The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is part five of the arc, but due to various other tie-in books, it’s actually the 14th or so issue on the checklist. It could be read right after the previous issue in this title, too. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
Jeffries only appears in two panels this book, both of them showing him in a control room on Utopia, the island headquarters of the X-Men. Surrounded by a ridiculous number of floating glowing display screens, he has a few lines offering tactical readouts to Cyclops. As the vampires attack, he’s also tracking sonar beneath Utopia, which brings round Namor’s ongoing storyline and reminds the reader of the island nature of the scenario.
Throughout the main battle, Jeffries stays in the control room and is not selected as one of the “tough skin” mutants who cannot be bitten that were sent topside to directly engage the vampire hordes. It’s not clear why Cyclops didn’t ask him to suit up in the Box armor, as he surely could have used Jeffries massive firepower and un-bite-able form up on the deck. We’re used to seeing Jeffries in a much more direct role in battle sequences from countless issues of Alpha Flight than this type of support role which he seems pretty much settled into. This particular issue was really a big chance for him to be involved in the action, and the fact that writer Victor Gischler didn’t have him in mind when collecting metal and glass skinned mutants shows that either his armor-phasing days are simply over or he’s being treasured more for his experience and tech abilities behind the scenes than anything else.
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.
|X-Men #5 – Paco Medina variant|