Real Name: A'Kurru U'mbaya

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Bio-chemist;
former graduate student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Formerly Black Panther (T'Challa), Mikina

Enemies: Black Panther (T'Challa), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Excalibur (Captain Britain/Brian Braddock, Lockheed, Meggan, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde), Iron Man (Jim Rhodes)

Known Relatives: Mikina (daughter, deceased)

Aliases: "Son" (called by Captain America)

Base of Operations: Wakanda

First Appearance: Excalibur I#59 (Late December, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Icon possessed the ability to transform flesh into a wooden form resembling an ancient Wakandan dancing icon. When turning this ability onto himself, he could alter his body at will, allowing for the transformation of his limbs into weapons or the extending of his limbs as desired.

He could also transmute others into wooden duplicates of his Icon form that he could mentally control, though the effects of these transformations only lasted a maximum of one hour.

Height: 5'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 148 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed; (transformed): yellow
Hair: White; (transformed): none

History: (Excalibur I#59) - A'Kurru U'mbaya was a graduate student that had once met T'Challa, the Black Panther.

(Excalibur I#60 (fb) - BTS) - Becoming a bio-chemist, U'mbaya was known as Wakanda's most brilliant scientist. When his daughter Mikina died of toxic waste poisoning outside Wakanda, U'mbaya blamed science and himself for not saving her. Experimenting on himself, U'mbaya worsened his mental state and soon thought to seek revenge on the modern world for its failings.

(Excalibur I#59) - Plotting against the Wakandan throne, Icon masqueraded as a dancing icon of Wakandan mythology during a meeting between the Black Panther, Britain's Brian Braddock and Meggan, the USA's Captain America and Iron Man, and others to discuss toxic waste disposal and Wakanda's role in it. During the ceremony, Icon transformed all of the native Wakandans present into virtual duplicates of his own wood-like form and announced his presence as the embodiment of Wakanda as it should be: pure, primal and prepared to wrest itself from the grip of the modern era. Black Panther quickly recognized Icon's voice as belonging to A'Kurru U'mbaya but U'mbaya proclaimed himself Icon and assured everyone present that while he appeared ugly, he was extremely powerful. Icon then transformed his hand into a spear and placed it at Meggan's throat but Black Panther activated an Instant Vibranium Containment device to protect Brian Braddock and Meggan. As stowaway Shadowcat freed Brian and Meggan, Icon warned the other heroes not to make a move or he would order the transformed, mind-controlled Wakandans to destroy their own now-wooden bodies by attacking the heroes. When the heroes proved unsure of what their next course of action should be, Icon proclaimed that Black Panther could either save them all by abdicating his throne of Wakanda to Icon or stand by and watch his people die. Shadowcat and a shape-changed Meggan then phased from the ground and announced that neither option was viable with Excalibur present, prompting an annoyed Icon to exclaim that any other day of the week, there would be only one costumed adventurer in Wakanda but on the day he decided to overthrow the government, there would be several.

(Excalibur I#60) - Again proclaiming himself the future leader of Wakanda, Icon had his wooden, mind-controlled Wakandans inch closer to the assembled heroes, demanding their subservience if not their respect. When Icon revealed several of his subjects equipped with guns, ready to fire on their transformed brethren, Black Panther reluctantly surrendered to Icon to save the transformed Wakandan natives. Assuming control, Icon proclaimed that not everyone agreed with Black Panther's stance of dragging Wakanda into the modern era and announced that his first act would be to rid Wakanda of all outlanders. Starting with the youngest present, Shadowcat, Icon threatened Shadowcat with a gun but when Shadowcat pressed the gun's trigger herself, Icon thought he had killed Shadowcat and began exclaiming that he had not wanted to actually hurt anyone and that he had only wanted the throne. Humiliated, Icon grabbed Meggan and threatened to kill her until Brian Braddock, covered in mud and wearing tattered clothes, entered the fray, prompting Icon to again comment about the over-abundance of superheroes in Wakanda. The distraction allowed Captain America to hit Icon with his shield while Brian saved Meggan but the further humiliation prompted Icon to order his gun-toting minions to kill the transformed natives. The heroes worked to rescue the transformed natives and Icon ordered his minions to destroy the heroes before they were destroyed themselves, making Captain America and Meggan began to suspect Icon was desperate in his bid for the Wakandan throne. When Iron Man managed to emit a pulse that dissolved the guns held by Icon's minions, Icon collapsed to his knees, saddened that his plans had ended in failure and revealing that his ability to transform flesh into wood only lasted one hour at a time. Feeling as if he had failed not only his people but his daughter Mikina, Icon transformed back into human form and passed out at Black Panther's feet. Black Panther then picked up the aged U'mbaya and revealed to Excalibur, Iron Man and Captain America that U'mbaya had once been a brilliant scientist until his daughter died and he sought revenge.

Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell, Scott Kolins, Jon Holdredge and Raymond Kryssing.

Black Panther referred to Icon as U'mbaya in Excalibur I#59 then Dr. A'Kurru in Excalibur I#60. The Wakandan entry in the Marvel Atlas series later established that Icon's full name was Dr. A'Kurru U'mbaya.

Profile by Proto-Man.

Icon has no known connections to:


Mikina was the only daughter of Dr. A'Kurru U'mbaya. While visiting outside Wakanda, Mikina contracted toxic waste poisoning and died and her father blamed both himself and science for not finding a way to save her.

--Excalibur I#60 (fb) - BTS

images: (without ads)
Excalibur I#59, p16, pan1 (Icon, main image)
Excalibur I#60, p22, pan2 (Icon, non-transformed headshot)
Excalibur I#59, p22, pan1 (Icon, headshot with mind-controlled minions)
Excalibur I#59, p23, splash page (Icon transforming hand into bladed weapon)

Excalibur I#59 (Late December, 1992) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Jon Holdredge, Raymond Kryssing (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#60 (January, 1993) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Jon Holdredge (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)

First Posted: 03/15/2019
Last updated: 03/15/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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