Black Panther introduced M’Baku (Winston Duke) as leader of the mountain Jabari Tribe, who live in the snowy mountains above Wakanda and base their iconography around that of the powerful ape.
In the Marvel comics, M’Baku served as a more traditional comic book antagonist: he wore a white ape costume and called himself “Man-Ape.”
M’Baku was rightfully toned down for his live-action adaptation, but still managed to retain some of his comic book flourishes (including a ceremonial ape mask meant to pay tribute to his comic book roots).
A scene-stealing Winston Duke proves to be a fan-favorite in Black Panther, even becoming an uneasy ally to T’Challa — a relationship that looks to be continued in Avengers: Infinity War, which sees M’Baku stand shoulder-to-shoulder with T’Challa and his people in defense of Wakanda.
M’Baku helped save T’Challa’s life in Black Panther because his life was spared by the king following ritualistic combat; and by rescuing a near-dead T’Challa after his defeat at the hands of Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens, M’Baku considered his debt repaid.
Still, helping protect Wakanda in Infinity War doesn’t mean they’re best buddies — the Jabari leader could even prove to be T’Challa’s Loki, sometimes serving as T’Challa’s ally and other times as his foe.
Either way: more M’Baku in the sequel, please.