6 Places Multiple Man Could End Up
One of my all-time favorite comic books, X-Factor, is coming to an end in September after more than five years of quality comics. This makes me a very sad panda. The superhero star of X-Factor is Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, my most favorite comic book character of all-time. X-Factor was his first starring role. Before X-Factor, Multiple Man was lucky to play a bit part in random X-Men stories. X-Factor made him a star.
So what the heck is going to happen to Multiple Man now that it’s over?
I really want to know. He’s my favorite character, and I’m going to miss reading new Multiple Man comics every month. I’m confident that writer Peter David will give him a powerful farewell. But comic books abhor a vacuum. While one writer might send a character off into the sunset, another writer is going to come along and find a reason to bring that character back from the sunset. So whatever Peter David does with Multiple Man in X-Factor #262, I’m confident – and a little nervous – that Multiple Man will show up again before too long.
But where? And what will he be doing? Here are six possibilities.
6. New X-Factor
Call me blindly optimistic, but I still think it’s possible that Marvel will simply announce a new relaunch of X-Factor as part of Marvel NOW! Wave 2. It could happen. If you remember, when this latest version of X-Factor launched, it was more of a street-level, crime noir series, about Multiple Man and his friends investigating gritty mutant cases. Over the years, X-Factor became more of a big, colorful superhero book, with adventures through time and space. I think Marvel, and possibly even PAD himself, are planning a return to the gritty, street-level X-Factor, with Multiple Man as the star! I definitely think the market still exists for that kind of premise, and I’d always wished PAD would go back to it.
Plus, the end of X-Factor #260 clearly indicates there’s a new version of X-Factor on the horizon. Who is Harrison Snow and what does he represent for the team? I think there’s a good chance he represents a big, fancy new relaunch! Bleeding Cool seems to think so.
5. Cannon Fodder
Or maybe they’ll just kill Multiple Man. This is typically one of the most common fates for characters who wind up in Comic Book Limbo. Some writer is going to have a story to tell that needs some cannon fodder. So why not pluck Multiple Man out of limbo and play on his popularity to brutally kill him for shock value? Comic book writers love this tactic. The entire point of the current series Avengers Arena is to take a bunch of semi-popular characters out of Limbo and pit them against each other in fights to the death. No matter how much the fans get annoyed by it, or how often superheroes come back from the dead, writers still love killing popular characters. It’s a fact of life. And now, I fear, Multiple Man is back on the chopping block.
4. Teacher at the Jean Grey School
One of the better, safer places Multiple Man could end up would be at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, which is just the new name for the X-Men’s school now that Charles Xavier is dead. The Jean Grey School is the focus of at least two different X-Men comics these days, and it already features a varied faculty of characters like Wolverine, Shadowcat, Iceman, Storm, Beast, Deathbird and Doop. Why not add Multiple Man to the mix? He could teach multiple classes at once, obviously. He’s also funny, and charming. And he’d be perfect in a wacky book like Wolverine and the X-Men. The Jean Grey School is the happening place for mutants these days, and good teachers are hard to find. Madrox is a pretty smart guy, I bet he could manage.
3. Herald of Galactus
The universe has got to spin. Galactus has got to eat. But Big Purple is really cutting himself short by only having one herald at a time. I’m sure the Silver Surfer is a whiz at finding planets, but does he have the power to split into an unlimited number of duplicates of himself? I think not! If Galactus the Devourer of Worlds were really serious about turning the galaxy into his own personal smorgasbord, he’d upgrade his herald into someone with a lot more flexibility. Just imagine a million shiny, silver Madroxes zooming through the cosmos finding planets. It would be a great, glorious, probably doom-filled future for all of us!
2. The Awesome Avengers
There are so many different Avengers teams these days. Uncanny Avengers, Dark Avengers, Secret Avengers, New Avengers, Young Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Smelly Avengers, Turnip Avengers (some of those may be made up); surely they can find a place for Multiple Man on one of them? He may not be very Young or Dark, but I bet he could fit into the Secret Avengers pretty well. And definitely the Uncanny Avengers. Their whole deal is uniting mutants and humans into one fighting force, so why not have Multiple Man hang out with them at Avengers Mansion? Or better yet, he’d make a nice addition to the new Mighty Avengers coming out in a few weeks. Or why not just create an even newer Avengers comic? Clearly Marvel isn’t too worried about wearing out the brand name. So why not create the Awesome Avengers featuring (or starring) Multiple Man? I know I’d buy it!
1. Solo Series!
To all of the Marvel editors reading my blog, listen up: A Multiple Man solo series. Written by me. And drawn by all the great comic book artists of the modern age. It would sell like hotcakes! At least it would in my fevered fantasy dreams. But still, just send Madrox out into the world in his own solo title. It worked before. Back before the most recent X-Factor series, writer Peter David wrote a 6-issue Madrox mini-series to test the waters. It was an awesome, personal detective story, recreating Madrox into the cool dude he is today. The series was such a success – because so many people love Multiple Man – that PAD was given the green light to relaunch X-Factor, which, as I said, lasted for five years. New comics these days are lucky to last five issues before they’re cancelled.
Hawkeye has made it clear that new solo series can work if it has a good personality. The writing and art style on Hawkeye is second to none, and the book is a huge success. I can easily picture Madrox in a Hawkeye-style comic. Keep the private detective angle and lose the superheroics. Just tell fun and charming stories about a duplicating man solving crimes in New York City.
And if you can find it in your hearts, let me write it. I’ll be your best friend forever, Marvel editors!
Posted on August 14, 2013, in Lists of Six!, Marvel, Multiple Man, X-Men and tagged Jamie Madrox, Peter David, X-Factor. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.
Dang, this is two weeks in a row that your list of six is hard to comment on. But I still think you left out some options that are sure to be more likely than Herald of Galactus.
6. FF – I think he would fit in great with this book. Aside from the dead daughter thing, I think Scott Lang is pretty interchangeable with Madrox.
5. Following Layla around – Layla’s got stuff to do. Her “know stuff” shtick and her super-villain tech/training makes her interesting and really opens the doors for just about anything. So she may just go off and do a bunch of adventures. And Madrox will just tag along. I could see that.
4. He goes to Hell – Maybe Madrox is left a demon in the end. Maybe it can’t be fixed. I imagine when Mephisto goes around turning dudes into demons or killing marriages…well that kinda stuff is probably meant to be permanent. So Madrox goes where all demons go, Hell. And he just happens to have a best friend sitting on the throne. They could be Hell-Buddies. Madrox doesn’t care that Strong Guy has no soul. They’ll be best friends forever….like literally forever because now they’re immortal Demon Gods.
3. He does the thing where he creates a bunch of dupes who go live alternate lives, but now he does it through the multiverse – Ok, so we know he sent out a dupe to be a monk, and a dupe to be a pastor, and a dupe to be a hard-case city detective. But honestly I think more could have been done with that. He didn’t even get to absorb two of those that I listed. So he does it again, but for real this time. Remember how in one alternate universe he was Dr. Strange’s apprentice, he could go have a dupe do that. One dupe goes to an alternate reality and plunges his fists into the heart of a dragon. He could pick all the cool superheroes who weren’t born with their powers and send his dupes to go live their origin stories in other worlds. When they come back, Original Jamie absorbs them and now he’s a Dr. Strange/Iron Fist/Shang Chi/Super Soldier/Human Torch/Multiple Man. He’d be the most powerful character ever…like he’s supposed to be.
2. He’s a Skrull – Duh. We saw him die in the 90’s. I was there when you first saw that issues in TOPS supermarket. That was a rough day. But just like Mockingbird who died in the 90’s with a comic book cover that is strikingly similar to Multiple Man’s, she showed up as a Skrull. Or he’s Shatterstar’s son, just because I want that story to get even crazier.
1. He retires – Madrox worked in X-Factor and I fear that he only works in X-Factor (or FF, but that’s a long shot). He’s been a leader; he can’t go back to comic relief. And he was too low key; he can’t dive into all the drama surrounding the other X-Books now. He’ll just fade into limbo until the day Marvel needs Wolverine to go insane and kill him, Mimic, Scarlet Spider, and Cyclops.
Sorry, next week’s list should be much easier.
#3 and #5 could totally be combined to be the plot of a Madrox solo series!
I had been thinking of him joining FF too. He and Layla both. The both would make great teachers, they’re just weird enough to fit in, and they both have a great deal of history with the Fantastic Four and/or Doom. Heck, the Fantastic Four were the first people Jamie met after his parents died. Fraction could write them well and they could add so much to the dynamic of the book.
Man, Madrox and Layla joining FF is a masterstroke! I wish I’d thought of it myself. And now with Matt Fraction leaving, the title is open to a little shake-up. I would dig seeing Multiple Man drawn by Mike Allred.
I know this is basically off topic, but when i read something like this, which displays pretty well how much a fan of Multiple Man you are, and how much you dislike that he’s going into limbo, it reminds me how i’m still waiting for Rich Ryder/Nova to come back. Add to that the fact that Peter Quill is back in a new series, and Thanos is now back alive and well…well, i’m left wondering ‘where the hell is Rich?’. I don’t know how well the new Nova’s comic is doing, but one can only hope that maybe it’s poor enough to bring back the original.
Now, being someone who has read about half a dozen X-factor comics in his life (and those being early issues) i’m curious about something. In the picture you have for this post, MM has a tattoo on his face that is the same that Bishop and his sister have. What the hell does that tattoo mean? Just curious.
It means the same thing as it does for Bishop and Shard. Multiple Man sent a dupe into the future back during the Messiah Complex story, and he ended up in Bishop’s future. It’s some kind of bio-tattoo to brand and catalogue mutants. When the dupe got it and died, it somehow infused on Madrox Prime as well. I’m not a fan, though.
And I feel your pain with Rich Ryder. There is no in-comic explanation. Marvel has simply decided to go another direction with the Nova brand. But hold out hope. Someone will decide that the new Nova needs to meet the old Nova one of these days.
Thanks for the info, and yes, i still hold out hope, the original Nova will resurface sooner or later i’m sure. He’s always had a sizable part to play in these epic, cosmic events, so maybe…
Wow, i just flashed on New Warriors #49, when Nova was the first New Warrior to return from the alternate time stream to fight The Sphinx. He needs a dramatic reappearance like that.
That’s exactly what I’m thinking: some kind of big, bombastic return!
X-Factor has been around since 2005, so that would make it 8 years it’s been around.
Top 6 Options
6) Avengers – The Avengers team has a rotating cast. But it’s already got a few mutants.
5) Wolverine and the X-Men – Could be a new teacher. Teaches a course called “Me, Myself, and I: How to Deal With Multiple Versions of Yourself 101.” It would be easy to add him. He would be a bit player, but he could juggle a storyline like the rest of the teachers. But the book is crowded as is.
4) Amazing X-Men – Probably has a new cast of characters joining the book in a couple of issues. But the book is supposed to focus on the returning Nightcrawler.
3) Comic Book Limbo: Right back where he started. Let’s just hope he isn’t used to increase the body count of the next crossover.
2) Astonishing X-Factor (my proposed name)- Marvel Now 2 leads to a new name for the tile. New blockbuster creative team. Mixes in Madrox, Layla Miller, and M with a few more mainstream mutants. Unlike David, who worked in characters that were leftovers of events (Darwin, Layla Miller).
1) New Book written by Peter David. Could be just a relaunch of X-Factor. Could be Madrox on a New X-Men team. Could be a new marvel team. Maybe even a solo Madrox book. Anything really. Madrox appears to work best when written by Peter David, and Peter David writes best when he’s writing about the character, which is saying a lot considering his prolific writing career. He’s been silent about what he’s working on with Marvel after X-Factor. My guess is that we will find out with X-Factor 262.
That’s what happens when you get old, your brain starts to go fuzzy on the past. When I hear ’10 years ago’, I still think of the 90s.
Those are some good suggestions, and I think I like all of them. Making the book ‘Astonishing X-Factor’ is a pretty smart play. Marvel love their adjectives. Though we’ll probably get ‘Uncanny X-Factor’ to go along with Uncanny X-Men, Uncanny Avengers and Uncanny X-Force.
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