X-Men Legacy Annual #1
In between the end of Utopia and the beginning of Nation X, two X-Men related story arcs spinning out of the Dark Reign storyline, this annual sets up the beginning of a four part story arc “Devil at the Crossroads”. Madison Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
The X-Men, having just recently established their independence on Utopia Island, are busy constructing the facilities while Madison Jeffries and Danger work on diagnostics in the lab. Danger senses that they are currently being observed from a super-normal dimensional envelope, detecting the presence of Emplate, who phases into the room and attacks them. Jeffries instructs the diagnostic equipment to become a weapon, but Emplate swings Danger into the line of fire instead. He then quite rudely insults Jeffries, calling him a “puling worm”, then brutally attacks him by sucking some bone marrow out of his face. Yuk! The X-Men come to the rescue and drive him off after a short battle. Later, Jeffries is shown again with a big bloody splotch on his face where he got his bone marrow sucked out, discussing strategy with Dr. Nemesis.
Mike Carey commits a terrible sin by getting Jeffries, well, just wrong in this issue. Usually when your favorite characters are written as stronger, faster, smarter, braver, better-looking, wittier, etc., it’s very nice to see and you enjoy reading stories like that. But Jeffries, what can I say, I love the guy but he’s just not as smart as this. It starts when Pixie refers to him as “Dr. Jeffries.” while she’s up on deck, and continues when Danger also calls him “Doctor Jeffries.” No, he’s just “Mister” Jeffries (see my rant in That’s “Mister” Jeffries to you, pal! for more of the Doctor/Mister issue). When he’s discussing the diagnostics with Danger and later, the plan to capture Emplate with Dr. Nemesis, here’s what he says:
“Your data throughput is breathtaking. 17 terabytes per pico-second–like a truckload of Einsteins.”
“Mutate the valence to force different dimensional intersects. Instead of bouncing off, he gets caught in a holding cycle.”
This technobabble is Jeffries?
Another thing Carey gets wrong is the way Jeffries uses his powers: instead of using his technomorph powers to re-shape and re-organize materials into constructs, he gives verbal instructions to command machines. When he wants the diagnostic equipment to change into a weapon, he just tells it to increase the power to the scanning lasers and microwave emitters. Now, it’s possible that the diagnostic equipment does respond to voice commands as designed, but you’d think after all the years he’s spent fighting battle after battle with Alpha Flight that he’d have the sense to create something a bit more powerful. This is Jeffries, trapped in the X-Men Science team’s diagnostic lab, surrounded by what might be some of the most advanced computers and machinery on Earth, and the best he can do is talk to a laser scanner? It’s just off.
Finally, the strangest thing is the Lambda patch on his jacket. What’s up with that? I’ve heard of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Omega and even Epsilon Flight… is this a Lambda Flight patch? In an issue very close chronologically to this, X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #1, Jeffries is seen wearing a similar jacket with an X on the shoulder, which makes sense, but the Lambda is simply unexplainable.
By far the best part of this book is Daniel Acuña’s shot of Jeffries (shown above) when Danger suggests they are being observed from a super-normal dimensional envelope. I mean, that’s just the look you’d expect him to have on his face upon hearing such a thing. Precious!
Note: although Northstar was a member of the X-Men at the time, he did not appear in this issue.
Tags: Madison Jeffries