X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1
The first in a two-part series, X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1 takes place between the end of the Utopia storyline and the beginning of the Nation X storyline. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
While the rest of the X-Men are back on Utopia island building their new home, terraforming the asteroid surface and maintaining the machinery, Jeffries is back at Graymalkin Industries, the former headquarters of the X-Men, working the last of the retrieval. We find out that Graymalkin is abandoned but not completely evacuated: Cerebra has been left behind. Cyclops sends Pixie to check on his progress.
She teleports over, finds him (and his grey temples) and a bunch of floating machine bits next to Cerebra’s transport crate. He appears in 3 panels, declines her offer of coffee and tells her he has four hours to go. For some very, very bizarre reason, he’s not wearing his trademark plaid flannel shirt nor his houndstooth patterned shirt: just an X-jacket over a white top.
Yeah, it’s not him. It’s Jimmy Woo, one of the Agents of Atlas, made in to an grey-templed illusion of Jeffries by Marvel Boy, another one of the Agents of Atlas, who are there to steal Cerebra so they can find Siren, one of their missing members. Jeffries has been tranquilized off-panel and is shown peacefully dozing:
Zzzz Zzzz mmmzzzat you, Lil? Zzzz Zzzz
Upon her return to Utopia, Pixie casually reports to Cyclops that “MadJeff” was so busy he didn’t even want coffee. Now I don’t remember “MadJeff” being such a caffeine junkie, but apparently this is out of character for him. Cyclops senses something is wrong and orders a psychic probe to sense what’s going on at Graymalkin. Moments later, the X-Men blaze forth and engage the Agents of Atlas.
The battle doesn’t go well for the X-Men and is lost due to the continued illusions from the Agents of Atlas. During their escape, the room floods. It’s not exactly clear if the flood is real or another one of the illusions used to throw off the X-Men, but Cyclops is kind enough to rescue Jeffries from the water, real or fake.
Note: although Northstar is a member of the X-Men, he does not appear in this issue.
Note: during the Utopia scenes at the beginning, Emma Frost asks Dr. Nemesis a strangely phrased question, “Could you perhaps go to Graymalkin and spell Madison Jeffries a bit?” Here, Emma is using “spell” to mean “relieve him from his shift as a worker”, a little-known use of the word. How the average comic book reader would be expected to know that is puzzling, but perhaps Emma felt compelled to use some high-falutin’ language with Dr. Nemesis at the expense of the reader. Good job on that bit of characterization, Jeff Parker, but please don’t do anything else to make us scratch our heads like that.
There are two variant covers for this issue, one of which is, oddly, a zombie variant.
Note: there are no zombies in this issue.
||X-Men vs. Agents of Altas #1 – Humberto Ramos variant
||X-Men vs. Agents of Altas #1 – Zombie variant