Multiple Man #2

Issue Date: 
September 2018
Story Title: 

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Andy MacDonald (artist), Tamra Bonvillain (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer), Marcos Martin (cover artist), Nick Russell (logo & graphic designer), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Christina Harringon & Jordan D White (editors), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Madrox manages to calm the X-Men and New Mutants who are fighting alternate versions of his dupes. The alternate dupes reveal that they have come to bring Madrox back to the future to stop the end of the world. Kitty wants the X-Men to get involed, but Jamie and his dupes teleport away, although Bishop gives them a temporal beacon in case they need help. Returning to the future, Madrox finds it a horrible place, where the poor and impoverished line the streets begging, and Madrox dupes are police officers, keeping the poor downtrodden – the civilians are all scared of Madrox, as Emperor Madrox rules with an iron fist. Madrox and his dupes meet a boy who leads them to the Resistance, which is led by a fifteen year old called Davey Miller, and is comprised of many dupes who are not part of Emperor Madrox's regime, including regular versions of the alternate dupes from before the timeline was changed. Madrox meets Forge, also part of the Resistance, who is now a cyborg, and when Madrox takes a shower, Layla Miller finds him and realizes that he is a dupe of her Jamie, and warns him not to hurt her son, who surrounds himself with copies of his father in the hope that he might find some value in one of them. Layle also warns Madrox that they will all die. Madrox wanders the city for a while, before meeting with Forge – and discusses the plan he has to save the world. Davey alerts Madrox to the fact Emperor Madrox's dupes have found them, and they engage in battle, where Hulk Madrox is killed. Madrox panics, and realizes that Layla was right – they are all going to die!

Full Summary: 

The X-Mansion, now:
'Okay, everyone, hang on. This got real weird but I can explain everything!' Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man calls out, as he finds himself standing next to versions of himself – Cable Madrox, Cloak Madrox, Deadpool Madrox and Hulk Madrox – while members of the X-Men and Corporate New Mutants team are ready to continue their fight against the mysterious Madrox arrivals. Madrox tells Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Beast, Bishop, Magik, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane that he thinks these guys are from the future – a different future – or an alternate present, but the one version of him is old. 'And why am I green?' Madrox wonders, adding that he gives up and has no idea what this is. Hulk Madrox informs Jamie that they are from his far future. 'Cool, me too' Madrox replies. Hulk Madrox explains that they returned here to bring him back to the future so he can help them continue their mission to stop the end of the world. 'I just came here from then to do that' Madrox replies, to which Hulk Madrox informs him that didn't work, which is why they are here to bring him back then.

Beast steps between Madrox and Hulk Madrox and suggests that it would be a good time to discuss the implications of time travel, but suddenly, Cloak Madrox puts his hands to his own mouth and makes a loud noise, interrupting Beast. He starts to cast a spell and announces that they didn't come here to “discuss the implications of time travel” or whatever, as bad things are happening and Madrox is going to fix it – end of story.

Kitty points at Madrox and tells him that if something bad is coming, the X-Men should be involved. 'Or not' Cable Madrox mutters. 'If you want to keep being rude after you busted into our house...' Kitty begins, while Bishop hands Deadpool Madrox a temporal beacon, explaining that if something goes wrong, he can hit the button and then he will know where to find them. Wolfsbane and Kitty frown at Madrox, before he starts to vanish with the other Madroxes.

'Oh, damn. Look at that. Y'all are too boring. Thanks for all the help X-Men. Gotta go. Byeeeee' Cloak Madrox calls out. 'How did he get more annoying after he died?' Kitty asks the Beast.

Fifteen years from now:
'I think that went pretty well, all things considered' Madrox remarks as he and the other Madroxes materialize in the future. Their arrival does not go unnoticed by the many civilians in the street. Soldiers line the street, and looking around, Madrox realizes that the civilians are scared. 'Negative, friend. They're scared of you' Cable Madrox points out.

Madrox approaches a woman nearby and asks 'Hi, excuse me? Can I ask you a quick question?' All of the civilians nearby drop to their knees and bow before Madrox, as the woman tells him 'Oh! Of course, Master Madrox! We live to serve the many, ex uno plures. How may we help you?'

'Oh, you don't have to do that now. C'mon. I don't...' Madrox remarks, before he looks up and sees a large statue of himself sitting on top of a pile of skulls. 'Oh. Yeah. I forgot about the statue. It's... off-putting' Madrox remarks. 'They captured your likeness well, at least' Cloak Madrox points out.

The five Madroxes begin walking down the street, and Madrox tells the others that this all seemed much less ominous to him before. 'I wasn't quite as “fascist-y”? Is that a word?' he remarks, adding that it is funny what a little time and distance will do for your perspective. 'Yes. Funny. Ha' Cable Madrox replies.

Several other Madrox dupes walk past them, as Madrox remarks that it is going to feel really good to tear all this down. 'These people deserve a better -' he begins, when suddenly, a car comes to a screeching halt in front of them, and from it emerge more Madroxes, all wearing Jamie's old green and yellow costume. Madrox tells his four companions to hold back and see what this lot want first. The other Multiple Men rush past Madrox and his companions, 'See? Not about us. You guys are out here looking for fights when everything is totally fine' Madrox declares. But, as the other Multiple Men start attacking someone outside a store with a sign that says “Going out of business” Madrox realizes not all is fine. 'Aaand never mind' he remarks, throwing his hands to his head.

'What did we tell you?' one of the Multiple Men asks the boy outside the store. They hold large battons up to him. 'No begging' one of the Multiple Men declares. 'Screw you, gene joke!' the boy shouts. One of the Multiple Men is about to bring the batton down on the boy, when Madrox intervenes: 'STOP!' he shouts as he grabs the dupe's wrist. 'It's you...' the dupe utters. 'Sorry, sir' one of the others remarks.

'It's fine. You just don't need -' Madrox begins before Cable Madrox blows one of the dupes apart, and Deadpool Madrox shoves his energy claws into the other. 'You killed them! I didn't want you to kill them!' Madrox exclaims. 'But we did' Cable Deadpool points out. 'Yeah, I see that. Let's not do it again' Madrox tells them, adding that he feels like he might barf. Madrox turns to the boy and asks him if he is okay. 'That was amazing!' the boy replies. Madrox mutters that everyone seems to be handling this better than him. 'Almost everyone' he decides, as a dozen or so more Multiple Men arrive in squad cars and surround Madrox and the other four.

'Freeze!' one of the Multiple Man dupes shouts. 'Don't move, you #$&%&#$ $%&*$' one of the dupes calls out. 'Hey, remember when I said don't do that again? Changed my mind' Madrox tells his companions.

Deadpool Madrox pops his claws and leaps towards the dupes, while Cable Madrox opens fire. 'Roar!' Hulk Madrox calls out as he lunges towards the dupes, and Cloak Deadpool casts a spell, 'By the mouth of Minoru' as energy radiates around his hands. 'Yeah, definitely gonna barf' Madrox mutters, covering his eyes. Moments later, he opens them, and all of the dupes have been defeated. 'Well, at this point I think it's safe to say they know we're here' Madrox tells his companions. 'Feels good to be making a difference already' Cloak Madrox tells him, while the boy tells the Madroxes that they need to come with him.

'Where is Selfriends being taken?' Cable Madrox asks as the Madroxes follow the boy down an alleyway. Madrox tells him that he doesn't know, but points out that so far this kid is the only person who isn't terrified of them or hasn't tried to kill them, so he thinks they should give him a chance. They enter a doorway which takes them down to a sewer. 'We're there' the boy announces as they come to another door further down the sewer. 'Where?' Madrox asks. 'Here' the boy tells him. 'Where's here?' Madrox enquires. 'The Resistance!' the boy declares as they enter the door, and find another boy sitting behind a table, THE RESISTANCE painted in large red letters on the wall. 'Oh. This is... not great' Madrox remarks.

The boy sitting behind the table stands up and greets Madrox. 'Hi. So this is... the Resistance?' Madrox asks, examining his surroundings. 'Oh, yeah! Totally. Welcome' the boy replies, before shaking Madrox's hand and introducing himself as Davey Miller, one of the leaders of the Resistance. 'Nice to meet you. I'm -' Madrox starts to reply, but Davey interrupts him, telling him that he knows who he is. 'It's I don't know' Davey remarks, pointing at the other Madroxes. 'Oh, them? They're the same as me, I guess' Madrox replies. 'Huh. Haven't seen that yet' Davey remarks, before asking Madrox what brings him to the Resistance. 'That weird little kid' Madrox replies. 'No, I mean why did you want to join?' Davey enquires. Madrox tells him that he didn't know there was a Resistance until he saw that big sign. 'It's a good sign though, right?' Davey remarks. 'It's okay' Madrox tells him, before Davey confirms that there is a Resistance to Emperor Madrox, and that he has beenn its leader for eight years. 'And you are?' Madrox asks. 'Fifteen' Davey reports. 'Perfect' Madrox frowns.

'And you don't mind that we're... ya know... us?' Madrox asks. Davey tells Madrox that he understands how it works – every Madrox is part of the whole, some of them are smart, some are dumb, some are shy and some are outgoing, and some are good, while some are evil. 'I just need some good ones' Davey explains. 'It's a little more complex than that, I think' Madrox frowns. 'I don't' Davey tells him, adding that if it wasn't for Madrox, there wouldn't be a Resistance. He motions to several dupes, wearing a variation of the green and yellow Multiple Man costume.

'That's them' Hulk Madrox whispers to Madrox. 'Them who?' Madrox asks. 'Us' Hulk Madrox tells him. 'Wait... really? How do you know?' Madrox asks. 'I remember being him and seeing me telling you this' Hulk Madrox explains. 'I don't think you should tell them that you're them' Madrox suggests. Hulk Madrox tells him that he didn't then, so won't now.

'So... welcome to the Resistance!' Davey Miller smiles. 'Neat' Madrox replies, rubbing his head. 'Butthole here doesn't seem very impressed' one of the dupes remarks, pointing at Madrox. 'No, no, it's great. An eleven-person army. What more could we want?' Madrox replies. Davey tells him not to worry, as they have a secret weapon. Madrox, the odd Madroxes and the boy follow Davey into another room, some sort of lab. 'So, this is the secret weapon?' Madrox asks. 'Yup' Davey tells him. 'Neat. Does it wash and dry or is that a separate machine?' Madrox jokes, referring to the large washing machine-like nature of the contraption – which suddenly turns around, and a face appears in a tank at the front of the machine. 'Holy $#!%' Madrox gasps, as the face in the machine greets him. 'Forge!? I thought you were dead...' Madrox exclaims. 'Sadly, I am not. But I wish you were' Forge tells Madrox. 'Sadly, I am not either' Madrox replies. 'So... you're a robot?' Madrox asks. 'I'm a cyborg' Forge explains. Madrox asks Forge if he is the Resistance's secret weapon, to which Forge explains that he and Davey have been running the Resistance for almost a decade now. 'This is all great. Great, great, great' Madrox mutters, rubbing his head.

Be aggressive. Be aggressive” Jamie sings in the shower. 'Are you going to get my son killed?' a voice demands. 'Oh, God!' Jamie gasps as he turns and sees a woman with blonde hair and a large M printed over her eye standing in the bathroom. 'Your son? Wait... Davey... Miller. You're Layla Miller?' Jamie asks. Layla confirms that she is and moves closer to the shower, 'And you don't know me, do you?' Layla asks him. 'No, this is the first time I've met you. I was in a bunker for a very long time' Jamie tells her. Layla looks at Jamie, who puts his hands in front of himself as the water pours down over his body.

'That's what I thought. So you're no different than the rest, spawned from the vile dupe that ruined the world, not my Jamie' Layla remarks. 'Something like that' Jamie tells her. Layla turns and starts to walk out of the bathroom. 'I just had to see for myself' she declares. 'Umm...' Jamie calls after her. 'For some reason my son believes in you. He thinks your some sort of prophesied savior' Layla explains. 'And what do you believe?' Jamie asks her.

Jamie wraps a towel around his waist and follows Layla into a living room, where Davey and the Madroxes are gathered. Layla tells Jamie that she believes that after the stupid cloud killed her dumb husband for no good reason, sixteen years ago, the only good parts of him left exist in their son. 'And now a vile imitation of my husband has ruined the world and forces my son to grow up in the shadows, where he clings to the hope he sees in cheap knockoffs of that vile imitation' Layla declares, adding that her son surrounds himself with copies of copies of copies of copies, hoping to one day find something of value in them – but each one matters less than the one before.

'Mom! I told you not to embarrass me in front of my people. I lead the Resistance now! This man is going to make sure we win!' Davey tells his mother. But Layla tells him that this isn't the Resistance – it is a suicide party. 'The only thing he's going to make sure of... is that we all die' she declares as she strides out of the room. 'So... your mom seems nice' Jamie tells Davey.

'You're not upset, are you?' Davey asks. Jamie begins to put some clothes on and tells Davey that he is used to that, as he looks like a lot of people's dead friend. 'She's just the first person I met who was married to him' Jamie explains. Davey informs Jamie that his mom misses him a lot, and that it probably doesn't help that a guy who looks just like him killed hundreds of thousands of people when he took over the world. 'Probably not' Jamie agrees. 'Either way, I'm sorry about my mom' Davey tells Jamie, who tells him not to be, as she is just looking out for him – that is what moms are supposed to do. Jamie then tells Davey that he is sorry about his dad, and as he puts his coat on, he leaves, 'Don't wait up for me' he tells Davey.

Jamie walks past some beggars in Times Square, then past a wall, lined with wanted photos – Sabretooth, Mystique, Steve Rogers, Rosenberg, Moon Knight – all of them have SLAIN scrawled across their image. He pauses as he walks past a firing squad who have just executed dozens of people against a wall.

Hours later, Forge's face concentrates as he uses the cyborg hands of the machine that he exists within to ice a large cake. 'Hey! She's not right, ya know!' Jamie exclaims as he approaches Forge. 'Hello, Jamie. Thank you for startling me' Forge mutters as he drops the icing bag into the cake, squashing it. 'No problem' Jamie tells Forge, before he takes some cake and tells Force once again that Layla is not right. 'She usually is...' Forge begins. Jamie tells him that he thought if he came back he could start a big resistance where there wasn't one, but there is one, and he has these other versions of himself here that he never dealt with before – things are already different. He adds that he thought he would have to convince himself to stop destroying the world, but that is not what will happen. 'We can actually win this' Jamie declares. He adds that he just needs to make sure that in the future, they have what they need now. 'What is that?' Forge enquires. Jamie holds up Bishop's time-travel device and informs Forge that he needs him to make more of these. 'Can you do that?' he asks.

Forge looks at the time travel device and tells Jamie that he isn't sure it is a good idea to mess with the timestream. 'That's how you ended up taking over the world in the first place, right?' he asks. 'Yeah, I don't want to do anything like that... again' Jamie replies, announcing that he just wants to send some dupes into the future, farther into the future, to create versions of themselves to go into the past, not this past, but the real past, and save him so he can come forward to this past and create those future dupes – in a little bit. 'I don't think that will mess things up' Jamie says seriously. 'Oh... okay' Forge mumbles.

Two days later, Jamie sits at a table, playing the card game solitaire. 'Can I play?' a dupe asks, sitting opposite Jamie. 'No. it's a one-player game' Jamie replies. 'Yeah, but we could all play something...' the dupe suggests. 'I don't play well with others. Sorry' Jamie tells the dupe. Another dupe sits at the table as well, when suddenly, Davey rushes towards them, 'They're coming! They're coming!' he shouts. 'Who's coming?' Jamie asks, standing up. 'Emperor Madrox's security forces. They've found us somehow. We need to run now' Davey exclaims. 'No. Screw that. Let's go say hello' Jamie declares, as his Hulk, Deadpool, Cable and Cloak dupes ready themselves.

Jamie and his dupes leave the Resistance hide out, to find the huge army of Emperor Madrox's dupes waiting for them. 'Are you looking for us? Cuz we are' Jamie calls out. 'What?' Cloak Madrox asks. 'I meant we are looking for you' Jamie tells them 'You blew it' Cloak Madrox mutters. 'I know' Jamie admits, before suggesting they get this over with. The four alternate Madroxes leap into battle against Emperor Madrox's dupes, Cable Madrox attacks his foes with the TO-Virus, while Cloak Madrox casts a spell, and Deadpool Madrox leaps towards another, energy claws at the ready, while Hulk Madrox starts to smash his way through his opponents. More and more dupes belonging to Emperor Madrox's army fall, when suddenly, several of them capture Hulk Madrox iin an energy net. He roars, and Jamie warns them that they are going to make him pissed. Emperor Madrox's dupes start poking Hulk Madrox with spears, enraging him further. 'You must really like him when he's pissed...' Jamie mutters, adding 'He's about to be super -' when, suddenly, Hulk Madrox explodes in a mushroom cloud of gamma energy which washes across countless enemy dupes.

Blood splattered across his face, Jamie looks worried. 'Oh. Oh no' he gasps. 'She was right...' he realizes, before calling out to his alternate dupes, urging them to fall back. Jamie and the alternate dupes begin to run, pursued by Emperor Madrox's dupes, and Jamie exclaims 'We're all going to die!'

Characters Involved: 

Multiple Man
Magik, Rictor, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all Corporate New Mutants)
Beast, Bishop, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde (all X-Men)

Fifteen years from now:
Cable Madrox, Cloak Madrox, Deadpool Madrox, Hulk Madrox

Davey Miller
Layla Miller
Madrox dupes in Resistance
Emperor Madrox's dupes
Madrox dupe officers

Story Notes: 

Multiple Man briefly went into the future in Multiple Man #1.

Multiple Man succumbed to the deadly Terrigen Mist in Death of X #1.

The Prime Jamie was married to Layla Miller who was pregnant when they retired from superheroing.

Ex uno plures: Latin for “many out of one.”

“Be aggressive be aggressive” is a song by the band Faith No More.

Written By: