The alien known as Ebony Maw emerged from the Black Order with an ambitious plan to use Thanos’ son, Thane, as his proxy for universal conquest. Although Maw’s plans for the Mad Titan’s spawn remain unfulfilled, he is still among the deadliest members of the Order.

Humble Beginnings

Very little is known about Ebony Maw’s life before he came to serve Thanos in the Black Order. However, Maw’s actions suggest that he is driven more by ambition than by loyalty to his supposed master or his teammates. During the Avengers’ intergalactic war with the Builders, Thanos sent the Black Order to Earth to find and kill his last remaining offspring, Thane.

Ebony Maw attempts to bargain with Thane.

Ebony Maw pursued his own agenda by seizing control of Doctor Strange’s mind and withholding his discovery of Thane’s whereabouts from Thanos. Maw introduced himself to Thane shortly after the manifestation of the young man’s Inhuman powers. Although Maw initially acted as Thane’s ally, he captured Thane and finally informed Thanos where to find his son. During Thanos’ subsequent battle with the Avengers, Maw freed Thane and encouraged him to seize his destiny of conquering the galaxy.

Thane used his ability to trap Thanos and Proxima Midnight in an unbreakable amber shell, effectively sentencing them to a living death. Maw then spirited away the confused boy in a spaceship to pursue his dark legacy in the cosmos.

Master Manipulator

Maw has a genius-level intellect and a tactician’s mind that may actually rival Thanos himself. In terms of abilities, Maw appears to have been gifted with a form of telepathy that lets him manipulate and control the minds of other beings. Maw may also be naturally blessed with the skill to use his words as weapons to breakdown his victims’ natural mental defenses. Even Doctor Strange was unable to resist Maw’s mental incursion into his mind, which briefly made the Sorcerer Supreme his slave.

Ebony Maw invades Doctor Strange's mind.

While Maw typically avoids direct confrontations with his enemies, he has fighting skills that allow him to hold his own against Corvus Glaive in battle. Maw also recently demonstrates a teleportation power while battling the Lethal Legion, but that ability may have come from technology rather than innate talent.

A Lengthy List

Almost everyone who exists could be counted among Ebony Maw’s enemies, as he follows Thanos’ creed of death above life. More specifically, the Avengers and the Illuminati are Maw’s direct adversaries during his initial trip to Earth. When Maw rejoins the Black Order, he faces the Avengers once again as his team attempts to defeat the Lethal Legion.

Maw turns against Thanos at a critical moment and allows Thane to imprison the Mad Titan.

Even Thanos may be considered among Maw’s rivals, as Maw turns against him at a critical moment and allows Thane to imprison the Mad Titan. Thanos has yet to repay Maw for that betrayal, but he has a very good memory and ability to hold a grudge.

Fiendish Friends

Can someone like Ebony Maw truly have allies? He serves Thanos in the Black Order until he turns on Thanos in favor of his son, Thane. Maw’s loyalty to Thane also proved to be fickle when the two are defeated in battle by Corvus Glaive of the Black Order. Maw is eventually able to secure his release, but he leaves Thane to rot in Glaive’s dungeon.

The Black Order surrounds Thanos as it is revealed that he is still alive.

Maw recently rejoins the Black Order alongside Black Dwarf, Black Swan, Corvus Glaive, and Proxima Midnight. For a short time, they serve the Challenger as his proxy army against the Grandmaster’s Lethal Legion. In the aftermath, the Grandmaster offers the Black Order the chance to join him for his next plan.







Universe, Other Aliases, Identity, Powers, Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Identity

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

An Ebony Epic

Ebony Maw’s first encounter with Thanos and the rest of the Black Order has yet to be revealed. Nor is anything currently known about Maw’s life before entering the service of the Mad Titan. The earliest known tale of the assembled Black Order was during Thanos’ quest to destroy Ego the Living Planet. Unbeknownst to the Titan, Maw secretly ordered an alien called Trynka to create Thanos’ biography by using his specialized DNA to record everything he saw and heard.

While Thanos considered Ego’s very existence to be an affront against Death, the Living Planet easily defeated his foe’s fleet in battle. Unsatisfied with the victory, Ego brought Thanos, Maw, and the rest of the survivors down planet-side to torment them. However, Thanos’ might proved to be too much for Ego, and he expelled the invaders from his surface.

During an intergalactic crisis that required the majority of the Avengers to venture into deep space, Thanos and the Black Order realized that Earth was largely defenseless. Thanos’ emissaries invaded the planet and demanded that the Inhumans sacrifice the lives of every child within a certain age range. But in reality, this was just a cover for Thanos to find and kill his own son, Thane.

Maw used his powers to enslave Doctor Strange.

Upon his arrival, Maw used his powers to enslave Doctor Strange and forced him to act as a spy within the Illuminati. Maw also used Strange to unleash Shuma-Gorath and to locate Thane in a remote village in Greenland. Maw dismissed Strange from his service after wiping his memory of the event, while keeping a close eye on Thane, who still had a human appearance at the time.

A Terrigen Bomb spread the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists all over the world, and Thane was among those immediately exposed to it. Thane’s Terrigenesis proved to be lethal to everyone else in the town, and he emerged with a physical appearance reminiscent of his father. Maw took the opportunity to introduce himself to Thane and he provided him with a suit that could better control his powers. However, the gift was also a trap, and Maw quickly imprisoned Thane before informing Thanos of his location.

Maw confronts Thane.

Before Thanos could personally murder Thane, the Avengers arrived and confronted the Black Order. Maw secretly freed Thane and offered him the chance to flee or to embrace his destiny as Thanos’ son. Thane chose the latter and unleashed his powers to trap Thanos and Proxima Midnight in amber.

Pleased with his new protégé, Maw directed Thane to take a ship and leave the Earth behind to carve his own legacy in the stars. Maw also had Thane track down Trynka in order to relive Thanos’ war with Ego. Shortly thereafter, Maw and Thane became involved with J’Son of Spartax and his plans to use the Black Vortex to give himself and his followers cosmic powers. Thane was among those who submitted to the Black Vortex and emerged with even greater abilities than before.

The combined forces of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men ended J’Son’s ambitions for Spartax, but Maw and Thane remained free to pursue their own plans. They soon returned to the Black Quadrant, a territory in space that was firmly under the command of Thanos. In the Mad Titan’s absence, Corvus Glaive had turned it into his own empire. Maw and Thane’s attempt to unseat Glaive proved to be short-lived, as the boy was stripped of his powers and both were imprisoned.

Maw used his way with words to convince Glaive to free him, but he left Thane behind and made no attempt to rescue him. Several months later, Maw and Glaive were reunited with the other members of the Black Order as pawns of the Challenger. The Grandmaster assembled a new Lethal Legion to fight them, as he and the Challenger used Earth as their battleground. To make the game more interesting, several members of the Avengers were allowed to oppose both teams.

The Avengers proved to be more than a match for the Black Order, and they even defeated the Challenger himself. In the aftermath, the Grandmaster approached the Black Order as they pondered their next move. It is currently unknown if Maw or the other members of the Black Order accepted the Grandmaster’s offer to join him.

Ebony Maw taunts the Avengers.