The Many Lives of Multiple Man
Jamie was unable to stop Davan Shakari, AKA Eric the Red, when he invaded Muir and freed the captive Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Adopting the code name Multiple Man, Jamie befriended fellow Muir residents Havok, Polaris, and Jean Grey, AKA Phoenix, and, after years with only his “dupes” for company, he developed a secret fear of ever being alone again. When Moira’s body-stealing son Kevin MacTaggert, AKA Mutant X (later called Proteus) escaped confinement, he possessed one of Jamie’s dupes to get off the island, and for the first time Jamie experienced the psychic trauma of one of his bodies dying. Though Jamie considered his dupes merely extensions of himself, he eventually created one that feared losing his own identity if reabsorbed. Drugging Jamie, the dupe accompanied Moira and fellow Muir resident Theresa Cassidy, AKA Siryn, to New York, where they helped seek two runaway Xavier students, Roberto da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and the Technarch alien Warlock. Siryn and the errant dupe found the pair in the company of teenage superhuman gang the Fallen Angels and, unable to convince Sunspot to return home, they joined the Angels as well. During his time with the Angels, the Jamie dupe discovered his own copies sometimes shared a similar reluctance to be reabsorbed, and had a brief romance with Siryn. They stayed with the Fallen Angels for a short time after Sunspot and Warlock returned to Xavier’s, but eventually they returned to Muir Island. The rogue dupe erected a block to prevent Jamie sensing him and eventually, tired of living in fear, returned to the U.S., ultimately joining the mercenary group, Nasty Boys, led by Mister Sinister.
Meanwhile, Amal Faruk, AKA the Shadow King, telepathically possessed Muir’s inhabitants for months, testing themselves against each other like the X-Men’s Danger Room, only real fights with real blood and glory. A possessed Mulitple Man eventually went up against Gambit and other X-Men just before Xavier freed them from the Shadow King’s hold. Afterward, Val Cooper recruited Madrox to join the government-sponsored X-Factor team alongside Havok, Polaris, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, and Quicksilver. Senator Steven Shaffran, secretly a mutant able to cloud others’ thinking, tried to discredit X-Factor for political gain by paying Sinister and the Nasty Boys to shake public confidence in the new team. Intending to weaken the real Jamie’s sense of identity so the Nasty Boys’ Jamie could merge as the dominant personality, they murdered a dupe, forcing Jamie to reevaluate his belief that dupes were merely expendable extensions of himself. Then the Nasty Boys’ Jamie came forward at X-Factor’s press launch to accuse X-Factor’s Jamie of being a renegade dupe. Faking the results of a polygraph test, a disguised Sinister convinced X-Factor that the Nasty Boys’ Jamie was the genuine one; playing along, the real Jamie pretended he too believed this, allowing the renegade to absorb him and be temporarily dominant, while he quietly “disassembled” the rogue from within. Now possessing the rogue’s memories, Jamie alerted X-Factor, who publicly exposed Shaffran’s plot.
Jamie was X-Factor’s practical joker, attention-seeking behavior motivated by his fear of loneliness, and became best friends with teammate Guido, partly because of their similar senses of humor. When Mutant Liberation Front leader Earth-4935’s Stryfe, Cable’s clone, framed X-Force’s Nathan Summers, AKA Cable, for the attempted assassination of Xavier, X-Factor and the X-Men worked together to capture X-Force. While imprisoned, X-Force’s Siryn appealed to Jamie, reminding him of their past romance, but to her distress Jamie informed her that she had dated a dupe, and that he retained the memories but not the feelings from their relationship. A short while later X-Factor visited Genosha, where Jamie caught the mutant-killing Legacy Virus. From the outset he kept a couple of uninfected bodies separate, so that part of him might survive, though the infected Jamie, who believed himself the “real” one, was not consciously aware of this. The mutant prophetess Radha Dastoor, AKA Haven, offered to cure him, but failed and Jamie died; the trauma rendered Jamie’s surviving body amnesiac.
Government agents recognized Jamie and took him into custody, intending to turn him into a one-man army under their control. Shortly after his memories returned, Jamie was freed by Havok but declined to join Havok’s new terrorist Brotherhood, going on the run. Sent to capture him, X-Factor discovered the “killer fugitive” they were hunting was Jamie, so they hid him instead and later helped him free Guido, who had similarly fallen into nefarious hands. Jamie went underground again, but after the rogue government elements seeking to exploit them were apparently dealt with, he tentatively agreed to join a new X-Factor led by Havok, which disbanded almost immediately upon Havok’s seeming death.
After his own partial demise, Jamie now tried to always have at least a couple of dupes active at any one time. Unsure of what to do with his life, and feeling that his sheltered upbringing had denied him life experience, Jamie created numerous “long-term explorer” dupes, and sent them off to learn skills, then return to be assimilated into the “real” Jamie. One became a Shaolin monk, another studied magic in Las Vegas, a third passed the bar to become a lawyer, a fourth acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and so on. The full range of occupations Jamie’s dupes undertook remains unrevealed, but at least two eventually decided not to return to the fold: a duty-minded S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and “John Maddox,” a married Episcopalian minister who feared losing his wife. Meanwhile Jamie returned to Muir Island for a while, then at Xavier’s behest, he worked alongside Forge in a secret monitoring station keeping an eye on the regime of Genosha’s new ruler, Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto. Afterwards, Siryn’s father Sean Cassidy, AKA Banshee, recruited Jamie into the paramilitary X-Corps, his dupes working as a mobile army in the field and as support staff in X-Corps’ Paris base; however, spreading himself so thinly allowed psychic Mastermind to control many of his dupes, sending them to attack Paris with helicopter gunships. Though his X-Corps teammate Monet St. Croix, AKA M, and the X-Men helped Jamie reabsorb the rogue dupes, the political fallout finished X-Corps. Xavier tried to salvage part of the concept, establishing the X-Corporation with teams stationed around the globe, and Jamie joined the Paris branch alongside M, Siryn, Julio Richter, AKA Rictor, Sabra and Laynia Petrovna, AKA Darkstar; however, after Darkstar and several dupes died battling the bacterial consciousness Weapon XII, Jamie quit and returned to the USA.
Jamie set up XXX Investigators in New York’s Mutant Town, working with his old friends Guido and Wolfsbane, but his increasingly unpredictable dupes often manifested exaggerated aspects of his personality. Meanwhile, an explorer dupe sent to experience Chicago’s party life married Sheila DeSoto, an ambitious mutant planning to take over the local mobs.
Discovering that she considered him merely a suitable fall guy, he fled to New York, but was shot by DeSoto’s hitman, Clay, a mutant possessing duplicating powers similar to Jamie’s. Making it to XXX’s offices, the dupe was reabsorbed by Jamie moments before he would have died; with the trauma having rendered the dupe’s memories vague, Jamie went to Chicago to investigate his own murder, eventually exposing Sheila’s plot to her mob fiancé Ed Vance, who killed her. After his associates renamed the agency X-Factor Investigations, Jamie used his dupes to win a million dollars on a quiz show and expanded the operation, hiring old colleagues Siryn and M. When most mutants abruptly lost their powers on “M-Day,” X-Factor investigated this “Decimation,” recruiting the depowered Rictor and 14-year-old prescient Layla Miller. Despite Damian Tryp’s Singularity Investigations trying to stop them, X-Factor learned that Quicksilver’s reality-warping sister, Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, had caused M-Day, and that the X-Men had known this and covered it up, a revelation that drove a wedge between Jamie and the X-Men.
After the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA), Jamie held a press conference to announce X-Factor’s opposition to the new law, promising aid to anyone seeking to break it; since Jamie was already registered due to his past government service, Val Cooper quietly blocked any government reprisals against X-Factor, so long as their statement of civil disobedience did not translate into action. Meanwhile, Jamie’s love life became increasingly complicated; not only did Layla tease him by suggesting she foresaw them marrying when she was older, but thanks to at least one errant dupe, Jamie seduced both M and Siryn on the same night. Unsure of how to tell them, he compounded his error by continuing both relationships simultaneously, and unwittingly implanted both partners with embryonic dupes, creating dual phantom pregnancies; M would later unconsciously abort the dupe within her, with no one realizing at the time that she had been pregnant.
When X-Factor infiltrated Singularity Investigations seeking evidence that Tryp was developing a new version of the Legacy Virus, Tryp’s future self terrified Wolfsbane with a vision of her slaying Jamie and Layla on the couple’s wedding night. Meanwhile, one of Jamie’s dupes recalled that Tryp had murdered Jamie’s parents, and blew up Singularity’s offices. Shortly afterwards, on psychiatrist Leonard Samson, AKA Doc Samson’s advice, Jamie told Siryn and M about his two-timing; with neither woman speaking to him, Jamie followed Samson’s other advice, hoping to regain control of his dupes by absorbing his remaining explorers. He reabsorbed his S.H.I.E.L.D. agent dupe, despite interference from both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, which sought to brainwash him; however, upon discovering Minister John Maddox had a wife Shiela and son Daniel (the result of an affair Shiela had had), Jamie let him keep his independent existence. Another dupe, who had become an outstanding detective, informed Jamie that he had divined the true source of Jamie’s powers and why the dupes were becoming uncontrollable, but insisted the truth was too depressing to share, and committed suicide to prevent Jamie from learning it.
Shortly afterwards, the X-Men asked Jamie to send two dupes into the future; following M-Day, Forge’s chronal tracer had detected no mutants in any potential future timeline, but with the recent birth of the first mutant child since Decimation, two timelines now registered mutants again. Wanting to gather data from them, Forge devised a time machine, but the traveler would be trapped in the future; however, Forge reasoned that Jamie’s dupes could reconnoiter the timelines, then send back their memories to present-day Jamie by committing suicide. One dupe was dispatched to an as-yet-unrevealed future, while the other was sent forward 80 years into Reality-1191, the timeline the X-Man Lucas Bishop, AKA Bishop, originated from; as Forge activated the time machine, Layla jumped on the platform with Jamie’s dupe, insisting she needed to accompany him. Arriving in a world where mutants were outlawed, the pair was swiftly arrested, had the letter M indelibly tattooed on their faces, and were placed in an internment camp. Finding a young Bishop in the camp, they learned that the newborn mutant child started a war that produced this dystopia; Layla then tearfully killed Jamie’s dupe, sending both the information and the M-brand tattoo back to present-day Jamie, who sadly realized he had no way of retrieving Layla.
Jamie’s world continued falling apart, as Rahne quit X-Factor hoping to avoid the future Tryp had shown her, Val Cooper pressured Jamie to have X-Factor work for her, and the assassin Arcade turned Mutant Town into a giant Murderworld death trap; however, learning that Siryn was pregnant with his child, the stunned Jamie took this as positive news. They renewed their relationship and X-Factor went underground, relocating to Detroit to evade Val. Though she found them a few months later, they brokered a truce, carrying out selected missions for Cooper in return for autonomy the rest of the time. When Siryn went into labor, she proposed to Jamie, who accepted. Shortly afterwards she gave birth to a boy, Sean, but as soon as Jamie touched his “son,” he reabsorbed him; the revelation that their child was a dupe shattered Jamie, and a horrified Siryn angrily rejected him for “killing” their child. Madrox went to see Maddox, who admitted his child, Daniel, was not his own. Telling Maddox to live his life for both of them, Madrox was about to commit suicide when he was stopped by a hologram of a now-adult Layla, who transported him back to Reality-1191 to help the rebellion she had started. Meanwhile, in the present day, an unidentified gunman made a failed attempt to murder Maddox.
Finding himself catapulted 80 years into the future of Reality-1191 amidst the Summers Rebellion, mutants fighting against human and Sentinel oppressors. Jamie and Layla then expressed their mutual frustration with each other for not coming back for one another, and shared a passionate kiss. But their reunion was cut short by the aged and cybernetic Cyclops who wanted him to investigate why some mutants were disappearing from existence. Jamie and Layla visited an aging Victor Von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom to learn more about time manipulation, and he informed them about chronal variance inhibitors, or “Doomlocks” which can stop diverging timelines, but requires the user to cybernetically modify their body to be compatible with it.
Meanwhile back in the present one of Jamie’s dupes, calling himself Cortex, was mentally controlling Jamie’s X-Factor teammates, and revealed that he was one of the two Jamie’s that was sent to the future. Cortex was instructed to kill a list of people to prevent their effect on the future, including the original Jamie, by Anthony Falcone under the influence of Damian Tryp from Earth-616. Jamie in the future then surmised that someone was altering the past and that’s why mutants were blinking out of existence in the future. The rebellion was attacked and in losing their ally Trevor Fitzroy, despite Layla’s efforts to resurrect him, Jamie and Layla were sent back to the present by Doom’s time device. Jamie rematerialized at X-Factor with Layla returning to the orphanage where her younger self lived, and she shared her 80 years of knowledge with her.
When Jamie faced the demon Bloodbath and apparently dies, he is instead repeatedly transported to alternate Earths. When he finally returned to his Earth, him and Layla married and eventually retired to Jamie’s family farm and he sells X-Factor to Harrison Snow. When Jamie investigated the Inhuman’s Terrigen Mist, he warned the X-Men about it but then he and his dupes died from exposure to the Mist.
After Professor X, Magneto, and Jamie’s former colleague, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, now the mutant Moira X, started the mutant-only island nation of Krakoa, and resurrected fallen mutants with the help of the Five, Jamie returned to life. While he and his dupes were at the Xavier Pharmaxeuticals Distribution Site, it was ambushed and afterward, Jamie was interviewed by Jean Grey, now going by Marvel Girl.