Note: both this issue and the previous issue carry the cover date Sep 2011 as they were published 2 weeks apart.
The five-part “First to Last” arc comes to its conclusion in this issue, with the X-Men still under very serious attack on Utopia by the Evolutionaries, powerful and ancient interventionist beings who cannot be defeated using conventional means. Mister Jeffries appears in three panels as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
While the X-Men come under siege on Utopia, Cyclops mentally implanted his memories of a machine built long ago by Hank McCoy into Madison’s brain. The X-Club gathered in the lab to do exactly what the Science Team is supposed to do: use Jeffries’ technomorph powers to very quickly assemble an awesome machine that does awesome science stuff. It took five issues for this all to happen, so along the way they had a bit of trouble getting it started, then he got knocked out by Litterbug, then he woke up but still couldn’t get it to work…
…but finally the Awesome Cosmic Ray Disruptor they build kicks in and kicks Evolutionary butt.
The machine we see is a fairly bizarre and rather large contraption consisting of a spherical chamber, some pipes, and seems to be blasting around a lot dust and lightning. What the hell it is actually doing or how it works is beyond me but it looks like a fairly plausible rendition of what an Awesome Cosmic Ray Disruptor machine might look like.
Unfortunately, since Cosmic Rays are invisible, it’s very difficult to portray them being disrupted, so we just get a bunch of lightning and dust. You can’t be a comic book fan and not think of this, one of the most famous panels in all of comic books when you read about Cosmic Rays:
We have been taught for the past fifty years that Cosmic Rays look like white bars with rounded corners, and it would have been a nice touch to have some of those and the “RAK TAC TAC TAC” sound effect, but it might have looked too retro, especially in a book already filled with flashbacky memory scenes weaving in and out of the main plot. In any case, even though Jeffries’ machine did something invisible, the reader got the point very clearly in the next few panels where the Evolutionaries are instantly ripped apart and their flaming skeletal remains rain down upon the battlefield.
It’s a powerful conclusion to the arc and one of the most effective uses of Mister Jeffries since the Science Team was assembled. I was naturally worried when he got knocked out in issue #13, but the combined efforts of Magneto, Storm, Namor, Angel, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Iceman, Colossus, and even Wolverine add up to just about zero compared to what he was able to do – save everyone on Earth, again!
Note: this issue has a variant cover by interior artist Paco Medina taken from a much larger promotional poster for the “First to Last” story arc.
|X-Men #15 – Medina variant|
Tags: Madison Jeffries