Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Peter David + Jamie Madrox = Airwolf

My friends, gather round the Ye Olde Comics Blogge. 2 Guys Buying Comics may have seemed unusually snarky of late, but just in time for the holidays, comes a spot of comic sunshine. I will give you, my friends, a gift of advice.

Tomorrow is new comics day. Take the three dollars you were going to spend on Action Comics, JLA, X-Men, and Marvel Knights Spider-Man. That's twelve bucks right there. Now take the four bucks you were going to spend on New Avengers Secret Files or Navel Gazing Black And White Orphan Love Stories or Tarot, and add it to that. Now you should have $16. (We here at 2 Guys Buying Comics are nothing if not good at math.)

Now, instead of buying those shitty -to- mediocre -at- best comics, buy the TPB of Madrox: Multiple Choice, by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi.

Trust me on this one.

I realize I'm a latecomer to this party, since the 5-issue series came out last year, and I just read the whole thing this morning (thanks to Jake lending me his issues). But GodDAMN was it worth it. I went and bought the trade today.

For those like me, who somehow let this slip under the radar, here's the idea: Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, has decided that he's going to be a private detective in the tradition of the great film noir detectives. To that end, he's set up his own agency. When one of his duplicates comes back to him bleeding from a stab wound, he sets off to find the attacker, and...well, I just can't bring myself to ruin it, since not only is this a superhero comic, it's a damn good mystery, and you'll want to savor every plot twist yourself.

Along for the ride are Wolfsbane and Strong Guy, who are handling another case for the agency, and...man. I don't know where to start. As Kelvin might say, this series was the "dog's bollocks". I hope to God that's a good thing.

It's got all the elements of classic detective fiction: a crime boss, a femme fatale, a shady reporter, lost memories and slam-bang action. Throw into the mix the fact that Jamie's dupes have started having a mind of their own, which means that he's not entirely sure what they're going to be doing at any given point, and add to that the very cool idea that he absorbs the memories and experiences of his multiples back into himself (one early scene shows a Hare-Krishna looking dupe wandering back in after having spent a year learning Buddhism).

The writing is classic noir, classic David, and it jumps off the page. The art by Raimondi is terrific as well, particularly the action scenes. I cannot say enough about this book.

And I will freely admit that I couldn't have cared less about Madrox, Rahne, or Guido before this. Sure, I knew of them, and had read my share of X-Factor back in the day, but I never gave them a second thought, aside from wondering if Wolfsbane had her own disturbingly complete fansite.

After reading this series, I'm picking up David's X-Factor relaunch tomorrow specifically because I want to read more of David writing these characters.

You want something original in a superhero book? You want vivid 3-D characters that ring true? You want to read a story that thrills and excites from beginning to end? It's the action-mystery-thriller-comedy hit of the year! Well, last year, anyway.

Madrox: Multiple Choice.

I will be kicking my own ass twice daily for a week for waiting this long to read it.

Don't let the same thing happen to you.


Blogger Ragnell said...

*Jaw drops*

Peter David is relaunching X-Factor?

*Eyes begin to widen, cue girlish squeal of delight in 5...4...*

11:06 PM  
Blogger Gary Smith said...

Couldn't agree more. Madrox is Airwolf to the extreme!

1:45 AM  
Blogger markus said...

I disagree. It's not bad, probably above average, but far from airwolf IMHO.
The mystery is - admittedly in keeping with the genre - impenetrable as far as I can see or else I manged to miss all the clues. Granted, it makes sense but so would the main red hering.
I also couldn't stand Madrox whiny interior monologue. By the end I was sincerly hoping he wouldn't make it. PAD does a pretty good job at trying to explain why he is the way he is, but that doesn't change that I just can't stand the character as written. (by the way, this duplicate-when-hit thing is relatively new, right? I don't remember it from the character's first appearance way back under Claremont/Byrne.)
The rest of the cast is IMHO equally unlikeable, the only ones whose story I enjoyed where those in New York.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I came across this late, too, via the TPB and loved it. Got an advance copy of X-Factor #1 last week and it's good stuff, effectively a post-House of M, Madrox #6. The only potential hiccup is Bendis' little deus ex machina is in it, but in the first issue, at least, it's not a problem.

8:05 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Yeah, the new X-Factor isn't quite as good, if only because Bendis' shenanigans upset things a bit too much. But it's not bad, and will probably be the most interesting of this wave of X-books.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Impact has always been the trigger of Madrox's multiplying. He used to have to wear a vibration dampening (or some such science) suit or a truck driving down the road or the impact of his feet as he walked would cause multiples to pop out.

Also, sorry I waited so long to share this with you Chris. I should have made you read it when it was still fresh.

4:44 PM  
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