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Jamie Madrox, also called the Multiple Man, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero, associated with the X-Men. Created by writer Len Wein with script from Chris Claremont and art by John Buscema, he first appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 (February 1975).
Madrox has the ability to create duplicates or "dupes" of himself. The duplicates have some level of autonomy from Madrox creating a complex psychological condition, although Madrox is outwardly joking and friendly.
Originally a lab assistant of genetic researcher Moira MacTaggert, Madrox joined the 1990s-era Pentagon-sponsored mutant team X-Factor where writer Peter David did much to flesh out his character. Currently, Madrox is the leader of the detective agency X-Factor Investigations in a new David-written X-Factor series.
Fictional character biography Edit
Jamie Madrox was born to a family living near the Los Alamos research facility; the background radiation may have stimulated his mutation. When Jamie was born, the doctor’s slap caused him to multiply into two identical babies, which was rather shocking to both his parents and the doctor. Professor Charles Xavier, a friend of the Madrox family, suggested that they move to Kansas to raise the boy in privacy. Dr. Daniel Madrox, Jamie's father, created a suit for him to wear which was designed to absorb kinetic energy, the presumed source of the duplication. Later, Damian Tryp, of Singularity Investigations, makes his own offer to look after Jamie, claming that Jamie is not in fact a mutant, but a "changeling", a predecessor to mutants who develops its powers at birth. Jamie's parents, however, refuse to give Jamie to Tryp. When Jamie was 15, his parents were killed when a tornado struck their farm (alleged to have been caused by Tryp) and for the next few years he ran the farm by himself until one day when his suit malfunctioned. Madrox went to New York City for help, where he met Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Mister Fantastic agreed to help him with the suit and informed Professor Xavier of the situation.
Following the X-Men's battle with Proteus on Muir Island, Madrox was invited to join the X-Men, but he declined. Instead, he remained on Muir Island to assist Dr. Moira MacTaggert with her research. While there, he was among the residents who came under the mental control of the Shadow King. Following the destruction of Muir Island and the defeat of the Shadow King, he became a member of the second X-Factor team which was assembled by Val Cooper.
During the early days of this team, a duplicate was shot and killed and Madrox leared for the first time that he was unable to reabsorb a deceased duplicate. This made him consider for the first time how independent his duplicates actually were. This became clearer to him when he faced a duplicate who sought his own independence and planned to replace the original.
A confrontation in Genosha left Madrox infected with the Legacy Virus. An attempted cure by Haven left him dead. Or so it seemed. Unknown to all, it was a duplicate who had been infected and died; the real Madrox lived, amnesiac. Although he did not rejoin X-Factor, he did regain his memory and returned to the superheroic life.
For a time, he served as the majority staff for Banshee's X-Corps. The group hired ex-criminals to police other mutants who got out of line. Unfortunately, things turned sour when a number of the members began rebelling, Mystique went on a rampage and a number of Madrox's dupes were controlled by the female Mastermind. The resulting battle severely damaged the city of Paris, France. Ultimately, he was able to regain control of them, but the memory left him with deep guilt.
A MadroX miniseries was published in 2004, written by Peter David, who had previously written the character in X-Factor. It shows Madrox working as a private detective in the "Mutant Town" area of New York, along with former X-Factor teammates Wolfsbane and Strong Guy. It also reveals that he has sent "dupes" out to lead alternate lives, including one who spent years as a Shaolin monk, another who spent years on an Olympic Gymnastics team; this has allowed him to gain years of expertise in certain martial arts, gymnastics, and numerous foreign languages. However, allowing dupes to exist for such extended periods before returning to the whole seems to have generated a form of multiple personality disorder unique to Madrox: his duplicates' minds are now reflections of individual aspects of his personality, rather than mental copies of his whole personality. Madrox has no control over what personality trait will manifest in his dupes, or whether the traits will be positive or negative. This has severely curtailed Madrox's ability to use his power effectively, as his dupes are now rarely willing to follow his direct commands; they will often be indifferent or opposed to his current actions, and some even display criminal or homicidal tendencies that are not only inappropriate to the situation at hand, but also put both others, including Madrox himself, at risk of harm. Currently, Madrox will only create dupes at great need, or in a rare situation where a course of action can be agreed upon by all the conflicting manifestations of his psyche.
Jamie also fought a mysterious assassin named "Clay", who has solid yellow eyes, and was ultimately revealed to have Jamie's multiplying abilities also. While it seemed Clay and his duplicate were killed in the end, it's highly possible that Clay, either via a duplicate, or with the Clays killed being duplicates, is still out there. Before dying, Clay also said "You really don't know WHAT you are, do you?"
After the events in the House of M crossover, Madrox has upgraded his detective agency to a new building, with expanded X-Factor membership. He bought the building using the money he won through a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire-type show, using a room full of dupes as one of his lifelines.
His dupes still manifest specific personality traits, as illustrated in issue #1. A dupe sent to talk a de-powered Rictor out of jumping off a building instead pushes him off. The dupe calls himself "The X-Factor" and threatens Madrox that he will come out whenever dupes are made, and Madrox won't be able to tell. He and the other members of his detective agency now star in a revamped X-Factor monthly series that is again written by Peter David.
A duplicate of Jamie created a few years ago went his own way and became an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. As an enforcer of the Superhuman Registration Act, he registered M and Rictor. However, Jamie prime and the rest of X-Factor stand adamantly opposed to the legislation, going so far as to make a public statement regarding their position. Jamie stands in direct opposition to the neutral stance taken by Cyclops, and remains furious with the X-Men for withholding the truth about M-Day.
Post Civil WarEdit
Agent Madrox recently met "his" end when he was surprised and re-absorbed by the original Madrox during an investigation of a Hydra cell (which, incidentally, had just been killed - smothered to death literally in an immense swarm of Madrox duplicates).
Jamie is currently undergoing therapy.
Recently, in X-FACTOR #16, Jamie Madrox continues the task of hunting down his stray duplicates and reabsorbing them.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Madrox's power is the ability to create duplicates of himself (sometimes at will) through an unknown process whenever he absorbs kinetic energy such as when he is struck, when he snaps his fingers, or stamps his foot. Each of the duplicates (dupes) is completely capable of independent thought and can create duplicates of himself. The original Madrox can absorb them back into himself at will, at the same time absorbing the memories, skills and experiences of the dupe. The dupe usually appears to his side or often near a focused area, such as a finger. Jamie wears special shock-absorbent suits that inhibit his dupes from manifesting inadvertently. Older versions of the suit covered Madrox's entire body, except for his face, and were dotted with small, circular shock-absorbent pads. Jamie currently wears a stylized shirt with only six large green shock-absorbent pads on the front of the torso. Whether this indicates a greater degree of control over when his dupes manifest or simply an advance in technology is unclear.
During his time with X-Factor, the maximum number of dupes Madrox could create (including the dupe's dupes) was about 40, but has grown far larger since then. Duplicates have independent minds from the original, but are usually willing to merge back because their memories and knowledge are retained. However, there have been exceptions where duplicates have wished for independence completely. A dupe that is "the part of you that can't be trusted" has announced that he plans to keep popping out.
As a last ditch effort, Madrox's abilities can be used to deadly effect, which were used in self-defense against Seamus Mellencamp in X-Factor #92 (July 1993), when Madrox jammed his hand into Mellencamp's mouth and activated his power, creating duplicates inside Mellencamp and exploding him from the inside out.
His powers has, at least once, been shown to affect the actual design of the shirt he was wearing.
Madrox also uses merging with his duplicates as a form of healing. Originally, uninjured dupes "shared" the damage when they merged, e.g., if an injured Madrox merged with an uninjured Madrox, the resulting Madrox had an injury half as severe as the original injury. Now, however, the core Madrox can reabsorb injured or even near-dead dupes without taking on any of their physical injuries at all, although the memories of traumatic experiences still affect him.
As a consequence of splitting into multiple selves, Jamie has accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge and experience, along with some confusion over which Jamie did what. For example, although he says his duplicates have had active sex lives, he is not sure whether the main Jamie ever has. Because of the infinite nature of his powers, he potentially can be attracted to every kind of person there is. One or two of his duplicates have already been shown to be gay or bisexual.
Specific special skills accumulated through his vast experience include picking locks, some proficiency in Shaolin kung fu, handgun training, multiple languages including Russian and Hawaiian, and playing-card throwing. Along the way, he and/or his duplicates participated in an Olympic gymnastics team and apparently became a licensed attorney.
The extent of how many 'dupes' Madrox can produce and how many are still at large is unknown — at one point, an upper limit of forty, counting the original, was established, but this has since been called into question. It is conceivable that he has dupes in the far corners of the world.
Madrox has generally been considered a mutant. However, unlike most mutants whose mutant powers emerge during adolescence, Madrox exhibits his gifts from the day he was born. As a result, recent issues of X-Factor have raised some question as to whether or not he is a mutant or something altogether different.
Ultimate Multiple ManEdit
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Madrox is a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. He was once an entire mutant rights protest march. A sample of his stem cells were stolen by the French military to create a "mutate" (a Marvel term for genetically-modified mutants as opposed to those who developed mutant powers naturally) called the Schizoid Man, with similar powers, who can stop riots singlehandedly. Madrox recently appeared alongside Mastermind, Blob, and Toad when they gate-crashed the Academy of Tomorrow's Homecoming dance. He also appears to be British. In the Return of The King arc, Jamie states that he can only produce approximately 27 or 28 dupes before he gets a bad sense of deja vu.
Age of ApocalypseEdit
In the Age of Apocalypse crossover event, Jamie Madrox is one of the many mutants captured by Sinister and the Dark Beast for experimentation. His powers are overextended beyond its limits and his duplicates become the Madri - a fanatical cult worshipping Apocalypse and serving as his inquisitors and secret police. The original Madrox, left nearly mindless, is kept in secret at the Church of the Madri in Quebec. Banshee and Quicksilver attempt a rescue but, in the end, Madrox shuts down all of his duplicates and dies in the resulting psychic backlash. The destruction of the Madri was one of the major blows to Apocalypse's regime that helped the X-Men overthrow the mutant overlord.
In other mediaEdit
- In the film X2, his name appears on a list of names Mystique scrolls through on Stryker's computer while looking for Magneto's file.
- In the novelization of X2, Jamie has an expanded role as a student living at Xavier's having a sort of relationship with Siryn, who often unintentionally causes him to create duplicates of himself.
- X-Men: The Last Stand includes Multiple Man, whose name is James Madrox according to the prison truck's "guest list", being recruited into the Brotherhood of Mutants. Played by Eric Dane, the character is an ex-bank robber (having robbed seven banks at the same time) and serves as a decoy for Magneto's Brotherhood, duplicating himself to appear as many people (somewhere around 150 duplicates) on satellite images, while the rest of the Brotherhood escape. He's rearrested by U.S. Army troops after the ruse is discovered. This version of Jamie is a combination of his 616 and Ultimate counterparts. He resembles the 616 version of the character but, like his Ultimate counterpart, is a criminal and a member of the Brotherhood.
- In the X-Men animated series, Multiple Man appeared in the episode "Cold Comfort" as a member of X-Factor led by Havok.
- The animated series X-Men: Evolution features Jamie Madrox under the codename Multiple, instead of Multiple Man. In the series, Jamie is a member of a "junior team" of X-Men, roughly equating to the New Mutants. The reason for the name change was that being a kid, assumed to be the youngest in the Evolution version of The New Mutants, he was not yet a Multiple "Man" in this instance. The young Jamie was extremely clumsy, his frequent pratfalls often triggering his powers. He was voiced by David Kaye.
- In X-Men: The Official Game, Multiple Man appears as a villain, taking place right after his seven-way robbery, he intends on blowing up a bridge, only to be stopped by Nightcrawler and Storm. He is last seen being taken away by police, and mentioned being placed under Secretary Trask's supervision.
- In the video game X-Men Legends, Multiple Man (spelled as "Multipleman") makes a brief cameo on Muir Island. The Madri appear in the sequel, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.
- Giant Size Fantastic Four #4 (December, 1975; first appearance)
- X-Factor (Vol. 1) #71-100 (presumed killed) #128-129 (discovered alive) #132-133 #135 #146 (1991 - 1998)
- MadroX #1-5 (September 2004 - January 2005)
- X-Factor (Vol. 2) On-going series (December, 2005 - Present)
- MDP: Madrox (Multiple Man) - Marvel Database Project
- UncannyXmen.net, Spotlight feature on Multiple Man
- Multiple Man on the Marvel Universe Character Bio Wiki
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