Marvel Lines Up 'Multiple Man' Comic Book Series

Multiple Man Cover - Publicity - P 2018
Courtesy of Marcos Martin/Marvel Entertainment
The 'X-Factor' character will return to comics — and life — in a new series launching in July.

Despite the character apparently ending up dead in 2016, Marvel Entertainment is bringing back Jamie Madrox — aka the Multiple Man — for a new comic book series launching this summer. For those wondering, thankfully the story will deal with how Madrox came back to life this time around.

Madrox, who first appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four No. 4 in 1975 — the creation of Chris Claremont, Len Wein and John Buscema — has been an irregular mainstay of Marvel’s X-Men comic book line for the last few decades, with his primary appearances in two different volumes of the X-Factor series. (His first solo title, 2005’s Madrox, was the prelude to the second volume of X-Factor.) However, he died in 2016’s Death of X mini-series…or did he?

“Yeah, Jamie is very dead,” series writer Matthew Rosenberg told ComicBook.com, which broke the news of the new series. (Andy McDonald will be the illustrator.) “He was killed by the Terrigen Mists, and all of his dupes died with him. Our book starts off with someone finding Jamie very not dead. But he is not long for this world. So the mystery of why he isn't dead and how he can save himself is a big driving force of the story.” 

One potential driving force for Marvel to launch the series and bring the character back from the dead in the first place is the fact that, late last year, it was reported that Fox is developing a Multiple Man movie as a potential vehicle for James Franco. Such media development often pushes Marvel to bring characters or series back into rotation, as can be seen in recent comic book revivals for Runaways and New Mutants.

Unfortunately, there is a drawback to that business model; the New Mutants: Dead Souls comic series, also written by Rosenberg, was on schedule to launch the month before Fox’s New Mutants movie was released, but then Fox moved the movie from April 2018 to February 2019, leaving the title without the significant promotional benefit of a full-length adaptation in theaters. (Dead Souls remains on tap for a March debut in comic book stores.)

In this case, the five-issue Multiple Man will launch this July, meaning that its entire run will be over before any related movie is released — if one is made at all, considering both the rumored Fox/Disney merger and Franco facing career repercussions from sexual misconduct allegations. Could this end up being a movie tie-in that ends up without a movie to tie into?