B'Wana Beast

Bwana Beast

Real Name
Michael Payson Maxwell
First Appearance
Showcase #66 (January, 1967)
Bob Haney, Mike Sekowsky
Team Affliations
Justice League Unlimited (In Justice League Unlimited only)
He Who Never Dies
Base of Operations
Mt. Kilimanjaro
Telepathic control over animals, Able to fuse two animals into a chimera, Superhuman strength, speed, endurance, and agility, Heightened senses (Possibly exclusive to the DCAU only)
Skills and Abilities
Fighting Expertise
Tools and Weapons

B'Wana Beast (Mike Maxwell) is a super-hero in the DC Universe with the powers to combine animals.


When Mike Maxwell and a friend's plane crashed into Mt. Kilimanjaro, the two took refuge in a cave where Mike drank the rainwater that had been filtered through the mountain's minerals.  Soon, Mike began to become stronger and more agile, using his strength to overcome a powerful gorilla who lived in the cave.  The ape acknowledged Mike's strength and lead him to a room in the cave that contained a magic helmet that allowed him to control and communicate with animals and merge them together into super-animals.  Mike then fought evil in wilds of Tanzania as the B'Wana Beast.


The early years of Michael Maxwell remain unknown.  It is known that he was the son of Gilbert Maxwell and eventually graduated from university with highest honors.  However, Michael declined his place in the family business, instead deciding to travel with his roommate, Rupert Kenboya, to become an animal preserve ranger in Zimbabwe.  However, Mike's plane to Zimbabwe was struck by lightning, causing it to crash into Mount Kilimanjaro, leaving him and Rupert the only survivors and stranded on the mountain.  There, the two found a cave and sought refuge, only to find the cave was also home to a large, red mutant ape.

With the help of his gorilla companion, Djuba, in a secret hideout at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, ranger Mike Maxwell drinks the aforementioned elixir and dons the helmet to become B'wana Beast. In the origin issue, he fights Hamid Ali, "He Who Never Dies."

In Animal Man #13 (July 1989), written by Grant Morrison, Maxwell performs a ceremony to find a successor, and he passes the helmet and elixir on to a South African named Dominic Mndawe, who assumes the more politically correct name Freedom Beast.

Mike Maxwell returns 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 is killed.

Other MediaEdit


B'wana Beast

B'wana Beast was featured in the Justice League Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy" (voiced by Peter Onorati). He was recruited by Batman for his superior tracking skills in the search for Wonder Woman, who had been mystically transformed into a pig by Circe. In this incarnation, B'wana Beast was given a thick New York accent and blue collar personality to match, and his abilities were presented as animalistic feats of agility and the ability to communicate with animals. He also comes out in episodes of Batman the brave and the bold where he proposes to Vixen while in a cage next to detective chimp and Batman