main imageB’TUMBA

Real Name: B’Tumba

Identity/Class: Normal human (citizen of Wakanda)

Occupation: AIM squadron leader

Group Membership: AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics)

Affiliations: Black Panther (T’Challa)

    formerly AIM, Black Panther (T'Challa)

Known RelativesN’Baza (father, deceased), S'Yan (uncle), T'Chaka (Black Panther, uncle, deceased), N'Yami (aunt, deceased), Ramonda (aunt), Ishanta (cousin), Dr. Joshua Itobo (cousin), Jakarra (cousin), Khanata (cousin), M'Koni (Mary Wheeler, cousin), Shuri (Black Panther, cousin), T’Challa (Black Panther, cousin), Zuni (cousin), Hunter (adopted cousin), Azzari the Wise (grandfather, deceased), Bashenga (first Black Panther, ancestor, deceased), many unidentified ancestors (past Black Panthers, deceased)

Aliases: Squadron Leader

Base of Operations: Wakanda, briefly USA

First Appearance: Avengers I#87 (April, 1971)

Powers/Abilities: B’Tumba had no superhuman powers but was a skilled athlete and briefly wielded a sonic blaster during his time with AIM. As part of AIM, he also customarily carried a stun gun.


(Avengers I#87 (fb)) – Shortly after the death of T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, B’Tumba found T’Challa standing outside of Wakanda’s Panther Idol and asked him to come play, claiming they could be men later. When T’Challa explained that he had to be a man now, witch-doctor N’Baza told T’Challa that to be a man, he would need a proper education in the outside world. Agreeing to act as Regent, N’Baza sent both T’Challa and B’Tumba to America, where they both attended college together. While still in college, B’Tumba was secretly recruited by AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics). Upon graduating, both B’Tumba and T’Challa returned to Wakanda, with T’Challa becoming suspicious that N’Baza had sent him to gain his own position of power. Sending B’Tumba away, N’Baza devised tests to prove T’Challa’s worthiness of Wakandan leadership. T’Challa soon donned the Black Panther costume after finding it inside the Panther Idol and after eating the heart-shaped herb that enhanced his physical abilities, the Black Panther discovered a group of AIM agents attempting to rob Wakanda of its Vibranium. Unaware that B’Tumba was actually the AIM squad leader, Black Panther fought them off, demanding to know who had betrayed Wakanda. B’Tumba then revealed himself to the Black Panther, proving T’Challa’s suspicions about N’Baza to be false and exclaiming that he was tired of living in T’Challa’s shadow. Black Panther was soon knocked out by an AIM agent’s stun burst and when he awoke to B’Tumba throwing cold water on his face, the Black Panther learned that AIM had constructed a sonic blaster that B’Tumba intended to use himself to kill the Black Panther. When it came down to B’Tumba pulling the trigger on the blaster, however, he found he could not kill his old friend and instead turned the sonic blaster against AIM. Realizing that he had been a fool to side with AIM, B’Tumba teamed up with T’Challa against the AIM agents, who shot B’Tumba. After defeating the AIM agents, the Black Panther rushed to the side of the dying B’Tumba, who asked T’Challa not to tell N’Baza of his betrayal. B’Tumba then died explaining to T’Challa that N’Baza had only ever wanted the best for T’Challa.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Frank Giacola and Sal Buscema.

Profile by Proto-Man.

B’Tumba has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Avengers I#87, p10, splash page (in AIM uniform, main image)
Avengers I#87, p17, pan5 (unmasked)

Avengers I#87 (April, 1971) – Roy Thomas (writer), Frank Giacola (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 08/29/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters