Jamie Madrox, The Multiple Man, was created by Chris Claremont, the late Len Wein, and the late John Buscema back in 1975. He has the powerful ability to create identical duplicates of himself that he refers to as dupes. After his creation he was used mostly as a side character and was part of the Muir Island mutants that lived with Moria MacTaggert. It would be nearly a decade and a half before Jamie rose to true prominence in Peter David's run on X-Factor when the original X-Men left and the team consisted of Jamie, Havok, Quicksilver, Polaris, Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane as they worked with the United States government through their liaison, Val Cooper.
Since then Jamie Madrox, primarily through writer Peter David and briefly in an X-Men movie we'd rather not talk about, has had his powers and abilities explored more fully as we've gotten to know him. How does he create his dupes? How many dupes can he generate at once? Is he even a mutant? With Multiple Man coming back to star in a new comic, now is a better time than any to catch up with Jamie and all the things he can do. We put together a list of 20 things only real fans know about his infinite body so you'll get to know them all too!
20 HIS DUPLICATES CAN REPRODUCE
Jamie Madrox's dupes are like him in every way, right down to his ability to reproduce. In X-Factor #16 we meet the dupe John Madrox who has a wife and a son named Daniel; after Jamie's father. Jamie has the chance to meet Daniel and is blown away by what his dupes are capable of.
Later on in X-Factor #28, Siryn discovers that she's pregnant from sleeping with who she thought was Jamie, but was actually one of his dupes. The way they find out about this is incredibly shocking and downright tragic! But that's on a different entry in this list, so you'll have to keep clicking through to find out more!
19 DUPLICATING SINCE BIRTH
Way back in 1975 when Jamie Madrox premiered in Giant Sized Fantastic Four #4, we got a peek into his origin. Jamie was born in New Mexico close to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; a real life nuclear test facility. It’s implied that being so close to that radiation may have activated his mutant gene early and when the doctor spanked him at birth it caused him to duplicate.
It wouldn’t be long before this would draw the attention of Professor X, who suggests that the family move away to Kansas and to raise Jamie away in a rural setting away from most people.
18 CREATES DUPES WITH KINETIC ENERGY
As mentioned before, Jamie Madrox first duplicated after birth when the doctor spanked him. The reason behind this was the kinetic energy generated by said spank. Lucky for Jamie, his genius father, Dr. Daniel Madrox, was able to design a suit for Jamie to wear to absorb kinetic energy as he was growing up. This suit helped to keep Jamie from realizing he had powers until later in life.
When he grew older, Jamie was trained to use his powers using this kinetic transference offensively. He learns he can clap his hands or stamp his feet to create dupes when his enemies aren't accidentally knocking dupes out of him while in a fistfight.
17 HURTING A DUPE DOESN'T HARM JAMIE
Sometimes bad things happen to dupes. Dupes are mortal and they can die just as easily as anyone else. Killing a dupe doesn't kill Jamie though, and similarly harming a dupe doesn't harm Jamie. A great example of this is back in X-Factor #91 when a dupe (they thought it was Jamie at the time) contracted the Legacy Virus while giving a mutant CPR.
This particular dupe created another dupe that had the Legacy Virus from creation and died the following issue. The original dupe that got infected died in X-Factor #100 and the team would later find Jamie with amnesia without any harm from the Legacy Virus. Look, we know it's confusing, but the X-Men titles can get like that.
16 HE CAN'T CONTROL HIMSELF
In the earliest incarnations of Multiple Man, it was hard to tell if Jamie has complete control over his dupes or not. Jamie as a character came off as pretty subservient on Muir Island, helping out Moira MacTaggert, and there wasn't much reason to think that Jamie wasn't in total control of his dupes. Presumably in order to make the character more interesting, Peter David started adding more layers to Jamie and his dupes.
Whether they're running off to serve Mr. Sinister, pretending to be Jamie Prime, starting a family on their own, or hooking up with another member of X-Factor, Jamie has proven time and time again that he does not have as much control over his dupes as we'd (or he) would have hoped.
15 HE CAN'T ABSORB A PASSED DUPE
It took Jamie a while to learn that if his dupe dies he can’t be absorbed back in, but he finally got that lesson when he joined X-Factor. Back in X-Factor #71 Jamie Madrox joined the team along with multiple other members. That first day on the team, one of his dupes ended up getting shot and killed.
Jamie Prime attempts to absorb the dupe back in like he’s done countless times before only to find out that he’s unable to do so. This also serves to be the first lesson for Jamie to start understand that his dupes are more independent than he originally gave them credit for.
14 A DUPE CAN ABSORB JAMIE
Back in the early days of the second incarnation of X-Factor, Jamie Madrox and the rest of the team had to take on the classic X-Men villain Mister Sinister. Over the course of X-Factor #72-75, Sinister had a rogue dupe of Jamie's in his employ.
In order to infiltrate and ultimately defeat the team, the rogue dupe absorbs Jamie before Jamie could get a chance to absorb him. This actually does work, and for a short time this villainous dupe is in complete control of Multiple Man. Eventually, the prime Jamie Madrox's personality breaks through and absorbs the rogue dupe. It's rare that a dupe can absorb Jamie, but it's not impossible!
13 A DUPE WITHIN
Okay, this is one of the more disturbing things that Jamie Madrox has done. As we all know, two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Jamie once used that to his advantage against one of Magneto’s Acolytes, Seamus Mellencamp, in X-Factor #92.
In an act of self defense, Jamie jammed his hand down Seamus’ throat and activated his power. The resulting dupe expanded into existence so rapidly, it caused Seamus to explode from the inside. We’re all happy that Jamie made it out of the skirmish unscathed, but it was easily one of the grossest things he’s ever done.
12 HE'S A CHANGELING
Apocalypse isn’t the only kind of mutant that existed before the ones we know today. The mysterious Damian Tryp, who runs Singularity Investigations, a rival of X-Factor Investigations, was introduced by Peter David in the third volume of the comic. In X-Factor #11, Damian Tryp reveals to Jamie that he is in fact a changeling; a predecessor to mutants.
This, Tryp explains, is why he developed his powers from birth, rather than puberty like other mutants. Tryp had located Jamie as a child and tried to take him away, but his parents refused. When Jamie was a teenager his parents were killed in an accident allegedly set up by Tryp, but he didn’t enter into Jamie’s life again until he set up Singularity Investigations.
11 ONE OF HIS DUPES IS A PRIEST
Volume 3 of X-Factor saw a lot of growth in Jamie Madrox's character as Peter David delved even deeper into the limits of Multiple Man's abilities and their consequences. Since Jamie gains the knowledge of his dupes when he absorbs them back, he decides to send a bunch out to live their own lives for a while so he can vastly increase his own knowledge.
One of those dupes, who went by the name John Madrox, became an Episcopalian priest, got married and even became a dad. Jamie meets this dupe in X-Factor #16. After seeing the life that John set up for himself, Jamie decides not to absorb him back and to let him live his life.
10 SOME OF HIS DUPES ARE VILLAINS
Jamie’s dupes really do have a mind of their own. Sometimes, in fact, they have too much of a mind of their own, which can occasionally lead to villainy. There have been some corrupted or villainous dupes in the past, but the best example of a powerful dupe villain is Cortex.
Premiering in Volume 3 of X-Factor, the mysterious time traveler Cortex comes back to the present time after some cybernetic modifications in order to kill a mutant whose child ends up turning the tide of an important battle in the future. Cortex was actually a dupe of Jamie's who was captured from a future mission and further twisted to do the bidding of his worst enemies. So, he's not all to blame, but it does show that the Dupes can come out, or become, all kinds of bad!
9 MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER
In earlier incarnations of Multiple Man in the comics, we don't see Jamie's dupes having much of a mind of their own. That may lead some reasons to believe that Jamie has some level of control over his dupes. As Peter David in particular developed the character, we find out early in Volume 3 that if Jamie doesn't absorb his dupes back for a while, they can develop their own personalities.
This, of course, causes Jamie to have a kind of multiple personality disorder where dupes he generates can now manifest different aspects of his personality at random, which makes them less predictable. This is arguably the downside of Jamie's plan to spread his dupes out across the world to gain new knowledge.
8 JAMIE TAKES ON HIS DUPES' SCARS
Another downside about absorbing a dupe back into Jamie’s body is that he takes on some of their damage, including their scars (both physical and emotional). In another entry, we talked about how when Jamie absorbs a an injured dupe, he ends up taking on some of the damage in order to heal the dupe for future use.
Sometimes that damage or scarring is too much and becomes the dominant feature. That happened in volume 3 of X-Factor when Jamie absorbed a dupe that had an M tattoo over their eye. As a result, Jamie now had the tattoo and all his dupes from there on out would have the tattoo as well.
7 ABSORBED BY ACCIDENT
Jamie has a complicated relationship with his dupes. Every once in a while, he will absolutely respect the autonomy of a dupe, like he did with Reverend John Madrox. Most of the time, Jamie absorbs them not long after creating it them the first place. Rarely does Jamie ever absorb a dupe entirely against its will, though.
One of the only times the above happened was with Sean, the baby Siryn had with a dupe not realizing it. When Jamie went to hold the baby in X-Factor #39 he immediately absorbs him against his will; much to everyone’s outrage. It would take Siryn years in the comic to really forgive Jamie for it.
6 DUPES CAN DEVELP SUPERPOWERS
At first, when X-Factor went up against the villainous Cortex, they weren't quite sure who they were up against, though it ended up being one of Jamie's dupes. Part of that was because Cortex developed his own superpowers. Cortex was originally a dupe who was supposed to find information about the future of mutant-kind, but got stuck in a vortex on his way back to the present.
It was there that he was augmented by Damian Tryp and Anthony Falcone, which gave him the power to manipulate time without creating paradoxes and divergent timelines. He also gained the power to mentally influence several people at once. Needless to say Jamie accidentally helped to create one of the strongest villains that X-Factor would face. Oops!
5 HE CAN'T BE MIND-CONTROLLED
Okay, so it's not so much that Jamie can't be mind controlled as he has a way to break out of it. Back in X-Factor #15, Jamie gets captured by Hydra. You know, THAT Hydra. While captured, Hydra brainwashes Jamie. During that time, he begins creating dupes, and with each dupe created, the mind control over Jamie weakens and eventually is broken entirely.
This did require making a lot of dupes, but by all accounts, the exercise was totally worth it, since he was able to escape control. Presumably Jamie could do this to weaken other similar types of affects too, but that hasn't really come up much... yet.
4 HIS PREVIOUS MAX
Earlier on in the comics, Marvel more or less capped Multiple Man at having up to about 50 dupes going around at once. However, like nearly all comic book characters, his powers would expand over time. It's also important to note that this includes dupes creating their own dupes. It's the kind of situation that has at times created difficulties for Jamie.
He does suffer some withdrawal if he doesn't absorb his dupes after a certain amount of time, which incentivizes Jamie to not have too many dupes out at once in the first place. However, after the events that took place with Hydra, Jamie has found he's able to create more dupes than he used to.
3 EVERY BODY HURTS
Jamie Madrox and his dupes are able to heal themselves in battle somewhat by sharing the damage they receive by having dupes absorb back into each other. For example, if one dupe is stabbed and absorbs an uninjured dope, the stab wound impact is cut in half in terms of damage, pain, blood loss, and so forth.
From a tactical point of view, this allows Jamie in a battle to stay safe and send his dupes out and as long as he's not the one injured he can create more dupes that can absorb damage for others on the battlefield if necessary. If executed correctly, Jamie could be one of the toughest characters in the Marvel Universe.
2 BEEFING UP HIS KNOW-HOW
For a while, Jamie didn't realize that he was gaining the knowledge of his dupes as they were almost always just in the same situation he was in. Over time, Jamie began to understand that when he absorbed his dupes he was getting their knowledge as well. This led Jamie to send quite a few dupes around to learn all they could and come back to him.
He even goes so far as to have dupes go into the future to learn of the different timelines that affect mutants. If you think about it, this does give Jamie Madrox the potential to be the smartest and wisest character in the Marvel Universe.
1 LIFE FORCE DISTRIBUTION
Back in Uncanny X-Men, right before the legendary Dark Phoenix Saga, the team found themselves on Muir Island helping Moira with her son, the immensely powerful Proteus. One of Jamie's dupes became possessed by Proteus and had its life-force completely consumed, which resulted in the dupe being left an abandoned burnt out husk.
This caused Jamie Prime to fall crippled in unbelievable pain, though he later recovered. While normally Jamie is not affected this way by his dupes being hurt -- as we mentioned before -- in this instance, when the life-force itself is utterly destroyed, he does in fact feel it.