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N'Kantu (Earth-616)

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Quote1 A woman's voice -- crying for help. Perhaps this will be an opportunity to make an aquaintance with a native of this awesome land -- one who will provide me with the answers I seek. Quote2
-- The Living Mummy src

Early Life

The story of the Living Mummy begins some three thousand years ago in ancient Egypt. During the reign of Pharaoh Aram-Set, Egypt enslaved hundreds of Africans belonging to the Swarili tribe. Among them, was the Swarili chieftain, N'Kantu.

N'Kantu was the son of the warrior chief, T'Chombi. By the age of twenty-one, N'Kantu endured a rite of passage known as the Test of the Lion. By single-handedly slaying a lion, he proved his mettle to the Swarili, and was considered a warrior. Upon T'Chombi's passing, N'Kantu succeeded him as chieftain.

Many months later, the armies of Aram-Set raided the Swarili villages, capturing hundreds of natives and pressing them into bondage. Being the strongest and heartiest among the Swarili, N'Kantu's lot was the hardest. He was kept in chains and forced to endure great hardship and labor. Aram-Set tried his hardest to break N'Kantu's spirit, but the chieftain's strength and resolve, established him as a veritable Moses to his people.
N'Kantu (Earth-616)


During this time, he ran afoul of the necromancer Rakses. Little is known of what transpired between the two, but they became bitter enemies, and Rakses would remember his old foe for centuries to come. [1]

By night, N’Kantu would gather his tribe together, and raise them from their pain and despair with words of hope, and the promise of escape. Before long, he was ready to shake off the shackles of slavery forever. He led a bloody revolt against the armies of Aram-Set, personally slaying the Pharaoh with a thrust from his spear.

He entered the temple of Aram-Set where he confronted Nephrus, the royal wizard. Nephrus was prepared for N'Kantu's treachery and splashed him with a chemical agent that caused immediate paralysis of N'Kantu's limbs. He brought him down to a private dungeon laboratory where he bound him with linen, and injected him with a special fluid. This fluid granted N’Kantu immortality, but at the price of his mobility. Nephrus sealed him inside of a sarcophagus, promising that he would suffer as a Living Mummy for all eternity.

Moments after entombing N'Kantu, a great earthquake struck and devastated the temple, killing Nephrus and burying N'Kantu for centuries. Trapped and unable to move, N’Kantu gradually went insane as the centuries slowly passed.

20th Century

Several years ago, the fluid that kept the Mummy immobile began to wear off, and the crazed N'Kantu clawed his way to freedom. He began terrorizing the streets of Cairo until he came upon the home of archaeology professor, Doctor Alexi Skarab. There was something about Skarab that seemed familiar to N'Kantu, but it would be some time later, that he would discover that Skarab was actually the descendant of the wizard, Nephrus.[2] Horrified, Skarab opened fire on the Living Mummy, but this only served to enrage N'Kantu, and he raced back out into the streets and went on a rampage.

The police tracked him down and opened fire on him, but bullets were barely enough to even slow the Mummy down. He fought back by tearing down a telephone pole, but the resulting backlash of electricity ravaged his body, seemingly killing him. Dr. Skarab took responsibility for the Mummy's remains and sold them to Dr. Carroll Harter, the curator of a museum in New York City.

At the museum, the Living Mummy revived once again, and broke free of the packing crate that he had been shipped in. He left the museum and began wandering the streets of Manhattan.

He was transported away by the Elementals who sent him to Egypt to recover the Ruby Scarab for them, which brought him into conflic with the thieves Asp and Olddan, who had stolen the Gem, as well as Alexi Skarab once more, who had bought it from them. He broke from their control and then assisted Dr. Skarab and Zephyr in banishing the Elementals who had taken the city of Cairo hostage under a force field[3]

During later travels N'Kantu befriended Ulysses Bloodstone.[4]

The Mummy later joined Shock Troop (Earth-616) where they helped Quasar against Quagmire[5] and then joined Nick Fury's Howling Commandos.[6]

Civil War & Serving Anubis

During the Civil War, the Living Mummy was incarcerated after failing to register in compliance with the Superhuman Registration Act. Little is known about the Mummy's activities during this time, but it is known that he is no longer imprisoned.[7]

The Living Mummy has since been approached by the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld, Anubis. Knowing that N'Kantu sought an end to his existence, Anubis agreed to give him a peaceful death, but only after a period of personal servitude. Anubis required the power that comes from human souls to maintain his strength, and assigned N'Kantu the task of bringing him these souls, even if doing so meant committing acts of murder. The Living Mummy agreed to serve Anubis, but vowed that he would only take the souls of evil beings.[8]

Sometime later, N'Kantu joined the Legion of Monsters.[9]

All-New Howling Commandos

The Mummy was later recruited by Phil Coulson to join his incarnation of the Howling Commandos in order to combat Dormammu's Mindless Plague.[10]


The alchemical formula that Nephrus subjected him to has granted N'Kantu various superhuman attributes.

Superhuman Strength: Despite millennia of inactivity and decay, the formula has fortified N'Kantu's musculature and skeletal structures, granting him superhuman strength. At his peak, N'Kantu possesses sufficient strength to lift approximately 4.5 tons.

Superhuman Stamina: N'Kantu's advanced musculature is more efficient than that of a normal human, producing less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of the finest human athlete. At his peak, he can exert himself physically for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.

Superhuman Durability: The tissues of N'Kantu's body have been reinforced by the alchemical formula, making them much harder and more resistant to conventional physical harm than the bodily tissues of normal humans. He has been shown to withstand powerful impact forces, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and small calibre bullets without being injured. While he was once vulnerable to fire and extreme temperatures, his exposure to the Orb of Ra seems to have removed this particular vulnerability by making him much more resistant to fire and heat based assaults.

Immortality: While not immortal in the strictest, most conventional use of the term, immortality does apply to N'Kantu. While it is possible for him to be killed through physical means, he is immune to the effects of further ageing and decomposition. He is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections.

Self-Sustenance: The alchemical formula has negated N'Kantu's need for food, water, or air. He can withstand the rigours of a vacuum environment, such as being buried underground or under the water.[11] Presumably, he could also survive in outer space for an indefinite period of time.

Soul Collection: After being charged by Anubis, N'Kantu has apparently gained the ability to draw souls from sentient beings. The exact nature of this ability isn't known. For instance, it isn't known if he can take just any soul or if specific circumstances are required. Since Anubis has charged N'Kantu with killing human beings if necessary, it is possible that he is able to collect a person's soul of he has taken his or her physical life.


N'Kantu is a trained and skilled Swarili warrior and has gained further experience in various combat situations battling superhuman opponents.


While his physical strength, stamina and durability are superhumanly enhanced, N'Kantu's natural speed, agility, and reflexes are currently below normal human levels. This is due, in large part, to so many millennia of inactivity and decay. While he is able to understand the English language, N'Kantu himself can only speak with tremendous difficulty due to the severe dryness of his throat after so much time.


  • Orb of Ra: Following an adventure with Elsa Bloodstone, the Living Mummy became the guardian of the Orb of Ra, a mystical artifact that can resurrect the dead. The Orb appears to have caused slight alterations to N'Kantu's physical structure, including bolstering his stamina and greatly increasing his resistance to fire. [12]


  • The Living Mummy was one of the characters featured in the series of Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
    Living Mummy Marvel Value Stamp

    Marvel Value Stamp #14

Discover and Discuss


  1. The nature and chronological placement of N'Kantu's encounter with Rakses is subject to speculation. Bloodstone #3 establishes that Rakses recognized N'Kantu from a time prior to becoming the Living Mummy, but no other information is provided.
  2. In Supernatural Thrillers #14, Dann appears to Skarab in a vision and claims that both he and Nephrus we Skarab's ancestors. It is unknown whether his is true, however.
  3. Supernatural Thrillers #9-15
  4. Bloodstone #2-3
  5. Quasar #46
  6. Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #1
  7. Civil War #6
  8. Legion of Monsters: Satana #1
  9. Deadpool Team-Up #894
  10. S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #6
  11. Legion of Monsters: Satana
  12. Bloodstone #3
  13. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 6

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