson Cowl’s incarnation of the Masters of Evil which is defeated by the Thunderbolts.

Despite his rivalry with T’Challa, M’Baku was invited to the wedding of T’Challa and Ororo Munroe (Storm of the X-Men), where he gets drunk on scotch and tries to pick a fight with Spider-Man!

Man-Ape is next seen at the end of Heroes for Hire #6, teamed with Grim Reaper & Saboteur.

Man-Ape is killed by Morlun: Devourer of Totems while defending his people from Morlun’s attack on the Man-Ape’s kingdom. But before his apparent death, he sends an envoy to Wakanda to warn them of the approaching danger. Although Man-Ape later appears alive when he was seen as a member of Purple Man’s Villains for Hire.

Black Panther is set for a February 16th 2018 release.

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