LION GOD

Real Name: Sekhmet

Identity/Class: Egyptian God (see comments)

Occupation: God of...lions?

Group Membership: Egyptian gods

Affiliations: N'Laka and an unnamed African tribe of worshippers (N'Laka was the only one named)

Enemies: Avengers (especially the Black Panther (T'Challa), Mr. Umbala, Panther God (Bast)

Known Relatives: Neith (Gaea, grandmother), Nun (Demiurge, grandfather), Ammon Ra (Atum, father), Thoth (uncle), Bast (the Panther God/Goddess, brother), others

Aliases: Mr. Umbala, Lord of the Veldt

Base of Operations: currently unknown...some extradimensional realm; formerly active in Africa, formerly hid out under Avengers Mansion.

First Appearance: Avengers I#112 (June, 1973)

Powers: The Lion God can possess the form of a human, transforming it into a replica of his own form. He has a number of other powers, some of which he has demonstrated. He can grow in size, move at rapid speeds, teleport himself and others, and alter his own density. He possesses superhuman strength (at least Class 75-90) and durability, and presumably is immune to the effects of aging and disease. He can manipulate others, whipping them into a mob-like frenzy, or causing his foes to obey him.
His most powerful weapon was his totem-stick, which proved powerful enough to drop Iron Man or Thor with a touch, or a blast. The totem-stick can also summon lions, which he can control. After the totem-stick was destroyed, he used a spear.

 

 

Height: 7'3" (variable)
Weight: 382 lbs. (variable)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History: (All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#4/Myth) - Sekhmet and Bast were feline war gods ruling Upper and Lower Egypt. Sekhmet once released such fury against mortal foes that his father Ra feared he would destroy the human race. Bast fled when the Pharaos rose to power and Sekhmet protected the Pharaos in battle. After the times of the Pharaos Sekhmet only had a fringe cult and became jealous of Bast, who had become the Panther God of the powerful nation Wakanda.

(Avengers I#112) - An African tribe welcomed the journalist known only an Umbala to observe their ritual worship of the Lion God. Umbala was loving it, until N'Laka revealed that they needed a human sacrifice for their lord to return--and it was Umbala. The Lion God took possession of Umbala's form and led a group of African-Americans to assault Avengers Mansion, under the pretense of demanding that the Black Panther return to Wakanda. Upon gaining entrance to the mansion, "Umbala" took mental control of the Black Panther, revealed himself as the Lion God, and teleported away with T'Challa. He attempted to force the Panther to reveal how the Panther God could maintain his followers without appearing to them. The Panther refused, and so the Lion God sought to force him by threatening his team-mates. He returned to the mansion and overpowered the Avengers, but Thor recovered quickly and summoned down a lightning bolt, which seemingly destroyed him. In reality, the Lion God survived (although his totem-stick was destroyed) and relocated to a cavern beneath the mansion, from which he planned to make another assault.

(Avengers I#114) - After the Swordsman rejoined the Avengers, Mantis sensed the hidden presence of the Lion God. In order to force him to reveal himself, Mantis summoned him, and she and the Swordsman pretended to be his allies. Working with the Lion God, the two defeated the rest of the Avengers. The Lion God planned to burn the Black Panther at the stake, but then Mantis mesmerized him with a hypnotic dance. While the Lion God stood there in a stupor, Iron Man activated an adamantium cylinder, which dropped down and contained the Lion God. Thor then "blasted hm into another dimension." These events eased the Avengers' distrust of Mantis and the Swordsman--all except Cap, who still smelled a rat somewhere...

 

Comments: Created by Steve Engelhart and Don Heck.

This is pretty cool: Here's an e-mail I got from Bob Almond, one of the storytellers for the Black Panther:
"Since the Liongod's weapon/staff wasn't shown to be with him when he was sent to the other dimension, I had Sal draw the weapon in issue 41 of BP, page 10, panel 1 on the left side near Malice's spear and T'Chaka's shield in T'Challa's trophy room. Other artifacts (of obscure charcters) in this room, as shown in this issue and issue 23, page 12(?), are King Kadaver's gold medallion (taken after a dino stepped on him), the Throb vibranium robot and Malice's spear."

 

 

In the Hyborian Era, Amra was legendary warrior, named as a translation of "The Lion," and living in the Black Coast of what is now Africa. I believe Amra was actually a succession of warriors. Conan himself was believed by many to be Amra. It's possible that the Lion God's worship extends back to 10,000 BC or before.

It strikes me that "Amra" might be the Kushitic pronounciation of "Amun-Ra." If this was the case, the latter was probably a Stygian deity who wound up being consolidated with Apedemekar (quite possibly, the patron god of Hyborian-era Meroe), by his Kushite worshippers. That would be comparable to how Osiris and Apis--the sacred bull of Memphis--were consolidated by the ancient Egyptians as "Serapis."

Furthermore; the warrior(s) known as Amra might have been the mortal avatar(s) of the Lion God. Similar to how Sigmund and Sigfried--of the Volsung Saga--were (allegedly) mortal avatars of everyone's favorite Asgardian Avenger. Given the temporary "occupation" of Mr. N'Laka, this latter hypothesis is not as far-fetched as one might initially think.
--Carycomic

WHO IS THE LION GOD?
Ask our myth-experts and watch 'em duke it out!

The true identity of the Lion God was revealed in the Council of Godheads entry in OHotMU 2006#3 as the Egyptian god Sekhmet. In the same entry the Panther God was confirmed as Bast (which was already stated before by Christopher Priest).

anyway...these stories were not Engelhart's finest work. The best part of these stories was the introduction of Mantis, especially when she revealed she was more than just some kung-fu chick by dropping Thor with a single blow.

Veldt, also spelled veld, means a grassland, esp. of Southern Africa, usually with scattered shrubs and trees.

Also, in Avengers Annual 1999, the play "The Lion God" was showing around Broadway, I believe.

Lion God received a small entry in All-New OHotMU Update#4.

Clarifications: The Lion God has no known connections to:


N'Laka was the leader of the African tribe that worshipped the Lion God. He arranged the capture and possession of Umbala.

 

 

 

 

 


Mr. Umbala was a journalist who was possessed by the Lion God. He apparently was released after the Lion God's initial defeat.

 

 

 

 

 


images: (without ads)
Avengers I#112, p1 (Lion God main image)
  p8, pan1 (Lion God head shot)
  p13, pan1 (Lion God and Black Panther)
  p2, pan3 (N'Laka)
  p7, pan4 (Mr. Umbala)
Black Panther III#41, p10, pan1 (Black Panther's trophy room)


Appearances:
Avengers I#112 (June, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frank Bolle (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#114 (August, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)


Last updated: 12/12/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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