Archive for July, 2010

I want to smack Karma in the mouth!

July 21, 2010

X-Men: Second Coming #2
Sep 2010

The Second Coming story line comes to its second conclusion in the fourteenth and final numbered chapter. The actual conclusion took place in X-Force #28, the thirteenth chapter, with this issue serving as a wrap-up. It could just as easily been titled Second Coming: Aftermath. In fact, this issue was originally solicited generically as Second Coming Finale when the series checklist was first published early 2010. Mister Jeffries appears briefly as a member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

The issue is divided into four vignettes, each written by a main series writer: Zeb Wells from the New Mutants title, Mike Carey from X-Men Legacy, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost from X-Force and Matt Fraction from Uncanny X-Men. In the first vignette by Zeb Wells, the action picks up from the end of X-Force #28 as Hope collapses after the explosive manifestation of her mutant powers. She wakes in the infirmary on Utopia, the new island headquarters of the X-Men, where Jeffries can be seen with a cybernetic prosthetic leg for Karma, who lost her leg in a previous chapter.

This cybernetic leg prosthesis was actually first shown in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Saga, a free promo comic published in the previous week, to less than favorable reviews. Alpha Flight Collector shares a fairly low opinion of the leg as well, ranking it among the least impressive of Madison Jeffries’ creations. It’s not clear if Leonard Kirk, the artist from the promo piece or Ibriam Roberson, the New Mutants artist is to blame for its design but it sure is awful.

Karma herself isn’t so impressed with the leg, and continues to berate Mister Jeffries for it. This continues from her petulant outburst in Uncanny X-Men #524 (Chapter 6 of Second Coming) where she insulted him in an inappropriate scene as well. Who the hell does this kid think she is? Is she aware that Jeffries once transformed his armor into a frakkin’ Robot Tyrannosaurus Rex and ripped the throat out of a real T-rex? Does she know that he once used his mind to rip apart a Sentinel and used the debris to make a superharpoon to kill another Sentinel? The guy is a legend and here she is, some little girl (who can’t even keep her limbs from getting all severed off) mouthing off to him like a rebellious teenager! I was hoping Zeb Wells would have corrected Matt Fraction’s error, but unfortunately chose to continue it instead.

Bandages from Uncanny X-Men #524

This little appearance does explain what the heck Jeffries was doing in Uncanny X-Men #524. I found that scene to be a rather inscrutable mismatch between his tech-powers and the medical setting. Now we know he was prepping her stump with a cybernetic interface which we can see once the bandages are removed.

What's underneath the bandages

At the time, I even mused:
 
“If [Matt Fraction] absolutely had to have Jeffries in the infirmary with Karma, he ought to have had him use his mutant powers to create some sort of awesome lower leg prosthetic for her.”

Zeb Wells also puts in a strange beat: he has Jeffries talking directly to the cybernetic leg, calling it “sweetie” at one point. This is somewhat different than some of the other times he has been shown to commune with devices, which were odd enough without having him directly speak to the machines. Karma insults him again with “God, you’re weird” in response to this strange behavior.

There is also a large funeral scene in this issue for Cable, who sacrificed his life to return X-Force to the current time and yes, the assembled heroes show up in costume. Even Cyclops is in costume at his own son’s funeral! Why superheroes show up to funerals in costume is still not clear to me. Although it is presumed that Jeffries and Northstar are among the guests, many of the figures are shadowed out in crosshatch and are not recognizable.

Finally, in the very last scene of the fourth vignette, a new mutant signature appears in Vancouver, British Columbia. Could this hint at a new potential character for a future Alpha Flight incarnation or is it just a random location on a globe? You already know which one I’d prefer it to be!

Note: there is a variant cover by David Finch, Matt Banning and Peter Steigerwald.

X-Men: Second Coming #2 – Finch variant

Jeffries cameo in X-Force #28

July 14, 2010

X-Force #28
Sep 2010

The Second Coming storyline continues with Chapter Thirteen as the exciting climax plays out to its powerful conclusion. Although there is a fourteenth chapter, this issue ends the main action sequence taking place on the Golden Gate Bridge. The X-Men, X-Force and Hope converge to defeat Bastion with quite a bang. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

The entirety of Jeffries’ appearance is a single panel cameo, standing behind Dr. Nemesis as he urges Mr. Fantastic to hurry up with his attempt to get inside the impenetrable big red sphere surrounding San Francisco. This appearance is extremely similar to the “standing around behind Dr. Nemesis” appearance in Chapter Ten of Second Coming (Uncanny X-Men #525).

Trapping the X-Men Science Team outside the red sphere was a rather clever move on the part of Bastion and his mutant-hating team. Their main weapon against the X-Men were Super-Sentinels from the future, and basically, if you attack with an army of Super-Sentinels from the future, Madison Jeffries is just about the last mutant you’d want anywhere near the battle! Remember in Alpha Flight #43 he easily took down not one, but TWO Sentinels single-handedly, so it’s a good thing for the mechanical baddies that he was trapped outside, far from the action.

Note: there is a variant cover by David Finch, Matt Banning and Peter Steigerwald, and a second printing variant with interior art by Michael Choi.

X-Force #28 – Finch variant
X-Force #28 – 2nd printing variant

Variant cover roundup for July 2010

July 8, 2010

Now would be a good time to post the covers to ten recent 2nd and 3rd printing variant issues that were published after the posts for the original issues were written. Note that the 3rd printing issues for X-Men: Second Coming #1 and Uncanny X-Men #523 are the first two segments of a larger message spelling out “SHE HAS RETURNED”. Two small bonuses too: the 2nd printing covers for X-Men: Hellbound #1 and Uncanny X-Men #524 feature Northstar!