Introduced as an adversary to the Fantastic Four, Jamie Madrox was quickly defeated and Reed Richards determined the young man was actually a mutant, prompting him to contact Professor Charles Xavier. Under Xavier's suggestion, Madrox was then sent to Muir Island, working with geneticist Moira McTaggert as her research assistant.
Though he declined an offer to join the X-Men, he was later recruited to the government-sponsored X-Factor, remaining with them for many years and becoming a stalwart member of the team. He would then join the extremist task force known as X-Corps, which ultimately didn't last very long.
Following the disbandment of both lineups, Madrox began working as a private detective in the New York City ghetto known as "Mutant Town". Here, he would form X-Factor Investigations, rounding up a group of fellow mutants whose uncanny abilities would prove a major asset for the job. After their eventual split, Madrox lingered in mutant-adjacent corners of the Marvel Universe.
Unfortunately for Madrox, he was one of the first mutants to succumb to the M-Pox while helping study its toxicity to mutantkind on Muir Island. Though Madrox Prime insisted he was the Multiple Man and not a dupe in his dying moments, the nature of his mutation leaves his fate ambiguous.
Outside of comic books, Multiple Man has appeared in other media. He's featured as a recurring character in the animated series X-Men: Evolution, and appeared in episodes of X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men. He made his live-action debut in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, portrayed there by Eric Dane. In 2017, it was announced a film based on the character was in development by James Franco, who is also set to portray the character himself.
Multiple Man appears in:Notable Comics
- X-Men Film Series (2006, TBD) portrayed by various actors:
- X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), portrayed by Eric Dane
- X-Men (1995) note
- X-Men: Evolution (2001 — 2003), voiced by David A. Kaye
- Wolverine and the X-Men (2008), voiced by Crispin Freeman note
- X-Men Legends (2004), voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
- X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (2005)
- X-Men: The Official Game (2006)
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009), voiced by Wally Wingert
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011)
Multiple Man provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Villainy: In both the Ultimate X-Men comic line and the X-Men Film Series, he is reinvented into a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants working under Magneto. Wolverine and the X-Men meanwhile has him serve as a henchman for Sinister.
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: One version of Jamie seen in X-Factor served as Doctor Strange's apprentice.
- Ascended Fanboy: Jamie Madrox keeps attempting to treat his Mutant adventures as Noir Detective novels. He usually fails miserably.
- Bad Future: He got sent off to one with Layla Miller at one point, and came back with an M tattoo over his eye ala Bishop.
- Black Sheep: He's something of a Black Sheep mutant, being classified as a "changeling", which is either predecessor or offshoot of mutantkind, something which makes his powers unusual, even compared to other mutants. Likely the biggest difference was that his powers manifested at birth, whereas most mutants gain them at puberty. Minor character Damien Tryp believes this is his classification too, but also believes he is not a mutant as a result.
- Butt-Monkey: When written by Matthew Rosenberg, who seems to delight in writing Jamie as a brain-dead idiot who gets insulted and killed over and over again.
- Cloning Blues: For some time, his clones were cool with being who they are. Then things started getting weird. One turns traitor and joins with the long-term X-Men enemy Mister Sinister. Another dies of the Legacy Virus. Jamie starts going around the bend because he's just too much people for one man. Later, he gets it together but his clones don't. All the thousands of aspects, idiotic or not, in the human mind tend to get manifested in his clones. He can and has created a clone to free him from a prison cell but it's possible the clone will be his sadness and be too depressed to move. Another is unpredictable and tries to kill an old ally. It is reabsorbed but indicates that it could pop out in any future clones and go try to kill again.
Madrox: You are at least the tenth dupe who has tried to kill me.
- He points this out with an argument against Cortex, who is one of his dupes sent to kill him.
- Fun Personified: Under Peter David's writing. Or at least he tries to be.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: His first appearance has him going on a mindless rampage through New York after spending six years on a farm alone after the death of his parents.
- Handwave: Jamie's powers provide one of the easiest outs for dying of any character, since if he dies the next writer along can just say "it's a dupe".
- Happily Married: With Layla, eventually. Then Death of X happened.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: An interesting perk/side effect of his powers. Due to years of sending his dupes out into the world to take different jobs, he's "been" everything from a soldier to a spy to a journalist. He's never mastered any of these professions, but he's acquired quite a range of them to call on in a pinch.
- Me's a Crowd: With how large that crowd can be increasing over the year.
- Mundane Utility: Jamie constantly uses his dupes like this, sending them out to learn and explore the world, creating them on the other side of locked doors, playing duets on piano and the super-babysitting. One frequent background gag is a bunch of dupes playing cards with each other.
- My Suit Is Also Super: His initial suit was a Power Limiter to prevent involuntary duplication. When it breaks down after six years of neglect it's capable of general Energy Absorption and drains New York City's entire power grid along with delivering that power behind his movements, allowing him to go hand to hand with the Thing.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The exact nature of his powers change from time to time. Once spent time in the body of an Alternate Self whose duplication power had the added benefit of literally that; each duplicate had a random superpower.
- Sad Clown: Doc Samson's observation is that the isolation he suffered instilled a chronic need for company and attention, which he tries to acquire by being as upbeat and entertaining as often as he can.
- Scars Are Forever: Received an "M" tattoo on his face during the Messiah Complex crossover. Apparently it's written on his DNA, and therefore can't be removed.
- Starfish Character: Jamie Madrox has a mutant power that creates duplicates of himself upon physical impact. Each tends to manifest some aspect of his personality.
- Tele-Frag: At times, Madrox has some level of control as to where a duplicate will manifest. He uses this against one Nigh Invulnerable mutant named Mellencamp at one point - he shoves his fist into Mellencamp's mouth, and his duplicate manifests right there. It was very messy, though his target had an Unexplained Recovery later.
- Underestimating Badassery: Happens to him as a lot, as not many people stop to think through the implications of his mutant power. A Dirty Cop's reaction to his mutant power is pretty typical:Dirty Cop: Whoooa. A guy who can turn into a bunch of guys. I'm sooo scared.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In his X-Factor days, he tries treating everything like it's crime noir, forgetting he lives in a fantasy kitchen sink universe.