MIDNIGHT SUN

Real Name: M'Nai

Identity/Class: Human, cyborg
originally, human (African)

Occupation: Wanderer, former assassin

Group Membership: Legion of the Unliving, Si-Fan

Affiliations: Fu Manchu, Half-Face, Inhumans, Kang, Dr. Kar-Sagg, Cho Lin, Shang-Chi

Enemies: Kwan-Shu, Mantis, Silver Surfer;
formerly Shang-Chi

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: the Dark Destroyer, Midnight

Base of Operations: Attilan, the Blue Area of the Moon
formerly, Fu Manchu's fortress in Honan, China

First Appearance: Special Marvel Edition#16 (February, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: As Midnight, M'Nai was an expert in armed and unarmed combat, his only equal being Shang-Chi. His specialty was to vanish into shadows. He was armed with a variety of daggers, nunchuks and throwing stars.

As Midnight Sun, M'Nai exists in a cloned body of his original form, genetically engineered to grant him superhuman strength (class 75), stamina, durability, agility and reflexes, and still possesses all of his combat skills. He had discs attached to his hands and feet which can propel him through space, and has been modified so that he can exist in the void of space indefinitely.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: (Special Marvel Edition#16 (fb)) - M'Nai was a child who lived in a village in Africa where Fu Manchu operated from. When Fu Manchu's base was assaulted by the forces of Sir Denis Nayland Smith, M'Nai was orphaned, and received a scar on the right side of his face. Fu Manchu's aide T'Maka wanted to put M'Nai out of his misery, but Fu Manchu noticed that despite his pain, M'Nai was not crying. Realizing that M'Nai could be a powerful agent, Fu Manchu brought him back to his fortress in Honan, and raised him like a son.

M'Nai grew up alongside Fu Manchu's son Shang-Chi, and wore a mask over his face at all times to hide his scar. At the age of seven, Shang-Chi asked him to remove his mask. M'Nai dueled him, and in the course of doing so, they became friends, bound by their regard for knowledge and for Fu Manchu.

(Master of Kung Fu I#41 (fb)) - At the age of 15, M'Nai was accused of stealing wine from the cellars of Fu Manchu by his priest Kwan-Shu. M'Nai overheard Kwan-Shu accusing him to Shang-Chi and Cho Lin, and believed that his fate was sealed. He fought Shang-Chi to keep him from turning him over to Fu Manchu, until he convinced Shang that they should stake out the wine cellars and discover the real thief. Shang agreed, and it proved to be Kwan-Shu himself. When they told this to Cho Lin, Cho Lin called them liars, and that Fu Manchu would punish them for this. However, Fu Manchu never did. Years later, Shang suspected that his father had orchestrated the entire affair to see if he and M'Nai would turn against each other.

(Iron Man Annual#4/2) - Having taken on the identity of Midnight, M'Nai was sent by Fu Manchu to the home of Half-Face, in an attempt to recruit him for the Si-Fan. Midnight fought his way through the castle's defenses, only to have Half-Face reject Fu Manchu's offer. Midnight sympathized with him because of his own disfigurement.

(Special Marvel Edition#16 (fb)) - M'Nai saw Shang-Chi as a friend for the last time when Shang was summoned by Fu Manchu to assassinate Dr. Petrie, an act which led to Shang-Chi turning against his father.

(Special Marvel Edition#16) - Fu Manchu sent Midnight to New York to locate Shang-Chi, and Midnight watched him defeat a gang of muggers in Central Park. However, Midnight found that he could not face his old friend. When he confronted Fu Manchu about this, Fu Manchu told him that Shang-Chi was no longer his friend, and that he would have to kill him.

Midnight sought Shang-Chi out again, and the two fought through the streets of New York. Shang had no desire to slay his friend and kept trying to evade him. Their battle finally led them to the top of a winch. Midnight began to beat on Shang, trying to knock him off, but just as he was about to kick him, Shang flipped out of his way, and the force of Midnight's kick carried him off the winch.

(Avengers I#131) - Moments before his death, Midnight was snatched from the timestream by Kang, who employed him as a member of his Legion of the Unliving against the Avengers in a maze within Immortus' Limbo.

(Avengers I#132) - Midnight set off alone and faced Mantis in battle. Although Mantis was able to hold her own against him, she fled the battle, finding a fight against a dead man to be unsettling.

(Giant-Size Avengers#3) - Midnight caught up to Mantis when she was distracted by the Vision being rendered comatose by the Flying Dutchman. Mantis finally defeated Midnight with a hold that knocked him unconscious. He was later returned to his own time by Immortus.

(Special Marvel Edition#16) - As Midnight fell from the winch, his cape snagged on the winch's hook, and snapped his neck.

(Silver Surfer III#29 (fb) - BTS) - Midnight's body was obtained by the Kree, who placed it into storage on Bodoni-20. Years later, when the Silver Surfer opposed the Kree during their war with the Skrulls, Dr. Kar-Sagg retrieved Midnight's body and reanimated his brain. He cloned a new body for the brain, and enhanced it so that he would be a match for the Silver Surfer.

(Silver Surfer III#29) - Midnight Sun was presented to the Kree's leader Nenora, who was pleased by Kar-Sagg's promises of the Surfer's defeat. When the Silver Surfer arrived at Hala, Midnight Sun was released, and managed to hold his own against him while the Kree released a light-deadening dust cloud which would allow Midnight Sun to disappear entirely from the Surfer's vision. Although he managed several successful sneak attacks, the Surfer ultimately located him because of the electricity generated by his flying discs. The Surfer held Midnight Sun captive on his board as he continued to Hala, but was forced to release him when a Kree vessel fired upon him. The Kree ship retrieved Midnight Sun in a tractor beam.

(Silver Surfer III#30) - Midnight Sun was sent to guard Hala against the Silver Surfer, but when faced with him again, declined to attack, until the Surfer goaded him, noting he had been created to fight him. Midnight Sun fought the Surfer again, only to fall in battle.

(Silver Surfer Annual#4/2 (fb)) - Midnight Sun was turned over to Dr. Kar-Sagg again to reprogram him. Believing that the remnants of his old memories were behind his hesitating against the Surfer in combat, Kar-Sagg attempted to purge his memories. Midnight Sun broke out of the operating table to defend his memories, and fought off an entire squad of Kree soldiers. Deciding that Midnight Sun was alive, Kar-Sagg allowed him to depart.

(Silver Surfer Annual#4/2) - Midnight Sun flew to Earth's moon, to contemplate who he really was.

(Silver Surfer III#60) - As he meditated on the moon, Midnight Sun beheld the Silver Surfer leaving Earth. Wondering if the Surfer knew who he really was, Midnight Sun stood in his path, and fought him, trying to make him stay in an effort to communicate with him. Their battle brought them to the moon, and Midnight Sun succeeded in making the Surfer so angry that he was injured fighting him. When the Surfer tried to treat his wounds, he removed his mask, and was horrified by his appearance. Midnight Sun fought the Surfer, trying desperately to hide his face, until the Inhumans appeared, having noticed the fight from their city of Attilan. The Surfer revealed to the Inhumans that he didn't know who Midnight Sun was, but the Inhumans offered to take him to Attilan for treatment. Midnight Sun and the Silver Surfer departed as friends.

(Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu One-Shot#1) - Midnight Sun returned to Earth with his earliest memory being fighting Shang-Chi. He attacked Shang-Chi and policemen, but when Shang-Chi realized that Midnight Sun only wanted to know who he was, Shang-Chi told him that he was M'Nai, his brother.

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom.

Steve Englehart is clearly not one to let a favorite character lie idle, bringing Midnight back not only as a member of the Legion of the Unliving, but reanimating him as Midnight Sun to boot!

Considering that the Inhumans were born from Kree experiments themselves, and have managed to communicate with Black Bolt without using words, Midnight Sun couldn't have found a better company of people to live with. Now let's see him again, yeah?

Dialogue in Silver Surfer III#29 seems to indicate that Midnight was not the only body the Kree stored away on Bodoni-20. So, there's your way out the next time you want to revive a dead character, writers (like you need my suggestions)!

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Midnight Sun should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Silver Surfer III#30, page 16, panel 1
Special Marvel Edition#16, page 7, panel 10
Special Marvel Edition#16, page 11, panel 5
Special Marvel Edition#16, page 17, panel 5
Silver Surfer III#60, page 22, panel 3


Master of Kung Fu I#41 (June, 1976) - Doug Moench (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Iron Man Annual#4 (1977) - Roger Stern (writer), Jeff Aclin (pencils), Don Newton (inks)
Avengers I#131-132 (January-February, 1975) - Steve Englehart & Roy Thomas (#132) (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Staton (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant-Size Avengers#3 (February, 1975) - Steve Englehart & Roy Thomas (#132) (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils), Joe Giella (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Silver Surfer III#29-30 (October-November, 1989) - Steve Englehart (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Tom Christopher (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Silver Surfer Annual#4 (1991) - Ron Marz (writer), Dale Eaglesham (pencils), Pat Redding (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Silver Surfer III#60 (December, 1991) - Ron Marz (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Jim Sanders III (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu One-Shot#1 (November, 2009) - Charlie Huston (writer), Enrique Romero (artist), Jody Leheup & John Barber (editors)

Last updated: 10/10/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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