Characters: Pride

Name: Dr. Hifikepunye Okonkwo

Height: 6'1

Weight: 185 pounds

Hair: Black

Eyes: Brown

Ethnicity: African (of Kunganchian descent)

Known relatives: Dr. Kofi Okonkwo (father, deceased), Dr. Miriam Okonkwo (mother, deceased), Chioma Okonkwo, esq. (younger sister), Lumumba Okonkwo (uncle, adjutant and former regent)

Education: Bachelor's degrees in psychology, robotics & biological engineering, master's degrees in political science, military science, mechanical engineering, astrophysics, dual doctorates in genetic engineering and medicine.

Aliases/nicknames: 'Ye, The Doctor, The Science King

Distinguishing characteristics: There is a tattoo of a lion's head on his right shoulder. It can't be seen through the ceremonial vestements he wears while performing superheroics, but it glows when he uses any of his special abilities. He also has a two inch scar on the upper left side of his head, beneath the hair, from a training accident in his youth.

Skills/abilities: Like his father, Dr. Okonkwo has an off-the-charts IQ and vast, detailed studies in a variety of fields. As well, after being immersed in the herb-tinted waters of the Forbidden Lake Ptah, he has inherited the powers of the Pride, a genetic heritage of the Kunganchians, giving him peak human performance in agility, speed, strength, endurance, stamina and reflexes. He is able to lift (press) 500 pounds, has a 72" vertical leap, is able to run 30 miles per hour for up to two hours without becoming fatigued, has a reaction time of 0.08 seconds. His senses fall just shy of superhuman levels. Pride wears a uniform incorporating the transdimensional element azizium which assists him with "planeswalking," interdimensional teleportation that allows him to move from place to place silently and tracelessly up to 200 total miles per day and transfers the energy from impacts to his person harmlessly into space forty thousand miles from earth through quantum entanglement. Pride wields a pair of azizium machetes which can be used for a variety of purposes from simple spellcasting (illusions, disrupting the quantum state of an object to take it out of phase with our plain of reality for ninety seconds) to slapping something with the flat of the blade for an impact of up to 50,000 pounds per square inch. Pride is the protector of the world's largest deposit of azizium (there is a football field-sized cache under the arctic circle and another similar sized one buried in the ocean half way between Madagascar and Australia), which descends miles below the Kunginchian territory, and its power, connected with the ancient goddess Sekhmet, gives him the ability to change into a were-lion creature that has superhuman levels of his already amazing abilities and -- in extreme measures -- allows him to call down Sekhmet's Wrath, inundating an area up to 50 yards around him with flames of 1000 degree Fahrenheit. The last ability he can only do once every year.

Best known for: A dramatic near-war with the west over intrusions by the intelligence community into Kunganchian sovereignty, doing a killer duet of "Cult of Personality" with Supernatural at a karaoke night, being a huge Doctor Who fan.

Known Affiliations: The Foundation

Place of birth: Takriban Peponi, Kunganchi

Marital status: Single

Ambitions: To honor his bloodline, to protect and serve his nation, to maintain his borders

Brief personal history: The isolationist nation of Kunganchi ("Kunga" = "secret," "nchi" = "nation" from the Kiswahili) was a mystery for decades to many of the western world. Financier R.P. Bartley (father of The Statesman) led a trading expedition into the area in 1994, where only three members of the team survived but the elder Bartley was able to broker a peace between Kunganchi and the United States.

The Kuganchian leader, Dr. Kofi Okonkwo, had spent years abroad studying under forged Nigerian credentials and was well versed in the ways of the west. His title as tribal chieftain of the unconquered and unexplored land was "Mkusanyiko-Simba," which translated to "Pride" (as in a pride of lions). Dr. Okonkwo agreed to visit the United Nations with Bartley, where they both had to join forces before a rogue Communist agent could detonate a neutron bomb and kill all the assembled delegates. Dr. Okonkwo and Bartley formed a friendship based on mutual distrust and respect.

Two years later, the Belgian/Chinese physicist Hector Fang tracked down rumors of a large cache of the mysterious element azizium being in Kungachi after discovering Chinese spies recovered a fragment from a 50/40 Project black site. Fang killed hree Kunganchian scientists and made suits of their skins, using such purloined credentials to gain access to Pride's inner sanctum for himself alongside a team of mercenaries. Fang committed regicide, killing Dr. Okonkwo and incapacitating the king's brother Lumumba by chopping off his right hand.

While Fang's men tried to access the underground cache of azizium, they were met by the seventeen-year-old Hifikepunye, who was armed to the teeth with an American M-249 on a tripod, several pistols, a machete and a host of grenades. Hifikepunye killed all but two of Fang's men and crippled the physicist, who was dragged to safety by the last of his men, who escaped the capital of Takriban Peponi ("almost paradise") in the ensuing chaos.

Lumumba could never be king after his failure to stop the regicide and Hifikepunye was too young, so the tribal council determined that Lumumba would serve as regent until Hifikepunye was of age. Lumumba's honor could only be served by ensuring that Hifikepunye became the king the nation needed, so he funded every educational opportunity and sought out masters of every discipline to help the young king ascend to greatness. The young Hifikepunye had already completed four bachelor's degrees by the time he was eighteen, and at the age of 25, he had completed all of the education he could find, mastered fourteen different martial arts, successfully founded Kunganchi Industries based on azizium-derived technologies and overseen the insertion of intellegence agents from the Askari Mchunga (secret overseer) directorate in multiple countries.

After defeating a gauntlet of Kunganchi's greatest, including his uncle Lumumba, in a variety of challenges of intellect and prowess, he was given access to the hidden underground Lake Ptah and allowed to bathe within. Only members of his bloodline can enter the waters without dying instantly and painfully, and he emerged as Pride.

Since then, he's been a cagey diplomat and acted as a "super hero" serving alongside the world's most prominent extrahumans while always furthering his country's goals.

Written by Hannibal Tabu
Character design by Quinn McGowan