Uncanny X-Men #1
No, not THAT Uncanny X-Men #1; the Uncanny title restarted its numbering scheme after running five hundred and forty-four issues, ending with the X-Men: Schism event and splitting in two. One of the schismees became Wolverine & the X-Men and the other schismee retained its pre-Schism title, but when it came down to assigning an issue number, the comics industry’s recent obsession with #1 issues prevailed. Mister Jeffries appears in a single panel cameo as a regular member of the X-Men Science team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
Along with the title splitting in two, the X-Men split up as well, with half the dogpile shipping out to Westchester to restart Xavier’s old school and the other half remaining with Cyclops on Utopia, the island headquarters of the X-Men. Most of the X-Men had chosen a side just prior to this issue in the X-Men: Regenesis #1 one-shot (not an Alpha Flight appearance), which concluded with full-page in-house ads for the two new series listing the members on each team. At some point off-panel, Jeffries had picked Cyclops’ side on Utopia, along with the rest of the X-Men Science Team, and his name was included in the roster in the in-house ad for this series, so we knew he’d be popping up at some point.
After Mr. Sinister stabs some tourists to death and the Extinction Team is introduced, a full-page montage shows a typical week on Utopia, introducing the rest of the teams and a few individuals. Mister Jeffries can be seen with Dr. Nemesis, tinkering with their X-Men Science Team teammate Danger’s detached head. Oddly, Jeffries is shown using some kind of sonic screwdriver implement thingy to do this tinkering, which is entirely unnecessary. We’ve seen him use tools before to perform electromechanical tasks, such as the bizarre soldering iron in New Mutants #5 and the comically oversized wrench in Uncanny X-Men Annual #3, but in this case, it would have looked even more odd for him to be just waving his hands around in that panel, so I’ll give penciler Carlos Pacheco a pass on this one.
Unfortunately, Mister Jeffries isn’t identified by name in that panel, which he ought to have been. A number of characters on that same page go unidentified, and I really think writer Kieron Gillen missed an opportunity here to inform the readers, especially because it’s a #1 issue – a natural starting point for new readers. Why go out of the way to kill a five-decade long five hundred and forty-four issue run, restart the title as a #1 issue as a jumping-in point for new readers and not properly introduce the characters?
Well, at the end of the book, a silly character map tries to accomplish this introduction by naming the various sub-divisions of Cyclops’ side along with a rest-room sign icon version of each X-Man. Once again, Jeffries is shown with a wrench, the completely wrong accessory for a technomorph, but it’s close enough. What’s not close enough is the shameful misspelling of his name. Oh well, it’s still cute.
Note: There is a variant cover by Dale Keown and Jason Keith, a variant cover by Frank Cho, a blank variant and a second printing variant.
|Uncanny X-Men #1 – Keown variant|
|Uncanny X-Men #1 – Cho variant|
|Uncanny X-Men #1 – Blank variant|
|Uncanny X-Men #1 – Second Printing variant|