Black Panther has been a favorite among comic fans, especially fans of color, for a long time. However, his popularity reached new heights when the King of Wakanda appeared on the big screen in 2018. Black Panther (2018) film became an instant hit worldwide, breaking box office records. Despite T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, being the main protagonist, other characters equally shine in the movie. In the Black Panther movie, one such character is M’Baku, played by Winston Duke.
The main reason for this film’s popularity is the Black cultural representation in an impactful manner. The movie has the majority of the Black cast with a Black director. It is a well-crafted movie. Moreover, it is not only culturally significant but also boasts strong performances, a deep story, great action, and fun characters.
M’Baku in the Black Panther Movie
M’Baku has emerged as a fan favorite due to his humor, strength, and love for traditions. Originally, a villain in comic books, the character changes for the modern times made him a popular character among MCU fans. M’Baku is a character that steals every scene that he is in. With his jokes in serious situations, his dedication to tradition helps save Wakanda, and his preference for honor over ambition is what makes him a favorite.
A brief history of M’Baku In The Black Panther
M’Baku is a prominent anti-hero in the movie. He is the mighty warrior and leader of the Jabari tribe. It is a tribe consisting of Wakandans who have removed themselves from the mainstream technologically advanced Wakanda. They have returned to living their lives in old traditional ways.
M’Baku is against the use of vibranium, and the lifestyle of Jabaris revolves around the sacred Jabari wood. Jabari Tribe criticizes T’Challa’s Wakanda, which has adopted modern ways and disapproves of the Black Panther mantle. Moreover, he is disgusted with the technological advancements of Wakanda that are growing under the leadership of a teenager Shuri who is T’Challa’s sister. He considers this as a disrespect to the Wakandan traditions.
Disappointed at the leadership of Wakanda, Baku decides to become the new King of Wakanda. He wants to bring Wakanda back to its isolated tribal days without the use of vibranium. Therefore, during the coronation ceremony of T’Challa, M’Baku declared himself the challenger of the throne. T’Challa accepted the challenge resulting in a duel.
Duel for the Throne
Since M’Baku is one of the greatest naturally skilled warriors in Wakanda, with his superhuman strength and agility, he quickly tackles T’Challa in a bear hug. Without his super-strength, the fight soon becomes difficult for T’Challa. M’Baku insults T’Challa for being a boy who cannot defend himself without his mantle. However, with Wakandans hearing his name, T’Challa gathers the strength and fights back. He pins down the Jabari leader and tells him to yield. M’Baku, in his arrogance and ego, refuses. Though when T’Challa argues that the Jabari tribe needs their leader, M’Baku yields. And with the fair duel, M’Baku accepts T’Challa as the king and heads back to their land in the mountains.
Killmonger sits on the throne, killing T’Challa in a fight. However, the fisherman of the Jabari tribe finds T’Challa, who is alive. M’Baku saves his life by covering him with snow to stabilize his failing vital signs. It was his repayment for sparing his life despite pinning M’Baku down in the duel. However, they could not fully recover him due to the lack of advanced facilities that the mainstream Wakanda had. Eventually, T’Challa was revived when his family fed him the heart-shaped herb.
After recovering, T’Challa thanks M’Baku and ask for his support to help fight Eric Killmonger. However, M’Baku initially refuses to keep his people safe. T’Challa tries to convince him by saying that with all the resources of vibranium in his hand, no one will be safe with Killmonger on the throne. However, at T’Challa’s request, M’Baku agrees to give refuge to his mother Ramonda on his land while T’Challa goes to fight the usurper.
Battle of Mount Bashenga
After T’Challa leaves, M’Baku realizes that T’Challa is right. And it is necessary to keep vibranium out of Killmonger’s reach for the safety of the land. In the battleground, when the Dora Milaje fighting for T’Challa were about to defeat by Border Tribe, the Jabari tribe came to help. With M’Baku leading the tribe fighting the Border Tribe, Dora Miljai gets another chance. Eventually, Killmonger gets killed. And T’Challa becomes the king again.
From Enemies to Allies
Initially, M’Baku refused to surrender to the rule of the Black Panther. However, as the movie progresses, his opposition changes him into an ally of Black Panther for protecting the kingdom against Killmonger. When T’Challa thanked him for his help, M’Baku replied, “Of course, Brother.” It shows that they are brothers in protecting their region despite the differences.
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