Skip to main content

Black Panther‘s M’Baku Is Our Man Crush Monday—All Hail The Great Gorilla

The Thirst is Real

m'baku winston duke

For those who finally got to see Black Panther this weekend, which according to the box office looks like everybody and their momma, they universally walked out with two surprise faves: Shuri and M’Baku.

While I came into this movie excited about every inch of it, M’Baku a.k.a Man-Ape in the comics has had a very messy and problematic history being written as the scary, angry, dark-skinned black man who wants Wakanda to be a primitive society that includes human sacrifice, because…this character was created by white authors in the late 1960s, and this was their idea of nuance.

However through the careful writing of Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, as well as the charismatic performance by Winston Duke, the film managed to make what could have been a messy character an undisputed fan favorite.

Or as fellow Mary Sue writer Marykate put it “Also M’Baku is based on like THE MOST PROBLEMATIC comics character, but because Coogler fucking trusted the actor and the screenwriter he became this amazing fan favorite. FUCK YOU, IRON FIST AND DOCTOR STRANGE. I don’t wanna hear shit about making the Asian martial arts characters white cuz otherwise it’d be problematic.”

Take note, when you want to adopt a product with problematic race issues, maybe involve people from that race/ethnicity to help handle it instead of making a million and one excuses as to why we should be happy that Tilda Swinton is playing a character who is Tibetan.

And we are so thankful for that, because M’Baku was everything and Winston Duke cannot be praised enough. Yes, he is obviously super-attractive, but looks do not make a role work on their own. The ability to go from intimidating to making an entire theater burst into laughter is a skill.

In addition to everything else, Black Panther managed to turn the dark-skinned angry black man from dated stereotype to human being that everyone loved. Happy Black History Month.

Also M’Baku will be returning in Infinity Wars! Ready for that Thor/M’Baku bonding today.


Who was your MCM from Black Panther? I mean there are so many to choose from. Our WCW is gonna be hard.

winking oyoke

(image: Marvel/Disney)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.