the_mighty_monarch's The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #18 - Problems Multiplied review

Excessive Recycling

There's a small part of me that wants Multiplex to have his one series just so I can see that logo again monthly. I don't know why but I love the logo used for Multiplex on this cover. Aside from that, this is still a pretty nice cover overall, executing limited space in the one smart way, ironic considering that the villain is, in essence, one who should take up the most space.

You know, I think Dan Jurgens spent too much time hanging out with Booster Gold, and has picked up his odd time travel residue; because after writing this series fairly solidly, this issue feels so retro, and not in the good way. The quality of the dialogue is a lot more stiff awkward with snippets of unnecessary exposition. Not to mention lines that you can't help but read in your best Adam West voice, "Careful Ronnie, those black costumes indicate this could be a complicated situation. These guys might have some kind of super powers!"

Even the story and the way its paced just feels so... bland. I like the connection Multiplex has to Firestorm's origin, and the explanation for how he knew who Firestorm was, but the fact that he was part of a bigger conspiracy of a small group of villains LESS familiar with Firestorm just feels kind of forced. What could these guys possibly want with Firestorm if they haven't encountered him and know less about him than one of their lackeys whom they barely trust? One is obviously Killer Frost based on solicits, but as for the rest who knows? At this point in the story they just feel like 'a generic group of villains' who are nothing more than that, since the 'personal foe' card has already been played on a level below them.

And all of this would've been at least decent if the 'personal foe' wasn't so.... nonthreatening. Sure he knew their secret identities, but in a fight Multiplex was.... pathetic. It doesn't matter how many copies he can make, his fighting skills were barely average with no powers beyond self-replication. That pales in comparison to Firestorms ridiculous powers, but he STILL could've been a threat IF HE EVER MADE MORE THAN A SMALL HANDFUL OF COPIES. Seriously, the foe who can replicate himself infinitely never even reaches double digits! It's a huge waste of power potential. When he doesn't take advantage of his powers at all, you might as well not have even bothered giving him powers in the first place! AND FURTHERMORE, despite his interesting backstory to his motivations, his motivations were identical to EVERY VILLAIN THUS FAR. He wants, or at least wanted, Firestorm's powers for himself.

In Conclusion: 2/5

Too much retreading of old ground in terms of motivations from the previous issues as well as general plot structure from the 80's. This wasn't outright awful or painful to read, but it was just so dull, and came across worse with closer examination. Multiplex presented little to no threat, mostly because he barely even used the powers that made him a potentially powerful villain in the first place! And this weak threat leeched the potential away from his 'superiors' who now will have a hard time being given an m.o. that's even a semblance of interesting.

Posted by MatKrenz

If by "hanging out" with Booster Gold, you mean "created him back in the 80's". Then yes he hangs out with Booster way to much. Unless you already knew this, then I fell really dumb.

Edited by The Mighty Monarch

@matkrenz: I was making a joke leaping off that fact, suggesting that after creating Booster he's literally been hanging out with him and now has some kind of time travel jetlag and is writing comics partly modern and partly 80's.

COMMENCE THE FEELING DUMB NOW! Lol, j/k. But I did know that.

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