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Quote1 Hey, what do you think about me making a robot that looks, talks, and moves exactly like you? Quote2
Iron Man[src]

Life-Model Decoys (LMDs) are S.H.I.E.L.D. designed robots, whose skin is made of a rare metal called Epidurium[1] and whose purpose is to take the form of a living person, thus making a duplicate of them.[2] LMDs are based on Leonardo da Vinci's original prototype.[3][4]



Life-Model Decoy from Secret Warriors Vol 1 25 001

Leonardo da Vinci's decoy

The original LMD[4] was created by the Brotherhood of the Shield's patriarch, Leonardo da Vinci, and his assistants, Pietro Perungino and Lorenzo di Credi, in 1503.[3] It replaced Leonardo da Vinci after he had travelled to the future, and nobody else knew, not even other members of the Brotherhood of the Shield.[5]

In 1961, on a mission for Leonardo da Vinci, Nick Fury, his brother Jake, and Thomas Davidson opened Leonardo da Vinci's tomb and discovered the decoy. The self-replicating technology from the Renaissance latched onto Davidson and Jake Fury, creating robotic duplicates of both of them. It would later be reverse engineered into the modern LMDs.[4]


Nick Fury[]

When Col. Nick Fury was targeted for assassination by Hydra they used an LMDs as decoys. After he thwarted another attempt on his life he was appointed director of S.H.I.E.L.D.[2]

S.H.I.E.L.D. sends out a squad of Fury LMDs in hope they can be used to track down who's trying to kill Fury. The Druid's eggs destroyed the LMDs.[6]

Dum Dum Dugan was shattered when he thought Fury was killed in a fire-bombing attack by A.I.M., only to discover it was a LMD. Count Royale and his A.I.M. cohorts were amazed at how advanced and convincing S.H.I.E.L.D.'s LMDs were, far more advanced than their own chemical androids, and determined to steal one. A squad of A.I.M. men broke into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s underground base to steal an LMD.[7] They were stopped by Nick Fury, keeping the LMD technology a secret from them.[8]

Dum Dum Dugan[]

In August of 1966,[9] Dum Dum Dugan was fatally injured, and Nick Fury was forced to preserve his body's last glimmer of life in suspended animation.[10] Deeply affected by the loss of his best friend, Fury decided to put into work some extremely advanced Life-Model Decoys which had been retrofitted with alien tech to supersede Dugan's body.[9]

The real Dugan was kept in an undisclosed location, from where his consciousness was beamed to a host LMD,[10] and it would be transferred to any other spare unit each time one was destroyed.[11] For decades, only Fury knew of Dugan's true fate, making him believe that he had maintained his youth and vigor due to using the Infinity Formula.[9]

Captain America[]

S.H.I.E.L.D. enacted an an intricate plan to convince Steve Rogers to become Captain America again. They saved his life using an LMD who was targeted by a sniper agreed to resume his identity of Captain America.[12]

China stole plans for the LMD from S.H.I.E.L.D. and used them for Operation: Replica. They used the plans to create an LMD of Captain America. It was sent to the US to battle and replace Cap, but it was easily defeated.[13]

Tony Stark[]

When Iron Man's true identity was discovered by the Mandarin he used an LMD into thinking he was someone else. He wore a prosthetic mask so when the Mandarin unmasked him he looked like another person. At the same time he had the LMD call a press conference.[14]

Madame Masque set off an explosion at Stark Industries, which unintentionally reactivated the LMD Stark. When Tony returned to Stark Industries he found the LMD waiting in his office. It explained that it would make a better Tony Stark and Iron Man, and having changed Stark's filed signature and fingerprints, threw Stark out as an impostor. With his identity stolen, Tony couldn't cash checks or buy clothes, and was even kicked out of Avengers Mansion by Jarvis when he couldn't supply the proper entrance code. He was chased by the police and saved by Madame Masque.[15] The LMD helped Nick Fury and Captain America subdue a Hydra base, convincing them both he was the real Tony. Afterwards he decided that he must kill Stark. Midas had Madame Masque prepared the "Impostor Stark" to infiltrate his company and ordered her to kill him if things don't go well. That night they infiltrated Stark Industries but were quickly attacked by the waiting LMD, Stark protected Madame Masque and fought Iron Man. She attempted to kill Stark as ordered, but couldn't. Iron Man was distracted by two security guards, giving Stark time to don his original armor. The Avengers arrived just in time to see LMD fall into a smelting pot.

Tony arranged for LMD Unit 6 to temporarily head Stark International.[16] LMD Unit 6, believed to be the true Stark, prepared to provide technological support in case of Rigellian invasion via an alien egg.[17]


When Jarella was removed from K'ai they planned to use a Life Model Decoy of Jarella and send it back to K'ai so that everything would be restored back to normal. The LMD was destroyed so the original had to go herself.[18]


When Donald Blake was treating Captain America after an attack, Iron Man created a Thor LMD to take his place. However the ruse was found out and the assassin learned of Blake's alter ego.[19]


The criminal genius Nightshade was an expert in robotics and frequently used LMDs for various purposes, including ones designed in her own likeness.[20]


Another villain with a special aptitude for engineering and robotics, Arcade has also frequently employed LMDs of his own person, whenever he feels his own life might be endangered by his schemes.[21][22]


In order to find out the limits of a new Thing Exoskeleton, Reed had Ben beat up a specially prepared Life Model Decoy. Ben Grimm easily knocked the robots head off.[23]

Captain America was attacked by an army of Red Skulls. He was able to defeat them forcing the lead "Skull" to change back into Nick Fury and collapse. Cap told the real Fury that he had tricked Red Skull: noticing that the captured Nick Fury wasn't sweating, he had realized it was actually an LMD.[24]


The Deltite was a LMD created by Nazi scientist Dr. Arnim Zola and based upon the mind of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. They had Jake Fury smuggle the LMD inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. to wreak havoc at a later date.[25] The Deltite was unaware of its origins, and believed its actions were self-motivated.[26]


LMDs were used heavily during Tony Stark's time as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Some of these LMDs were not given names and were instead stamped with a serial number or barcode on their arms. A time displaced version of the original Android Human Torch came to believe the plight of the LMDs was similar to that of Jewish people during WWII, especially after seeing them used as cannon fodder during a battle and referred to them as prisoners. The LMDs acted as if they were inspired by him to enact a revolution when in reality they were in fact Ultron robots being controlled by the true Ultron who wanted to feed off of the Torch's blood to experience 'life'.[27]

Jake Fury[]

The LMD of Jake Fury would later go insane and become the terrorist known as Scorpio while the LMD of Thomas Davidson would go undercover with Hydra as part of Nick Fury's decades long plan to subvert the organization.[4]

Maria Hill[]

Maria Hill also employed them during her time as director of S.H.I.E.L.D.[28]


Someone created a large number of Deadpool Life-Model Decoys, which attacked him, and were destroyed by the real Deadpool and Red Hulk, who came by to recruit Deadpool to Code Red.[29]

Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine[]

After Valentina Allegra de Fontaine allegedly died in a Russian gulag, an LMD of her was created.[30]

Red Eye[]

A second type of LMD not yet designated for impersonation duty are called "Red Eyes" and are used for high-risk operations.[31]


The Livewires' technology is largely based on that of LMDs.[32]

Rebecca Ryker[]

The eponymous Deathlocket managed to commandeer the onboard LMDs of a S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier she'd taken command of while working with the Young Masters. Even giving them, or unlocking extra features in their bionic chassis.[33]


As an android a Life-Model Decoy possesses various capabilities:

  • Superhuman Strength: Life-Model Decoys are superhumanly strong and possesses strength beyond the human limit.
  • Superhuman Speed: An average Life-Model Decoy can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Durability: The construction of a Life-Model Decoy makes it very durable.
  • Superhuman Stamina: Life-Model Decoy can exert itself well beyond the human limit.
  • Superhuman Agility: The agility, balance, and bodily coordination Life-Model Decoys are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
  • Quick Repair: The nanites in its body give a Life-Model Decoy a form of self-repair similar to a Healing Factor.
  • Remote Control: The owner can see through, speak through, and control everything the LMD does in the field.
  • Weapon Morphing: LMDs can transmogrify limbs into energized battlements for combat.

Alternate Realities[]

Image Description Source
Artificially Intelligent Digital Assistant (Earth-199999) from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 3 001 On Earth-199999 the LMDs were a S.H.I.EL.D. project that Billy Koenig and Sam Koenig worked on as technicians.[34] Somehow Tony Stark knew about the project and jokingly said he was a Life-Model Decoy to Agent Phil Coulson via the phone.[35] Doctor Holden Radcliffe used the old S.H.I.EL.D. project to start making his own LMDs, starting with his assistant, Aida.[36] Marvel Cinematic Universe
Needed On Earth-8096, Nick Fury deployed a LMD which was destroyed by Graviton.[37] Many months later, a LMD modeled after S.H.I.E.L.D.'s newest director Maria Hill was executed by the Skrulls during their invasion.[38] General Thunderbolt Ross used LMD when he became the Red Hulk to keep his true identity secret.[39] Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (animated series)
Needed On Earth-904913, Nick Fury used a Life-Model Decoy to confront ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Mallen. It ended up destroyed.[40] Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Life-Model Decoy (Earth-82809) from What If? Vol 1 34 001 On Earth-82809, Nick Fury wore his eye patch over his right instead of the left eye. As a result all his LMDs were useless because the eye patch was over the left eye. What If? #34
Life-Model Decoy (Earth-9997) Earth X Vol 1 ½ On Earth-9997, during his account of the past, Nick Fury tells that Tony Stark has created several copies of Fury's LMDS to prevent the real Fury from being hit during missions on the front lines.[41] Earth X ½
Needed On Earth-12041, LMDs, which are able to roughly duplicate the powers of whoever they are disguised as, are used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to train Spider-Man and his team. In addition to the standard LMDs, there is a deadlier version used for harder training exercises.[42] When Captain America and Spider-Man arrive in Madripoor, they found the entrance to Arcade's lair where Wolverine was fighting Life Model Decoy ninjas. They discovered that Arcade had stolen some of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Life-Model Decoys modeled after themselves, which they were forced to fight. Arcade then unleashed multiple Hulk Life Model Decoys which were defeated by Captain America and Wolverine. Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine were later confronted by Red Hulk Life-Model Decoys.[43] They were continued being used at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy on the Triskelion. They were used to train the New Warriors [44] Ultimate Spider-Man Season 2 20
Needed On Earth-71002, Nick Fury used an LMD to debrief Spider-Man in Cairo, Egypt. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
Nicholas Fury (LMD) (Earth-5724) from Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.001 On Earth-5724 , Nick Fury observed the the top half of a torso of a LMD being constructed of him.[45] Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Needed On Earth-91119, Nick Fury has created hundreds of LMDs of himself.[46] Marvel Super Hero Squad Online
Needed On Earth-6109, a Life Model Decoys of Nick Fury were created.[47] Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2
Needed On Earth-9047, at one point, HYDRANT replaced the attendees of a Republican convention with LMDs. Nick Furious did not endeavor particularly to solve the situation; later, when the government got Furious stuck with unpleasant tasks, Furious believed it was a punishment for that.[48] What The--?! #23
Needed On Earth-TRN562, LMDs exist.[49] Marvel Avengers Academy


  • Arguably, the most well known LMD is/was Max Fury who believed himself to be the real Nick Fury for some time before associating himself with the Shadow Council.


  • In Marvel Super Heroes: What The--?! Episode 3, Nick Fury sends a less than helpful LMD of himself to assist US Agent, Howard the Duck, and Ch'od to stop M.O.D.O.K. from pirating chick flicks. The LMD mocks David Hasselhoff, who played Fury in one of his movies, being useless in the fight, and at one point parodying the famed internet video of Hasselhoff on the ground, drunk, trying to eat a cheeseburger.

See Also

Links and References