Multiple Man #5

Issue Date: 
December 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: 

In the present, the lieutenant Madrox has arrived with an army to confront the X-Men, while fifteen years from now Madrox returns to the future with his powered dupes, and the cycle plays out in which he becomes Emperor Madrox, and returns to the past. In another future, Madrox and his powered-dupes realize they are stuck in a time-travel loop and return to the past – the present day, where the lieutenant dupe and his army are fighting the X-Men. Madrox introduces himself to the Beast as the Prime Madrox, but the lieutenant dupe has already met with the Beast, who created a serum that the lieutenant injects himself with, becoming a Prime Madrox as well. They end up fighting, each trying to reabsorb the other. In the process they create a dupe who becomes the new Prime Madrox. The army of dupes plan to torture the new Prime, until Hulk-Madrox breaks free, and crushes the Prime Madrox's head, effectively killing every single Madrox dupe. Two days later, Beast, Bishop and Domino are supervising the clean-up of the mass pile of Madrox dupes, when a new Madrox arrives from a future. He explains that he was supposed to be looking for Tony Stark, but ended up getting a job at a bar. He is very relaxed and doesn't seem bothered by all of the dead Madroxes. Bishop is suspicious of him, but Beast suggests they leave him be. The new Madrox starts to leave, but as he does, he finds the remainder of the serum that the Beast made and takes it with him – as Bishop warns him not to cause any trouble, or else they will find him.


Full Summary: 


'You don't look happy to see me, X-Men. I'm happy to see you' the Multiple Man dupe who served as Emperor Madrox's assistant remarks as he and a massive army of dupes appear at the Xavier Institute. 'You just said you hate everyone who isn't you' the Beast points out as he stands with Kitty Pryde, Strong Guy, Bishop, Nightcrawler, Iceman and Magik. 'Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes' the assistant dupe responds.

Strong Guy whispers to Bishop that he thought he was the time-travel police and that this seems like his department. Bishop informs Strong Guy that he already put an insurance policy in place, and that this is taken care of now. 'But it's still happening' Strong Guy points out. Bishop decides that it is possible Madrox messed up the timestream even more than he thought he could. 'We just got rid of you, Madrox. What's going on?' the Beast asks. 'Oh, you mean the other Jamie and his little band of mashed-up heroes? This era really had a thing for that, eh?' the assistant dupe replies, before telling the X-Men not to worry, that he killed all of them. 'Your friends are dead' he declares.

fifteen years from now:

'I think that went pretty well, all things considered' Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man remarks as he and several strange dupes – Cloak-Madrox, Hulk-Madrox, Cable-Madrox and Deadpool-Madrox – appear in the future. Civilians look at them in fear, while Madrox thinks to himself 'I know what you're all thinking. He called them our friends. But they are all Multiple Men like him. This is so confusing. And you're not wrong'.

Madrox looks around at the civilians and realizes that they are all scared of him. He thinks that someday, someone smarter than he will write a treatise on the plurality of Madrox, examining how he can be so many different things – and what that means for the greater human condition that he could be driven to war with himself – but that's boring. Madrox hears a strange beeping noise – there is something on Deadpool-Madrox's costume that beeps – and an instant later causes a massive explosion in the middle of the city.

Shortly, Madrox meets with Davey Miller. 'Some of you are smart. Some are dumb. Some are shy. Some are outgoing. Some are good. Some are evil. I just need some good ones' Davey tells him as the beeping noise can be heard again – followed by another explosion. 'No this is the first time I've met you. I was in a bunker for a very long -' Madrox remarks as he stands in the shower, talking to Layla Miller. Another beeping – and another explosion. 'Oh no, what have you done now, you fool?' Emperor Madrox's assistant muttered as he discovered Madrox's decapitated body.


Madrox tells the X-Men that he has come for a simple reason – the X-Men did the thing that they always do – they stuck their #$%& in where they shouldn't stick their #$%&. 'You stole my future' he declares, announcing that he has become the proverbial Grinch and has come to take their present.

the future – possibly:

'I think that went pretty well' Madrox tells his dupes Hulk-Madrox, Deadpool-Madrox, Cloak-Madrox and Cable-Madrox, whose body has become increasingly taken over by the Techno-Organic Virus. 'Umm... what the #$&%? Where are we?' Madrox wonders as he looks around at the barren landscape. Cable-Madrox reports that they are where and when they are supposed to be – only the when isn't here. Madrox is confused, after all, he left here two days from now and it was fine. Cloak-Madrox tells him that he left his timeline two days from now, but that the timestream is like a real stream – you never stand in the same one twice. 'No idea what that means' Madrox mutters. Hulk-Madrox remarks that there was a bomb – he can sense the tachyons in the air'. 'You can sense that?' Madrox asks. Hulk-Madrox explains that he is basically a magnet for radiation and particles, and that each one has its own unique taste. 'Tachyons taste like... not good'.

Hulk-Madrox continues, reporting that tachyons move faster than light and can jump between timestreams, so if he would have to guess, since they are in a a time-travel loop, someone figured out how to blow up all the futures that evil version of them conquered, and as the timelines die, their time travel becomes muddied. 'Basically, they are building dams in the timestream and we're getting swept up -' Hulk-Madrox continues, as Madrox rubs his head and asks him to stop talking. 'Who would blow up our... oh... oh no' he utters. 'What?' Hulk-Madrox asks him, to which Madrox confesses that he thinks Bishop must have given one of them a bomb to stop him because he isn't who they think he is. 'I mean, I'm me. We all are. But... you've all done this before, brought me here to stop the Emperor. And you died doing it. But I do end up stopping him... kind of... I stop him by letting him kill me. And the guilt changes him... into me. Because I'm the Emperor... or I was' Madrox reveals as the others watch him, except for Deadpool who looks at a small device with an “X” on it, then hurls it away from the group.

Cable-Madrox tells Madrox that they know. 'You do?' Madrox asks. Cable-Madrox points out that it is kind of the only logical explanation for all this. 'It is?' Madrox asks. Cable-Madrox remarks that they came here to stop him, but he is already dead. 'So now what?' he asks. 'Umm... I guess we go home?' Madrox suggests.


Archangel struggles as several Madrox dupes leap onto him. Kitty punches a dupe while Jubilee blasts another with her fireworks. Iceman encases a dupe in ice, while Strong Guy throws one into the air. Nightcrawler darts behind Bishop who shoots his gun, striking another dupe. Madrox and his various alternate selves return, and upon look at the battle raging before them, Madrox remarks that this isn't right, either. He mutters that Forge's time-travel bracelets really do suck, but Cable-Madrox tells him that this is right. 'So this is real? Oh, man. I get why everyone hates us, ya know?' Madrox remarks. 'Yup' Cloak-Madrox agrees. Madrox announces that the X-Men are going to be overrun by Multiple Men, and as much as that is a real ego boost to him, they have to stop it. Suddenly, Archangel's razor-sharp wings slash towards Madrox's neck. 'Wait! Warren! I'm one of the good ones!' Madrox calls out. 'There are good ones?' Archangel asks as he slams two other Madrox dupes together.

Madrox turns to his counterparts and tells them to stop the other Madroxes. 'They're making us look bad!' he exclaims, before informing the others that he will go find this Emperor. He goes over to one of the fallen Madrox soldiers who is still alive and asks him where the leader is. 'Go to Hell, traitor' the dupe replies. 'Show some respect. I'm Jamie Prime' Madrox declares. 'You sure about that?' the soldier dupe asks. 'Fine. There's more than one way I can get information from you, chump!' Madrox exclaims as and grabs the soldier's sword.

Shortly, Madrox runs towards the Beast, who looks up and remarks 'Oh, come on! I already finished it, Jamie. Now what?' 'What?' Madrox replies, as Emperor Madrox's assistant emerges from behind the Beast. 'You'll have to excuse poor Doctor McCoy. I think he thinks you're me' the assistant dupe points out. 'You...' Madrox utters. The assistant dupe greets him as Emperor, and explains that he came here looking for him. 'Well, here I am' Madrox replies. His assistant then reports that he was looking for him because he is going to kill him. 'Same' Madrox replies, telling his lieutenant that they both know he can't kill him, because he is the Prime. 'If I die, you die' Madrox points out. 'Oh, that's right. After our original Prime died, you were all that survived' the lieutenant remarks, adding 'And you were dying too. And you lost the power to replicate. But then Hank made that serum for you... right before you turned him into a rug' he smiles. 'You did what?' the Beast gasps. 'And now only you can't be killed or we all die, right?' the lieutenant asks.

The lieutenant folds his arms and asks Jamie what it was he said when he killed Hank: “Even with all his data, no one on Earth could re-create this serum but McCoy himself” and points out that it is a brilliant plan to ensure no dupe ever comes for the throne – McCoy's death is the greatest insurance policy ever created – until someone finds another McCoy that gives him that data. The lieutenant dupe pulls out a syringe with the serum and holds it to his neck. 'No' Madrox exclaims. 'Yes' the lieutenant replies. 'You don't know what you're doing' Madrox warns him, and leaps at him, too late, as the lieutenant injects himself with the serum. 'Hank! What happens when there are two Madrox Primes?' Jamie asks. 'How the #$%& should I know?' the Beast replies, shrugging his shoulders. 'What happens?' the lieutenant asks as he falls to the floor. 'Me' the lieutenant exclaims as the impact creates a dupe.

The dupe of the lieutenant exclaims 'Well, would you look at that? It seems you aren't the only one who can make dupes anymore, Emperor. That must feel -' he begins, before Madrox throws a knife into his head. The lieutenant clutches his heart and remarks that he felt his dupes life fade away. 'Yeah. Sucks, right?' Madrox mutters, before the lieutenant lunges at him: 'So it's murder then, traitor?' he asks as he pushes Madrox through a window, the impact creating a dupe of Madrox, the three of them fall to the ground below, where an army of dupes stops their fighting and turns to them. The lieutenant holds Madrox to the ground and tells them to stay back, that he is the Prime Madrox now and will finish this traitor himself. Madrox forces himself upwards, pushing the lieutenant onto his back: 'Screw that! Dupes, help me kicks his ass!' he exclaims. The lieutenant throws Madrox backwards and tells him that it looks like not even one of his dupes believes in him. 'They may have your appearances, but they have my convictions' the lieutenant points out as none of the dupes come to assist Madrox. 'Or your lack of a moral compass' Madrox mutters.

Madrox turns and looks at the mass of dupes standing nearby and remarks that this blows, and supposes that there is only one thing left to do – 'Congrats, you won' he tells the lieutenant, extending his hand to shake the lieutenant's. '... that's it?' the lieutenant asks, before suddenly, Madrox starts to absorb the lieutenant into himself. 'What are you doing?' the lieutenant asks. 'I'm re-absorbing you' Madrox declares. 'You can't do this. I'm a Madrox Prime!' the lieutenant declares. 'No one cares' Madrox tells him, before suddenly, the lieutenant begins to absorb Madrox into himself. Madrox looks confused, while the lieutenant gloats 'Ha! Now I'm resorbing you!' They struggle, as each tries to gain the upper hand in the reabsorption process. 'Die already!' the lieutenant exclaims. 'You first!' Madrox declares, before he reaches out and grabs a hammer that lays nearby – and slams it into the lieutenant's head, creating another dupe that is some sort of hybrid of Madrox and the lieutenant.

'Kill us!' Madrox calls out to the dupe, while the lieutenant points out that even their dupes are screwed up now. 'That's what I thought. You try to resorb me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize!' Madrox declares. One of the soldiers turns to the hybrid Madrox and asks him what his orders are. 'My...orders?' the hybrid replies, before instructing the soldiers to begin planning for war while he finishes resorbing the other Madrox. 'This world is ours now. Ex uno plures' he declares. 'EX UNO PLURES!' the Madrox army shout as the hybrid's appearance changes to that of a normal-looking Jamie Madrox. One of the soldiers asks him of the prisoners, motioning to where Cloak-Madrox and Hulk-Madrox are shackled nearby. Deadpool-Madrox and Cable-Madrox lay motionless on the ground. 'We will execute them at dawn' Madrox declares.

'You miserable #$%&$#&% traitor. I knew you were garbage from the moment I was created. I should have stuck my -' Cloak-Madrox begins, as Madrox sits in front of him and quietly tells him to shut up, that he is trying to figure out how to get them out of here, but they need to be quiet. 'I knew they'd never turn you' Cloak-Madrox smiles. Hulk-Madrox suggests that he could break these chains, but with the soldiers nearby, this seems like a bad time. 'Yeah. Smart. Let's save that or they'll just kill you' Madrox points out, before Hulk-Madrox asks him why he is pretending to take over the world. Madrox quietly explains that he isn't, but that the lieutenant is inside him, fighting for control – half of him really does want to burn this whole world down! 'Hey! Why are you whispering?!' a soldier asks, pointing at them. 'He's conspiring with the traitors! Stop the leader!' the soldier then shouts.

Two other dupes grab Madrox, 'Unhand me!' Madrox exclaims while one of the dupes suggest that they kill him. Another dupe points out that they can't kill him, as he is the Prime – so if he dies, they all die. 'Listen to him. He's smart' Madrox smiles, before the dupe asks why they should kill him – when they can chain him up and torture him for the rest of his life! 'Wait! He's no that smart. Don't listen!' Madrox protests as two soldiers start to drag him away. 'Hulk! Help!' Madrox screams. Hulk-Madrox stands up, 'Oh for...this is not a well-thought out plan' he mutters as he starts to smack his way through the army of Madrox dupes. 'Bring down the monster!' one of the soldiers exclaims aas the Hulk-Madrox rampages through them all. Madrox laments that he can't stop this, as it is inside him – it came from him and no matter what he does, this is part of who he is. 'All these people I hurt and killed. How do I make that right?' he asks. 'You fight against it' Hulk-Madrox tells him.

Madrox drops to his knees and remarks that he doesn't deserve the chance to. 'Are you sure?' Hulk-Madrox asks. 'Yes. Do it...I'm so sorry' Madrox replies, before Hulk-Madrox suddenly wraps his hands around Madrox's face. 'So am I' Hulk-Madrox remarks as he crushes Madrox's head with his bare hands. 'No! What did you do? He was the Prime, you -' one of the dupes calls out, before falling dead, along with every single other variation of Madrox, leaving the imprisoned X-Men – Kitty, Archangel, Bishop, Iceman, Jubilee and Nightcrawler, and the New Mutants – Strong Guy, Magik and Wolfsbane – standing amongst a pile of dead Madroxes. 'What... the... hell?' Strong Guy asks.

Two days later, crows pick at the carcasses of the Madroxes, while the Beast, Bishop and Domino watch over the bodies. Bulldozers have been brought in to help clear away the piles of Madroxes. The Beast remarks that the cost of clean-up and disposal of the bodies is going to be in the millions. He adds that Damage Control aren't cheap and realizes that the city is going to be so pissed with them. 'When are they not?' Domino asks, to which the Beast asks her and Bishop what they are doing here. Domino tells him that Bishop had had one of his feelings, while she is just along for the ride. Suddenly, there is a crashing sound, 'And here we go' Bishop remarks as a portal opens and a bearded, Hawaiian-shirt wearing Madrox emerges. 'Whoa. What did I miss?' Madrox calls out. Domino and Bishop aim their weapons at him and he holds his hands up, 'Hell of a greeting, guys' he remarks. Bishop asks him who he is, and Madrox replies 'Really? It's me! Jamie Madrox! Is it the beard?' he asks. 'Where did you just come from?' Domino enquires.

Madrox explains that in the future there is this whole big thing and this weird guy becomes an evil dictator and he was sent forward in time to save the world or whatever. '... and?' Bishop asks. The bearded Madrox wipes his mouth, 'Right, right. I was sent to the future to find Tony Stark and recruit him. But, like, the future is huge and the whole world is real big. Dude could have been anywhere. I couldn't find him' Madrox explains. Bishop asks him what happened, and Madrox reveals that he got a job at this bar, adding that it was great, customers were fun, it was right on the beach and you could drink all you want. 'Loved it' he tells them. One of them asks him why he left, to which Madrox informs them that the world took a real turn towards not fun. 'This guy knows what I'm talking about' Madrox remarks, lowering his sunglasses and pointing at the M tattoo across his eyes, while looking at Bishop. Madrox adds that he started feeling sick, so he went back to the time he was from, but there was nothing left – the whole world was just gone.

'You trying to take over the world?' Bishop asks, his gun still pointing right at Madrox's face. 'HA!' Madrox laughs, before realizing that Bishop is being serious. 'No way, man. I just want to take it easy' Madrox claims. Domino and Bishop look at each other, and Domino asks him why chose now to come back. Madrox tells her that he doesn't know, that it seemed as good a time as any. He adds that there is a lady with a baby he heard a bunch about, and thought he would introduce himself. 'Let him go' Beast tells Bishop and Domino, forcing them to lower their weapons. 'We don't know anything -' Bishop begins. 'Just let him go' Beast declares.

Madrox carries on away from the others, walking past a pile of dead dupes he calls back to the X-Men, telling them that it is good to see them and that when he knows where he has landed he will shoot them a postcard. 'If this goes bad, McCoy...' Bishop's voice trails off. 'Yeah, yeah. It's always my fault' Beast mutters in response. 'Don't cause any trouble, Madrox, or we'll find you' Bishop calls out to Madrox, who squats down and picks up the remainder of the syringe with the serum in it. He carries the serum with him as he calls back 'Trouble? What trouble could I cause?'

Characters Involved: 

Multiple Man

Archangel, Beast, Bishop, Iceman, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde (all X-Men)

Magik, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all Corporate New Mutants)



Fifteen years from now:

Cable-Madrox, Cloak-Madrox, Deadpool-Madrox, Hulk-Madrox


Davey Miller

Layla Miller


Assistant dupe Madrox

Madrox dupe army


Story Notes: 

The Madrox who arrives at the end of the issue was last seen walking to a beach-front bar in an alternate reality in Multiple Man #4.

Madrox’ quote about contradicting himself is taken from Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself”.

Ex uno Plures: Latin for “Many out of one”

Madrox next appears in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #1.

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