Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutate; presumably a Wakandan

Occupation: Criminal, warrior

Group Membership: Killmonger's Legions

Affiliations: Agent of Erik Killmonger;
    ally of his Legions (Baron Macabre, Death Regiments, Kazibe, Lord Karnaj, Malice, Salamander K'Ruel, Sombre, Tayete, Venomm), Ohyaku

Enemies: Batroc the Leaper (Georges Batroc), Black Panther (T'Challa), Dora Milaje (Natima, Okoye), Essam, Madam Slay, Shocker (Herman Schultz), Taku, Venomm, the Wakandan Royal Guard and government;

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: N'Jadaka Village, Wakanda; also a chamber excavated beneath the Great Vibranium Mound and a nearby graveyard

First Appearance: Jungle Action II#10 (July, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: King Cadaver has the ability to generate great psychic pain, causing delusions and possibly even controlling the minds of others. He does not wear a mask, but rather that is his true face.


(Jungle Action II#12 (fb) - BTS) - The man who would become King Cadaver joined N'Jadaka's insurrection against T'Challa. He accompanied him to the Resurrection Altar, where its energies mutated him into his current form while he screamed in terror and agony.

(Jungle Action II#10) - Working with Baron Macabre, King Cadaver set a trap for T'Challa beneath a graveyard. T'Challa came there searching for him, and they caught him off guard with brilliant lights and mirrors which suddenly pierced the darkness. With T'Challa's defenses disrupted, Cadaver nearly drove him mad, but the Panther managed to regain his wits and pummel Cadaver into unconsciousness.

BTS - Cadaver escaped back to Killmonger

(Jungle Action II#12) - King Cadaver and others accompanied Killmonger for a return trip to the Resurrection Altar, in which he received another treatment of the Altar's energies.

(Jungle Action II#15) - Cadaver returned with Killmonger to N'Jadaka Village to find it having been leveled by T'Challa and the forces of the Wakandan army. Believing T'Challa to have died at the hands of Salamander K'Ruell, Killmonger reassured Cadaver that it was but a hollow victory for the Panther.

(Jungle Action II#17) - In the final assault on the Wakandan forces, Cadaver used his power to assault Taku, interrupting his orders to the soldiers. However, Venomm, having changed loyalties due to his association with Taku, wrapped his whip around Cadaver's neck and used it to hurl him across the battlefield. King Cadaver, dazed by the fall, looked for his foes to attack anew, but some instead the foot of a massive brachiosaur coming at him from above. He commanded it to stop in vain, and was presumably squished into a fine paste.


(Wakanda#5/1 (fb) - BTS) - Ohyaku paid King Cadaver to join a team of operatives to rob the Vibranium mines in Wakanda, but he continued his life of crime despite the payment. His activities caught the attention of Okoye, who traveled to London with her sister Natima to capture him.

(Wakanda#5/1) - King Cadaver and a gang of four robbed a bank in London and took a hostage. The gang fled when Okoye attacked and told Cadaver that Wakanda needed his abilities. Cadaver instead decided to use his powers against Okoye, only to be knocked out by her sister Natima.

(Wakanda#5/1 - BTS) - Essam prepared King Cadaver for the arrival of his teammates in Wakanda by strapping him to a high-tech chair that was connected to his brain with cables and seemingly forced him to use his powers on command. King Cadaver's teammates Batroc, Madam Slay and Shocker went through with their plan despite King Cadaver's disappearance. They were captured as soon as they crossed the border to Wakanda, but remained unaware of the fact because King Cadaver was forced to use his psychic powers against them.

(Wakanda#5/1) - King Cadaver was forced to continue using his powers against his former teammates to make them believe that they were invading the Vibranium mines. Okoye revealed the truth to them that they were actually surrounded by armed men and women and threatene them with King Cadaver's ability to cause excruciating pain if they didn't tell her where their employer Ohyaku was.

Comments: Created by Don McGregor, Billy Graham, and Klaus Janson.

As detailed by Bob Almond, the inker extraordinaire for the best run of the Black Panther III series, in regards to the Once-And-Future King storyline, @ #36-37:
    "BTW, the original script had King Kadaver but not Madam Slay.  I reminded everyone that Kadaver was last seen squashed by a dinosaur and since Priest didn't use Slay we'd just substitute."

Also, I guess now's as good a point to remark as any, that the Once and Future King is an old title for a story of Arthurian Legend by T.H. White.
Thanks to Chris Matterface for pointing out the author of that classic, which had slipped by mind. The very last line in X2 references the same book.

Also from Bob: T'Challa had apparently retrieved King Cadaver's gold amulet and chain after his death and stored it in his trophy room as seen in BP # 23 and 41.

As of 2023 King Cadaver is back among the living because...reasons. Even Okoye's sister Natima seemed surprised to see him among the villains hired by Ohyaku. I blame Secret Wars III for his unexplained return!
--Markus Raymond

Profile by Snood. Update Markus Raymond (2023).

No known connection to:

Jungle Action II#10, p11 (main)
Jungle Action II#15, p15, pan5 (full body)
Wakanda#5, p9, pan7 (using powers)

Jungle Action II#10 (July-September, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action II#12 (November, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham & Klaus Janson (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action II#15 (May, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Jungle Action II#17 (September, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Virgilio Redondo (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Wakanda#5/1 (April, 2023) - Brandon Thomas (writer), José Luis (pencils), Keith Champagne (inks), Wil Moss (editor)

First Posted: 05/23/2003
Last updated: 10/30/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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