If her name is Penny, does that make them Dimes?
The ability to make several copies of oneself, normally maintaining control over all copies. Usually comes implicitly with the ability to recombine said copies.
This power can be very potent. One can be effectively immortal if at least one of you survives, one gets the ability to distract, surround and hinder your opponent and if all the duplicates work from a single mind it all occurs with perfect coordination. This power is an opportunity for writers to show off the creative combat techniques and imaginative Mundane Utilities
There may or may not be some idea of a central self, one copy who is the "proper" version for whatever reason: you have to kill that one to kill them all at once, one gives all of the commands, etc. The other copies, conversely, rarely count as persons
in and of themselves; see also Cloning Blues
. If they are
counted as actual people, expect Which Me?
Possible side-effects include Literal Split Personality
. May be used in a Doppelgänger Attack
, a Breather Episode
might go for Me's a Crowd
. Not to be confused with I Am Legion
. Power Perversion Potential
means this naturally leads to Screw Yourself
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Anime and Manga
- Naruto: There are various Ninjutsu that can do this, each using a different way, but the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu (Shadow Clone Technique) is the first to be introduced and arguably the most iconic one among them, not the least due to the protagonist tending to utterly spam it (first ever use resulted in around 2000 clones!) as part of his pre-Time Skip combat strategy.
- Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z had the power to split himself into several copies, which he used as a training technique. His attempt to use it in combat didn't pan out nearly as well.
- Nico Robin has acquired to do the ability to do this during the Time Skip in One Piece.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father creates all the homunculi from undesirable pieces of his own soul, although you wouldn't guess it because, with the exception of Pride, there isn't much family resemblance. He can also reabsorb them, but that's a very unpleasant process.
- Jamie Madrox of the X-Men, aka Multiple Man, in the Marvel Universe. If he leaves his duplicates separated for too long, they start to become more independent and develop their own personalities. Sadly making a Me's a Crowd plot difficult for too long but an Evil Twin incredibly easy.
- From the DC Universe, there is Multiplex who gets this power as well as superstrength.
- Also from the DC Universe, we have "Silent Majority", a member of a throwaway team of American-themed super-powered government agents called the Force of July. His code-name came from a combination of his personality (laconic) and his powers.
- And there's Centipede, a Canadian super-agent who tracks Nelson in Dial H.
- Another DCU example, Bizarro can do this, but only under the light of a blue sun. He used this ability to create his own versions of Superman's friends and enemies, including Lois Lane. This is how Bizarro World was populated.
- The Engineer from The Authority could do this, using nanotech to extrude copies of herself. Her main limitation was that she spread her consciousness throughout her duplicates and the more she created the harder it was for her to manage them all. It was never explicitly stated if she could have created autonomous duplicates.
- Loki has has this power since the first Avengers story, though he uses it more frequently in the movies.
- Eli from Heroes who could only be defeated if you took out the "true" him.
- In a Season 1 episode, Prue casts a spell on herself to create two extra copies of her after Phoebe has a vision of her being stabbed. The two clones are also a Literal Split Personality, as one represents her neurotic, control-freak side, and the other her highly repressed sexual side. The real Prue is unaffected by the split and acts like normal.
- Prue develops the power of Astral Projection in Season 2, but it's treated more like Self-Duplication (her astral-body is still on our plane, corporeal and can be seen by others).
- In the Wearing the Cape books, there are a variety of Redux-type superhumans. Examples include Platoon, who duplicates himself permanently on a regular basis (there are implied to be dozens of him), and the supervillain Flash Mob, who can make 20 or so temporary duplicates.
- In Cold Days, Sharkface has this power, and uses it during the battle for Demonreach.
Myth and Legend
- Korean folk hero Hong Gildong could do this by transforming straw dolls into doppelgangers of himself.
- Pan, from Greek mythology, had the ability to split into multiple "Panes", each with its own name. Three of them, Agreos, Nominos and Aegipan, are described as having their own unique appearances, personalities and abilities.
- The backstory for Mad Daedalus briefly mentions Icarus, a clone of Daedalus that he created to serve as his assistant.
- Harem from Grrl Power has this power, on top of being a Hive Mind with teleportation powers. Any potential problems with the duplication are averted; each different body has a "different personality," but it's just a facade on Harem's part. In her words, "There's no 'this one' or 'that one,' there's just ME." Having said that one, she does personalize each different body with hairstyles, tattoos, piercings, and wardrobes for each copy. It also helps that she has incredible intelligence.
- Troika of the Whateley Universe can split into three identical people, while OMAG can split into at least six people but the duplicates don't seem to have the autonomy that Troika's dupes do.
- The Worm universe offers several examples:
- The supervillain Oni Lee is a teleporter that leaves short-lived duplicates behind every time he jaunts. He uses this to great effect when combined with duplicated weaponry such as handguns or grenades.
- The superhero Prism can split into three copies and remerge into any of the three to gain enhanced strength, speed, and durability.
- Spree, a member of the villain team known as The Teeth, can spam vast hordes of duplicates ... that get dumber and dumber every second they're "alive".
- Cape-turned-mercenary Satyrical has the ability to produce flesh clones that can shapeshift to look like whoever he wants them to.
- Sebastian from The Platoon Of Power Squadron can multiply herself. She mostly uses her power to get off work and to have someone to play video games with. Unfortunately, after a certain number of copies they get a little unstable and less like herself. One of them even left to move in with her boyfriend due to constantly being treated like she's just a clone.
- Manson Haight, a small-time paragang member from ASH, has the power to make one duplicate every day.
- Lady Redundant Woman in WordGirl.
- Danny's ability to duplicate himself in Danny Phantom.
- The Ring of Nine Dragons in Xiaolin Showdown allowed the user to duplicate him/herself, but cut his/her power into equal portions and leads to Literal Split Personality.
- Billy Numerous in Teen Titans. A particularly skilled one too, since he's able to create literally dozens of clones near-instantaneously with no power loss. Yes, he's only about as strong as the average man, but when you suddenly have 30 of them, all sucker-punching you from every angle, he's a fairly formidable villain.
- This is the power of Loony Fan Sebastian in the Generator Rex episode "Rock My World".
- He doesn't normally have this power, but in one episode, Sponge Bob Square Pants uses this to demonstrate that a lucid dreamer can do anything they want in a dream. "I can make a million of me!"
- Certain species of plants, fungi, and bacteria have the power to form clonal colonies where a single ancestor can reproduce vegetatively, not sexually, to form a large population of clones. Sometimes these clones are interconnected through roots and runners to form a single massive organism that is practically immortal.
- Most notable of these is Pando, a 100 acre large connected Quaking Aspen colony with 43,000 individuals estimated to be over 80,000 years old.
- The cloning ability was actually used to overcome the effects of climate change where the post ice age west was inhospitable for Aspen seedlings. Without young aspens or conifers, which were both sensitive to the arid environment, to compete with, the clonal colonies came to predominate. Some estimate that in some places Aspen have not reproduced sexually for 10,000 years.