There are two things that probably shouldn’t go together: Jamie Madrox and time travel. The two can get very confusing very fast. That is the recipe for the Multiple Man mini-series and it has been nothing short of epic and awesome. As the final issue begins, an army of dupes is taking aim at the X-Men while another Jamie is bouncing through time trying to stop it. Since each dupe represents an aspect of Jamie’s personality, there’s a bit of a culture clash as all these forces come together.
Multiple Man #5 is made up of these larger-than-life action scenes and some closer, personal moments as Jamie figures out his place in the world and what he can ultimately do to help his friends. Although the army of dupes all look similar, artist Andy MacDonald, provides enough variation to make them stand out a bit. It keeps the battle interesting as the X-Men fight back a horde of people that all look like they’re friend. After this, they probably won’t use that word to describe Jamie.
MacDonald creates some super creepy imagery in the middle of this issue where we see some dupes in the midst of being re-absorbed. Usually when you see this process in reverse, it’s fine. One moment there’s one Jamie and the next there’s another. MacDonald captures the re-absorbtion process right in the middle and it’s like something out of a body horror movie. Extra limbs are popping out in some places and these two entities are fighting as they become one.
We’re back in the present day with this issue, but we still have the dystopian feeling to the setting. Colorist Tamra Bonvillain really sets the tone and underscores the severity of the situation the X-Men are facing. If they don’t figure this out, the whole world could be decimated in just a few years. Jamie Madrox must be stopped…or can he do it himself?
There’s a great contrast between the good Jamie and the evil one. The bad version has a horrific dark scar on his face and a rough beard, which is the polar opposite to the babyface good guy Jamie. One is from a hardened post-apocalyptic world and the other has been living alone in a bunker for about a year.
Multiple Man #5 builds to one of the most shocking endings I’ve seen in recent years. There’s an absolutely incredible full-page spread that will leave your jaw on the floor. There is a single word balloon from letterer Travis Lanham that perfectly highlights my thoughts when I got to this page. Did I really just see that? Wow.
I already loved Jamie Madrox before reading this comic. This series only served to reinforce my love for the character. Multiple Man brings this quirky mutant back to the Marvel Universe in a fun and amazing way. Writer Matthew Rosenberg delivers a story that could do for Multiple Man what Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction did for Iron Fist. He’s taken a weird D-list mutant and put him through a story that could hopefully help him rise up the ranks. It’s epic, hilarious, and so very enjoyable.