Ebony Maw was a member of the Black Order. Gifted with powers of telekinesis, Maw was deeply loyal to Thanos and gave warnings of his power across the galaxy while assisting in the search for the Infinity Stones. Having assisted with wiping out half the Asgardians, both Maw and Cull Obsidian were instructed to locate the Time Stone, leading to Maw capturing Doctor Strange and torturing him in order to obtain the Stone. However, Iron Man and Spider-Man rescued Strange and ejected Maw from his ship into outer space, leaving the Child of Thanos to freeze to death.
Ebony Maw, like the rest of the Black Order, was a member of a world destroyed by Thanos in his quest to wipe out half the universe. Thanos took the orphaned Maw and raised him as his own child, training him to be a deadly member of the Black Order, but unlike his siblings, Maw stood out by never failing Thanos during his time in the order.
Invasion of Zen-Whoberi
- "Zehobereians, choose a side or die. One side is a revelation. The other is an honor known only to a few. Now go in peace and meet your Maker."
- ―Ebony Maw
Ebony Maw was present at the invasion of Zen-Whoberi, when Thanos took Gamora into his care. He heralded to the people of Zen-Whoberi as they were rounded up, having one side giving a chance to be spared and the other side to be massacred. Maw eventually commands the Chitauri to execute half of the population.
Obtaining the Tesseract
During the fight between Hulk and Thanos, Ebony Maw kept Cull Obsidian from intervening, instructing him to let their father have his fun. Thor eventually attempted to attack Thanos, which prompted Maw to use his telekinesis to restrain the Asgardian in his place. Right after Heimdall used dark magic to send the weakened Hulk to Earth, Thanos stabbed and killed him, causing Thor to yell out before being gagged by Maw. Maw then humbly bowed down before Thanos as he presents the Tesseract to his master. He mused on how only Thanos has the power and nobility needed to wield the Infinity Stones as the Titan discarded his armor and then took the Tesseract from Maw's hand and proceeded to quickly crush it to unveil and add the Space Stone into the Infinity Gauntlet.
- "It's a simple spell but quite unbreakable."
"Then I'll take it off your corpse!"
- ―Doctor Strange and Ebony Maw
Ebony Maw next went to Earth with Cull Obsidian in search of the Eye of Agamotto, which contained the Time Stone. Upon arriving on Earth, Maw and Obsidian were confronted by Doctor Strange, Wong, Iron Man, and Bruce Banner. As Maw was heralding to the four, he was interrupted by Iron Man, which irritated him. A fight quickly began, with Iron Man and Banner mainly fighting Cull Obsidian while Doctor Strange and Wong mainly fought Ebony Maw.
Ebony Maw fought with little effort until Strange and Wong managed to injure him, at which point he grew annoyed and aggressive; Ebony Maw ended up knocking Strange unconscious. Eventually, Spider-Man joined the fray, attempting to stop Ebony Maw from getting to the unmoving Doctor Strange. Ultimately, Ebony Maw was able to take Doctor Strange and board the ship which Cull Obsidian and Maw used to invade Earth.
Torturing Doctor Strange
As the ship made its way to Titan where it was to rendezvous with Thanos, Ebony Maw began to torture Doctor Strange in an attempt to force him to give up the Time Stone. Maw explained to Strange how, if he were to arrive on Titan with Strange still in possession of the Stone, there would be punishment for Maw from Thanos.
Unbeknownst to Maw, Iron Man and Spider-Man had snuck aboard the Q-Ship as it ascended into space. As Maw tortured Doctor Strange, he heard Iron Man behind him. He turned around and told Iron Man that he could kill Strange in an instant. Iron Man replied that "the kid has seen more movies", at which point he blasted a hole in the side of the ship, causing Maw to be flushed out into the vacuum of the space and killed, leaving his frozen body to be lost to the cosmos.
Following his obtainment of the Soul Stone, Thanos arrived on Titan to retrieve the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. Thanos swiftly deduced that Ebony Maw died upon seeing Strange free and waiting for him but showed regards for Maw for accomplishing his mission.
As one of Thanos' most trusted lieutenants and chief thinker within the Black Order, Ebony Maw was calm and calculated during his service to his father, which was often in direct contrast with the bloodthirsty attitudes of the other members of the Black Order. Maw held great respect for Thanos, to the point of speaking quite reverently of the Mad Titan as he announced their arrival on various worlds and prostrating himself deeply before Thanos when addressing him directly. He also restrained Cull Obsidian during Thanos' fight with the Hulk aboard the Statesman, confident in his master's ability to prevail against his enemy. Maw was displeased by any perceived offenses against Thanos, as seen by Maw silencing Thor when the latter's cries interrupted Thanos' speech.
Maw was also quite haughty, referring to the lives of those killed during Thanos' quest as "meaningless". When he encountered the Avengers in New York City, Maw spoke contemptuously towards Iron Man and Doctor Strange, openly referring to the former as an "animal". He leisurely deflected their attacks while launching attacks of his own, only becoming serious after Strange and Wong managed to wound him. His frustration when Strange continuously denied him the Time Stone exposed his sadistic side as he slowly tortured the sorcerer, relishing Strange's pain. He held some respect for Strange for being a Stonekeeper, but would have killed him anyway in order to obtain the Stone.
Powers and Abilities
- "Your powers are inconsequential compared to mine."
- ―Ebony Maw to Iron Man
- Molecular Telekinesis: Ebony Maw was able to move and otherwise manipulate objects to his will to an immense degree, employing this power offensively, able to swiftly send Iron Man flying skyward, to knock aside Spider-Man by sending a billboard flying into him without even looking at him, to angle away the trajectory of Cull Obsidian after the latter was sent flying at him. His precision with his power was enough to allow him to cleanly slice apart a car hurled at him; and to sculpt sharpened spikes out of debris, before launching it at the combined might of Doctor Strange and Wong. Maw was also able to use his telekinesis to restrain and muzzle a defeated Thor with panels from the walls of the Statesman. He was also able to manipulate the environment to hinder Doctor Strange's escape, managing to defeat the sorcerer again and knock him out, making use of several structures in the vicinity, such as stop lights.
- Levitation: Ebony Maw could use his telekinesis to levitate, occasionally using this skill as a means of transportation, even able to make himself hover upside-down. He was also able to telekinetically take people with him while levitating himself, as seen when he lifted Doctor Strange into the air against a wall.
- Pilot: Ebony Maw knew how to fly a Q-Ship on his own, attempting to take one to Titan after he captured Doctor Strange.
- Microsurgery Needles: Ebony Maw used thin microsurgery needles when he tortured Doctor Strange in order to get the Time Stone. The needles were able to penetrate through Strange's skin thanks to Ebony Maw's telekinetic powers.
- Joe Russo calls Ebony Maw "Thanos's herald, a little bit of his hype man, and you know, Thanos is sort of a cult character, and Ebony Maw, the character who Tom plays, is the one who builds up the cult."
- When Ebony Maw is sucked out into space, it reminisces the Xenomorph death from Aliens, directly referenced when Iron Man mentions that Spider-Man "has seen more movies". The Wilhelm scream is also heard when Maw is sucked out of the ship.
- Ebony Maw bears the Telekinesis and Levitation powers from Supergiant, who in the comics, is also a member of the Black Order.
- Thanos referring to him as "The Maw" makes Ebony Maw the only Black Order member who had their name spoken, albeit his last name. Ebony Maw also was the only Black Order member who Thanos praised for his efforts and recognized he had fulfilled his mission; whereas he never addressed the efforts and deaths of Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive and Cull Obsidian.