Matthew Rosenberg’s Multiple Man miniseries has been a fun, action packed, and confusing ride. Formerly evil emperor Jamie has seen the error of his ways and wants to stop himself before it’s too late. Still evil Lieutenant Jamie is fine with the way things are and wants to make sure that the now-good Jaime does not mess things up for all the evil Jaimes. Can Jaime stop himself?
Multiple Man has primarily dealt with time travel and of course, duplicates. Just one of those elements makes for a confusing comic, but adding the second into the mix can make things impossible to follow. Rosenberg has done a great job of telling the story he wants to without having to simplify things. Instead, he has played up both elements. Doing this has kept readers thoroughly engaged in the story without having to constantly try to make sense of what is going on.
Multiple Man #5is no different and may even up the ante. Characters in the story casually discuss the timestream and the dangers of bouncing around in it. Duplicates fill the pages and converse with each other over the nature of evil. There is no rational explanation to what is happening and Rosenberg lets the cast go with the flow.
This decision makes Multiple Man much better and, ironically, realistic. Rosenberg has infused the miniseries with a strong sense of humor and continues to feed into that tone in the finale. Where other books will use pages of exposition to explain exactly what is happening, Rosenberg lets plot unfold naturally. It just so happens in Multiple Man that plot unfolds with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Which is not to say that Multiple Man is just a silly story that is not worth your time. Multiple Man reads like an episode of Cheers during its prime. The action flows and keeps its audience engaged and the jokes come naturally. Rosenberg’s writing shows the importance of comedic timing. Every one can appreciate great wit, but many times a good old fashioned zinger is just as good.
The humor never downplays the importance of what is going on, though. Multiple Man is an incredibly funny comic, but it is also a story where the future of the entire world is at stake. Despite its rapid-fire one liners, the story never loses sight of this. It never seems as if the characters do not take things and it is clear the primary objective is to save everyone.
The art for Multiple Man #5 is perfect for the story being told. Artist Andy McDonald gives the world a bleak look. No matter where the story takes readers, the setting seems rundown and lonely. Even panels crammed with duplicates feel empty. Along with the tone are some very violent scenes. An earlier issue saw a beheading and issue #5 takes things to the next level. However, these moments do not come off as gratuitous and add to the severity of the story.
Multiple Man #5is a fitting conclusion to a wonderful story. The entire run has been a laugh-out-loud adventure that never took itself too seriously but also never allowed itself to be treated as a joke. This is a welcome addition to X-Menlore and is essential reading for any X-Fan.