Multiple Man #1 Review
The last time I followed comic books regularly was back when Matt Fraction and David Aja were still putting out the amazing Hawkeye solo book. Once that ended I certainly fell from grace. Since then I would sporadically read issues here and there, but I wasn’t the comic book nerd (sweaty?) that I once was. A couple months ago, I found a comic book store en route to my job and walked in unaware I’d be making a purchase. I bought two issues: Batman: White Knight #1 and Matthew Rosenberg and Travel Foreman’s Tales of Suspense FT. Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier #100. Not too long after I went back and completed the 5-issue arc of the latter and just loved Matt Rosenberg’s storytelling. This week, I decided to follow his writing onto a new book and it certainly delivered... I’m sure Multiple Man is a character with some cult following somewhere. Every Marvel character is someone’s favorite; he wasn’t mine. I’m more streamlined: Love Spider-Man, love Kitty Pryde, wish I was Hawkeye. I’m aware of Jaime Madrox and how his powers work, but I’ve never seen them used like how they’re depicted here. When I finished reading the issue, it reminded me in tone and set-up of Chelsea Cain’s first issue on Mockingbird. That book was one I ended up catching up with after the hype and immensely enjoyed it. It was kooky, wonky, and didn’t spell things out for you. Similarly, this one doesn’t patronize the reader or gives much obligatory exposition. Heck, I didn’t know Multiple Man had died in another comic before! What it does, successfully, is confuse and tease you just enough for you to want more of this madness.
The book has resurrecting characters, time travel, doppelgangers, and each and every one of those elements is used in a way that you wouldn’t really expect or understand. The art is fitting also: Y’see, comic book art is tricky when your main character is just a white male normal looking dude. Characters need specific features on paper (Jean Grey and Mary Jane have bright red hair, Gwen Stacy’s always wearing a headband, Clark Kent has the specific hair and glasses) otherwise they get lost among the other generic-looking white characters. Here Andy MacDonald did an amazing job in making Jaime distinct in more ways than one. The one time I had issue with the art was when I was trying to figure out which duplicate was absorbing which, but I assumed the confusion is warranted for the sake of the story. The only other negative I could muster about this issue is that I read this not knowing this was not an ongoing series, but rather, this is a part one of a five issue contained story. So when finished there was a bit of a let down, but at least I can expect a consistency. I’m not sure how anticipated this book was, but it should be on everybody’s pull list now. I trust Rosenberg will have a great through-line to resolve this very interesting story set-up. Going in not knowing what to expect with this somewhat obscure character made the cliffhanger all the better. This is the Multiple Man James Franco wishes he could play in a movie.
Be sure to go to you support your local comic book store and buy this book. If you prefer to go digital route, you can buy the issue on Comixology here.