In the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, it was immediately apparent that Jamie Madrox was a mutant as soon as he was born. When the doctor performed the old-fashioned smack to encourage the baby to cry & breathe a twin suddenly appeared. However, it wasn't a twin, but a duplicate. James Arthur Madrox was a rarity amongst mutants, in that his mutation was clear from birth, instead of waiting to develop in his teenaged years. He would uncontrollably form a duplicate of himself upon physical impact. This was a shocking experience to the doctor and to his parents as well.
Professor X was an old friend of the Madrox family and upon his advise Jamie's family moved to a farm in the middle of Kansas. Jamie's father, Dr Daniel Madrox created a special suit for Jamie to wear that would inhibit his mutant power. When Jamie was in his mid-teens, his parents were killed in a tornado before he really knew the extent of his powers and reason for the suit. Jamie then spent many years on the farm as his only companion. The duplicates would work on the farm, but without anyone else around life was still lonely for him.
In his early 20s, his suit began to malfunction the surge in energy which started to drive him crazy. He found himself headed towards New York and fought against the Fantastic Four. Charles Xavier managed to arrive at the scene and settled the situation. Jamie's suit was repaired and Charles invited Jamie to accompany him back to Xavier's School for the Gifted. Jamie didn't want to be part of the school or the X-Men, and instead chose to travel with the Professor to Scotland and became an assistant to mutant researcher, Moira MacTaggert.
Madrox the Mutliple Man first appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four issue 4 (1975). He was created by Len Wein, Chris Claremont and John Buscema.
Major Story Arcs
The Multiple Man
With his powers of duplication, Jamie was dubbed the Multiple Man. In a scientific facility the size of Muir Island, his ability to duplicate himself was ideal as he could work on several projects at the same time. His 'dupes' could be absorbed, and Multiple Man would retain all of the knowledge learnt by his dupes. When Moira's son developed mutant powers, he quickly descended into madness and became the mutant Proteus. Proteus attacked, possessing people and draining them of their life force. When Proteus possessed one of Multiple Man's duplicates, it ended with the dupe's death. During this time Multiple Man discovered that he couldn't absorb dead duplicates. Multiple Man started to see how independent his duplicates could be. Unfortunately, Multiple Man immediately experienced psychic feedback and felt the agony of death. While living on Muir Island Multiple Man met Siryn. She was the reformed criminal, and daughter of Banshee who was Moira's lover. There weren't many other occupants on Muir Island and since they were roughly the same age & living in a relatively confined space, they became a couple.
Together with Moira & Siryn, Multiple Man journeyed back to the United States to help search for a couple of runaway New Mutants. While at the bus station in New York, Multiple Man created several dozen duplicates. They were sent off around the city to search for Sunspot & Warlock. This began to cause trouble, as the longer his duplicates were independent from him, they began to develop their own sense of identity. Multiple Man & Siryn found Sunspot & Warlock, but they had joined a team of mutant runaways & thieves. Deciding that they wanted to keep a close eye on the New Mutants, Multiple Man & Siryn also joined the Fallen Angels. The team was sent out into the streets of New York to scavenge food. When one of Multiple Man's duplicates ran into the road (away from Boom-Boom's amorous advances) he was hit by a cyclist. The dupe's ribs were broken, but still refused to rejoin with Multiple Man claiming that it would be like death.
The team were later transported to an alien world called the Coconut Grove, where the inhabitants could no longer evolve. The Fallen Angels were treated like heroes, but the secret plan was to experiment on the mutants. Multiple Man continued to carry a portable Cerebro unit that Magneto had provided him with in order to locate Sunspot & Warlock. Even after they had located the runaway New Mutants, he continued to use the Cerebro and therefore discovered that the Fallen Angel's two founding members Ariel & Chance were also mutants. After revealing this information, the whole team was captured including Ariel & Chance. During a fight for freedom, another duplicate was killed in action. Both Multiple Man and his dupe with the broken ribs felt the agony of dying. When they were taken away to be experimented on, the injured dupe agreed to let Multiple Man duplicate himself several times before absorbing him; thereby reducing the injury of one dupe when all the dupes were absorbed. Upon their return to Earth, Multiple Man & Siryn decided to stay with the Fallen Angels for a while longer. They recognized that the team wasn't really bad, and therefore wanted to stay & keep them on the straight & narrow.
However, upon their return to Muir Island they came under attack from various deadly X-men foes. Polaris had escaped from the Savage Land without her magnetic powers. When she arrived on Muir Island, the inhabitants of the island became possessed by the psychic entity known as the Shadow King. Therefore Multiple Man, Moira, Siryn and the others were conscious of their actions while the Shadow King controlled them. They became darker and meaner when interacting with others from outside the Island. The Shadow King used Polaris as a gateway form the Astral Plane into the physical world. Therefore she, Multiple Man and the others could not be freed until the X-Men & the original X-Factor joined forces to save them. Until the Shadow King was defeated, Multiple Man and the others were forced to battle their friends & allies. They managed to hide the fact that they were possessed on many occasions, including when the New Warriors & X-Force were after Harness & Piecemeal. It was obvious that there was something wrong with normally conservative people like Moira, but the heroes didn't have time to investigate what was wrong with Madrox & co. When they were saved, Multiple Man & Siryn parted ways and he traveled back to the United States.
Beginning in X-Factor
Multiple Man soon joined the government sponsored incarnation of X-Factor. Multiple Man had new team-mates, and developed particularly strong friendships with Strong Guy & Wolfsbane. He also worked closely with Quicksilver (who was often the straight guy for their jokes), Havok & Polaris.
On the day that the team was announced to the general public, a mysterious assassin shot a Multiple Man duplicate. It transpired that the gunman was a rogue duplicate who had begun working for Mister Sinister. The dupe wanted to become the dominant figure, and conspired to capture the real Multiple Man. With the help of Ricochet the dupe convinced Multiple Man to let him absorb the original. However, Multiple Man defeated the dupe after absorption and uncovered Sinister's plot. Multiple Man then asserted his dominance and absorbed the rogue duplicate from inside. Although the Multiple Man rarely battled giant cosmic entities like the Fantastic Four would, he did see his fair share of action. While with X-Factor, he battled a dark doppelganger of himself during the Infinity War. Later, he and Wolfsbane were kidnapped because of their religious beliefs by the Goddess during the Infinity Crusade.
When Stryfe shot Professor Xavier while disguised as Cable, X-Factor teamed up with the X-Men to arrest X-Force in an attempt to find Cable. However, Siryn was among the roster of the X-Force members and it was the first time they'd seen each other since they'd left Muir Island. She implored Multiple Man to listen to reason and remember everything they'd shared during their time as a couple. However, he walked away from her cell stating that it hadn't been him; he'd left a duplicate on Muir Island, and since he had absorbed that dupe then all the memories of Siryn were like an old dream.
During another early mission, Multiple Man and Quicksilver were sent to Maine to investigate a murder where the prime suspect was a young mutant woman. Rachel Argosy had been a music teacher, but she was fired soon after her skin began to turn blue & she earned the nickname Rhapsody. The man who dismissed her was the murder victim, but with anti-mutant sentiments flying high X-Factor wanted to be sure that she received a fair trial. Multiple Man & Quicksilver began to investigate, but Multiple Man was quickly enchanted by Rhapsody and her mutant powers. Whenever music was playing she could perform several super human feats, including flight, hypnosis and emotional manipulation. As such, she grew close to Multiple Man by creating a fantasy where they would cavort naked through fields. He began to fight for her innocence, but with Quicksilver's help he uncovered the truth; Rhapsody had killed the man. It was manslaughter, since she had been trying to seduce him into hiring her again. However, her powers over-excited his heart condition & accidentally killed him. She pleaded with Multiple Man to save her from prison, but in the end he had to walk away and let her face the judicial system.
During his stay with X-Factor, Multiple Man had to routinely be psychologically examined by Doc Samson. Multiple Man & Strong Guy shared a similar sense of humour and love for practical jokes. Doc Samson analysed Multiple Man and disseminated that his overt sense of humour was a defence mechanism. Since Multiple Man had spent many years alone after he was orphaned, he developed a pathological desire for attention. Therefore he would become a prankster and use his dupes in humorous ways do anything so he would never have to be alone again.
The Legacy Virus
Multiple Man enjoyed his time with is friends in X-Factor. However, on a mission to the island of Genosha Multiple Man contracted the Legacy Virus while trying to give an infected mutate CPR. He continued to serve as a member of X-Factor, and was even forced to kill Mellencamp by creating a duplicate in his mouth, thereby crushing his head instantly. The virus began to ravage his body, but it seemed that there was hope of a cure. After the events of the X-Tinction Agenda, Wolfsbane had been trapped in her transitional human-lupine form, unable to return to a normal human girl without reverting to a brainwashed Genoshan mutate. A cult had sprung up around the apparent mutant known as Haven. She claimed that she could heal anyone who believed in her, and demonstrated this claim by freeing Wolfsbane from the Genoshan mutate slavery coding in her genetics. Wolfsbane encouraged Multiple Man to approach Haven. Tentative at first, Multiple Man asked Haven for help. However, instead of being cured he fell lifeless to the floor. The impact on the floor didn't create any duplicates as he'd been killed.
Life After Death
It was a few years before the revelation that Multiple Man was still alive was made public. It transpired that the dead man was another duplicate, and that the original Multiple Man had been suffering from amnesia. He also joined the European branch of X-Corporation, a search and rescue organization for mutants.
Mutant Private Detective Agency
Later he sent out duplicates across the world to gather information and skills when he reabsorbed them. Retiring the name Multiple Man, he opted to go only by his surname, Madrox. He set himself up as a private eye in Mutant Town under the name XXX Investigations, which soon became X-Factor Investigations. Madrox was soon joined by his former X-Factor team-mates, Strong Guy & Wolfsbane.
Using his powers of multiplication and telepathic knowledge through other dupes, he entered the television gameshow 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'. While Madrox was on the gameshow, his dupes were at home using the internet to find the answers and send the messages back to Madrox telepathically. Using the prize money of a million dollars, he bought the building that X-Factor Investigations has been trading from and paid his friends a wage. Soon after they were joined by M, Siryn, Rictor and Layla Miller.
However, at this point in his life his duplicates had already begun to show more signs of independence. They would often display character traits that were deeply hidden from the main Madrox that he wasn't aware that he was capable of feeling or doing some of the things his dupes would do. As such, he would be more reluctant to use his powers in a desperate situation. When Rictor tried to commit suicide after losing his powers, Madrox picked a duplicate to talk to Rictor thinking that the dupe was optimistic. However, the dupe was really Madrox's unpredictable side, and pushed Rictor off the building (who was fortunately saved by M).
Although Madrox didn't rekindle his relationship with Siryn, he did show signs of loyalty and affection towards her. When a mysterious thug attacked Siryn in the middle of the night, beating her and abandoning her body in a side alley, she was thankfully rescued by Rictor. Madrox couldn't usually rely on his duplicates, but each & every dupe he made agreed on one thing; to intimidate the man responsible for Siryn's humiliating physical assault. The dupes created a large crowd that filled the park in Mutant Town, where they made it clear that should anything ever happen to her again that they would exact the same punishment against the man responsible.
X-Factor Versus The X-Men
Many of the new members of X-Factor had joined the detective agency after the events of M-Day. Madrox was concerned for the future of mutant kind. Being based in the heart of Mutant Town, they saw the immediate effect it had on mutants out in society away from the confines of the Professor's safehouse. He questioned Cyclops if he knew what had caused a large portion of the mutants to lose their powers, but was told that there was currently no explanation.
However, after a suggestion from Layla Miller, Madrox sent Siryn out to investigate the matter more. Using her ability to modulate her voice and charm non-mutants, she persuaded Spider-Man to confess what had happened during the House of M. With the truth revealed that the X-Men and Quicksilver had a hand in M-Day, Madrox tried to remain neutral and keep out of the conflict. However, his team-mates were conflicted until Madrox's hand was forced.
Layla sent him down the road, suggesting that he buy a new hat & scarf. he did as she suggested, and immediately found Aegis being chased by the authorities; he was being hunted like a criminal because he was an unregistered super hero. Madrox finally made up his mind about both M-Day and the Super Hero Registration Act. He took Aegis down a side street, created hundreds of duplicates and rushed back out of the alley at the police. The authorities were unable to stop the surge of duplicates and couldn't spot Aegis in among the crowd. Madrox then had to suffer recalling his duplicates from miles around Mutant Town. X-Factor confronted the X-Men over the truth. While Wolverine & Colossus were itching for a fight, Cyclops refused to enter into a fight with X-Factor. They severed their connections with each other, creating a cold relationship between old allies.
Madrox and X-Factor came up against Singularity Investigations, a private eye firm run by the enigmatic Damian Tryp. Tryp stated that Madrox was not a mutant, but a member of another race entirely. These claims have thus far unsubstantiated, but the fact that Madrox's powers manifested on the day of his birth (instead of the traditional puberty activation of mutants) seems to indicate that Tryp may be telling the truth.
Madrox came to the decision that the erratic behavior of his powers may have been a result of stretching himself too thin, and therefore decided to round up and reabsorb more of his dupes. One dupe had joined SHIELD and had managed to convince both M & Rictor to register with the newly-passed Superhuman Registration Act. Madrox went to SHIELD headquarters to acquire one of his duplicates (and being rejected & threatened by SHIELD), Madrox was abducted by Hydra agents. Madrox was brainwashed by HYDRA psychologists, and convinced that he needed to "punish" himself. Therefore Madrox punished himself by repeatedly slapping himself, increasing the number of dupes of himself exponentially with each slap. Eventually enough duplicates were created to overwhelm the HYDRA agents at the base, and to spread the reprogramming thin enough to break free of HYDRA control. Madrox then phoned in an anonymous tip to SHIELD with the location of the base and laid low until agents arrived. When his dupe came close enough, Jamie secretly reabsorbed him and departed while disguised as the Jamie Madrox of SHIELD.
The next duplicate that Madrox located had been one he sent out into the world to study religion. This dupe had taken up an alias and had created a life as both a minister and family man, John Maddox. After an emotional confrontation, Madrox decided that it was worth losing a small portion of himself to allow this version of himself to live the family-life that he himself would never experience. He left this dupe to live out his life free of worry for his own existence and that of his family.
Another duplicate had been sent out to become a master detective. Although he had become a detective, Madrox found him drunk on the streets. What the dupe had learned of his own life & the lives of others had driven him into a drunken stupor. He confessed in Madrox that he had contemplated committing suicide to protect Madrox from the same fate. He also confided of a corrupt police office who had killed anyone who would learn of his corruption, and had therefore made himself untouchable. As the dupe was explaining this, the officer in question walked out of the station. The drunken dupe instantly shot him and was subsequently gunned down by the other attending police officers.
After the birth of the first mutant baby after M-Day, Cyclops summoned Madrox to the Institute. Layla accompanied Madrox, and was already aware of what Cyclops had in store for her employer. Forge had detected that all but two of the possible future timelines had vanished. Mafrox was to create two duplicates and send one into each future timeline. One went into a future where there were no more mutants. The other was selected to go in to a future where mutants continued to procreate, but were detained in camps. However, when the second dupe was about to jump into the future, Layla jumped to give him a giant bear hug and was also flung into he future. The main Madrox was furious and demanded that she be returned immediately. However, Forge informed him that the time travel was a one-way ticket, and that the dupes were meant to commit suicide in order to transfer their knowledge back to Madrox in the present. Therefore there was no way to retrieve Layla from the future. However, mysteriously, Madrox grew faint and collapsed into a coma. Forge strapped him into a medical bay bed from where he could monitor Madrox's life signs.
80-years in the future, the duplicate and Layla investigated the local libraries. However, all the newspapers referring to mutant activity had been edited and cut to hide the truth. Therefore the duplicate decided to hand himself over to the authorities and experience the life mutant of a mutant in the future. He was scanned and registered as a mutant (despite what Tryp had said to him earlier). Layla didn't originally register as a mutant on the scanners until she suggested that they scan her a second time. They were immediately arrested and separated. The duplicate and Layla each had to go through a process where their hair was shaved off, they were stripped, washed, and
forced to undergo a tattooing process that instilled information into their faces. They were both scarred with a giant M across their right-eyes. The Madrox duplicate had a difficult time adjusting until he was reunited with young Layla. She then led him across the camp to meet a young black lad who lived in the camp.
Madrox greeted and interviewed the young Lucas Bishop. Bishop was very distant and militant, despite his young age, and soon ran away from Madrox & Layla. Madrox had gathered all the information he needed, but wasn't aware of what Layla had been planning. She planted a grenade on his body, pulled the pin and ran away to a safe distance as it detonated. In the present day, Madrox instantly awoke and cried out in agony. Forge was astounded to see that Madrox's face suddenly had the distinctive M tattooed on his face. He then provided the crucial information; the mutant baby was responsible for the branding & ghettoisation of the mutant race. Madrox had uncovered that Bishop was a traitor to the X-Men who was hunting Cable & the baby.
Due to a mix-up with his dupes, Madrox had intercourse with both M & Siryn. One drunk evening, he created a duplicate and spent the evening with both girls but in separate venues. He wasn't aware of what his dupe was doing until it was re-absorbed the next day. However, since he had been drunk when it happened, Madrox wasn't sure which girl had been with him, or with the duplicate. Naturally both girls were furious, and it created tension within the X-Factor Investigations team. However, Siryn had become pregnant.
Madrox was still disillusioned by the loss of Layla, and a heavily pregnant Siryn struggled to keep X-Factor together after a skrull disguised as Longshot infiltrated the team. As Siryn went in to labour, she proposed to Madrox. It was an emotional moment for them both, and so he accepted. Siryn gave birth to a baby boy and named him Sean in honour of her deceased father. Madrox was a little anxious at the prospect of fatherhood, but Siryn encouraged him to step forward and hold the baby. However, as soon as Jamie held his son, tragedy struck almost immediately.
Sean Madrox began to glow, and uncontrollably began to disappear inside Jamie Madrox. Siryn screamed and the others looked on in horror as the baby was slowly absorbed, despite Madrox's protests that he could do nothing to stop it. He reasoned that Siryn must have been impregnated by the drunken duplicate and therefore the baby was therefore another duplicate which was absorbed by it's already-absorbed father. When the baby had fully disappeared Siryn leapt on Madrox, tearing at his chest trying to reclaim her lost baby. In the struggle, she broke his fingers and told him to leave.
Exiles from X-Factor, Madrox sought out his independent dupe, John Maddox. As Madrox had not absorbed either John nor his son when he came into contact with them, he wanted to investigate. However, the two men ended up sharing their emotional confessions. When faced with the reality that the children of duplicates are also 'infant dupes', John Maddox confessed that he knew of his wife's infidelity. Therefore Madrox had not absorbed John Maddox's son because John Maddox wasn't the real father.
In turn, Madrox expressed his own conflicting emotions. He was still grieving over the death of Sean, and how much turmoil he'd put Siryn through. He believed that his friends blamed him, and admitted that he felt suicidal over his guilt. However, before either of them could do anything they were interrupted by a holographic message from the future.
The Return of Layla Miller
The holographic image of Layla Miller showed her as a grown woman, still scarred with the distinctive M tattoo over her right-eye. She kidnapped Madrox, and took him to a period 80 years in the future.
Upon seeing Layla again, Madrox flung himself upon her and they kissed. She had survived in Bishop's timeline and grown up into a confident woman. Layla explained to Madrox that they were in the midst of the Summers Rebellion; the mutants were rebelling against the humans and their sentinels. Their leaders were Cyclops, who had cyborg replacement limbs, and his future daughter with Emma Frost, Ruby Summers.
However, mutants were starting to vanish. There was no explanation as to why they would simply disappear out of existence, but they knew that it had something to do with Madrox. Therefore they wanted his assistance and took him into the future. Together they went to visit Victor Von Doom. However, Doom was old & senile. He spoke of how he had met Layla in the past. Back then she had informed him that he would meet with her & Madrox again in the future in order to give them information, and that time she had referred to had finally come to pass.
Before Layla had been lost in the future, she had told Madrox that they were destined to get married. At the time she had already demonstrated precognitive abilities, yet at the time she was still a little girl and the age gap between them was too great to consider a romantic connection between them. However, in the future, Layla had grown into an attractive woman who appeared to be the same age-range as Madrox. He made his attraction to her clear, but she kept him at a distance claiming that it wasn't the right time for their relationship.
Back in the present day, the rest of X-Factor were struggling against a new mysterious hooded foe known only as Cortex. He had briefly infiltrated their ranks by possessing M and Shatterstar. They were meant to act as assassins; planned to kill a client of X-Factor's and John Maddox. However, Shatterstar's mind-control was broken when he was confronted with Rictor (with whom he'd had a romantic tryst). When Cortex attempted to take control of Longshot's mind he realised that there was a connection between Longshot & Shatterstar. This caused his control over M to weaken, and she flew to attack Cortex. However, when M went to punch Cortex his hood fell down revealing his true identity. He was another rogue Madrox duplicate. Cortex was the other duplicate whom Forge had sent into the future. While Layla had accompanied one duplicate, they didn't hear back from the other because he hadn't committed suicide. Instead he established his own life, new abilities, and had travelled into the past. Cortex is dragged into the future and is eventually beaten Madrox and Layla with the future mutants.
Return in Time and Second Coming
Madrox and Layla return to the present but Layla gets back before Madrox, about a year ahead of him. Layla meets her younger self and gives her all the "stuff" she knew. Layla then goes to live with Doom and help him until the time is right. When the Invisible Woman goes missing and her kids, Franklin and Val come to Madrox to find her, they find out where Layla is. Confused, the Team goes to Latveria to find both ladies. A team attacks Dooms Castle and the other team finds a second Reed. The real Reed is buried while the alternate reality Reed, who is that realities Victor Von Doom, was taking his place. They confront Doom to find him being complete un-Doom like. The Fake Reed is fighting Strong Guy in New York during the rest of the Teams trip. The Latvaria Team is about to leave via Shatterstar when Layla distracts him and Strong Guy punchs the fake Reeds head in the portal. The Portal closes and Shatterstar and Layla are stuck in Latveria.
Madrox accepts another case, this time a villain who is afraid his wife is cheating on him. Madrox has Longshot use his powers to discover what the full story was. They discover that its a trap and send Darwin in a car rigged with Danger room holographic tech. The car is shoot up but Darwin survives and when he becomes overwhelmed teleports back to the homebase. meanwhile Layla and Shatterstar save Theresa, now called Banshee in honor of her father. Strong Guy is with M and Baron Mordo, Mordo teleports them out and eventually the team is regrouped and fight the battle head on against the MRD.
A beautiful woman asks for Madrox's help, what else could he do. She needs to get a medallion back from a thief, a team is assembled to find the man. Banshee is the one to eventually find him, the medallion is stolen back and the man transforms. The man was Pip, and that the woman searching for him was Hela. Madrox, after realizing what he has done decides to go after and save Pip, so the team heads to Las Vegas.
A group lead for Multiple Man explores the area. They run into trouble with local performers. At the Caesar’s Palace Casino, Madrox realizes that some team members are having a better time than others adjusting to Las Vegas lifestyle. The team gathers at the casino where Madrox begins to look for Hela. He runs into Dr. Jane Foster. They converse about how people do not find Hela as much as she finds you. She advices him to leave town and don’t look back. After that exchange, he changes his mind; he instructs the team to get noticed in big Vegas style to bring Hela attention to them.
The team splits one more time in groups. Madrox, Longshot and Shatterstar leave the casino but as soon as they are on the street. They are ambushed by two Viking Zombie Warriors. The plan has worked successfully to acquire Hela's attention. Shatterstar is knocked out but he recovers. They fight back. Hela is informed of the situation by a crow. She sends a new deployment of Norse Viking zombies to destroy them. The team gathers for the fight of their life but they are interrupted by the Asgardian god of thunder, Thor.
He asks Thor for his assistance and Thor reluctantly agrees and leads them to Hela's lair. Hela allows them to take Pip but they must exit through the heart of Niflhel, a freezing place where they will have to battle the hordes of Hela. Madrox provokes Hela by telling her that he knows she has plotted it all. Hela is about to attack him with her death touch but Darwin gets in the way(as Madrox had planned) and she touches Darwin instead. This makes Darwin evolve into a death god and Hela starts losing her powers.They are all rescued by Layla who uses Doom's technology to create a portal and get them out of there.
Powers and Abilities
Madrox can create exact duplicates (often referred to as 'dupes') of himself whenever he receives physical impact. His mutant power manifested itself at birth, which is rare for a mutant. As each duplicate is an exact replica of himself, he gained the codename Multiple Man. Each duplicate looks like a twin of Madrox, and will reproduce his physical appearance including his clothing. Although Madrox admitted to having a wardrobe full of the same outfit (so he wouldn't have to worry about what to wear), his power provides fully clothed dupes who also wear what Madrox is wearing. This was put to use when he duplicated the hat & scarf in order to disguise Aegis as another duplicate.
His body absorbs kinetic energy of different ranges to create differing number of dupes. This can be as minor as snapping his fingers, clapping his hands together, or even greater impacts such as bumping into a wall, or being struck.
The greater the kinetic impact; the greater the amount of duplicates produced. Therefore, a slight snap of his fingers can produce as few as one duplicate, while a punch from a heavy-hitter like Strong Guy could produce half-a-dozen duplicates, if not more.
Originally the suit that Madrox's father designed was to reduce the accidental production of duplicates. Madrox was still a young boy when he was forced to wear the green body-suit, and therefore hadn't developed enough control over his power. As the years passed, he gained enough control to prepare himself and therefore reduce or even prevent duplicates from appearing when his body was bumped in to. Therefore he no longer has to wear the energy absorbing body-suit his father designed, but he does continue to wear a similarly patterned motif.
Dupes can still be accidentally created if Madrox is struck without being mentally prepared for it. The impact from other mutants' powers (Cyclops' eye beams or Siryn's sonic scream) have been known to trigger duplicate creation.
Although unable to communicate with others telepathically, Madrox has a low-level telepathic and empathic connection to his duplicates. In the past has been used for a degree of control/coordination over groups of duplicates. He has also demonstrated that this connection can be used sort of like a homing device to track dupes when they are close by.
However, as his duplicates grow increasingly independent and unpredictable, they have been able to lie to Madrox and avoid detection. It is this telepathic connection with his duplicates that allows Madrox (and any other nearby dupes) to feel the pain experienced by a dupe. It is also responsible for the psychic feedback whenever a dupe dies.
Each duplicate can create other duplicates, and each is capable of independent thought and action. Over the last few years all the duplicates created have been influenced by one aspect of Madrox's personality. This has made them very unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, as seen when one lied to Madrox and later pushed Rictor off a building. Therefore he tried to avoid creating large groups of duplicates unless the situation called for it (such as when he wanted to hide Aegis from the Superhuman Restriction Act authorities) or when all the duplicates share a common cause (protecting Siryn from Damian Tryp).
Madrox has come to believe that this new splintering of his personality is from spreading himself too thin and releasing too many dupes into the world. The more time a dupe has, then the more sense of independence and autonomy it develops. This process began back when Madrox joined the Fallen Angels. When Chance's mutant power cancelled out the powers of other mutants around her, the stubborn duplicate with the broken ribs didn't instantly vanish like all the other dupes did. Also, John Maddox has established a life and family, while Cortex appears to have developed other mental-based powers. Therefore, they are able to resist re-absorption and reason with Madrox.
To prevent the world from being over-run with millions of duplicates, Madrox can also reabsorb his dupes into his body. Previously he had to make physical impact with a dupe, mirroring the production process. He no longer needs physical contact to do this, and can remotely absorb dupes anywhere within close proximity. He has been able to recall dupes who are in the same room, falling off buildings, and even from across Mutant Town. The absorption process integrates the memories, experiences, and skills gained by the dupe, and is therefore learned by Madrox. As such, Madrox has previously sent dupes out into the world to acquire a vast amount of knowledge and skill in a variety of fields. Therefore, Madrox has passed the bar entrance examination to become a lawyer, doctor, private investigator, a monk, a trained agent of both SHIELD and HYDRA, an Olympic gymnast and much more. Madrox is also a master of martial arts since his dupes have studied hand to hand combat and has mastered Muay Thai kickboxing, Judo, Filipino Pencack Silat, Krav Maga and Kung Fu. Additionally, he is able to speak a wide variety of languages. Conversely, the pain, injuries and depression experienced by dupes is also absorbed and retained by Madrox.
The large number of times he has reabsorbed dupes that have lived separate lives has also left Madrox with some degree of confusion, unable to sort out whether certain things were experienced by a duplicate or himself. When X-Factor arrested X-Force, he told Siryn that it was like a dream that he remembered and years later he couldn't recall if he or his dupe had slept with Siryn or M.
Madrox has used the absorption process to heal physical damage experienced by his duplicates. By creating a dozen healthy duplicates, the injuries of one dupe are therefore watered down and lessened when they are all re-absorbed at the same time. However, if an injured duplicate was to create dupes of his own then he would create duplicates with the exact same injuries.
He has even absorbed dying duplicates in the past without incurring any physical damage, but Madrox strongly tries to avoid this because of the mental and emotional anguish it causes.
It is also speculated that if the original Madrox is killed that one of his duplicates would take on the main portion of the abilities of the group and become the new Madrox. However, during the Age of Apocalypse, the original Jamie Madrox was able to defeat the army of clerical Madri by shutting down their life functions from afar. However, the resultant psychic backlash also caused him to die. Likewise, the original Jamie Madrox was hunted down in the Ultimate Universe and killed in order to stop Magneto's army of Multiple Men.
Earth-295 (Age of Apocalypse)
When he was much younger, Jamie Madrox was kidnapped and experimented on by the Dark Beast. He was used for years to create an army of priests for Apocalypse's forces. All the dupes were collectively known as the Madri. They had originally detained Bishop, but were quickly defeated by Magneto's X-Men. However, the original Jamie Madrox was held captive, and used as a breeding factory to create more replacement Madri as & when hey were needed.
The original was kept locked in a small confined room in Quebec, where he would not have room to share with any duplicates he might have created for his own purposes. In complete contract with the clerical appearance of the Madri, he was found wearing a small t-shirt and a nappy, unshaven with long hair. He appeared to have been kept there since childhood, and was surrounded by toys. Although Banshee & Quicksilver attempted to rescue the original Jamie Madrox, he realised that he was the only means to stop the Madri. Jamie Madrox psychically reached out across the world to all of the Madri and shut down their life-functions. The resultant psychic backlash caused his own mind to shut down while he single-handedly destroyed a large portion of Apocalypse's forces.
Earth-1610 (Ultimate Marvel)
Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, the Ultimate Multiple Man was a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. His powers were as effective as his main Marvel counterpart, and even held a mutants' right protest all on his own. He was also seen with Toad, Mastermind & Blob when they stormed in uninvited to the Academy of Tomorrow's Homecoming Dance.
However, the French government stole some of his stem cells to create a special mutate known as the Schizoid Man. The Schizoid Man was later used to single-handed stop riot.
Madrox stated that he could reach a maximum of 28 dupes before he began to experience déjà vu. Yet this didn't stop him from multiplying into thousands of dupes to act as Magneto's soldiers. The dupes were used to infiltrate and detonate the Houses of Parliament & the Academy of Tomorrow, which killed many heroes including Emma Frost, Hank Pym & several New Mutants.
The real Jamie Madrox in the Ultimate Universe was really a 13 year old boy. He believed that his duplicates were really figures in stories that he was writing. Wolverine tracked the young Madrox to the Savage Land and executed him in order to stop Magneto's army of Madrox duplicates.
Earth-2179 (Marvel Zombies)
In a world where the Marvel characters were being in to zombies, Ash from the Evil Dead appeared to fight the hordes of super-powered cannibalistic undead. It was never shown or explained when he became a zombie, but an undead Madrox and his duplicates lurched onto Ash without success.
Earth-9997 (Earth X)
In the distant possible future, Madrox was originally an informant who had dupes in every city. He didn't appear in Earth X, but was described as someone who willing to sell information to the highest bidder. Later in Universe X forced to turn to cannibalism in order to survive. When he ate one of his own duplicates he was therefore cursed and became the new Wendigo. However, he also retained his Multiple Man powers of producing duplicates of himself, and therefore created a pack Wendigo who followed the X-Men & Wakandan representatives to the Savage Land. The Multiple Wendigos were eventually defeated by the combined forces of the X-Men, Black Panther, Hulk & the Ani-Men.
In a re-imagined manga world, Jamie Madrox was a student at Xavier's Academy. He wore the school uniform, but kept a spiky hairstyle. He was the first student to welcome Kitty Pryde to her new school & startled her by creating argumentative duplicates of himself who literally fell over each other in order to help Kitty carry her bags.
X-Men: The Animated Series
The Multiple Man was a member of the X-Factor led by Forge. Iceman believed that X-Factor had abducted his girlfriend Polaris. Accompanied by junior X-Men member, Jubilee, he went to rescue Lorna. They were captured and bound until the X-Men arrived to rescue them. As often happens when two super hero teams meet, the X-Men and X-Factor clashed. Wolverine attempted to save Jubilee from Quicksilver's attack, but Multiple Man appeared to distract Wolverine. Wolverine originally thought that he could easily beat Multiple Man, but Madrox created a dozen duplicates and therefore proved himself to be a tough opponent nor underestimated.
Jamie Madrox was more often referred to a just Jamie or sometimes by the codename Multiple. He attended Professor Xavier's Institute that doubled as home to the X-Men. Unlike previous counterparts, this Jamie Madrox was much younger than other students and was therefore desperate to prove himself to his peers. He appeared as a new student at the Xavier Institute amount many of the New Mutants. Like many of the other New Mutants, Multiple was mischievous and energetic, his powers often trigger unwanted amounts of duplicates, and he appears to have a crush on Kitty Pryde. Often rebelling against the rules set out by senior students such as Cyclops & Jean Grey. He joined with Jubilee, Cannonball & Berzerker in regular joy-riding sessions. At night, they snuck into the garage and hanger where they would steal the high-tech motor vehicles and tear through the local countryside in them. They were caught when Kitty Pryde & Avalanche tried to stop them, and their punishment was to clean the damaged 'X-Jet'. On another occasion, Multiple began to cut classes (especially Physics) with Berzerker and later confessed to Wolverine why they don't like attending classes.
During the final battle against Apocalypse, Multiple was a member of Jean Grey's strike force team. It was their mission to go to Egypt and battle Professor X, who had been transformed into one of Apocalypse's horsemen. Multiple duplicated himself dozens & dozens of times. The dupes lined up and each took a time-bomb from Boom-Boom. Each of the dupes used a slingshot to fire the time-bombs into the air at the possessed Professor, but most of the duplicates were defeated by the enhanced telepathic power of Professor Xavier. After the battle, Multiple was seen in the Professor's vision and was among many other young mutants who remained in the Institute.
Multiple was voiced by David A Kaye.
Wolverine and the X-Men
In a spin-off from the rogue dupe who tried to assassinate the real Multiple Man, this animated version of Madrox was a member of the Marauders who worked for Mr Sinister. Madrox was seen stood next to Sinister, and acted as his personal bodyguard & one-man army. When Cyclops believed that Sinister had abducted Jean Grey, he hunted down other Marauders and eventually tracked down Sinister in his lair. Sinister taunted Cyclops and revealed that he didn't have Jean Grey. When Cyclops threatened to attack, Sinister commanded Madrox to attack. His duplicates easily overwhelmed Cyclops, since the concussive optic blasts would produce more dupes. Even when the rest of the X-Men appeared, they had difficulty coping with the sheer number of dupes until Iceman contained them all in ice blocks which prevented him from moving or creating more duplicates. The connected-dots motif on his body-suit would glow when he created new duplicates.
Madrox was voiced by Crispin Freeman.
X2: X-Men United
Madrox's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Despite the information in the novelisation of X-2, this version of the character is a convicted bank robber. He used his duplicates to raid seven banks at the exact same moment. He was held motionless inside the same armoured vehicle that was transporting Mystique, and therefore became a member of Magneto's Brotherhood when Mystique was saved. He didn't show any signs of needing physical impact to trigger his duplicates when he stepped out of his cell on the prisoner transport. Notably, he later served as a decoy for Magneto's Brotherhood, duplicating himself to appear as if there were a crowd of hundreds of people on satellite images. This fooled the X-Men, and wasted their time while Magneto put his plans into operation. Presumably he was re-arrested soon afterwards.
Jamie Madrox was played by Eric Dane.
X-Men: The Official Game
As a villain of the X-Men, Madrox must be fought with and defeated on the Brooklyn Bridge. He was voiced by the actor Eric Dane who portrayed Madrox in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
The plot of the game shadowed the plot of Civil War. Here, Madrox with several of his dupes had sided with Captain America & the anti registration forces. Therefore, he is a boss character for players who choose to side with the pro-registration forces.
The MUA2 version of Madrox is voiced by Wally Wingert.