Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 (1975): 1st Madrox!

Nobody is fooled by Ben’s fur trenchcoat, purple pants, and high heels. Why is he dressed like a pimp?

Madrox the Multiple Man started as kind of a joke, as the villain in Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4. Not that the joke isn’t funny. Here’s what happens when Madrox is slapped at birth…

The team struggles against Madrox.

Which is ridiculous. Those punches shouldn’t hurt Ben at all–Madrox doesn’t have super strength.

This is a group that has beaten scores of Skrulls and giant purple men. Madrox really shouldn’t be an issue.

Until the cavalry arrives on a helicopter tractor beam.

Professor X saves the day with mind control, renewing my question: If he’s willing to do this, then there should never be any problems in the world. He can do it all the time.

Why did a regular future member of several X-teams get his debut in an issue of Fantastic Four?  Why, because Len and Chris wrote the issue!

Fortunately, Peter David got the character into X-Factor and turned him into a noir-ish fellow tormented by his own fracturing psyche. Madrox, when written by David, is probably one of the most complex and intricately developed characters in the Marvel Universe.

Fun fact: According to the great CBSBG site, he started out as “Zerrox the Multiple Man” before Xerox threatened litigation.

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