The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is labeled “Part Four” but the actual read order of the event is less direct, putting this book into the 11th position on the checklist and arguably around the 11th book if read in a sensible order. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
Mister Jeffries reprises his role as “Guy Operating the Screen while someone’s boobs fall out of their costume Guy” from issue #2 of this series by making more colored dots, this time next to Emma’s boobs. Reminiscent of the way Matt Fraction used him as a narrative device to explain a plot element in Uncanny X-Men #521, writer Victor Gischler plops him down in front of a display device on which he has used his technomorphing powers to reconfigure.Like issue #2, unfortunately, the device is incorrectly referred to as “Cerebro”, not “Cerebra”. He shows dots representing vampire DNA (another sloppy writing error as vampires are creatures of the undead, not genetic variants) overlapping with police reports of vampire incidents.
Cyclops, Emma and Jeffries don’t seem to be so concerned about the overall rate of police reports for vampire incidents, which are “up forty-six percent in the last twenty-four hours.” This raises the question, “How many police reports for vampire incidents is normal for San Francisco in a 24 hour period?” Of the nine thousand vampires noted on the screen, I’ll guess about a third of them are overlapped purple, meaning around 3,000 vampire incidents. This is up 46 percent from a normal night of … calculate it … 2,054 vampire incidents called in on a normal night to S.F.P.D.! Yeah, sounds about right to me.
This also brings into question the total number of vampires detected. Apparently nine thousand is a lot. I had no idea – with all the neck-biting that seems to go on, it seemed perfectly normal to me until fellow Alpha Flight Fan and recently proclaimed resident undead expert cmdrkoenig67 over at the alphaflight.net forum pointed out:
Nine thousand, may indeed be a good population number for vampires world-wide, but keep in mind…Not all vampires create new vampires with every feeding. Many vampires take only as much blood as they need (which doesn’t always kill the victim), while others ensure the victim will not come back as one of the undead by killing the victim first or during feeding (by neck-snapping, decapitation, etc…). I can’t imagine the world’s population of vampires would range in the millions either, especially after events such as their recent battle in Captain Britain and the past event of the reading of the Montesi formula by Dr Strange (which destroyed every vampire on the planet). Also, you have to take into account the armies of vampire-hunters that exist in almost every country in the world (including Blade, who’s probably killed thousands of vampires in his lifetime).
I feel the number is necessarily inflated for dramatic purposes (and not done very well)…One thousand vampires or even eight hundred would be sufficiently menacing.
An excellent point and very educational but the machine detected nine thousand vampires, so we’ll have to go with that number for now.
Jeffries appears again on another page, as Angel jokes with him, “Do we ever see anything good on this holographic map?”, as Warren must have forgotten the recent and very good appearance of five new mutant signatures at the end of Second Coming, but it’s a good knock on Jeffries’ whole “These dots are bad. So are these dots. Bad dots everywhere!” schtick. You can see Jeffries again standing around in two more panels as Cyclops, Xarus and Wolverine exchange a tense sequence of offers, negotiations and threats, one of which contains an another bad error: Storm responds to Wolverine’s threat with, “My God”, a phrase she’d surely never utter, as her preferred deity-laced expletive is “Goddess!”
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, as well as a vampire variant by Mike Mayhew taken from the classic Astonishing X-Men #6 cover from 2004 by John Cassaday. A 2nd printing variant has been solicited for 11/24. This text will be edited upon its collection.
|X-Men #4 – Paco Medina variant|
|X-Men #4 – vampire variant|