Jamie Madrox is a rather interesting character; one that managed to get his own ongoing series which concluded a few years back. Having not known much about the character, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to learn about this hero. We all know that he multiplies, but there is so much more to the character that is Madrox The Multiple Man.
This graphic novel offers more than a tale, it gives you all that you need to know about The Multiple Man. You get to see his first comic appearance in the Giant Sized Fantastic Four #4 — as he goes head to head with the Fantastic Four.
He is not a villain he is simply a misguided youth who is fighting for survival. This is made known in his origin section. See Jamie has the power to multiply each time he takes a knock. When he was born the Doctor slapped his bottom and he produced a duplicate of himself.
His parents where close friends with Professor X and he visited their secluded farm, advising his family on how to keep their child safe. Jamie’s father gave him a “gift” — a suit that could stop him from multiplying each time he took a knock as it absorbed kinetic energy. His parents kept him secluded from society I order to protect their child from the dangers that mutants faced. But when his parents fall victim to a “natural” disaster, Jamie is left on a farm all on his own and this is something that would change him forever. He was used to being alone and managing his farm through the use of his duplicates, however, years went by and all this changed when his suit took damage.
The best part of this book has to be the Multiple Choice Arc. Peter David took the mantle of writing for the Jamie Madrox character and his offering was exceptional. He took the time to get into the characters mind and gave readers something to remember; something so successful that it would be given its own ongoing comic which would span for years. Peter David gave the reader an all new look at Jamie Madrox as he expanded his powers and explore their limitations.
The Multiple Choice arc is a noir styled tale. This story opens with Jamie Madrox suffering a fatal wound that is leaving him on deaths door. Bleeding out, he is determined to make it to his office and we soon find out why. Jamie is a private investigator who uses his duplicates in order to offer his clients the best in private investigation. He is able to absorb his duplicates and gain their knowledge.
Sounds great, but if one dies he also has to share in that mind shattering experience as he is forced to feel the true reality of death. Making it to his office, the gutted clone is absorbed by the original Madrox and the quest to find his killer begins. This book is written brilliantly as the reader gets to explore all the emotions of the Multiple Man as his duplicates tend to have minds of their own. Jamie is funny, witty and cool. The type of hero that works well with the noir style of writing employed in this graphic novel. He has his X-Factor teammates who have now turned to colleagues as they assist him with his company “XXX Investigations”.
The supporting cast includes the likes of Wolfsbane, Strong Guy and the many different emotions of Jamie Madrox especially when he duplicates. This is a great story and it has the art to match. Pablo Raimondi captures the essence of this graphic novel and gives us imagery that matches the tone set by Peter David’s writing. The story is kept dark, gritty and in proportion, giving it the noir feel even though the character tends to give us some light-hearted moments.
The book also delves into each of the lead characters comic appearances, including those which followed the “Multiple Choice” arc. You are also given another opportunity to learn more about Jamie and the important events that led him towards becoming the hero that he is today.
This is a great graphic novel and an issue that is definitely a must have. It gives the reader a break from the usual X-men and Avengers characters and puts the light on characters whom are considered to the be second tier in the X-men and greater Marvel universe. The stories told, however, are memorable and definitely stand out among what Marvel has produced both before and after the release of this graphic novel. Get your copy today and prepare yourself for a read that you will never forget!