After last month’s shocking conclusion, the penultimate issue of Multiple Man is upon us. The question is, now what? Emperor Madrox now seems to have a firm grip on the dystopian future he rules after convincingly taking care of the Resistance. The dupe who traveled into the future to save the world failed in the most spectacular way. Worst of all, there seems to be no successor to continue to fight the good fight. Or is there?
The first page of Multiple Man #4 is by far the most shocking of the entire series. This butchery continues for page after bloody page while showcasing some of Andy MacDonald’s best work of this entire run. The emotion seen in these first pages is amazing. The Emperor Madrox, who was so callous at the end of the last issue, is obviously conflicted. His pain is etched on his face and readers watch him go through a series of emotions that eventually ends with acceptance and a realization. It is a wonderfully drawn opening that adds to the stunning brutality.
MacDonald’s great art is not just limited to the book’s opening, however. Throughout the timeline-jumping issue, characters and the various settings are expertly drawn. Much like Matthew Rosenberg’s writing in the miniseries, MacDonald’s art is filled with humor. There are numerous Easter eggs that X-fans will have fun pointing out (is that a shout out to the Marvel Swimsuit issue with Rouge on the cover?) and a wonderful scene early on in which three Multiple Men are trying to decide what to do next. (Well, two of them are.)Issue #4 has arguably been the funniest chapter in an incredibly funny series. Rosenberg has a great feel for Multiple Man and brings one of Marvel’s most underrated characters to life. The jokes are so effortless that it almost seems like they were written by accident. This obviously is not the case since the comedic timing is almost perfect and is a testament to Rosenberg’s comedic talents.
Jokes constantly come out of characters’ mouths at a rapid fire pace that is almost impossible to keep up with. The jokes are so smooth that the reader begins to question whether they are jokes at all. Multiple Man constantly walks the fine line of “should I be laughing at this?” The humor is perfect for the story that they are telling. Despite the humor Rosenberg brings to Multiple Man, he never cheapens what has happened or makes anything seem unimportant. The best example is the comic’s opening. Continuing where the last month ended, the fourth issue does not begin in a very funny place. Rosenberg is able to find comedy in these dramatic moments by treating the moments honestly without tiptoeing around the violence that has occurred. The things coming out of Emperor Madrox’s mouth are humorous, but they also paint a picture of what his state of mind is. It is great writing that elicits laughter from the readers without lessening the gravity of what has occurred.
Multiple Man #4is another great issue in what has been an astonishingly good miniseries. Andy MacDonald’s work has been incredible and Matthew Rosenberg continues to show why he is the funniest writer in comics. Multiple Man is a great addition to X-Men lore.