main image

KHUMBALA BEY

Real Name:  Khumbala Bey

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Royal bodyguard

Group Membership: Halwan National Guard

Affiliations: Angar the Screamer (David Alan Angar), Princess Azir, Master Khan

Enemies: Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Power Man (Luke Cage)

Known Relatives: Possibly Jameel Bey (possible ancestor, see comments)

Aliases: "Khumbala the Mountain" (nickname used by himself)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                   formerly Halwan Embassy, New York City
                                   formerly the Jera'ad Al Din, Kamillabad, Halwan

First Appearance: Marvel Premiere I#25 (October, 1975) 

Powers/Abilities: Khumbala Bey seemingly possessed no superhuman abilities. Trained in several unrevealed forms of martial arts, he was able to optimally use his imposing height and size in combat. His preferred moves were the "elephant stomp" and his "grip of death," a bear hug that usually crushed his opponents' rib cage. Khumbala had dedicated his life to protecting the Halwani royal family, a task he considered a great honor. If he felt slighted, he could react with deadly force. Khumbala was completely subservient to his masters, even fearing their sometimes whimsical and cruel decisions.

Height: 6'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 380 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

History:

(Marvel Premiere I#25 (fb) - BTS) - Khumbala Bey was a member of the Halwani royal guard. His family had served as bodyguards for the nation's ruling family for over a thousand years. When Princess Azir traveled to the United States, taking up residence at the Halwani embassy in New York, Bey accompanied her to act as her primary protector.

(Marvel Premiere I#24 - BTS) - Princess Azir decided to go out by herself, attending the first annual Sheep Meadow Softball Championship in Central Park. Though she felt she was incognito, Azir soon faced the lethal threat of the alien Monstroid, sent by Master Khan in an attempt to destabilize the Halwani government. Without Bey to protect her, Azir was eventually saved by NYPD Lieutenant Rafael Scarfe and Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), who both happened to be participating in the tournament. Azir returned to the embassy.

(Marvel Premiere I#25 - BTS) - Having failed in his sacred duties, the prideful Khumbala developed an irrational loathing of Iron Fist, who he felt had shamed him by saving the princess. When Iron Fist and Lieutenant Rafael Scarfe visited the Halwani embassy to check on Azir, the disgraced Khumbala decided to confront Iron Fist.

(Marvel Premiere I#25) - Khumbala brutally attacked Iron Fist as he was unsuspectingly enjoying the tranquility of the Embassy's gardens. At first, Iron Fist went easy on Bey, hoping to discourage him. But Khumbala was out for blood, eventually managing to capture his opponent within his grip of death. Iron Fist desperately tried to break free as he was struggling to keep conscious. The martial artist was saved by the arrival of Princess Azir, who happened to wander into the gardens with Lieutenant Scarfe. The princess ordered Bey to release Iron Fist immediately then proceeded to severely chastise Khumbala for attacking her honored guest, telling the bodyguard he had taken his little games too far this time. Even though Khumbala claimed it was only an innocent sparring match, the furious Azir sent him away but not before reminding Bey he'd best be grateful for the fact they were in America, for if they were in Halwan, she'd have his dead carcass hung on the city walls as carrion meat for his transgressions.

(Iron Fist I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Relieved of his duties as royal bodyguard, Khumbala Bey was contacted by Master Khan and hired as his main enforcer. He traveled back to Halwan, where he joined Khan at his fortress Jera'ad Al-Din, near the capital of Kamillabad.

(Iron Fist I#7) -  Iron Fist, in Halwan to rescue his friend Colleen Wing from Master Khan, wound up captured at the Jera'ad Al-Din himself. However, he managed to escape his executioners and went looking for Khan. Instead, he was ambushed by Khumbala Bey, who claimed the hero would be helpless without Azir to save him.  As they fought, Bey boasted that he was Khan's finest warrior, his champion. Iron Fist proved Bey wrong, effortlessly dodging or parrying all his blows while calling him a bruiser gone-to-seed and a fair martial artist with above average strength and a way-above-average mouth. Iron Fist then proceeded to clean Khumbala's clock with frightening ease. In the end, he slammed Bey's unconscious form against the doors leading to Master Khan's inner sanctum.

(Power Man & Iron Fist I#105 - BTS) - Following Master Khan's defeat, Khumbala somehow managed to regain his position at the Halwani royal court. He even got reassigned to oversee Princess Azir's safety while she continued her stay in New York. Some time later, Khumbala, Azir and other Halwan officials were taken hostage by a group of U.S.-based Murkatesh radicals during a visit to Madison Square Garden.

(Power Man & Iron Fist I#105) - Khumbala, Azir and the others were eventually located and freed by Power Man and Iron Fist. The Heroes for Hire urged Khumbala and company to head for the nearest exit. Khumbala openly lamented the fact he was once again dishonored by being saved by his most hated enemy, Iron Fist. Chuckling, Power Man told Khumbala to look on the bright side: at least this time Iron Fist wouldn't be beating him up.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils) and Al McWilliams (inks).

Is it just me or is "Khumbala Bey" one heck of a cool name? Sure, one has to fight the urge to break into a rousing rendition of 'Kumbaya My Lord" with or without the campfire and 's'mores...  Bey got a bit of a bad rep, failing in his duties and desperately trying to make up for it. Though he definitely had the killer instinct, he nevertheless proved rather ineffectual in his duties as royal bodyguard. Twice, Khumbala was unable to protect Princess Azir... that's gotta look bad on your resume.

As for his link to Jameel Bey, the inquisitor working for Princess Zafina during the late 1970s, it's not been officially confirmed but given that Khumbala's family spent a 1000 years as servants and guardians for Halwan's ruling body it's more than a little likely the two are connected, especially given Halwan's fondness for hereditary titles (their national hero Scimitar, for instance). It's not unthinkable Khumbala and Jameel could have blood ties.  

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Khumbala Bey should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Iron Fist I#7, p9, pan7 (main image)
Marvel Premiere I#25, p3, pans 5&6 (crushes Iron Fist)
Marvel Premiere I#25, p5, pan3 (chastised)


Appearances:

Marvel Premiere I#24 (September, 1975) -  Chris Claremont (writer), Pat Broderick (artist), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Marvel Premiere I#25 (October, 1975) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al McWilliams (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Iron Fist I#7 (September, 1976) -  Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man & Iron Fist I#105 (May, 1984) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Richard Howell (pencils), Andy Mushynsky (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)


Last updated: 10/09/14

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: http://www.marvel.com


Special thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters