Saturday, 17 April 2010

Tpb Review: Madrox - Multiple Choice

Madrox #1-5 by David / Raimondi

A fair criticism levelled at this blog could be that it is too Spider-Man centric. Yes, the webhead is easily my favourite character but 100% of my 2010 posts being Spider-Man related is perhaps overkill. With that in mind, I thought I would review a recently bought graphic novel that while being penned by a renowned Spider-Man writer is far from related to the webhead. first non-Spider-Man post of the year and I have talked about nothing else so far. I'll move on.

Madrox stars Jamie Madrox aka the Multiple Man, a former member of Peter David's X-Factor team with the power to create duplicates or 'dupes' of himself. Handily prior knowledge of the character is not a requirement for enjoying this story, and David does an excellent job of getting new readers (of which I am one) up to speed with the character. The plot, while not being Multiple Choice's main strength, is adequate enough and features Jamie Madrox investigating the murder of one of his 'dupes' and its potential links to organised crime. Where the book really shines however, is in Madrox's characterisation and David's interesting and original use of his power. Madrox, logically enough, is portrayed here as an increasingly fractured individual, unsure of which direction to take his life in and thus taking it in every direction at once through his dupes. David also raises some interesting, if slightly vague questions about the nature of his powers and a new foe for him, both of which I hope are followed up on.

Interestingly enough Madrox is also given a strong if slightly small supporting cast and a slightly superfluous subplot, giving this series the mark of the opening of an ongoing series rather than a finite mini. As Madrox was ultimately spun into an X-Factor ongoing based around his private detectives agency this seems like a good move. Nevertheless, the supporting characters bounce off Madrox well and I look forward to seeing them given an extended role in X-Factor.

Raimondi's art is solid enough and a good fit for the story. While the storytelling is a little clumsy in places he has a very likeable style, realistic enough yet zany when necessary. The colouring is top notch as well and fits with the mock-noirish theme of the story.

Overall an excellent mini-series from a more than capable writer, that leads very well into the X-Factor ongoing.


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