The Complicated Task of Rebranding BLACK PANTHER'S Primary Foe

The Black Panther movie coming had presented a rather interesting challenge to bringing one of Panther's big named foes to life.

In the upcoming film, when T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) faces off with Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and M'Baku (Winston Duke), Marvel had to slightly redesign M'Baku.

M'Baku, in the comics, is Man-Ape, who is always trying to overthrow T'Challa's reign. But he was a member of the White Gorilla Cult in the comics but Marvel was worried that dressing up a black actor in a white gorilla suit could upset some folks.

They did NOT want to be seen comparing black people to apes.

To quote Marvel...

We don’t call him Man-Ape. We do call him M’Baku.

Having a black character dress up as an ape, I think there’s a lot of racial implications that don’t sit well, if done wrong. But the idea that they worship the gorilla gods is interesting because it’s a movie about the Black Panther who, himself, is a sort of deity in his own right.

So Marvel has reimagined the Gorilla Cult as a religious minority within the realm of Wakanda. In this rendition, M'Baku will have a suit of armor with gorilla-inspired accents. When it's all done, he will be nothing but a human with another cool suit.


To be honest, Marvel has done a wonderful job reimagining many of their characters into different versions of their comic sources. Many of their characters who wore 'leotard' like costumes have been mostly reimagined into some form of armor or other kinds of suits. When I first saw Black Panther, they armored him up, but it would seem that he's mostly human powered with a great protective suit. With a little bit of power in it. I liked it.

I like how they're toning down some of the characters for the films.

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