MULTIPLE MAN: Page 5 of 8

Publication Date: 13th May 2021
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Monolith.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Gremlin.


X-Factor Investigations was left reeling from these events. Jamie suggested the team attend counseling sessions with Doctor Leonard Samson, who previously evaluated X-Factor back during the government-sponsored days. Jamie himself was struggling with the revelations that he was not technically a mutant and his parents had been murdered instead of dying in an accident. 

During his struggles, however, Madrox had apparently carried on with both Theresa and Monet, without telling them about each other or that the first Jamie who slept with either of them may or may not have been a dupe. Samson counseled Jamie that he needed to be honest with both women, and Madrox knew he was right. The resulting confession(s) went... poorly. [X-Factor (3rd series) #13]

Jamie gave Theresa and Monet space as they dealt with their feelings. Further counseling with Doc Samson about his directionless-ness led Madrox to decide to round up his stray dupes who were off in the world learning for him. Trying to corral his S.H.I.E.L.D. dupe led to Jamie accidentally being kidnapped by a Hydra faction who were targeting his other self. In a small bit of revenge, the Hydra brainwasher Doctor Locke was the same man who programmed Guido for Singularity. Locke and the rest of Hydra died when he attempted to program Madrox and accidentally triggered Jamie's multiplication uncontrollably. Everyone was crushed under the weight of duplicates. Jamie called in an anonymous report to S.H.I.E.L.D. and managed to re-absorb Agent Madrox when he arrived to survey the scene. [X-Factor (3rd series) #14-15]

As difficult as it was being kidnapped by Hydra, the next stray dupe proved challenging in a different way. Sent out into the world to learn about religion, the "Reverend John Maddox" had settled down overseeing a small town congregation in Vermont. The reverend ran when Jamie entered his church, leading Madrox to discover the rest of what his wayward dupe had been up to. John Maddox was also married to a woman named Susan and had a son, Daniel, named after Jamie's father. Mistaken for John, Jamie went home with the oblivious Susan and Daniel, seeing everything he could have had if he decided to settle down. John found Jamie in his home and was prepared to kill his progenitor if necessary to preserve his family life. When the moment came, however, John could not commit murder, and surrendered to Jamie's control over him. Instead of reabsorbing John, however, Madrox decided his dupe had proven his independence and earned his freedom. Jamie left the Maddox family whole and intact. [X-Factor (3rd series) #16]

The last stop on Jamie's walkabout was a dupe in Detroit intended to become the world's greatest detective. Jamie naturally hoped to add that knowledge to his current burgeoning skills. Instead, he found his dupe drunk on the streets and nursing another bottle. It turned out this Jamie's detective skills had procured some knowledge he had trouble dealing with. He prattled on about the upcoming threat of "Uber" and the true nature of Madrox's powers and why his dupes had started becoming more erratic. Still, this Jamie didn't want to burden Jamie-Prime with the knowledge he had obtained. Instead, he orchestrated their meeting to coincide with him murdering a corrupt police chief who couldn't be touched legally. The other Jamie effectively committed suicide-by-cop as the other officers gunned him down when the chief fell. Jamie-Prime realized he couldn't reabsorb the dupe, because the alcohol would momentarily incapacitate him and the cops would turn their attention his way. His dupe died, with the knowledge that burdened him dying with him. Jamie decided it was time to return to New York. [X-Factor (3rd series) #17]

Things were already getting complicated when Jamie got back to Mutant Town. Val Cooper arrived to warn him a terrorist group of ex-mutants called X-Cell believed the government was responsible for M-Day. Rahne and Rictor had already inserted themselves into Val's investigation without meaning to, so X-Factor was involved as well. Meanwhile, Layla was being less than helpful when Madrox asked, because she claimed the X-Cell situation would take care of itself if they just did nothing. Still, when Madrox insisted, Layla gave out assignments to the entire team to get them on X-Cell's trail. Rictor complained about the seemingly innocuous errands Layla sent them on, but Jamie had begun to trust Layla even if he didn't understand her, and rolled with it. Sure enough, Layla's advice brought them into conflict with X-Cell. They had sought out Pietro in Mutant Town, who was trying to restore mutant powers using Terrigen (the cell being unaware Quicksilver indirectly caused M-Day in the first place). X-Cell had their powers restored by Pietro, but these powers proved violently unstable as one of the X-Cell members exploded. The remaining members folded into Abyss's pocket dimension in the hopes of surviving there. X-Cell had taken care of themselves, just as Layla said. [X-Factor (3rd series) #18-20]

Events settled down enough for Jamie to mend fences with Monet and Theresa. He was later approached by a man named Josef Huber. Presenting himself as a rich humanitarian, Huber had an audacious plan to protect mutants by getting them classified under the Endangered Species Act. Jamie listened to Huber's proposal, and even helped him set up a meeting with Cyclops and Beast to possibly arrange a "Million Mutant March" to draw attention to their movement. Still, Madrox remembered his detective dupe's final warnings about "Uber" and remained suspicious. So he wasn't entirely surprised when Layla called in and said an agent of Huber's had just tried to kill her. The so-called Isolationist's plan to gather the last of mutantkind together in one place for one final genocide was undone. [X-Factor (3rd series) #21-24]

Everything escalated radically once a new mutant birth was discovered, the first new mutant since M-Day. Mister Sinister's Marauders had joined forces with the Acolytes to seek out the mutant, while the bigoted Purifiers saw the child as the Antichrist. Cyclops and the X-Men contacted X-Factor Investigations to combine forces. Rictor was sent to infiltrate the Purifiers while Jamie traveled to Eagle Plaza in Texas to speak to Forge, accompanied by Layla Miller. Forge explained that the Decimation had wiped out all presence of mutants in future timelines as well as the present. When the baby manifested her powers, however, two timelines spiked with mutant activity. The X-Men wanted reconnaissance to find out more.

Jamie's mission was to create two dupes to visit these futures. The time travel was one-way, but a link would remain to the present so that when the dupes died, their essence and memories would travel back down the timeline and give Jamie-Prime the details. Madrox focused on the importance of the mission before producing a righteous dupe and a pragmatic dupe. The first Jamie departed for Timeline One but, as the second Jamie was being displaced for Timeline Two, Layla jumped onto the platform and was transported with him. Given the parameters of Forge's tech, Layla would now be trapped in the future regardless of what happened to the duplicate. Jamie was in the midst of berating Forge to find some way to bring her back when he suddenly collapsed into a coma.

The second Jamie and Layla found themselves decades in the future. Mutants were condemned to live in concentration camps, and the two of them were captured trying to infiltrate the camps. Jamie was stripped, sanitized and branded with an 'M' over his eye. He struggled to accept the violations he experienced, and the fact that Layla knew in advance what awaited both of them. Inside the camp, Layla led him to a young Lucas Bishop, future time-traveling X-Man. Jamie learned that, in Bishop's future, the so-called "mutant messiah" restored the population after M-Day, but was later responsible for the death of over a million humans, leading to the camps. Realizing the adult Bishop would betray the X-Men to kill the baby and prevent his own future, Jamie accomplished his mission. Or so Layla Miller decided when she stole a guard's grenade and strapped it to Jamie. The dupe was killed, leaving Layla trapped in 

the camps decades in the future. Jamie-Prime woke up in the present, imprinted with both the duplicate's knowledge and the 'M' tattoo, genetically transferred back down the timeline by the viral ink. Madrox warned the X-Men, but Layla was gone.

(Note: It would be a long time before anyone remembered the other Jamie. And by then, it was too late. Too late by far.) [Messiah CompleX crossover]