Simon Spurrier’s five issue X-Club miniseries continues with a nicely paced second issue that offers fairly equal page time to each of the X-Men Science Team members, advancing the storyline while also presenting the characters. He successfully manages a good balance among superhero storytelling, techno-babble and humor, which is his trademarked style on the X-Club. Madison Jeffries appears extensively in this issue as a regular member of the X-Club, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.
Picking up from last issue, the X-Club members are in four different locations, with Dr. Kavita Rao on the Stringstar space elevator anchor base, Dr. Nemesis diving underneath the base platform, Danger back at Utopia (the headquarters of Cyclops’ X-Men team), and Mr. Jeffries in orbit on the Stringstar space elevator platform. He uses a scanner to detect isotope levels while in an odd exchange with Dr. Nemesis. It’s odd not only because Dr. Nemesis has an empathic starfish bonded to his head blurting out the most hilarious “inner monologue” lines, and not only because Jeffries is playing the straight man to all this, but because it reveals to the reader that he’s not exactly sure about his feelings toward Danger. Alpha Flight Collector has already expressed disapproval over portraying Jeffries as a mechaphile, but the way Si Spurrier eases him into realizing his emotions makes it more of a touching revelation to himself than a bizarre joke. It’s a realistic exhibition of sexuality that’s on a sophisticated level beyond the shock of fetish humor and has turned this fan around from otherwise negative opinion on the subject.
Paul Davidson continues to draw Jeffries surrounded by little bits of floating machinery and gadgets in purely iconic imagery of the character, similar to what he did in the previous issue.
Simon Spurrier’s Jeffries is described quite clearly as “spaced out” in the intro page, and he wastes no time displaying him as such with a scene exiting the observation room on the space platform. Rather than using the door, he uses his technomorph powers to make his own exit, sealing it up behind him as he departs. Mr. Jeffries claims not to be able to remember “people-rules”, but he’s been at Utopia for quite a while since being recruited. Apparently it’s important to show in both pictures and words how “spaced out” the guy really is.
He is then hurriedly sent back down for an hour-long descent in the space elevator pod, which is essentially a moving holosuite, and if there’s ever a chance for adolescent fantasy humor to play out, it’s here, folks. For those new readers, it’s obligatory for this blog to present the finest comic book art of modestly dressed women drawn in a respectful manner with realistic proportions.
Cyclops then contacts Mister Jeffries, asking him to help out with Danger, who has gone completely insane back at Utopia. He mentions that Emma Frost suggested there might be a connection between the two, which Jeffries awkwardly denies, but apparently Emma knows more about Jeffries’ psyche than he does about himself. Remember that Emma Frost had performed a memory wipe on Jeffries at the conclusion of the Age of X storyline back in X-Men Legacy #248, a procedure that seems quite intimate, so it’s plausible that she really does know what’s going on deep inside his mind, even if he’s not completely at terms with it.
Using the holographic hard-light emitters in the pod in a more X-Clubby fashion, Madison then builds an interface to Danger’s Operating System and is knocked about quite a bit. Images of Mister Jeffries getting knocked about are quite familiar to Alpha Flight fans at this point and there’s no shortage of him writhing in pain, crawling in agony and laid out flat as the interface is finally broken from Danger’s end.
Note: Unlike the first issue of this mini-series, the cover of this issue does not carry the Regenesis banner identifying this as part of the loose crossover event that followed the Schism event.
Tags: Madison Jeffries