Out of all of the Black Order members who debuted in Avengers: Infinity War, Ebony Maw stood out the most. Maybe it was due to his cold, calculating demeanor. Or, perhaps his psychic powers caught everyone off guard. Or, maybe it's because Tony Stark called him Squidward.
Whatever the case may be, fans have wanted to learn as much as possible about the Maw since he made waves in Infinity War. Since Ebony Maw unceremoniously died in Avengers: Endgame, it looks he's not going to be appearing in any more movies any time soon. We'll have to shed more light on him ourselves, then. Today, we're going to share ten of Ebony Maw's most ruthless acts with you - bouncing between the MCU and comic versions of the character as needed.
10 Joining The Butcher Squadron
The dastardly Black Order wasn't the first team of villains Thanos assembled. The Butcher Squadron holds that distinction, serving Thanos without question during his earlier years. For the most part, the Butcher Squadron didn't have any high-minded goals. They merely went around killing indiscriminately to make people fear Thanos.
It's rather telling that Ebony Maw jumped at the opportunity to join the Butcher Squadron in his youth. For years, he murdered and maimed in Thanos' name - proving himself more cunning than any of his teammates. When Thanos created the Black Order, he knew that wanted Ebony Maw on that team from the very beginning.
9 Attacking Ego (For No Reason)
Now that the Black Order was established, Thanos set his sights on more dangerous prey. He wasn't content massacring the masses at random anymore - he wanted to find the Infinity Stones and earn the love of Lady Death! To that end, Thanos targeted Ego the Living Planet, a being that Lady Death couldn't stand.
The Black Order spent a long time assaulting Ego for no reason. Now, Ego isn't the nicest guy in the Marvel Universe, but he tends to leave most others alone. Ebony Maw realized this early on and tried to use Ego's disposition against him. Thankfully, Maw's schemes didn't work. However, Ego became much more aggressive in the long-run.
8 Deceiving Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange and Ebony Maw have something of a rivalry, both in the comics and in the MCU. Infinity War used the Time Stone as the catalyst for their feud - leading to an awesome battle of wits between the Sorceror Supreme and the Maw.
In the comics, however, Ebony Maw manages to beat Strange without raising a finger. Using his uncanny persuasion abilities, Ebony Maw enthralls Doctor Strange and turns him into a puppet. From that point onward, Maw used Strange as a double agent against the Illuminati - turning the Sorceror Supreme into a means to an end.
7 Summoning Shuma-Gorath
One of those ends happened to be unleashing an ancient, evil deity upon mankind! You see, Doctor Strange deals with all kinds of supernatural beings while he's on the job. Most of them are indifferent to humanity, and some even want to help. However, there are beings who'd like nothing more than to dominate or destroy Earth and all its inhabitants.
Shuma-Gorath is one such being. This one-eyed squid demon crawled right out of HP Lovecraft's nightmares and right into the Marvel Comics universe. Ebony Maw knew that Shuma-Gorath would cause devastation on Earth, allowing him to operate without any pesky heroes getting in his way.
6 Torturing Doctor Strange (MCU)
Well, at least the Earth-616 version of Doctor Strange wasn't tortured by Ebony Maw. His MCU counterpart, however, wasn't so lucky. Using his telekinetic abilities, Maw slowly forced an array of razor-sharp needles into Strange's body.
To add insult to injury, those blades were alien surgical tools! Honestly, we're pretty sure Maw would've continued torturing Strange even if he gave up the Time Stone. Kudos to the Doc for toughing it out and not buckling under pressure - as well as to Iron-Man and Spider-Man for rescuing Strange.
5 Torturing Nebula (MCU)
However, if there's one character in the MCU that isn't a stranger to pain, it's Nebula. Since her childhood, Thanos has maimed and mutilated her without a care in the world. Ebony Maw, always eager to please Papa Thanos, tortured Nebula in Endgame when he thought she was a spy.
Based on how effective Maw's methods were, we're willing to bet that's not the first time he tortured Nebula for Thanos' sake. Heck, Maw's probably the one who helped cut her down and cobble her back together! All for the sake of pleasing a Mad Titan.
4 Betraying Thanos
In stark contrast to his cinematic counterpart, Ebony Maw isn't 100% loyal to Thanos. No, the Maw's loyal to the winning side - which is a major reason why he joined Thanos' army in the first place. Trust us, Maw's more than eager to take the Mad Titan's place - he's proven so on multiple occasions.
One stand-out example would have to be when he turned Thanos' son Thane against his father. Ebony Maw didn't care about the boy's best interests, he just wanted to enthral a powerful soldier and keep him on a tight leash.
3 Corrupting Thane
Unlike his father, Thane initially wanted to use his immense powers to help others. That all changed not long after Ebony Maw turned a son against his father. Under Maw's tutelage, Thane became incredibly ruthless and sadistic. Before long, Thane resembled his father in almost every way, shape, and form.
It's just sad to see Ebony Maw corrupt a person who once saved the Avengers from certain death. Much like Anakin Skywalker, Thane was twisted into a weapon of war by a wrinkly old guy with a bad haircut.
2 Abandoning His Pupil
Ebony Maw used Thane for a long time, getting as much mileage out of their relationship as possible. All good things must come to an end, however. A coven of space-witches stripped Thane of his power, leaving the pair of them to be captured by their enemies.
Rather than think of a way to free himself and his pupil, Ebony Maw abandoned Thane and escaped alone. As painful as that must have been, Thane hopefully learned a valuable lesson about great power and great responsibility or something like that.
1 Bombing Avengers Mansion
Later on, after finding his way back to the Black Order, Maw and his allies ended up back on Earth. The Black Order was set to compete against the Lethal League in the Challenger's Contest.
Knowing that Earth's Mightiest Heroes wouldn't leave them be, Ebony Maw pre-emptively blew up the Avengers Mansion - nearly killing all of the heroes and visitors inside at the time!