In episode 2 of the new Flash tv show the team goes up against Multiplex a.k.a. Danton Black.

At some point, Caitlin uses the stem-cell residue on Barry's suit and it grows into a fully clothed empty - at least at first - shell. But even before we had seen Black splitting himself up numerous times.

And they all come out fully dressed!

If the "clones" are grown from stem cells, as Barry's early analysis suggests - which, as he also mentions that stem cells are the most versatile cells, since they can be "programmed" to grow into any cell needed, seems rather clever to me - how do they appear fully clothed? Granted, Black could have worn entirely organic fiber when he was hit with whatever the exploding particle accelerator threw out there, but are human stem cells that programmable that he got clothing out of it?? (keeping in mind they not only grow into clothing, but dye themselves black as well!!)

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  • @JasonBaker Hihi, ... and here I was debating with myself if I should add an in-universe answers please line at the end - but decided against, since I would actually accept this as a valid answer if no in-universe answer can be found. – BMWurm Feb 18 '15 at 20:40

They really shouldn't be clothed using the mechanics established by the Flash television show. The character of Danton Black (Multiplex) is fraught with media translation issues which confound the existence of the character, his rewritten origin and thus the explanation of his need for clothing and his unexplained ability to replicate clothing.

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  • The original character of Danton Black (Multiplex) was a Firestorm enemy who was created at the same time as Ronny Raymond and Professor Stein were fused together. Instead of being destroyed, Danton came away with the ability to create ENERGY duplicates of himself!

  • These energy duplicates (he called them duploids) would require him to absorb energy from the environment to create them. Since they were comprised of energy he controlled, they could look like anything he wanted them to. Mostly, they looked like he did.

  • Unfortunately when this character was adapted for the "Flash and Firestorm Show" the writers did not effectively translate the "energy duplicate" aspect of Multiplex's powers and instead made it a cellular event with "super-stem cells".

  • And as you correctly deduced, super-stem cells could indeed replicate the physical aspects of the man but would have zero ability to develop clothing for the character. Since decency laws require Multiplex to be decently dressed for his acts of villainy, his clothing is spontaneously replicated as well and in color-coordinated fashion.

  • NOTE: To give the writers an out, since Multiplex is creating these duplicates from cellular material, we could still say they are basically "energy duplicates" which need a cellular host provider to provide the cellular matter necessary for their existence. By merging their origins, the clothing could be a byproduct of the energy transformation required for the "duploid" to exist. Thus, they are energy constructs whose clothing is an organic-appearing analog.

This is a "media translation failure" and happens in comic to movie or television adaptations all the time, since the writers have rarely read the comics and have little invested in bothering to keep track of niggling details like stem cells-creating-clothing-for-their-villain who should be otherwise naked thanks to their oversight.

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