Marvel has plenty of spooky and spooky monster characters to round out its superhero stable, but there’s perhaps none more overlooked than the Living Mummy. Born out of an era of publishing that had a particular fondness for horror, The Living Mummy has so far failed to have even a fraction of the success of its grisly comrades. That might change, however, by tying him to a certain lunar superhero.
Moon Knight’s Egyptian theme would make it fit in nicely with the Living Mummy, and with the former having a hit comic and a TV show, it just might be the big break the Living Mummy always needed. Before Marvel decides to unbox this undead hero, here’s a look at what all the Living Mummy has been up to so far and how Moon Knight can shed a whole new light on him.
Who is Marvel’s Living Mummy?
Debut in supernatural thrillers #5, N’Kantu, the Living Mummy was created by Steve Gerber and Rich Buckler. The leader of a North African tribe known as the Swarili, N’Kantu, and the rest of his slaughtered people are taken as slaves to Egypt. Although he succeeds in helping the Swarili rebel against their captors, N’Kantu himself is crippled and mummified while alive. He would be resurrected centuries later, battling the descendants of the priest who mummified him while eventually ending up in modern New York. Due to the effects of the mystical embalming fluid used on him during ancient times, he has incredible strength, near-invulnerability, and apparent immortality. This would grant him a loose connection to Marvel’s superhero community, most notably through The Thing of The Fantastic Four.
Since the ’70s, however, he’s never really played a role in the wider Marvel Universe. The Midnight Sons push of the 1990s didn’t even bring him back, though he later briefly joined the Legion of Monsters alongside characters such as Morbius, the Living Vampire. He was also a rather minor figure in Marvel’s Civil war storyline, opposing the Superhuman Registration Act and later incarcerated for it. He was last seen ripped in half by the ruthless mercenary Deadpool, though it’s unclear if this was permanent.
Moon Knight’s New Popularity Could Revive The Living Mummy
The reason for N’Kantu’s failed launch likely stems from its premise. After all, mummies, living or not, are much less malleable to new stories than, say, vampires and werewolves. There is also its lack of any real motivation or forward premise. He obviously can’t go back and get his old life back, so what’s his purpose now? In its nearly 50-year history, Marvel has failed to give enough of an answer, or at least care enough. So the Living Mummy isn’t currently doing much, but Moon Knight would be the perfect character to change that. Moon Knight’s powers come from the Egyptian god Khonshu, and N’Kantu would likely still hold a lot of grudges against the Egyptians.
This could see the two come into conflict with each other, or perhaps be pitted against each other by enemies such as the descendants of the Egyptian priest Nephrus. Likewise, Moon Knight’s current “Midnight Mission” might make him want to help the Living Mummy out of sheer courtesy. Another character that could give the Living Mummy some popularity would be Black Panther. Perhaps the Swarili live in the Wakandan people somehow, with T’challa reuniting N’Kantu with his lost people.
If Living Mummy appears in the current run on Moon Knightit could also see Marvel Studios introduce it in later seasons of Disney+ Moon Knight TV show. This would be a great place to introduce N’Kantu to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, using the momentum of Moon Knight’s current push to finally make Marvel’s most underrated monster self. After all, the show is currently doing it with another obscure Marvel character. Hopefully, the result would be a proper narrative hook, villains, and everything else needed to make the Living Mummy a truly living character for the first time.
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