Welcome to B’WANA BEAST’S BLOG! You may be asking yourself, “A blog about B’wana Beast? Seriously?” Well, I say YES! I’m a huge fan of the character and think he’s deserving of the attention.
GOODBYE FIRESTORM; HELLO B’WANA BEAST!
For the past two years, this site has been dedicated to Firestorm the Nuclear Man. While I enjoyed writing about Firestorm, I felt it was time to move on to something new. When I started this site in January 2009, Firestorm had been reduced to a minor character. His monthly series had been canceled for a third time, and he was a junior member of the Justice League of America. It was easy to keep up with his appearances and I could spend lots of time focused on his history. I liked that formula. Nowadays Firestorm is practically mainstream, appearing in DC’s number one selling comic Brightest Day. With rumors abound of a new Firestorm ongoing series, I felt it was time to move on before it became too difficult to keep up.
B’wana Beast has always been my favorite character and after searching around the web I haven’t been able to find an active blog dedicated to the character. I decided it was time to bid Firestorm a fond farewell and follow my heart. Thus was born B’WANA BEAST’S BLOG!
B’WANA BEAST’S APPEARANCES
While B’wana Beast has been around for over 40 years, he only appeared in a handful of titles. He first appeared in Showcase #66 (January 1967), and was created by Bob Haney and Mike Sekowsky. Below is B’wana Beast’s comic book chronology:
- Showcase #66 & #67 (Jan/Feb-Mar/Apr 1967)
- Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #3 (May 1985)
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 (Aug 1985) & #12 (Mar 1986)
- DC Challenge #2 & #3 (Dec 1985-Jan 1986)
- History of the DC Universe #2 (1986)
- Swamp Thing Annual #3 (1987)
- Animal Man #1-4 (Sept-Dec 1988)
- Animal Man #13 (July 1989)
- Animal Man #47-#50 (May-Aug 1992)
- Justice League of America: The Nail #2 & #3 (Sept-Oct 1998)
- DC Holiday Special ’09 (Feb 2010)
That’s it! With so few appearances, we’ll be able to really sink our teeth into the character and explore his depths. From time to time we’ll also feature some related characters, such as: Freedom Beast, Djuba, Congo Bill, and Animal Man.
B’WANA BEAST’S HISTORY
In case you are unfamiliar with B’wana Beast, here is a little info on our favorite Jungle Master. B’wana Beast’s given name was Mike Maxwell. Maxwell possessed a helmet and elixir which conferred on him his powers. The elixir granted him super-strength and super-speed likened to the strongest and swiftest of Africa’s wildlife. As well as granting him telepathic mastery over all wildlife, the helmet enabled him to combine beasts of two different species into one large mutated creature, which exhibited the greatest strengths of both. These transformations were of a limited duration, and the two beasts were then separated again, unharmed.
With the help of his gorilla companion, Djuba, in a secret hideout at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, ranger Mike Maxwell drank the aforementioned elixir and donned the helmet to become B’wana Beast. Maxwell used his powers for the good of all Africa, and became the Dark Continent’s super trouble-shooter.
In Animal Man #13 (July 1989), Maxwell decided to retire and performed a ceremony to find a successor. He passed the helmet and elixir on to a South African activist named Dominic Mndawe, who assumed the name Freedom Beast. Mike Maxwell returned in Animal Man #47 (May 1992), corrupted and possessed by the destructive force called the Antagon and transformed into the evil Shining Man. In the ensuing battle, Maxwell was killed.
Even though B’wana Beast died in the comics nearly 20 years ago, he’s recently received a new lease on life thanks to cartoons! B’wana Beast appeared in both Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series. Thanks to those appearances, his likeness has appeared on action figures, temporary tattoos, and more!
Going forward this site will be THE source for DC Comics’ Jungle Master – B’wana Beast! You’ll find anything and everything B’wana Beast-related here. Things such as merchandise, comics, toys, apparel, cartoons, news, creator interviews, and commentary about the character will be covered. While I’ll always enjoy Firestorm, I’m really excited about this new direction for the blog! To help with the new launch, I’ve got several posts today. Enjoy!
FRIENDS OF B’WANA BEAST’S BLOG
Also, don’t forget to check out these other great superhero-specific blogs:
- DC BLOODLINES: The Little Blog for the Lesser Known Universe
- DIANA PRINCE AS THE NEW WONDER WOMAN: Figuring the Amazing Amazon out one “Bold New Direction” at a time
- POWER OF THE ATOM: Sometimes the Sword of a Tiny Titan, other times saluting the Quantum Captain
- JUSTICE LEAGUE DETROIT: Vibe! Vixen! Gypsy! Steel! Zatanna! Men Aquatic, Elongated & Batty!
- THE IDOL-HEAD OF DIABOLU, a Martian Manhunter Blog
- SPEED FORCE: Following the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive
- BOOSTERRIFIC: The Web’s Number One Website of Booster Gold, the Corporate Crusader!
- THE INDIGO TRIBE: Green Lantern Reviews and Commentary
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