The black T-shirt returns after 27 years lost in the wash!

New Mutants #25
Jul 2011

The Age of X crossover ended after taking over the series for three issues, and we can now return to our normal programming. It’s not so normal though, as new writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning’s run starts with this issue. Near the end of Zeb Wells’ run, Magik caused a bit of mayhem, bringing the team to Limbo, which was great for Alpha Flight fans because we got to see Witchfire, but not so great for New Mutants fans now because Cyclops is squarely pissed at Illyana. Mister Jeffries and Northstar appear in a cameo as regular members of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #’s 505 and 508.

The two page spread on which they appear follows a fairly intense conversation between Cyclops and Magik where he tries to get all snarly in her face while she calmly responds to his aggressive questions in a respectful and obsequious manner. The scene ends with his announcement that she’s under permanent house arrest (right, how long is that situation going to last?), which she accepts with equanimity in a serene manner.

Meanwhile, unknown to the reader and in a goofed mismatch to her composed and passive behavior, a gaggle of sneering and heavily armed mutants is gathered behind her, weapons drawn, ready to take her down with extreme force at any second. Up until the point where the actual circumstances of the conversation are shown, the reader is made to feel as if it’s a one-on-one. At the reveal, this reader was surprised to see the overwhelming show of force standing behind Illyana, as it seemed to make more sense to have them standing behind Scott, weapons sheathed, in support of his decision and scowling in disapproval as a sort of jury pronouncing a sentence over her. It seems more like a misguided group shot that got out of hand and really makes no sense in retrospect.

Well, Northstar made it into the group, hovering above and behind, ready to do what – fly in at 99.9% of the speed of light and punch her in the head if she tries to summon a stepping disk? It’s not clear how long he had been hovering there, as the conversation went on for a bit and it seems quite silly to think he were hanging there in mid-air with his fists balled up and holding that look on his face for so long.

Jeffries also appears, just as angry, and even without the Box armor or any other tech gagetry around, the closed-fist street-thug stance looks threatening. But with all the awesome-looking guns and improvised lightning cannons and other armaments he has created using his mutant powers, you’d think they could have put some kind of weapon into his hand to display a more canonical representation of a gadget/weapons related mutant. However, there is one completely awesome element in that image… the return of Jeffries’ black T-shirt! Yes!

For Jeffries fans who have been somewhat concerned about all the flannel, plaid and general lumberjackesque appearance he’s had since joining up with the X-Men, this blast from the past is a welcome sight. We first saw the black T-shirt in Alpha Flight #16, his first full appearance, when he showed up at Roger Bochs’ door.

Panel from Alpha Flight #16 (Nov 1984)

The retro look is great and it’s so nice not to see him in plaid, which makes up for the otherwise very strange circumstances of these cameo appearances.

Note: The wraparound cover by Marko Djurdjevic is reprinted from a much larger (24×36) promo poster also released on 5/11/11. It is unusual in that recently, his poster covers (i.e. covers that were also released as posters in part or whole) have usually been expensive variants, not the regular cover at regular price. Here is the full cover:

Note: this issue has two variant covers, one by Art Adams and Peter Steigerwald, and an X-Man variant by Jorge Molina.

New Mutants #25 – Art Adams variant
New Mutants #25 – X-Man variant

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6 Responses to “The black T-shirt returns after 27 years lost in the wash!”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the Jeffries flashback pic. I forgot he smoked cigarettes. Jeffries must have picked up that bad habit from reading too many Wolverine comics ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. suzene Says:

    Well, Northstar kinda owes Illyana a punch in the head anyway for messing with his students, so I’ll just say that’s the reason he gives a damn one way of the other. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • rplass Says:

      So maybe she should just sit there and let everyone in the room, one at a time, take a crack at her. ๐Ÿ™‚ It raises a lot of questions about how justice works on Utopia. Are there laws? It’s a country, sort of, with a leader… any constitution? Habeus Corpus? Medulla Oblongata? Or is it “Cyclops’ word is final and he assembles an angry mob every time he wants to punish someone”?

      • Suzene Says:

        Given what we’ve seen so far with the last iteration of X-Force, how things went down with Hope’s arrival, and the hints surrounding Schism? I’m leaning toward the latter.

  3. Phil Says:

    I kinda liked Jeffries’ Vol.2/Weapon X moustache….

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