Box and Northstar in Uncanny X-Men #522

Uncanny X-Men #522
May 2010

The Nation X storyline continues in Uncanny X-Men as one of the biggest events in X-history unfolds – the return of Kitty Pryde. No spoilers here, as the hated Internet ruined yet another surprise months in advance. Even the variant cover (shown below) art was released weeks before, not leaked, but officially released by Marvel, so it can be concluded they really didn’t make any effort to shock us with this news. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Club, the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in issue #505 and Northstar makes a single panel cameo as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in issue #508.

Wishing to avoid global panic resulting from the appearance of the space bullet, which would be perceived by the general public as an Extinction Level Event, Cyclops turns to the X-Club to solve the problem. The scene with the X-Club in their lab on Utopia opens with a dialogue error. Mister Jeffries and Dr. Kavita Rao are discussing previous attempts to retrieve the bullet and he conjectures:

What if that’s because they were going for the vessel and not the cargo?

Clearly, it ought to have read:

What if that’s because they were going for the cargo and not the vessel?

as this is the first time anyone has tried to move the bullet (the vessel) and not just contact Kitty (the cargo).

After Jeffries jokes about building an interstellar ark to survive the bullet impact and again later in the lab, Cyclops calls him, “Box”, continuing from the previous issue when The Angel also called him that. No longer news, folks, that’s what Matt Fraction wants to call the guy. In fact, he’s not referred to as “Jeffries” at all in this issue, just “Box”. All we need now is the robot so it makes sense.

In under 24 hours, The X-Club builds an incredibly complex satellite influencing mind contraption consisting of a psycho-machine interface controlled by the Stepford Cuckoos using Danger as a conduit. When Cyclops asks how it works, Danger motions to the super-genius Jeffries to explain. It’s nice to see Jeffries all smartened up, but this is quite extreme, even for him. He’s really just not the ditch digger we met in Alpha Flight #16 back in the day anymore. This loose characterization which seemed so wrong at first has become par for the course.

After Kitty is silently rescued, a few pages of silence follows showing normal life around Utopia, including another scene in the lab where Jeffries is shown building some sort of life-support bed for Magneto. Also shown is a single panel with Northstar and Dazzler, as they arrest some ne’er-to-do’s in downtown San Francisco on the evening news, evoking iconic imagery of the superhero crimefighter. He appears to be wearing a slightly altered costume with a symmetrical starburst on his left hip, but it might be just a minor variation of his costume by Whilce Portacio.

Note: there is a variant cover by Mark Brooks, based on a classic movie poster for Doctor Strangelove.

Uncanny X-Men #522 – Mark Brooks variant

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One Response to “Box and Northstar in Uncanny X-Men #522”

  1. Chris Says:

    Yay! Kitty is back! Lockheed won’t be lonely anymore. BTW, no Alpha Flight but the name Alpha Flight gets a mention in Tales of the Pet Avengers one shot (in the Redwing story.)

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