Java: What the hell are you gonna do to me without your army?
Danton Black: [Replicates himself] I am an army.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.
—The Flash (2014), "Fastest Man Alive"
open/close all folders
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.
- Dragon Ball has the Multi-Form Technique, developed by Tenshinhan, which splits the user into four bodies (though each body is only 1/4 the strength of the original). Krillin, Piccolo and others utilize the technique or variations of it throughout the series.
- 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.
- In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run, the arc's Big Bad President Funny Valentine stand allows them to pull copies of themselves to fight and to remain effectively immortal (as all clones share the same memories) or of others to blow them up
- 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.
- Machine Man from Ultimate FF, being made of Gah Lak Tus nanomachines, is able to duplicate himself.
- The astral drops from W.I.T.C.H. are perfect duplicates of the Guardians, only without powers. The problem is that there's not multiple astral drops that get summoned and dismissed, only one that is put in limbo when non active, so they start developing their own personalities and feelings... And only Hay Lin treats her drop as an actual person (something they get called on).
- Shakara: Phaze is an alien assassin who can summon an infinite amount of Alternate Universe counterparts of herself.
Films — Live-Action
- Eli from Heroes who could only be defeated if you took out the "true" him.
- Brainiac, being as he was a Terminator 2 like living liquid metal produced by a spaceship, could do this on top of so many other things. Mostly used so he could be in several places at once to throw people off his scent while plotting.
- A season two Monster of the Week, Ian Randall, was much more limited: one extra person would climb out of his back and he used one to study in two places at one so he could achieve the best grades since when they recombined so would their memories.
- 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).
- Alisha from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an Inhuman who can create seemingly limitless copies of herself. Taking out the "real" Alisha will also take out the rest.
- Danton Black aka Multiplex is the villain of the week in the second episode of The Flash (2014). In this case, there is a single "controller", who must be taken down. During the climactic fight, Barry uses his Super Speed to locate the one Danton with beads of sweat on him from the exertion of controlling so many copies and slams him into a pillar, knocking out all the copies.
- 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.
- In The Candy Shop War, one of the effects of the Sands Of Time is to split the wearer into three selves. It should be noted, however, that anything that affects one of the selves affects all of them. If one is injured, they are all injured. If one is under the affects of a magic candy, they all are. At the end of the hour, the selves recombine at the closest safe location to the average of their positions.
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.
- Champions and Mutants & Masterminds have this as the Duplication power.
- In DCHeroes this was the Split power.
- The Selesnya Conclave from Magic: The Gathering has cards that have an ability called Populate which makes copies of Creature Tokens on the playing field.
- In Eclipse Phase, the ubiquity of Brain Uploading technology means that anyone can copy their mind-state and download it into a secondary body. This process is known as 'forking'. People can generate several types of forks - alpha forks are full, one-to-one copies of the primary ego. Beta forks are 'pruned' copies of the ego, usually with reduced skillsets and substantial memory loss, and are often created to perform a specific task. Delta forks are the most rudimentary type of fork, more like generic AIs with a personality template than full beings. When a fork's task is complete, it is usually merged back into the primary ego. However, depending on how long it's been since the fork was generated and how much the two minds have diverged, reintegration may be more difficult or even impossible. Up to a day of separation is acceptable, but at a week or more, substantial mental damage becomes a risk. The legality and morality of forking is disputed within the setting, and varies depending on which polity the characters are in - under some governments, forks are considered property, not sentient beings in their own right, or vice versa. Forking is a taboo subject in many places.
- Janus Cascade in Wild ARMs 3 revealed his ability to make duplicate bodies of himself, in an attempt to escape death by the protagonist party. Unfortunately for him, he perished for good shortly thereafter.
- Some of the zombie ponies can do this in Story of the Blanks.
- Flandre Scarlet of the Touhou series can do this up to three times for her "Taboo - Four of a Kind" spell card attack. She does this as an improvement of the stock vampire "turn into a swarm of bats, then back into a person" ability.
- Her sister Remilia enhanced the power in the opposite way - never more than one humanoid body, but has no limit to the number of bats she can exist as and can change back from any single bat.
- Shimmerstorm in Legacy Of Heroes.
- Ring Runner Flight Of The Sages has a caster ability called the Forked Path Catalyst, which creates two other copies of the caster. Rogues can create decoys, with physical presence that ranges from standard holograms to Hard Light.
- This is where Mega Man 3 boss Gemini Man gets his name. According to Super Adventure Rockman, he can have up to four clones alongside the original.
- In Phantasy Star Online 2, Dark Falz Double does this to guard the Profound Darkness.
- Subverted in Super Mario RPG, Yaridovich is able to disguise into several identical Toads (sans the one pretending to be the elder. Whoever,his real form looks nothing like the Toad duplicates. Played straight into one of his special moves, being able to make an equally strong copy of himself with less HP.
- 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.
- Flynt Coal from RWBY can create four copies of himself, typically to amplify his trumpet weapon.
- Lady Redundant Woman in WordGirl.
- In Danny Phantom, this is a rare power among ghosts. Vlad Plasmius can use it without difficulty. Danny himself spends most of the series trying to perfect it, and his evil future self (who incidentally absorbed Vlad's ghost half) has mastered it.
- 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, SpongeBob SquarePants uses this to demonstrate that a lucid dreamer can do anything they want in a dream. "I can make a million of me!"
- Multi-Man of The Impossibles in Frankenstein Jr.'s backup cartoon can, as his name suggests, make multiple copies of himself.
- The idea was recycled in The Super Globetrotters.
- Ben 10:
- Ditto from the original series could do this but if one of the copies was harmed it would affect everyone of them.
- Echo Echo from Ben 10: Alien Force can also do this and every copy is independent of itself, meaning Ben can keep one of them as backup in case anything bad happens to the others.
- In Ben 10: Omniverse we get to see Ditto's natural predator who can also self duplicate.
- Replay in Static Shock, a Former Child Star, who uses his copies to steal. They are shown to be separate individuals, but he has the ability to wipe them out from existence at will, thus keeping them in line.
- 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.
- 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.
- And when it comes to individual cells, there is of course mitosis in general, the form of cell division in which each daughter cell has a complete copy of the genetic code in the end. note Though which of the genes get expressed after that, determining the individual cells' form and function, is another matter...