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Avengers #62: Review

Jan 1969
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

The monarch and the Man-Ape

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #62 Review by (July 29, 2022)
W'Kabi will be a staple ingredient of Wakandan society starting with Black Panther's solo series in Jungle Action.

M'Baku's rise to power will be retconned in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes vol 2. The Man-Ape will be a continuing villain next seen in #78-79 as part of Grim Reaper's Lethal Legion.

But N'Gamo will only make 2 further apps 1st in that #78 and then years later in BP (1998) #33.

Black Knight will presumably fly his own airplane (mentioned last issue) home, and we'll see him again in #70-71. But next issue we'll see Black Panther flying the Avengers home in yet another Wakandan airship (their quinjet fatally crashed last issue).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #62 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue the remaining 3 Avengers (Black Panther, Hawkeye and Vision) with their ally Black Knight helped Dr Strange end the Spell Of Ice And Fire and send Surtur and Ymir back to their Asgardian homes.

Now Stephen Strange has gone and the quartet are left in the snowy legacy of Ymir near Wakanda. But T'Challa summons his personal aircraft to fly here on autopilot and take them to his home. They fly over a jungle scene until a large hatch opens in the ground which allows them to fly into a giant technological wonderland. The other 3 leave the ship while Panther dallies to power the craft down, but they are immediately trapped by descending plexi-glass tube. Vizh goes diamond hard which enables him to smash his way out, and also to repel a hail of bullets from native gunmen.

BP exits his ship and immediately calls for a ceasefire. He asks the leader W'Kabi why he attacked visitors and is told that these are the standing orders of their stand-in chief M'Baku. T'Challa goes to confront his replacement and his aide N'Gamo. M'Baku claims to have been ruling in Panther's absence by dint of his status as mightiest warrior, but now he'll gladly hand the Staff Of Supremacy back. But of course he and N'Gamo secretly plot otherwise. During the feast that follows M'Baku claims that he ordered the security measures because he had reports of Klaw being at large. T'Challa assures him that Klaw is safely in jail (after #54-55). Then M'Baku gives the Avengers drugged wine (which somehow even affects Vision).

Black Panther awakens to face M'Baku alone who is dressed in the skin of a white gorilla, the forbidden regalia of the White Gorilla Cult. M'Baku now calls himself the Man-Ape. He points to the huge royal panther statue and then to a new white gorilla statue which he says will replace it. The usurper now attacks the rightful chieftain, displaying incredible strength and defeating him. It seems that the Wakandans believe T'Challa abandoned them for their traditional white-skinned enemies, and that he has now become weak. And M'Baku challenges him to single combat. (Which doesn't stop N'Gamo trying to stab BP in the back with a spear.)

The fight resumes but Panther makes a strategic retreat to the control centre of the technological jungle. Man-Ape says he wants to take the Wakandans back from this technology to the simpler primitive past (which he will be able to rule more easily). He reveals that he has exceeded the power which the sacred herbs grant to Black Panther by consuming the flesh and blood of the fabled white gorilla. But BP uses the darkness in this chamber to (apparently) stealthily defeat his lumbering foe. But this was a ruse until M'Baku could switch the lights on to negate that advantage for Panther. The contest continues with Man-Ape throwing huge chunks of machinery around. Panther falls through a trapdoor into a chamber containing an atomic reactor (depicted as generating flames). He avoids that doom but Man-Ape follows him and almost falls into the furnace himself. Noble T'Challa saves him but of course M'Baku just uses the opportunity to shock him unconscious with electricity cables.

When the Avenger awakens next he's strapped down beneath the panther statue which Man-Ape is going to use his strength to topple onto him, symbolically crushing him to death. It tilts but it won't fall so he strains harder. Until the statue breaks up and falls on *him*, apparently awarding him the fate he meant for T'Challa.

Meanwhile Panther's 3 companions have woken up too, and Vision has broken them out of their cell. They arrive too late to affect the fight but free BP from his shackles.

John Buscema
George Klein
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
George Klein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Panther
Black Panther


(Clint Barton)

Plus: Man-Ape, W'Kabi.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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