Origins of Ebony

Like the others selected by the Titan in his murderous travels, Ebony Maw was “adopted” by Thanos. In doing so, Thanos gave Maw a new purpose and directive as a speechifying servant and warrior.

Mind Over Matter

Ebony Maw has powerful and destructive telekinetic abilities, capable of manipulating all objects within his vicinity to an impressive and extreme degree, even molding their respective shapes to fit his specific needs.

This telekinetic ability also enables Maw to levitate off the ground—and, in a sense, fly—making Maw one of the trickiest Children of Thanos to defeat. It gives him the extraordinary edge he needs to best Earth’s Super Heroes in his quest for Earth-bound Infinity Stones.

Maw is also an adept torturer and interrogator, using language and voice, as well as a vast knowledge of the most painful ways to extract information.

Ebony’s Enemies

Maw and his fellow Children have a pretty easy run of things, moving from planet to plant and horrifically halving the populations, including Gamora’s home world of Zen-Whoberi. Previous to landing on Earth in search of the Time Stone, Maw aids Thanos in the decimation of both Xandar and an Asgardian refugee ship, where he easily restrains Thor with bindings telekinetically molded and morphed from scrap metal.

On Earth, however, Maw faces formidable challenges in the form of Doctor Strange, Wong, Iron Man, and Spider-Man. Strange’s magical safeguards against the Time Stone being removed from his person bring out Maw’s most malicious tendencies.

Family Affair

Maw is unequivocally loyal to Thanos, fighting side by side with his fellow Children of Thanos—Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive—to secure his “father” the Infinity Stones and fulfill what he deems to be a worthy and righteous destiny.

Outside of Thanos, Maw is the most vocal member of the Children, often playing the role of proud purveyor of Thanos’ gift of death. Informing those being butchered that their sacrifice serves a higher, grander cause, Maw believes that Thanos is delivering both mercy and salvation.

Maw’s Mindgames

Maw was present on Zen-Whoberi during Thanos’ invasion and subsequent “adoption” of the newly-orphaned Gamora. There, Maw paced through the carnage and loudly insisted that everyone’s death was serving a higher meaning. It is rhetoric that he’d often use over the years, including decades later inside the wreckage of a ship containing Asgardian survivors that Thanos had ambushed and killed.

Maw thought those dying should find joy in their sacrifice and that, with their demise, they’d become honorary Children of Thanos. When Thor tried to attack Thanos following the Titan’s defeat of the Hulk, Maw used his powers to trap the God of Thunder in metal restraints. Then when Thor cried out after Heimdall’s death, Maw used metal to cover his mouth and silence him.

Accepting the task of heading to New York for the sake of obtaining the Time Stone, Maw met with strong opposition when Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Wong, and Spider-Man all fought back, preventing him and Cull Obsidian from nabbing their prize. During the fight, Maw showed visible frustration after a telekinetic attack he launched was repelled by Strange and Wong, slicing Maw’s forehead open.

With Iron Man and Spider-Man distracted, and Wong briefly incapacitated, Maw isolated Strange and trapped him inside the concrete of a building. Maw’s attempt to remove the Eye of Agamotto necklace, which housed the Time Stone, from Strange’s neck backfired and burned his hand, thanks to a defense spell. Maw then decided to take Strange with him, back onto his ship, so that he could focus on other ways of getting the Stone.

Maw revealed to Strange that he’d never failed Thanos in his life and that even though he was technically in possession of the Time Stone, because he could not open the Eye of Agamotto to fully claim it, Thanos would deem it as a less-than-ideal capture. Determined not to disappoint his “father”, Maw began to torture Strange using his telekinesis and sharp needles, intending for Strange to finally break his spell to end his suffering. Unaware that Iron Man and Spider-Man had snuck onboard, Maw was undone when Iron Man blew a hole in the hull of the ship and Maw was sucked out into the freezing cold and vacuum of space—while Spider-Man stopped Doctor Strange from suffering the same fate.