Real Name: Baru
Identity/Class: human mutate
Occupation: former king of Canaan, Africa
Group Membership: Elements of Doom
Affiliations: Avengers, Black Panther (T'Challa), Deathlok (Michael Collins), Monica Lynne
Enemies: Diablo, Elements of Doom, Moses Magnum
Known Relatives: none
Base of Operations: currently unknown;
formerly Canaan, Africa
First Appearance: (Baru) Deathlok II#23 (May, 1993)
(Vibranium) Avengers Collector's Edition#1 (1993)
Powers/Abilities: As Vibranium, he could absorb all
vibratory energy, and apparently many other types of energy as well. By
absorbing large amounts of energy, he can grow in size and strength.
His normal physical strength, durability, and bodily needs in this new form are undefined.
History: Baru was king of the African nation of Canaan, a close neighbor of Wakanda.
(Deathlok II#23 (fb) - BTS) - Moses Magnum and his agents took over Canaan, after which he sent spies into Wakanda.
(Deathlok II#23) - The Black Panther came to Canaan to question Baru about a Canaanite spy he had discovered in Wakanda, at which point Baru revealed that Magnum now controlled his nation.
(Deathlok II#24 - BTS) - Magnum sent his agent Killjoy to battle Deathlok, after which Magnum declared war on Wakanda.
(Deathlok II#25) - Magnum's forces assaulted Wakanda, but they (and Magnum) were fought off with the help of the Black Panther and Deathlok.
(Avengers Collector's Edition#1 (fb) - BTS) - After Magnum's defeat, the people of Canaan rejected Baru's leadership. He chose to remain in Wakanda, observing a period of mourning.
(Avengers Collector's Edition#1) - Diablo and his Elements of Doom (Carbon, Cobalt, Neon, Phosphorus, Plutonium, and Titanium AKA the Masters of Alchemy) assaulted Wakanda, using hostages to force the Black Panther and the Avengers (Black Knight (Whitman), Captain America, Crystal, Hercules, Vision) to surrender. Diablo plotted to takeover the world, and intended to create a new member for his Elements: Vibranium. In fact, he sought to create a whole army of vibranium creatures. Diablo planned to transform the Panther's betrothed, Monica Lynne, as the first of the vibranium warriors, but Baru volunteered to sacrifice himself instead to save her. As the process was initiated, the Avengers attacked the Elements of Doom. Baru emerged as Vibranium, but he retained his own will and attacked the last remaining Element, a composite of the other forms. Vibranium absorbed the energies of the composite Element, growing in size and defeating the threat to the others. Baru proclaimed himself a totem of his people's wealth--an avenging spirit of the jungle, and he wandered off into the wild, vowing to use this gift for the good of his people and his country.
Comments: Baru created by Dwayne McDuffie, Walter
McDaniel, and Brad Vancata.
Vibranium created by Pat Graphy, Mike Gustovich, and Tom Palmer.
Deathlok III#23-25 made it seem clear that Canaan was a separate nation than Wakanda, whereas in Avengers Collector's Edition#1, Baru was one of T'Challa's chieftains, and Canaan was apparently a village within Wakanda. Perhaps after Magnum's defeat, Canaan was absorbed into Wakanda.
It should be noted that Vibranium is
not an element, but rather an alien meteor metal. The Official Handbook
confirms this, although it acknowledges that it has been mistakenly described
as an element on occasion. Nonetheless, I think Diablo might have figured
out to use the machine to create out of Vibranium a similar being to one
of the Elements of Doom. They also changed their names to the Masters of
Alchemy for this issue, perhaps hinting that they weren't just Elements.
The fusion of some of the other Elements also lends support to the idea
that Diablo's alchemy was affecting the "elementalization" process.
For those who don't remember, the story was that Noah got drunk,
and his son Ham saw him naked. This angered Noah, so he put a curse on Ham's
son Canaan. (Why he did not put the curse on Ham was not explained.) Canaan's
children were to be slaves to the children of Noah's other sons, Shem and
Japeth. Since Canaan's descendants were presumed to tbe the sub-saharan Africans,
this was used to justify slavery.
This issue was produced in conjunction with Charleston Chew candy, and so some might consider it non-continuity. I see absolutely nothing to rule this story out, as it uses established characters in their correct chronological status.
He should be distinguished from:
Avengers Collector's Edition#1, p15, panel 1
Deathlok II#23, p11, panel 3
p11, panel 4
Deathlok II#24-25 (June-July, 1993)
Last updated: 12/28/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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