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Ebony Maw is a member of the Black Order, a team of alien assassins and conquerors who served Thanos. His preference for strategy over violence makes him the most dangerous of them all.[1][2]


Attacking Ego

Alongside the other members of the Black Order, Ebony Maw served Thanos against Ego the Living Planet, whose very existence was an offense to Death. Their battle ultimately ended in a stalemate. Unbeknownst to Thanos, Maw had commissioned an alien named Trynka, whose race was capable of recording experience within their D.N.A., to record the whole ordeal for posterity.[3]

Invading Earth

When Thanos targeted Earth as the next planet he would raze, Ebony Maw was dispatched to deal with Doctor Strange.[4] Using his abilities to gain control over Doctor Strange, Maw forced him to summon Shuma-Gorath,[5] 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. Maw remained in the location, and forced Strange to forget about the discovery and leave, now freed from his control.[6]

After Black Bolt detonated a Terrigen Bomb which unleashed a compound close to the Terrigen Mists upon the entire face of Earth, Thanos' son, Thane, underwent Terrigenesis. The manifestation of his powers annihilated the entire town.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Leading Thane

In order to germinate nihilistic madness in Thane, Ebony Maw took him to the planet Malady to show his father's murderous handiwork through the psychic flashes of Trynka. In the process, Maw mentally manipulated Thane into believing he was part of his imagination, having died in the battle against Ego.[3] When J'Son approached Thane to offer him the chance of magnifying his power via the Black Vortex, Maw convinced Thane to follow the man to steal his power for his own.[10] While Thane was able to amplify his power by submitting to the Black Vortex,[11] he failed to steal it due to the interference of Gara.[12]

Thane's journey of conquest eventually led him to reach 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 the mythical trio of witches known as the Coven to strip 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.[13]

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.[14] 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,[15] 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.[14] Since the other Pyramoid had been seized by Black Dwarf,[16] 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.[17] 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,[18] 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.[18] Following the end of the contest and the Avengers' victory over the Challenger, the Black Order regrouped and escaped to the planet Angargal, where they were approached by the Grandmaster with an offer.[19]

Powers

Persuasion: As a whisperer,[20] Ebony Maw's true talents rely on his almost supernatural persuasive abilities. He is able to take hold of a person's thought process and make them serve his own goals with nothing but his words. Even the strongest minds, like Doctor Strange, have fallen prey to his machinations[1] as he once used him to summon the Many-Angled One Shuma-Gorath into their universe.[5]

Teleportation: Upon being attacked by the Blood Brothers, Ebony Maw shifted out of their way to safety.[15]

Abilities

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."[1]

Martial Artist: Ebony Maw was able to hold his own (albeit temporarily) against the martial artist Ferene, suggesting he is a skilled fighter.[21]



Equipment

Ebony Maw seemingly has access to a variety of alien technologies, including a class one defense shield he wore to protect himself from Thane's destructive powers.[8]

  • Ebony Maw was designed by Jerome Opeña.[22]
  • It has been suggested that Ebony Maw's lack of super-powers might be false, as "most things about him could be a lie."[1]

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