Jeffries suddenly appears and disappears in X-Men #3

X-Men #3
Nov 2010

The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is labeled “Part Three” but is arguably the 7th or so book if read in a sensible order in this sprawling event. Having read the tie-ins Namor: The First Mutant #1 and X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1 helps to fill in a major plot hole between the last issue of this series and this, namely, how the X-Men come into possession of Dracula’s severed head and headless body. Mister Jeffries appears in two panels as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Readers paying close attention to what goes on in the background with Wolverine and Dr. Nemesis in this book will be startled to see Wolverine getting an injection, bandaid and all, in the infirmary. A magnified image of creepy crawley thingies could be the parvodrones Jeffries created in the Smoke and Blood one-shot released in the week previous to this issue, but it’s not clear to the reader what is going on.

Hmm... How did I get here? Wasn't Pixie just standing here?

Jeffries’ appearances are “standing around” shots, the first of which is quite odd. Penciler Paco Medina draws a series of three panels depicting Namor delivering Dracula’s severed head, passing it off to Gambit, who departs. The position of the characters in these panels is non-sensical and confusing. At first, Namor, Gambit and Cyclops are standing in a circle, in that clockwise order, meaning Gambit is to Cyclops’ left, and Namor is holding the head right above Gambit’s hands. To the right of the circle is Pixie, a firmly planted Blade, and Colossus standing in a straight line formed behind Cyclops while Storm approaches Cyclops from the other side. In the very next panel, Gambit is on Cyclops’ right and holding the head as Cyclops says, “Take this”, not “Take that”, indicating he was holding the head at some point. How Gambit got on Cyclops’ right is not clear, nor is the reason why Cyclops said “Take this” which is what you say when you are holding something and you pass it to someone else, and not “Take that”, which is what you say when you want someone to take something you aren’t holding. In the panel after that, Gambit is shown departing, having passed Cyclops on the right and Cyclops is shown facing Blade. Storm, who must have completed her transit in an arc to left of Cyclops is now to Blade’s left. Suddenly, where Pixie was standing, is Emma Frost, Mister Jeffries and Angel, none of whom were anywhere near this dance party in the first two panels! It’s really just a poorly drawn sequence that the editors should have blocked back into sense.

Is not impressed by vampire-o-matic assembly machine

In a control room above a bizarre machine whose sole purpose is to reattach a severed head onto a restrained headless body and then remove an impaled stake from the body, Jeffries can be seen behind Cyclops, detachedly observing or possibly controlling the bizarre machine with his technomorph powers. Like the previous sequence of weird disappearing and appearing background characters, he suddenly disappears in the next shot of the control room as Angel, Storm and Pixie suddenly appear to Cyclops’ right. Not to beat a dead horse on this, but in the next panel that shows this control room, Pixie disappears and Angel is replaced by Blade and Emma Frost on the far left. In the panel after that, Angel and Pixie reappear on the far left, Storm moves to the far right, and Emma switches positions with Blade, all of whom are now to Cyclops’ left. In the panel after THAT, Emma moves to Cyclops’ right! It’s just all over the place with these weird shots of characters dancing around each other with no continuity from panel to panel.

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010, a low-print run variant by Marko Djurdjevic, and a Second Printing variant featuring interior art.

X-Men #3 – Paco Medina variant
X-Men #3 – Marko Djurdjevic variant
X-Men #3 – Second printing variant
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