The first two issues of Matthew Rosenberg’s Multiple Man have been a comic tour de force, making the miniseries one of the most readable books of the year. Mixing dark humor, deep pathos, great action, and a fun time traveling narrative, the title has used many familiar X-Book qualities while still managing to set itself apart.
Rosenberg has made it clear from the beginning that though Multiple Man would be dealing with the highest of stakes, the book would not be unafraid to rely on humor. The third issue is no different as the book is filled with laugh out loud moments. For years now the old “setup, delivery, punchline” method of joke telling has given way to the randomness of just saying whatever comes to mind. Why take the time to write a joke that make sense when you can just pass off a bunch of a bunch of unrelated things as comedy? (“I feel like a chihuahua that’s mated with a rainbow!”)
Instead of setting up a punchline or just writing a bunch of random nonsense, Rosenberg finds humor in the moments. Multiple Man is set in a dystopian future which, based on the memorabilia Emperor Madrox has collected, is frighteningly short on superheroes. Despite this bleak setting, Rosenberg is able to naturally craft his jokes. Using witty retorts and simple statements, the book causes the reader to laugh even in the most shocking of moments. That being said, there is a Hulk joke early on complete with Madrox looking knowingly at the reader that falls flat.
The comic is action packed from the opening scenes to its shocking final page. For all the angst that the mutant books tend to be filled with, they are also known for astonishing battles. The entirety of issue three picks up where the previous one left off. Emperor Madrox has discovered the Resistance and the battle that ensues is of the “take no prisoners” variety.
The first part of the miniseries gave readers a taste of what the familiar dupes from the future were capable of while the third part serves up the whole meal. The battle is fought in tight quarters and Andy MacDonald’s art does a great job of showing its claustrophobic nature while also making each moment seem a part of a large scale war. Interspersed into the conflict are scenes where Madrox and his team are trying to complete their plan. The moments are very movie like and add tension to the entire book.
Within the action and the humor, Multiple Man has a lot of heart. The series continues its theme of self discovery, but there are also many touching moments between Jaime and the leader of the resistance. The time displaced mutant plays father figure to the young leader and alternates between explaining and lecturing. True to the book’s nature, many of the moments they share are comical.
Over the course of three issues, Matthew Rosenberg has proven he has a good feel for his main character. Multiple Man has been an entertaining story about self discovery and saving the world that is still able to find humor in the most dire situations.
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