Sunday, September 03, 2006
Sex and the Multiple Man
Add a suave, libidinous Madrox duplicate to this combustible mix in X-Factor #10, and you get trouble. The morning following the speech, soon after Madrox has re-integrated the Hefner-esque duplicate back into his body, this is how Siryn bids him a good day:
Peter David and Renato Arlem, the artist, do a good job of setting up the land mines that Madrox's dupe has scattered across his relationships. Here's the tail-end of Monet's interaction with Jamie:
In case you haven't figured it out, Madrox has stumbled into some serious trouble. As he begins to take in the effects of his dupe's actions, he meets up with Layla Miller, the third female living in the X-Factor house:
(Phew! Statutory rape averted!)
What's interesting is that, in a meta-narrative sense, Madrox has landed the male fantasy tri-fecta:
(1) "Madrox" beds all of the (mature) women with whom he works. (And, even better, they will almost certainly fight over him in the future!)
(2) Madrox is (reminded again that he's) destined to marry Layla Miller, the third female in the house.
(3) Since the serial loving was actually performed by a dupe, PAD has provided Madrox with a big old get out of jail free card. We're talking absolutely guiltless hi-jinx with co-workers and friends.
If we work out X-Factor #10's calculus of pleasure, Siryn and Monet are certainly the big winners. The negative results of their unwittingly sharing a night with Madrox's dupe are in the future: there are soap opera-ish developments in store for them both. (X-powered catfight, anyone?) But for now, they're feeling pretty good.
Madrox is the total loser, here. He's experienced absolutely no pleasure, and is set up to catch all of the pain that'll result from the "Hef" dupe's unrestrained amorous activity.
One last thing to add: although the the pursuit-of-pleasure equation works out totally in Siryn's and Monet's favor, the fact that they were, in the final analysis, each seduced by an oleaginous dupe doesn't say a whole lot for their perceptive powers.
Reading this issue set me thinking along counterfactual lines: in what different directions might the plot-lines in this title develop if Siryn (or Monet) were the leader of X-Factor Investigations?
And for Jamie not remembering, a) he was really hungover, which might be clouding the memories he gets from the dupes, or b) he might not be sure that there isn't yet another dupe he hasn't run into yet who *shudder* did something with Layla.