Uncanny X-Men #537
The Breakworld aliens returned to the pages of the X-Men in issue #535 and were welcomed to Utopia injudiciously by Cyclops last issue. Their leader Kruun, a particularly brutal psychopath, and his charming wife Haleen aren’t exactly the perfect houseguests as they smash, stab, slice and/or inject everyone in sight and end up taking over the entire island. Mister Jeffries appears in a single panel as a regular member of the X-Men Science team, having joined up in issue #505.
Last issue, Kruun smashed his face into a control panel and depowered him, then dumped him into a closet with depowered Magneto. There he remains for this issue, and that would be that for this post except his little appearance is part of something I find pretty neato.
Haleen, who was at first reluctant to go along with Kruun’s plans to take over the island and exact revenge on the X-Men, discovers Magneto and Jeffries in the closet. The symmetrical page layout, reminiscent of the “9-panel per page” format used in the Watchmen, brilliantly depicts her change of heart from top to bottom and left to right. The central panel, the only panel containing dialogue, is the focal point of the page, and is bookended by the X-Men metalsmiths on the left and a hammer strike against the Breakworld metal by her own hand on the right.
Just perfectly done. Even though Jeffries is all bound and gagged and depowered and looking pretty much as pathetic as you can look, and the change of heart depicted is one from mercy to depravity, it’s still a nice touch to see the panel layout across the page used as a device to advance the story.
Tags: Madison Jeffries