B'wana Beast, Mike Maxwell, was a superhero of the jungle. He has the ability to merge the best qualities of animals into composite creatures with incredible powers, which he controls. His helmet, and an elixir he drinks, transform him into a taller and more powerful man than in his civilian identity as a ranger.
When Michael 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 led 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.
Animal Man and Freedom Beast
After struggling with his powers, and coming into conflict with Animal Man, the two became friends. Eventually, Mike Maxwell tried to give up his powers, and bequeathed them to Dominic Mndawe, an African man who decided to change his title to Freedom Beast.
After a long period of absence, Maxwell heard the call of the entity Antagon, and despite hopes from the shaman Stone and the Animal Masters, Maxwell became the corrupt host of the entity. As the Shining Man, Maxwell wreaked havoc on earth until he was killed in a fight with Metaman.
- B'Wana Serum
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- B'wana is a Swahili word which is used in an equivalent way to several English forms of address.
- 25 Appearances of Michael Maxwell (New Earth)
- 12 Images featuring Michael Maxwell (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Michael Maxwell (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Michael Maxwell (New Earth)