New Mutants #9
The first post-Necrosha issue of New Mutants was published while the storyline was still going on in X-Force and X-Men Legacy, leaving readers with an unusual insight as to how certain parts of the storyline ended, at least with respect to the New Mutants. Mister Jeffries appears as a member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and Witchfire appears in one panel as well.
Mister Jeffries’ appearance in this issue is only two panels. He looks on in the lab while Danger examines Cypher and Warlock, two original New Mutant members recently reunited with the team. He only has one line, not anything eventful. On the next page, Cypher says, “From Mr. Jeffries’ body language I’d say he has feelings for–” after which Dr. Nemesis cuts him off.Presumably, he was about to say “Danger”, as the only other possible object of affection nearby was Emma Frost, who was on the other side of the room at the time. In any case, from the two panels in which Jeffries appears, it’s not apparent what Doug is talking about, as there’s really nothing that he’s doing that would make one think he has feelings for anyone. However, take into consideration that upon his return to the New Mutants, Cypher gained a seriously enhanced power set where he can understand even the most subtle types of communication, including body language. So, something must be going on there, but it’s not visible to readers without Cyphers’s mutant powers.
Note also that during the Necrosha storyline, we find out that Mister Jeffries’ wife, Lillian “Diamond Lil” Crawley is with the X-Men on Utopia. As if she’d put up with that! I can understand that Zeb Wells wants to establish Cypher’s new powers by giving us an example of an extremely subtle human interaction that he’s now able to perceive, but really, of all the inhabitants of Utopia and of all the possible relationships, selecting Jeffries and Danger to use as subjects for this example really makes no sense.
Following Warlock’s remark that Illyana Rasputin is a copy, Emma sits down with her to discuss her recent history. What follows is quite momentous for those who follow Magik’s storyline, and if I had a “Magik Collector” blog, I’d probably be going on and on about it. Her rambling explanation, which is confusing, even if you are well-versed in her history and recent return, explains events following the end of X-Infernus and the beginning of this run of New Mutants – events that were in a time pocket lasting only a few days in one reality but years in another.
While searching for her bloodstones during those years, Magik finds Witchfire, reincarnated. What she’s referring to by “reincarnated” is difficult to understand, unless it means “reconstituted” as opposed to “resurrected.” At the ending of X-Infernus, Witchfire is shown escaping Limbo, seemingly alive, so the notion of being “reconstituted” would make much more sense. Unfortunately, Magik kills her with the soulsword, causing green fires to spew forth out of her mouth and eyes. Now I love flamey-eyed Witchfire as much as one could, even to the point of using Finch’s version as the official logo of this site, but that image is just disturbing. Note that Witchfire’s right hand is correctly shown as being partially regenerated, as it’s still magically growing back after Nightcrawler severed it in X-Infernus #4.
Illyana goes on to describe a battle between the X-Men and travellers from another dimension led to the bloodstones by Witchfire. It’s not clear how, or even if these events fit into continuity, as they could occur during the time pocket years or be one of many futures she said that she saw on the way to the past. Confused? So am I, twice over with incomprehensible scenes for both Alphans.