When it comes to comic books, one of my favorite things to do is watch for cameos from my favorite obscure characters. It’s one of the ways I built up my fandom in the 90s: searching out back issues where my favorite characters randomly showed up and had a line or two.
This is the entire basis behind my ongoing Strong Guy Watch series. I’m a big fan of the Strong Guy character, and for the past several years, he’s been making random cameos here and there. It’s fun to keep an eye out for the big lug.
With Dawn of X bringing back every single mutant character who ever lived, the Watch has quadrupled to include every favorite mutant I’ve ever had! Multiple Man, Maggott, Stacy X, Abyss, Blob, Mimic and so many more! None of them are starring characters in any of the Dawn of X comics, so I’ve got to stay eagle-eyed for when any of them might pop up at any time!
This week’s X-Force #9 features the best yet showcase of a bunch of my favorite characters! Everybody’s hanging out at The Green Lagoon!
Obviously we’ve got Strong Guy, who seems to be macking with Selene at the top middle of the picture. We’ve also got a couple Multiple Men hanging out on the bottom. He’s still wearing his classic costume, so the ongoing debate of a new Multiple Man costume remains ongoing. Writer Benjamin Percy continues to be the only Dawn of X creator to use Multiple Man, even if it’s only for quick, wordless cameos. Also, of note: this is the first comic book panel in literal years that features Multiple Man, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane…even though none of them are hanging out together.
This image is also the first reveal of what Blob is doing in Dawn of X: bartending!
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the Blob since his star turn in Age of X-Man last year. Bartending is a fairly good use of the character and I hope to see him get some attention soon.
We’ve also got Maggott canoodling with M at the bar, so that’s neat! And the rest of the scene in the actual comic features quick appearances from Avalanche and Toad!
I love panels like this in Dawn of X. This is a smorgasbord of mutant cameos in a way we’ve never seen in comics before! I hope they keep it up every now and then.
Still no sign of Mimic…
Multiple Man is my all-time favorite comic book character. After a rough couple of years, during which he was unceremoniously killed and replaced by a poorly written duplicate, I’m fairly certain that he’s back among the living on Krakoa with all of the other mutants. Several months in, Jamie Madrox hasn’t actually appeared in any active scenes or had any dialogue in Dawn of X, but we have had at least one flashback appearance…during which a couple dupes were horribly murdered.
I think Multiple Man has made another appearance in the new Wolverine #1…but I don’t have any confirmation other than this dude just looks like Multiple Man…if Multiple Man was given a freaky new costume.
This character isn’t named and doesn’t speak. He just appears in this single panel.
But here are my clues:
1.) This looks like a Multiple Man costume. It’s new and freaky, to be sure, but dark blue body suit with yellow lines and dotes and a full-head covering are signature to a classic Madrox costume.
2.) There are others. In this scene, this character is looking over some of the Krakoan flowers. And the camera does show other figures doing the same thing…but the camera is too far away to see any details. So either a bunch of different people in dark outfits are looking over flowers, or they’re all the same guy in this costume.
3.) The writer is the same. Benjamin Percy wrote Wolverine #1, and he also wrote X-Force #4, which is the issue where the Madrox dupe was killed that I linked to above. So if Percy used Madrox in X-Force, it stands to reason he might throw in another Madrox cameo in Wolverine.
4.) He’s using a clipboard. The freaky new costume guy is using a clipboard while looking over the flowers. The Multiple Man cameo in X-Force #4 was also using a clipboard to look over stock. Can it then be extrapolated that Benjamin Percy has given Multiple Man the job of looking over Krakoa inventory? I wouldn’t put it past him!
Look, I’m just a guy who likes Multiple Man and wants to see him with a proper appearance in Dawn of X. And if it takes a freaky new costume to make that happen, so be it! I kinda like the costume.
Though it could use a trench coat…
Welp, I finally got my Madrox sighting in Dawn of X! Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, my favorite character in all of comics, has made his first appearance as part of the big X-Men relaunch in X-Force #4.
Where he’s promptly killed. And is shown to be wearing his dumb original costume.
Thankfully, that’s just a duplicate. There’s dialogue in the rest of the issue stating that Jamie Prime is still alive. We don’t get to see him, but I’ll take what I can get. Multiple Man is back!
But seriously, what’s with the old costume? When Multiple Man was leader of X-Factor, with Peter David writing, that comic ran for 100+ issues! When was the last time an X-Men comic ran consistently with the same creator for that long? PAD made that comic work, and Multiple Man is a hugely popular character!
Why the hell would you ignore the past decade of Jamie Madrox character development by putting him back in that old costume? And why keep killing him?!
In a Little More Than 2 Years, Nearly Every Single One of My Favorite Comic Book Characters Has Been Killed
As a longtime comic book reader, I have my personal list of favorite characters. Everybody has one, right? Those characters that you love to read about and see pop up in new comics. For a lot of people, their favorite characters are big name superheroes, like Spider-Man or Batman. For me, I tend to prefer the smaller supporting characters. That’s just what happens when you read a lot of comics and are exposed to a lot of characters.
As such, when I started this blog back in 2011, one of my earliest Lists of Six was my top six favorite comic book characters of all-time. With the exception of one name, that list has remained pretty firm over the past eight years.
In the past two years and a couple months, nearly every character on that list has been killed. Several characters in my Honorable Mentions addendum have been killed. And a couple other characters I love have either been killed or nearly killed within this time frame.
I don’t…I don’t know what’s going on.
I don’t presume to think this is some sort of targeted attack on yours truly. I think this is just the unfortunate cost of loving minor comic book characters, the sorts of characters that can be chewed up and spit out as any given writer sees fit.
But damn, this has been pretty hard on the soul.
And I guess I just felt like listing them off, as if that would help me somehow. Let’s start with my favorite characters list:
Multiple Man was killed in Death of X #1 in October 2016.
He’s still dead. Multiple Man has returned to comics, replaced by one of his duplicates. And his character has been re-written as a feckless coward. So that’s some good salt in the wound.
The Mimic was killed in Extermination #5 in December 2018.
This one was really disappointing. He made a surprise appearance in Extermination after being out of comics for a few years. I knew from the moment he appeared that he probably wouldn’t survive the series, and I had to wait several months for those fears to be confirmed.
Phil Urich was killed in Amazing Spider-Man #797 in March 2018.
Phil was my favorite superhero as a kid, and the first comic I actively started collecting on my own, issue-by-issue. I endured years of him being transformed into an unrepentant villain before they finally put him out of his misery.
Tim Drake was killed in Detective Comics #940 in September 2016.
Thankfully, his death was a fake out. He survived and returned to service shortly thereafter. He’s even gone back to being just “Robin” instead of the far more ridiculous “Red Robin”. So there’s at least one happy ending in this list.
That’s it for my list of favorites. I listed “Robin” on that list as more of the concept of the character. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, is still alive…but if I’m being honest, he hasn’t really been ‘Robin’ in a long time. The concept of ‘Batman and Robin’ as a team is pretty dead. So does that count? Not to mention that Damian was killed in early 2013. So for a short while there, Robin was dead.
The Spot is also still alive, but he’s the one character I would probably take off my list of favorites. I’ve always been a big fan of the Spot, and will always be a big fan of the Spot, but there are characters I like better. Which is probably why he’s still alive.
How about some of those Honorable Mentions at the bottom of the page?
Mach X was killed in Thunderbolts #12 in April 2017.
The Scorpion was maybe killed in Venom Annual #1 in October 2018.
I’m not too sure about this one. It does appear that Venom kills the Scorpion, but then Scorpion has been showing up in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man recently. I may have to check and see if there’s an explanation.
Strong Guy was killed in Uncanny X-Men #12 in February 2019.
This is the most recent, and inspired this list. Strong Guy is Multiple Man’s best friend, and one of my favorite duos in comics. And now they’re both dead, and neither one particularly cares about the other these days. So just bleakness all around.
Avalanche was killed in Uncanny Avengers #1 in October 2012.
That happened a year after I started my blog and he’s still dead. The recent X-Men Gold comic introduced a new Avalanche, but I didn’t read it, and I’m pretty sure the character didn’t stick around. The X-Men have since ignored the new Pyro also, and he joined the X-Men towards the end of that comic. So that’s not looking good.
That’s the major list. Eight of my favorite comic book characters have been killed since I started this blog, most of them within the past two years or so. And only one of them has been properly ‘resurrected’ in that time. It’s just a little soul-crushing.
That’s not counting the time Stingray was nearly killed in a recent Avengers comic. Or the speculation that Simon Baz, my favorite Green Lantern, is probably going to be killed in Heroes in Crisis.
I don’t have any larger point to make. And I’m largely just whining. But c’mon. There’s only so much my soul can take. Is it really so wrong to have favorite comic book characters? Is there somebody specifically targeting me?
When will it stop?
All I really know is that Beta Ray Bill had better be very careful now that he’s a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s almost no way he’s going to survive that comic.
I’ve said this several times on this blog: Multiple Man is my all-time favorite comic book character. And I should be thrilled that he’s back in action. Not only did he have a recent Multiple Man comic all to himself, but he’s in the current Uncanny X-Men storyline.
But here’s the thing: this isn’t really Multiple Man.
The current creators working on the X-Men found a workaround to put a simulacrum in place. And based on this week’s new issue of Uncanny X-Men, they can’t even get that right.
Quick recap: Jamie Madrox died several years ago during the M-Pox storyline, killed by the Inhuman Terrigen Mists. In the recent Multiple Man comic, it was revealed that one of his duplicates had gone into hiding years ago, working on a serum to separate duplicates from Madrox’s umbrella. Then through a series of time traveling hijinks, all of the various Multiple Man duplicates died…except for one. And he took the serum, which somehow granted him the crown of “Jamie Prime”.
For some reason, only Jamie Prime can make duplicates now. Those duplicates can no longer produce their own duplicates.
That’s not how Multiple Man’s powers work. So either the current creators don’t know that or it’s a change brought about by this false duplicate “rebirth”. I’ve read everything that the new Madrox has appeared in so far and the change in his powers has never been mentioned, so…
But yeah, his powers are different now, reinforcing the fact that this isn’t really Multiple Man back from the dead. It’s a weird, mutated duplicate simply living as Jamie Madrox.
To make matters even worse, the current creators don’t seem to understand the character at all. They seem really into the idea that Jamie Madrox is an incompetent coward.
Like, it’s mentioned twice in the new Uncanny X-Men #9.
Where is this coming from? And from Kitty and Storm of all people? Did nobody read the 100+ issue X-Factor series? Jamie Madrox was a team leader, and was a prominent X-Men supporting character for years. He’s never been a coward and he’s never been incompetent. Those aren’t his character traits.
It doesn’t matter in the long run. This is just one guy whining on his blog, and that’s really all I’m doing, whining. I get that. But it’s my blog, it’s my favorite comic book character, and I felt like whining about it. So take all of this with a grain of salt.
Comic books move ever onward. Someday the real Multiple Man will come back from the dead. Cyclops died in the exact same way in the exact same story, and he’s coming back. I’m sure Multiple Man will be back too, eventually.
I’m just gonna be really dorky about it until then.