Jeffries brainwashed again!

Uncanny X-Men #529
Dec 2010

Like the previous issue of Uncanny, this issue has no tag line, but is clearly part of the “The Five Lights” story arc, being the fourth and final part. You’d think that a story arc called “The Five Lights” consisting of stories at the pace of one Light per part would have five parts, but the fifth part turned out to be the debut issue of a new X-Men series, Generation Hope #1, so the arc ended here. Mister Jeffries appears on three pages as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in issue #505.

In this arc, Matt Fraction makes a good call not to use the full book to tell the stories of the Five Lights, the new mutant signatures detected at the end of Second Coming, which leaves room for some other simultaneous story lines, three of which intersect in this book. Kitty Pryde, who returned from space in issue #522 is now out of the containment canister and in a mobile suit that has been miraculously designed and built some time between last issue and this one by what otherwise was a completely perplexed Science Team. She joins up with Emma Frost, who has recruited Fantomex to assist with removing Sebastian Shaw from the brig, an ongoing plot that has been in the works for a few issues.

Danger, who had been guarding the brig, needed to be distracted long enough for them to steal the prisoner, so Fantomex used his mind-control powers on Mister Jeffries to compel him to indirectly help out with this. He approached Jeffries in the lab under the guise of asking for diagnostic equipment and then things got weird. Weird for a guy whose external brain is a telepathically linked flying saucer that flew out of his mouth, I mean. Jeffries is shown absentmindedly sculpting what appears to be a three-dimensional model of Danger while uttering some very cryptic lines. It’s not clear if he was compelled to do this by Fantomex, if it were all an illusion, or if the guy was actually making a little metal Danger doll when Fantomex walked in. The thing is, it’s so bizarre for him to be doing this and he says such babbling nonsense that it’s just hard to believe that he was sitting there making a metal doll. In any case, it’s a confusing scene until Jeffries is shown talking with italicized speech to indicate he’s under mind control and the reader is reminded, using a caption in the last panel of the page, that Fantomex has hypnosis powers, at which time the reader ought to have some clue that Jeffries is once again being mind controlled.

I'm gonna need a lot of lube. No, I mean A LOT.

He seems to be quite susceptible to mind control, being controlled first by Kara Killgrave in Alpha Flight #41, again when he was abducted in Alpha Flight vol 2 to become Gemini, and again by The Director during just about all of the Weapon X series. Well apparently we hadn’t seen the last of the brainwashing and quite frankly, it’s getting old. Likely, he won’t even have a “not again!” moment once he realizes what’s been done to him. Again.

Of all methods to distract Danger, Matt Fraction decides to have Fantomex hypnotize Jeffries into asking her out on a date, the most bizarre thing he could have done. Recall that in New Mutants #9, Cypher commented, “From Mr. Jeffries’ body language I’d say he has feelings for [Danger]” but at the time, that comment was very weird and inappropriate, especially since that issue took place right after the Necrosha story arc in which Jeffries’ wife Lil was killed. It’s just as weird here, even under mind control, and it’s disappointing that Matt Fraction decided to pick up on this oddball exchange from Zeb Wells. There were about a thousand other reasons that Jeffries could have been compelled to say to her to get her away from the brig for a while such as asking her to help with some machinery on the other side of the island – anything else but a date! Worse, he asked her to share a picnic basket with him, which makes even less sense since she doesn’t eat. No bowling alley on Utopia?

The last few pages of the book are penciled by Harvey Talibao in an abrupt shift of style from Whilce Portacio’s pencils, but since both of them draw Jeffries with way too much hair, it’s not that relevant. Jeffries is shown again in a few panels on his cliffside date, but since it turned out that the escape party flew off with Danger’s full knowledge anyway, the whole picnic basket plot line became completely useless.

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Note: there is a vampire variant cover by Mike Mayhew

Uncanny X-Men #529 – vampire variant
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3 Responses to “Jeffries brainwashed again!”

  1. suzene Says:

    Madison, Jean-Paul, and Wolverine have all gotten hit with the brainwashing bug pretty hard in recent years. They really need to lay off the Canadians.

  2. Chris Says:

    Do we know if General Clarke brainwashed Jeffries into rejoining Alpha Flight in AF 1 v2 using false memories? General Clarke was doing a lot of that in volume 2.

    • rplass Says:

      Ha! I knew if I posted something like this that fans would come up with MORE examples of Jeffries being brainwashed! Heh, I forgot about that one, thanks!

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