Jeffries comes out of the… space elevator personnel pod?

xclub3coverX-Club #3
Apr 2012

The five issue X-Club miniseries by Simon Spurrier gets over the hump with this third issue, containing the big reveals – one of which we’ve suspected for a while. The X-Club team is dealing with the aftermaths of the launch of the Stringstar space elevator platform: Dr. Nemesis has an empathic starfish bonded to his head, Dr. Kavita Rao is dealing with a Terrigen leak, and Danger is going completely berserk back at Utopia, the headquarters for Cyclops’ X-Men team. Madison Jeffries appears extensively in this issue as a regular member of the X-Club, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Having just returned via the space elevator, Jeffries is lost in thought in Dr. Rao’s lab. In a moment of spaced-out sexual harassment, Jeffries plants one, hoping to discover a clue related to his sexuality. He’s been struggling to understand his emotional and physical attraction to Danger, a robotic life form. This meme started a while back and Spurrier continues to lay it out in each issue of this miniseries, but as introverted exploration. Well, until the unwanted advance on his co-worker. Paul Davidson nails it perfectly, drawing both the most tender and most inappropriate kiss at the same time.

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Feeling no spark, Jeffries returns to the elevator pod. Poor Rao is left speechless until she demands to be teleported back to Utopia. Alpha Flight Collector is not so thrilled with the sexual assault on a female character, even though it was done for science.

During the trip back up to the Stringstar platform, the computer running the holographic projector in the pod senses what he wants, and presents to him the same modestly dressed woman with realistic proportions drawn in a respectful manner that we saw in issue #2. Okay, who are we kidding? We all know why you read this blog:

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As Jeffries modifies her appearance into a robot version to resemble Danger, the AI within the computer coalesces as a shadowy figure and introduces itself. It then chooses him as an ally to free itself from its masters and flat out declares what we’ve come to know:

You are a mechaphile. You are aroused by electric life.

Well, that’s it then. No more hints or subtleties – he’s out. Oh, and please do not perform an Internet search for “mechaphile.” Trust me.

The AI simulacrum coalesces even further down to a glowing red sphere and invisibilizes Jeffries so they can explore the platform undetected. While eavesdropping on lab workers conducting genetic experiments, xclub3cDr. Nemesis blurts out a greeting over the X-Club headsets, breaking the holographic blur-field invisibility cloak.

Simon Spurrier did his homework when he wrote the technobabble that Jeffries overhears. The lab workers mention, “Haplogroups J1C3 and J2A” and, “abnormalities in the HEXA gene.” When Jeffries hurriedly relates this to Dr. Rao, she identifies those as genetic markers for Ashkenazic Jews, revealing a chilling Nazi plot. Well, it turns out she’s right – those are actual genetic markers and they are associated with Ashkenazic Jews. For those of you who were reading Alpha Flight comics instead of paying attention in Biology class, the abnormality in the HEXA gene is responsible for Tay-Sachs disease, the most prevalent mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.

This is the only issue in the five issue series where Jeffries doesn’t use his mutant powers to transmute materials into machinery. In fact, it’s one of a very short list of non-cameo appearances where he doesn’t build an awesome machine that does some awesome thing like save the entire world, or an awesome-looking gun.

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