Multiple Man #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Andy MacDonald
Colorist: Tamara BonVillian
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Jamie Madrox has a complicated history within the Marvel Universe. He or his dupes have been part of or caused some of the most prominent issues that the X-Men have faced. Most recently he was seen dying when being exposed to the Terrigan Mists. This lead to the war between the X-Men and the Inhumans. Of course, as in comics, and especially in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe, death is rarely if ever permanent.
Multiple Man #1 starts with a group of mutants coming across a secret lab. In it Jamie Madrox or one of his dups is found by his friends, Strong Man, Rictor, and Magik. Rushing back to the mansion for help, the mystery of what is going onto with Madrox deepens. And the question becomes will Madrox’s return to the land of the living hold, or will he return to the extensive list of deceased mutants.
From the first panel that he appears in it is obvious that Rosenberg has Madrox’s voice and character down. The attempts at jokes and sarcasm while funny to the reader, would no doubt be annoying to his fellow X-Men. When writing this type of humor within the book you have to be able to land it just right. The idea that the character’s resurrection might be short lived means that Rosenberg had to walk a tight-rope between humorous and serious tones. Rosenberg does a fantastic job portraying Madrox as a character who, while frustrating to his fellow X-men, does not come off as cocky or purposefully doing things to upset his former teammates.
While Madrox is the focus of Multiple Man #1, the supporting X-Men add to both the seriousness and the humor within the story. In particular, Rosenberg portrays Beast as someone who shows great empathy for Madrox’s situation. The final pages add a new wrinkle to Madrox’s powers that will add some interesting twists moving forward.
MacDonald’s art is detailed and jumps off of the pages, and the panels to invite you to explore the small nuances within. It is hard to describe, but it’s as if the art starts off more blurred, but, as Madrox’s memories return, the art becomes sharper. It is something that feels as if it had to be planned for how it runs throughout the book. The coloring is bright and engaging but muted enough that it does not detract from the seriousness of the story. The angels and structure within the panels allow the eyes to slide through the page effortlessly.
Verdict: Buy it.
Over the last few years, Rosenberg has shown that he has a passion for the X-men corner of the Marvel Universe. That passion shines through in Multiple Man #1. Rosenberg is able to take a character that has a long and complicated history and put together a story that introduces copious amounts of both humor and heart. By the end, both long-term and new readers will find themselves drawn to Madrox and his plight, while waiting to see how the reveal at the end changes the game. Pick up Multiple Man #1 today to see how Rosenberg is reinventing the X-Men while paying homage to the group’s past.