M'Baku was born in Wakanda, in Africa. He became one of Wakanda's greatest warriors, second only to the Black Panther. 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. He is revived by his aide N'Gamo and 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. The 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 was first revealed to be in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 in E3 2017 Day 1 gameplay footage where he was seen on the character grid.