Invading Earth

Ebony Maw was a member of Thanos' Black Order, not a fighter, but a dangerous thinker of the Mad Titan's army. When Thanos targeted Earth as the next planet he would raze, Ebony Maw was dispatched to deal with Doctor Strange.[1] Ebony Maw used his abilities to gain control over Doctor Strange and forced him to summon Shuma-Gorath,[2] and serve as a double-agent for him when he reunited with the Illuminati. When the Illuminati headed to numerous locations around the world to find Thanos' son, Doctor Strange found the boy in a hidden Inhuman town in Greenland. Ebony remained in the location and forced Strange to forget about the discovery, and to leave, now freed from Maw's control.[3]

After Black Bolt detonated a Terrigen Bomb which unleashed a compound close to the Terrigen Mists upon the entire face of Earth, Thanos's son, Thane, underwent Terrigenesis. The manifestation of his powers annihilated the entire town.[4] Posing as an ally, Maw offered Thane a suit to control his powers, but also captured him in a containment field, followed by Maw alerting Thanos to the location of his son.[5] When the Avengers arrived to Orollan in order to defeat Thanos, Ebony Maw tested Thane by freeing him. Thane could escape, or could fight Thanos and become what he had avoided his entire life. The boy agreed and embraced his true nature as the son of Thanos by fighting his father. Using the power of his right hand, Thane trapped Thanos and his ally Proxima Midnight in an amber construct which left them in a state of "living death." Upon the defeat of Thanos, Ebony Maw started disciplining Thane into becoming something greater than Thanos and or anyone else.[6]

Leading Thane

In his journey of conquest, Thane reached the Black Quadrant, a territory of Thanos which had fallen into the hands of Corvus Glaive, one of Ebony Maw's former teammates at the Black Order. Having taken the necessary precautions, Glaive enlisted the help of a Coven of witches that stripped Thane of his power, leading to his and Ebony Maw's capture. During the following eight months he spent apprehended, Thane believed that Ebony Maw would rescue him. However, at some point during that time, Ebony Maw had managed to talk his way out of captivity and fled.[7]

The Challengers' Contest

Ebony Maw was brought back into the reassembled Black Order by the Challenger, an adversary of the Grandmaster whose champions were set to fight the Grandmaster's own Lethal Legion as part of a contest of cosmic scale.[8] Before the game's start, both teams were teleported to Earth to survey it, since it had been chosen as battleground. Following a brief skirmish that was cut short by the gamemasters since the contest hadn't started yet,[9] the Black Order decided to attack the Avengers Mansion, exploding it by surprise to prevent its heroes from becoming obstacles. The Avengers survived, however, as they had been teleported to safety by Voyager at the last second.

When the first round started, Ebony Maw was among the half of the Black Order dispatched to Cuso, Peru, where one of the two Pyramoids placed on Earth by the gamemasters was located. The confrontation between the forces of the Black Order and the Lethal Legion was interrupted by the arrival of a group of Avengers.[8] Since the other Pyramoid had been seized by Black Dwarf,[10] the round ended after the Human Torch of the Avengers touched the Pyramoid in Cusco. Both were teleported to the Grandmaster's Cosmic Game Room, though in a way it seemed like they had been disintegrated.[11] The following round, the remaining members of the Black Order in their entirety traveled to Antarctica to take possession of one of the two new Pyramoids deployed. They were attacked Avengers,[12] and in the process Ebony Maw was knocked down. Following Corvus Glaive's death at the hands of Rogue, the remaining members of the Black Order that were on their feet, Proxima Midnight and Black Swan, decided to retreat.[12]


Persuasion: Ebony Maws's true talents relies around deception and manipulation. He can coax peoples thought processes into serving his own goals with nothing but his words. Even the most fortuitous minds, like Doctor Strange, have fallen prey to his machinations as he once used him to summon the Many-Angled One Shuma-Gorath into their universe.[2]


Super-Genius Class Intelligence: Ebony Maw mostly demonstrates his intelligence with his highly skilled abilities of manipulation, being described as a "black tongue that spreads mischief and evil wherever he goes."[13]

  • It has been suggested that Ebony Maw's lack of super-powers might be false, as "most things about him could be a lie."[13]

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