James Arthur “Jamie” Madrox, also called as Multiple Man. Jamie Madrox is a changeling, which is either a predecessor to or a subset of mutants. His power is the ability to create perfect duplicates, or “dupes”, of himself, and all items on his person (clothing or weaponry) through impact when he absorbs kinetic energy (although this sometimes has happened at will) through an unknown process. Most of the time, this is caused by him snapping his fingers, stomping his foot, being struck, or collisions. Each of the duplicates has exactly the same power as Jamie himself, and has independent thought, though Madrox “Prime” is usually telepathically and empathically linked to the dupes. His powers have, at least once, been shown to affect the actual design of the shirt he was wearing.
Jamie “Prime” can absorb a dupe, back into himself at will, which also makes him absorb the memories, knowledge, and skills of the duplicate. The dupe usually appears right beside the body it “springs” from. It has been noted that dupes have trouble creating more dupes themselves if they have not used their powers for a while, while Madrox is able to use his ability whenever he wants without any such issue.
Jamie was formerly unable to control the duplication process, wearing a special shock-absorbent synthetic stretch fabric costume that contained mechanisms that absorbed kinetic energy so that an army of Madroxes would not instantly appear every time he was struck. The original suit was designed by his father, Dr. Daniel Madrox, and later modified by Reed Richards. Jamie currently wears a stylized shirt with only six large green shock-absorbent pads on the front of the torso. Whether this indicates a greater degree of control over when his dupes manifest or simply an advance in technology (or if it is simply an ordinary shirt with the same design) is unclear.
During his time with X-Factor, the maximum number of dupes Madrox could create, including duplicates of the dupes themselves, was approximately 40, but the limit has grown far beyond that, as when Hydra tried to manipulate Jamie into becoming one of them. Their plan backfired because he cannot be mind-controlled, which instead resulted in an immense number of Madroxes that drowned the organization’s cohorts. Duplicates have independent minds from the original, but are usually willing to merge back because their memories and knowledge are retained. However, there have been exceptions where duplicates have wished for independence completely, even going so far as to have malicious duplicates intending great harm to the Prime during Peter David’s original and modern X-Factor runs.
As a last ditch effort, Madrox’s abilities can be used to deadly effect, which were used in self-defense against Seamus Mellencamp, when Madrox jammed his hand into Mellencamp’s mouth and activated his power, creating a duplicate inside Mellencamp and exploding him from the inside out. He has used this method to threaten people before, as well.
Madrox’s duplicates can perish without long term physical harm to himself, as demonstrated when the mutant Proteus possessed a duplicate then consumed its life force — leaving only a burnt out husk, as with all victims of Proteus. The possession caused Madrox to collapse in pain, aware of what was happening, but he later recovered.
Madrox also uses merging with his duplicates as a form of healing. Originally, uninjured dupes “shared” the damage when they merged. If an injured Madrox or dupe merged with an uninjured version, the “new” version had an injury half as severe as the original injury. This method may depend upon the severity of the injury, such as when the M-tattooed dupe sent his scarring to the original.
As a consequence of splitting into multiple selves, Jamie has accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge and experience, along with some confusion over which Jamie did what. For example, although he says his duplicates have had active sex lives, he is not sure whether he himself ever has, to the point that he was once uncertain whether he or a dupe had conceived his son Sean with Siryn (with the result that his body absorbed his infant son the first time he held the boy, as his body regarded the baby as another dupe rather than himself)
Specific special skills accumulated through his vast experience include picking locks, some proficiency in Shaolin Kung Fu, handgun training, multiple languages including Russian and Hawaiian, and playing-card throwing. Along the way, he and/or his duplicates participated in an Olympic gymnastics team and apparently became a licensed attorney.
Madrox has generally been considered a mutant. However, unlike most mutants whose mutant powers emerge during adolescence, Madrox exhibited his gifts from the day he was born. In X-Factor, Damian Tryp declares he isn’t one, but a “killcrop” like him, so named because they were believed to cause bad harvests in olden times.