6 Other Multiple Men (and Women)
If nothing else, my blog is a place where I can talk endlessly (even if it’s just to myself) about my favorite superheroes. I know I talk a lot about comics in general, and even sometimes about movies, TV shows and video games. But gosh darn it, I talk about Multiple Man so much that he’s even got his own category. And I bet there’s a good chance that a lot of the people reading my blog have never even heard of Multiple Man! It’s not like he’s on the Avengers. Or even on the X-Men. But Multiple Man is real and he’s my favorite superhero. I even liked him in his 10-second cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand. He was the only good part of that movie.
Multiple Man is Jamie Madrox, a mutant born with the ability to create duplicates of himself. Ever wanted to be in 10 places at once to get all your errands done? Multiple Man can do that. It’s his super power. Madrox has had a semi-long career on the outskirts of the X-Men franchise, never quite joining the team, but always somewhere in the background. Most prominently, he is the longtime star of the X-Factor comic series, and has been headlining the book now for nearly 100 issues. So I’m a happy fan. And to celebrate Madrox’s awesomeness, this week’s blog list is a look at 6 other characters from pop culture who share his rather unique super power.
I realize this is kind of a crummy list this week – unless you’re a Multiple Man fan – but don’t worry, I’m gonna make up for it next week!
This may come as a shock to you, but not all superhero comics are published by Marvel and DC. Publisher Image Comics has their own stable of heroes – mostly notably Spawn – and that includes the heroic Invincible, about your standard young teen adjusting to super powers and superheroics. I’ve sadly never read the title, but it’s still going strong some 10 years after it debuted. It helps that the writer, Robert Kirkman, is the same guy who writes The Walking Dead comic. I guess he’s got some real comic book chops. Dupli-Kate is one of Invincible’s superhero friends – sort of. Kate Cha and her brother Paul (Multi-Paul) are the inheritors of their family’s ancient Chinese curse. But they gained control of the curse, and instead use it for super powers! Because in the world of comics, curses are often blessings in disguise. Dupli-Kate is a former member of the Teen Team and is now one of the Guardians of the Globe. She also has an unfortunate history of being a home wrecker because super-men in established relationships apparently can’t pass up the chance to sleep with multiple women at once. Who knew?
Naruto is one of the most people animes in the world, and likewise one of the most popular mangas. It seems that people really love plucky young ninjas in training. When he was just a little baby, Naruto Uzumaki had a demonic nine-tailed fox sealed inside his body after it had attacked the city. Unaware of this monster inside of him – because I guess they just chalked all the weirdness up to puberty when he got older – Naruto dreams of being a great ninja warrior. Don’t we all? During his training, Naruto masters the Shadow Clone Technique, which allows him to create duplicates of himself to aid in battle and his training. It’s since become his signature technique. Proving once again that the world has been a much sadder place since ninja training went out of style.
Part of me is sad that I stopped watching Heroes before Eli showed up. But the rest of me is glad I dropped that train wreck of a show before it got even worse. The first season was just so good that it became too good for the writers to handle, leading to a second season that was exactly like the first. My theory is that nobody expected Heroes to succeed beyond even one season, so the writers had no clue what to do next. This led to them recreating everything that had worked in the first season and just giving the viewers what they thought the viewers wanted. More Sylar was definitely a terrible idea. Like everyone else on Heroes, Eli’s duplicating powers don’t come from any weird origin. He just had them. Eli worked as a henchman for the evil carnival in Season 5, and fought against the heroes until he was finally defeated and brainwashed into being a good guy. At least he wasn’t murdered and fed to Sylar like most of the interesting characters on that show.
3. Agent Smith
Everybody hold on to your monocles, I’m about to blow your minds: I actually really like The Matrix sequels. I know, right? So sue me. Consider me a sucker for a cool story, but I didn’t just like the first Matrix for all the cool effects and ground-breaking visuals. I actually like the story of humanity’s fight against the machines and Neo’s heroic journey. And Agent Smith made for a really badass villain. He becomes a wildcard that even the machines want to stop – though how could anybody truly hate Hugo Weaving? Agent Smith just keeps duplicating himself again and again until Neo first fights off a whole army of poorly animated clones, and then takes on a whole city of Smiths. Though maybe Smith would have won the final battle if he’d actually allowed his unstoppable army of duplicates to help fight, instead of just having them stand and watch. That must have sucked for the duplicates who were at the very back of the group and couldn’t see anything.
2. Multiple Santa
It’s a Yule Tide! So declared the Tick when faced with an army of evil duplicated Santa Clauses! Because if the Tick is going to do a Christmas episode, you damn well better believe it’s going to be extreme. Originally appearing in The Tick comics, Multiple Santa is a bank robber who stole a bell ringer’s Santa costume in order to elude the police. The cops weren’t fooled, but the Tick definitely was, believing that the thief was the real Santa, and his bag full of stolen loot was the bag full of toys! Even when the Tick learned the truth, he still couldn’t stop the villain, because how do you punch Santa Claus? Multiple Santa gets his powers from a healthy dose of billboard electricity, creating veritable North Pole’s worth of jolly old elves who can really only say “Ho Ho Ho” and beat up superheroes. When Multiple Santa got an even bigger jolt from the hydro-electric plant, the Tick had to swim through an entire river of Santas to reach his foe and use his secret, Santa-killing weapon: noogies! So giving my little brother noogies is entirely in the Christmas Spirit!
1. Multiplex, Riot and Triplicate Girl
Not to be outdone by Marvel Comics’ Multiple Man, DC has introduced a few of their own duplicating characters – though none of them can even hold a candle to Multiple Man’s awesomeness. But at least DC can say they tried.
Multiplex is the arch nemesis of Firestorm and has absolutely nothing to do with large movie theaters. Instead, his powers are fission-based, in that he can split himself into multiple copies. It’s a play on the fact that Firestorm is fusion-based and can…you know what, nobody cares about Firestorm. That’s probably why Multiplex eventually ditched the arch nemesis thing and just joined the Suicide Squad. He also ditched his original cheesy swashbuckling costume for the newer, sleeker, definitely ripped off from Marvel costume.
Riot is a Superman villain who really just wants to get some sleep. He is also, quite possibly, a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, because his real name is Frederick Von Frankenstein. Why the hell would anybody waste a name like that on a two-bit Superman thug? Anyway, so Frankenstein needed help in the lab, so he used a machine to make duplicates of himself, only to then learn that he had a natural super power to make duplicates of himself and didn’t need the machine. As you do. But once he started creating so many duplicates, Riot couldn’t find any peace and was unable to sleep. Seriously. That’s his gimmick. And that’s often how Superman beat him, by defeating the duplicates and giving Frankie Frankenstein time to catch some ZZZs. He’s also got a cartoon face for some reason.
Triplicate Girl (or Duo Damsel or Triad or Duplicate Damsel) is a member of the Legion of Superheroes from the far flung future. She is actually an alien, despite looking human (like most aliens), and everyone from the planet Cargg can split into three people because they have three suns. Because Silver Age comic book origins played fast and loose with science. Triplicate Girl has always been a proud member of the Legion no matter how many times they’re rebooted. Which is a lot. She even made it into the cartoon. And for you trivia buffs, she’s also the DC character that combined with Multiple Man during the Amalgam crossover! They became Multiple Maid! So I guess she gets some cool points for that.