The mutant quintuplet brothers Tao-Yu can synchronize their bodies atoms allowing them to merge into the single being known as Collective Man. Boasting the strength and intellect of five men, they're trained as a government agent in their homeland of China.
From Many to One
Identical quintuplets and brothers, Han, Chang, Lin, Sun, and Ho Tao-Yu, are born to a Chinese farming family in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China. After their mutant nature manifests, their government places them in custody for study. Trained to control their power, the brothers become government agents known as the Collective Man.
The Tao-Yu brothers can mentally alter the synchronization of their bodies’ atoms, enabling them to merge into a single being. In their collective state, the brothers possess their combined strength, speed, endurance, and intellect. Originally, the brothers could further enhance their knowledge and power by tapping into the psychic energy of any number of individuals. Since their enhancement by Marduk, they can physically transform numerous individuals into Collective Men such as themselves, which they can then merge into a giant form with significantly enhanced abilities.
Trained as a government agent, Collective Man is an effective hand-to-hand combatant. The Tao-Yu brothers are fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.
Forcibly entered into the Contest of Champions, a game between the Elder of the Universe En Dwi Gast, AKA Grandmaster and Death, Collective Man goes up against fellow hero Walter Langkowski, AKA Sasquatch, and defeats him.
Their relationship with the Chinese government is a tenuous one. Collective Man refuses to follow orders so that they can be with their dying mother, Mary, so the government sends Ho Ti, the Japanese God of Happiness, to reclaim them. Ho Ti feels their mother’s happiness at seeing their sons and chooses not to remand them into custody. While allying to Reignfire’s Mutant Liberation Front, Reignfire betrays them to the government-sponsored China Force team.
The fallen god Marduk uses the Collective Man’s ability to absorb the life forces of China’s people, which increases Collective Man’s powers. The clandestine organization V-Battalion’s field agent John Watkins III, AKA Citizen V, apparently slays Collective Man, but as a result of his increased power from Marduk’s meddling, he reforms himself.
After the then-insane Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, cast a spell removing most mutants’ powers, Collective Man remains unaffected. They join other mutants as the 198. When the Office of National Emergency, AKA O*N*E, General Lazer tries to kill the 198, the X-Men saves them.
Freedom Fighters and Mutant Allies
After being disenchanted with their government, Collective Man forms the group 3Peace with freedom fighters Dei Guan, AKA Jade Dragon, and Nuwa.
Often Collective Man’s foe, the X-Men become their ally when saving them from O*N*E’s General Lazer who attempted to kill them.
A Collective History
The brothers were among the heroes of Earth gathered to partake in a “Contest of Champions” between the Grandmaster and Death herself. As an unwitting agent of Death, the Collective Man exhausted himself, defeating Sasquatch.
The brothers later learned that their mother was dying. Determined to visit her, they took a helicopter, forcing the government to send Ho Ti, the Japanese God of Happiness, to reclaim them. The brothers opposed Ho Ti, who relented after sensing the happiness that the brothers’ mother felt on seeing her sons for the first time in twenty years before she died.
The brothers subsequently returned to government service; however, their growing disdain over the government’s mistreatment of other mutants led them to join the Jade Dragon and Nuwa in forming 3Peace. Allying themselves with Reignfire’s Mutant Liberation Front to free captive Chinese mutants, 3Peace were ultimately betrayed by Reignfire to the government-sponsored China Force team, but they were able to escape.
The brothers were then unwittingly drawn into a plot by the fallen god Marduk, who boosted their power to enable them to permanently absorb their countrymen’s collective life force and transfer it into the Genesis Well, thus allowing Marduk to re-empower himself. Opposed by Citizen V and the V-Battalion, the brothers combined and grew to giant size, liquefying V-Battalion council member Goldfire with a simple turn of their head. When Citizen V used his Adamantium-coated sword to burst Collective Man’s engorged form, the brothers were seemingly killed. The V-Battalion gathered their remains in order to reverse-engineer their powers, allowing them to put the entire population of Rumekistan into a slumber so as to oppose Marduk’s plan.
As a byproduct of their enhanced power, the brothers eventually reformed and returned to serving the Chinese government. When the X-Men traveled to China to investigate the mutant Shen Xorn, they were confronted by the brothers, who used their increased power to create a veritable army of Collective Men to oppose them. Collective Man went up against Logan/James Howlett, AKA Wolverine, but it was Lorna Dane, AKA Polaris, who defeated them.
Following the alteration of reality by the Scarlet Witch that resulted in the majority of Earth’s mutants losing their powers, the brothers joined the remaining mutants as the 198. Though the Office of National Emergency (O*N*E) held them all at the Xavier Institute until freed by X-Force. O*N*E’s General Lazer tried to kill the 198, but the X-Men saved them. Shortly after, the Chinese government sent four of the brothers to investigate Nathan Summers, AKA Cable, and his island Providence.
Collective Man later led the People’s Defense Force with Ban Luck and joined The Mighty Avengers, and other Avengers to defeat the Unspoken. Collective Man later invaded San Francisco’s criminal circuit, but the Utopian X-Men defeated them and Collective Man ends up in custody.