Posts Tagged ‘Curse of the Mutants’

Jeffries is not quite so clever as he thinks

January 29, 2011

X-Men #6
Feb 2011

The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants comes to its conclusion in this issue. Dracula, having been resurrected in issue #3, delivers the final blow to Xarus and, after a tense stand-off with Cyclops, ends the vampire threat. Mister Jeffries appears in a single panel cameo as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in issue #505.

The stand-off centers around Dracula’s position immediately after defeating Xarus: he’s got a vampire army on Utopia’s doorstep, held back only by the slightest hint of a sense of honor generated after Cyclops defends him by taking out Blade during an attack with an optic blast. Cyclops gives Dracula something to think about: during the time that he had the vampire lord’s body and severed head in his possession, he claims to have implanted some sort of device, as depicted by a spikey gadget.

Jeffries appears in a single panel showing the severed head, which is of course floating in a bubbling glass jar, the headless body, the spikey gadget (also floating in a bubbling glass jar) and the rest of the X-Club, as narrated by Cyclops:

Your dismembered body was in my care for seventeen hours. That’s a long time. Especially for people as clever as Nemesis and Rao, who, you’ll remember, Trojan horsed Wolverine in on your son…”

Victor Gischler meant to use “decapitated”, which means “head cut off”, not “dismembered”, which means “limbs cut off”, a clear error since one can see the body in that image and in other issues. It’s questionable whether or not Mister Jeffries ought to have been included in the list of clever X-Club members, as he’s been depicted in a wide range: as a brilliant scientist in some issues and a distracted bumbling redneck in others, and everywhere in between. In previous issues of this run, he’s been manning highly complex display terminals and talking fairly smart-ish but apparently, he’s not in the same league as Drs. Rao and Nemesis. The image is blue-toned to indicate a flashback to events taking place behind-the-scenes in issue #3, but it’s not known if these events ever actually took place or if Cyclops is bluffing.

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010.

X-Men #6 – Paco Medina variant

Alphans appear in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Spotlight

January 6, 2011

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants Spotlight
Jan 2011

Note: This issue is unnumbered. The Marvel Spotlight series, a promotional series featuring artists and events since 2005, has not been numbered, but unofficial numbering by fans was possible as issues were released. Since this issue does not even retain the title “Marvel Spotlight”, it is difficult to place it in any numbered sequence in that series.

This oddly titled issue seems at first to be focused (like, oh I don’t know, a spotlight maybe?) on the vampiric Curse of the Mutants story line, with the event logo on the cover and reprinted elements from Paco Medina’s promotional poster for the event. However, once you open it, you’ll find it’s actually a spotlight on three simultaneous events from late 2010/early 2011: Curse of the Mutants, Shadowland and Chaos War. Alpha Flight appears in reprinted art from the Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1 cover.

Despite the fact that Mister Jeffries and Northstar, both members of the X-Men during the Curse of the Mutants story line, appeared in several of the event’s issues, they do not appear in the Curse of the Mutants portion of the book at all.

In the Chaos War portion of the book, a half-page interview with Jim McCann, writer of the Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1 one-shot, offers a saccharine but warmly loving account of the one-shot, which was released in the same week as this issue. Also included is a reproduction of the art from Salva Espin’s much criticized cover (note Northstar and Aurora’s reversed costumes, Northstar’s rounded ears, Shaman’s odd warpaint and Snowbird’s impossibly long cape). The interview by staff writer Dugan Trodglen can be seen in its entirety at Flightpath07’s blog: Canada’s Own – The Flight, along with a great review of the one-shot!

Jeffries in X-Men #5

November 27, 2010

X-Men #5
Jan 2010

The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is part five of the arc, but due to various other tie-in books, it’s actually the 14th or so issue on the checklist. It could be read right after the previous issue in this title, too. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Jeffries only appears in two panels this book, both of them showing him in a control room on Utopia, the island headquarters of the X-Men. Surrounded by a ridiculous number of floating glowing display screens, he has a few lines offering tactical readouts to Cyclops. As the vampires attack, he’s also tracking sonar beneath Utopia, which brings round Namor’s ongoing storyline and reminds the reader of the island nature of the scenario.

Throughout the main battle, Jeffries stays in the control room and is not selected as one of the “tough skin” mutants who cannot be bitten that were sent topside to directly engage the vampire hordes. It’s not clear why Cyclops didn’t ask him to suit up in the Box armor, as he surely could have used Jeffries massive firepower and un-bite-able form up on the deck. We’re used to seeing Jeffries in a much more direct role in battle sequences from countless issues of Alpha Flight than this type of support role which he seems pretty much settled into. This particular issue was really a big chance for him to be involved in the action, and the fact that writer Victor Gischler didn’t have him in mind when collecting metal and glass skinned mutants shows that either his armor-phasing days are simply over or he’s being treasured more for his experience and tech abilities behind the scenes than anything else.

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010.

X-Men #5 – Paco Medina variant

Jeffries makes more dots in X-Men #4

November 3, 2010

X-Men #4
Dec 2010

The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is labeled “Part Four” but the actual read order of the event is less direct, putting this book into the 11th position on the checklist and arguably around the 11th book if read in a sensible order. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Mister Jeffries reprises his role as “Guy Operating the Screen while someone’s boobs fall out of their costume Guy” from issue #2 of this series by making more colored dots, this time next to Emma’s boobs. Reminiscent of the way Matt Fraction used him as a narrative device to explain a plot element in Uncanny X-Men #521, writer Victor Gischler plops him down in front of a display device on which he has used his technomorphing powers to reconfigure.

I've reconfigured Cerebra to detect Emma's boobs

Like issue #2, unfortunately, the device is incorrectly referred to as “Cerebro”, not “Cerebra”. He shows dots representing vampire DNA (another sloppy writing error as vampires are creatures of the undead, not genetic variants) overlapping with police reports of vampire incidents.

Cyclops, Emma and Jeffries don’t seem to be so concerned about the overall rate of police reports for vampire incidents, which are “up forty-six percent in the last twenty-four hours.” This raises the question, “How many police reports for vampire incidents is normal for San Francisco in a 24 hour period?” Of the nine thousand vampires noted on the screen, I’ll guess about a third of them are overlapped purple, meaning around 3,000 vampire incidents. This is up 46 percent from a normal night of … calculate it … 2,054 vampire incidents called in on a normal night to S.F.P.D.! Yeah, sounds about right to me.

This also brings into question the total number of vampires detected. Apparently nine thousand is a lot. I had no idea – with all the neck-biting that seems to go on, it seemed perfectly normal to me until fellow Alpha Flight Fan and recently proclaimed resident undead expert cmdrkoenig67 over at the forum pointed out:

Nine thousand vampires isn't exactly a lot of vampires these days. Okay then, One... Hundred... BILLION VAMPIRES!

Nine thousand, may indeed be a good population number for vampires world-wide, but keep in mind…Not all vampires create new vampires with every feeding. Many vampires take only as much blood as they need (which doesn’t always kill the victim), while others ensure the victim will not come back as one of the undead by killing the victim first or during feeding (by neck-snapping, decapitation, etc…). I can’t imagine the world’s population of vampires would range in the millions either, especially after events such as their recent battle in Captain Britain and the past event of the reading of the Montesi formula by Dr Strange (which destroyed every vampire on the planet). Also, you have to take into account the armies of vampire-hunters that exist in almost every country in the world (including Blade, who’s probably killed thousands of vampires in his lifetime).

I feel the number is necessarily inflated for dramatic purposes (and not done very well)…One thousand vampires or even eight hundred would be sufficiently menacing.

An excellent point and very educational but the machine detected nine thousand vampires, so we’ll have to go with that number for now.

Jeffries appears again on another page, as Angel jokes with him, “Do we ever see anything good on this holographic map?”, as Warren must have forgotten the recent and very good appearance of five new mutant signatures at the end of Second Coming, but it’s a good knock on Jeffries’ whole “These dots are bad. So are these dots. Bad dots everywhere!” schtick. You can see Jeffries again standing around in two more panels as Cyclops, Xarus and Wolverine exchange a tense sequence of offers, negotiations and threats, one of which contains an another bad error: Storm responds to Wolverine’s threat with, “My God”, a phrase she’d surely never utter, as her preferred deity-laced expletive is “Goddess!”

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010, as well as a vampire variant by Mike Mayhew taken from the classic Astonishing X-Men #6 cover from 2004 by John Cassaday. A 2nd printing variant has been solicited for 11/24. This text will be edited upon its collection.

X-Men #4 – Paco Medina variant
X-Men #4 – vampire variant

Jeffries suddenly appears and disappears in X-Men #3

October 21, 2010

X-Men #3
Nov 2010

The vampiric storyline Curse of the Mutants continues in the adjectiveless X-Men series hosting the main storyline. This issue is labeled “Part Three” but is arguably the 7th or so book if read in a sensible order in this sprawling event. Having read the tie-ins Namor: The First Mutant #1 and X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1 helps to fill in a major plot hole between the last issue of this series and this, namely, how the X-Men come into possession of Dracula’s severed head and headless body. Mister Jeffries appears in two panels as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Readers paying close attention to what goes on in the background with Wolverine and Dr. Nemesis in this book will be startled to see Wolverine getting an injection, bandaid and all, in the infirmary. A magnified image of creepy crawley thingies could be the parvodrones Jeffries created in the Smoke and Blood one-shot released in the week previous to this issue, but it’s not clear to the reader what is going on.

Hmm... How did I get here? Wasn't Pixie just standing here?

Jeffries’ appearances are “standing around” shots, the first of which is quite odd. Penciler Paco Medina draws a series of three panels depicting Namor delivering Dracula’s severed head, passing it off to Gambit, who departs. The position of the characters in these panels is non-sensical and confusing. At first, Namor, Gambit and Cyclops are standing in a circle, in that clockwise order, meaning Gambit is to Cyclops’ left, and Namor is holding the head right above Gambit’s hands. To the right of the circle is Pixie, a firmly planted Blade, and Colossus standing in a straight line formed behind Cyclops while Storm approaches Cyclops from the other side. In the very next panel, Gambit is on Cyclops’ right and holding the head as Cyclops says, “Take this”, not “Take that”, indicating he was holding the head at some point. How Gambit got on Cyclops’ right is not clear, nor is the reason why Cyclops said “Take this” which is what you say when you are holding something and you pass it to someone else, and not “Take that”, which is what you say when you want someone to take something you aren’t holding. In the panel after that, Gambit is shown departing, having passed Cyclops on the right and Cyclops is shown facing Blade. Storm, who must have completed her transit in an arc to left of Cyclops is now to Blade’s left. Suddenly, where Pixie was standing, is Emma Frost, Mister Jeffries and Angel, none of whom were anywhere near this dance party in the first two panels! It’s really just a poorly drawn sequence that the editors should have blocked back into sense.

Is not impressed by vampire-o-matic assembly machine

In a control room above a bizarre machine whose sole purpose is to reattach a severed head onto a restrained headless body and then remove an impaled stake from the body, Jeffries can be seen behind Cyclops, detachedly observing or possibly controlling the bizarre machine with his technomorph powers. Like the previous sequence of weird disappearing and appearing background characters, he suddenly disappears in the next shot of the control room as Angel, Storm and Pixie suddenly appear to Cyclops’ right. Not to beat a dead horse on this, but in the next panel that shows this control room, Pixie disappears and Angel is replaced by Blade and Emma Frost on the far left. In the panel after that, Angel and Pixie reappear on the far left, Storm moves to the far right, and Emma switches positions with Blade, all of whom are now to Cyclops’ left. In the panel after THAT, Emma moves to Cyclops’ right! It’s just all over the place with these weird shots of characters dancing around each other with no continuity from panel to panel.

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010, a low-print run variant by Marko Djurdjevic, and a Second Printing variant featuring interior art.

X-Men #3 – Paco Medina variant
X-Men #3 – Marko Djurdjevic variant
X-Men #3 – Second printing variant

Jeffries in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Blind Science #1, uh, no make that Smoke and Blood #1

October 20, 2010

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Smoke and Blood #1
Nov 2010

The vampiric story arc Curse of the Mutants continues in this one-shot that takes place just after the events of X-Men #2. This is the X-Club one-shot for the story line, very similar to the way X-Men: Blind Science #1 spun out of Second Coming. In fact, it’s creepily similar in its plot as well, probably because the same guy wrote both issues. Mister Jeffries appears extensively as a member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

Though clearly the chronology of the story is placed after X-Men #2 (we know this because the X-Men are loading a newly captured vampire monster into the lab), there is a minor continuity error: Wolverine has a surprised reaction when he realizes that removing the light-bending medallion off the vampire creature removes immunity to sunlight. He ought not have this reaction, as the medallions’ function was clearly explained by Blade in that issue.

Similar to Blind Science, the X-Club are physically segregated from the rest of the X-Men – though this time in lockdown in the lab under Utopia. An opening scene introduces Dr. Kavita Rao and Mister Jeffries along with five quarantined civilians who have contracted a vampiric virus from a bio-terrorism attack in San Francisco as depicted in X-Men #1 (not an Alpha Flight appearance). A completely hysterical panel shows Jeffries feeding himself takeout Chinese by a chopstick-o-matic device, no doubt of his own design.

Greatest. Invention. Ever. The Chopstick-o-matic!

The dark scratchy cartoon art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, first seen by Alpha Flight fans in the Armor/Danger story in Nation X #3 is spot-on for this issue and a great match for Simon Spurrier’s “humorous horror story” style. He draws Jeffries with an unusually flat head for some reason, which is no worse than Clayton Crain’s choice to expose Dr. Rao’s sexy bare midriff on the cover.

The vampire monster escapes, and Jeffries tries to get to the patients before the monster does. Unfortunately, the monster has the classic vampire power of being able to assume a gaseous form and materializes nearby. A large splash panel shows him transforming nearby equipment and HVAC machinery from a vent in the ceiling to create a pair of totally awesome-looking guns to hold off the monster long enough for the patients to escape. Unfortunately, he never gets to fire either one because one of the patients wanders into the line of fire, babbles in vampire tongues, and is then eaten.

Pair of totally awesome-looking guns

Dr. Rao then blasts the monster with her vampire “cure”, aided by a another one of Jeffries’ creations: microscopic parvodrone robots that serve as delivery agents. That doesn’t work, prompting Dr. Nemesis to lock himself into the fully quarantined lab. Simon Spurrier writes Nemesis just as he did in Blind Science, ripping off unanswered insults against Jeffries such as Space Cadet and the classic Maple-Gobbling Moron. Jeffries really ought to have enough of a spine to defend himself against this sort of abuse, and it is a shame that Spurrier thinks his head is so far into the clouds that the insults are lost on him.

Just as he was accidentally infected by the thing infecting everyone in Blind Science, it turns out that Jeffries is himself had accidentally been infected by the the vampire virus, allowing the vampire monster to exert a subtle psychic control over him the entire time. Once the psychic link is discovered and overcome with a painful feedback blast from Emma Frost, Jeffries finally does something extremely kick ass – he simply clenches his fist and with his mind, crushes the vampire monster to death using the previously injected parvodrones. Completely frakkin’ awesome.

In addition to the parvodrone micro-robots, the chopstick-o-matic and the pair of totally awesome-looking guns, Jeffries also uses his powers to create a giant vampire-killing UV lamp (also never used), a piezoelectric-powered cellphone (which came in handy when the power went down), as well as a fairly traditional-looking six-shooter. A nice mixture of contraptions: some high-tech, some weaponry, and overall an excellent use of Jeffries’ mutant powers, in direct contrast to how Matt Fraction just couldn’t figure out what to do with him with the coiled tentacles in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 and flying metal shards in Uncanny X-Men #517, so nice job there, Simon Spurrier.

Jeffries and Nemesis then incinerate what’s left of the vampire monster’s corpse and exchange yet another little discussion about the science/magic axis of this entire plotline, something that seems to be difficult for the writers in this arc to deal with. In that exchange, Jeffries uses the same sort of rough-edged dialect written by Spurrier in Blind Science:

‘S what I’m trying to explain — It don’t matter if you believe in it or not… They do– and they been around a lot longer’n we have.

So if you are having a feeling of déjà vu while reading this issue, it’s normal – there are so many similarities to Blind Science. The major difference between that issue and this one, though both are enjoyable reads, is that in this issue Jeffries is portrayed as less of a bewildered bumpkin and more of a vampire-crushing ass kicker.

Alpha Flight in Namor, The First Mutant #1

October 13, 2010

Namor, The First Mutant #1
Oct 2010

The first issue of Namor’s new ongoing series starts off squarely in the middle of the vampiric Curse of the Mutants storyline, and could be one of the numbered chapters if the series had them. Right off the bat, sharp-eyed readers will notice the title block taking its general shape from John Byrne’s Namor, The Sub-Mariner series from 1990. Unfortunately, no one from Alpha Flight appears in the main story of the book, but Jeffries does appear in the Intro page as a regular member of the X-Men Science team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and Marrina appears in flashback in two panels.

Since there’s no need to introduce readers to the main character (unless you’ve been under a rock or in a coma since 1939), Stuart Moore picks up the story right after the events of X-Men #2, where Cyclops unveiled his incredulous plan to resurrect Dracula by reattaching his severed head to his body, which was recently recovered in X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1. To introduce the general background of the Curse of the Mutants storyline and to show Namor’s current membership in the X-Men, a typical full intro page is used, containing narrative text and a portion of a two page team splash from X-Men #2. Here is part of that original panel:

Namor then obtains Dracula’s severed head.

After the main story is an eight page “Atlas File” as narrated by his cousin Namora from the Agents of Atlas, describing the major events in Namor’s life up to and including his membership in the X-Men. Extensive text and key panels depicting important moments fill in the reader with a well-written chronological story, including his brief romance and marriage to Marrina. Two interesting images accompany this text, one being a very nicely restored image from Fantastic Four #261 as Namor lifts Marrina from the roof of the Baxter building:

Note the miscolored light blue hair and miscolored dark blue costume – but don’t blame the artist in this issue – both were very clearly blue in the original comic. The detail of Marrina’s eyes and overall quality of the image has been very nicely restored, which says more about the poor quality of newsprint images and abysmal printing processes from 1983 than anything else. The art is by John Byrne, of course, who was in the middle of his famous Fantastic Four run at the time.

The second image is of Namor holding Marrina after he apparently killed her with the ebony blade:

Very sharp-eyed Alpha Flight fans know that this image is not from Avengers #293, the issue where those unfortunate events took place, but from Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12 – an incredible 12-issue summary of Namor’s life that puts this little eight page narrative to shame. That series contained new artwork based on original panels. In this case, the writer Kevin Garcia wanted to show Namor’ grief following Marrina’s apparent death and had a choice between the condensed version from Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12 and the original version from Avengers #293:

The single panel contains text combined from three panels of the original and is therefore the better choice of the two for this purpose.

Note: the single panel image shown above is from this issue, not the Saga of the Sub-Mariner #12, as distinguished by the modern coloring techniques but otherwise faithfully reproduced.

Note: there is a variant cover by Joe Quesada, Danny Miki and Richard Isanove, along with a rare sketch variant. There is also a second printing variant which is really a sketch variant of the orginal cover by Jae Lee and June Chung.

Namor, The First Mutant #1 – Quesada variant
Namor, The First Mutant #1 – Quesada sketch variant
Namor, The First Mutant #1 – second printing variant

Northstar fwips and quips in Storm & Gambit One-shot

October 12, 2010

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1
Oct 2010

The vampiric story arc Curse of the Mutants picks up from X-Men #2 with this one-shot. Usually, these stand-alone books spun out from the main story arc are self-contained stories not required to advance the story. This issue is unusual in that it is a one-shot but is also directly part of the main story and would likely have been a numbered chapter had the series utilized them. Northstar appears as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508.

Cyclops’ incredulous idea to enlist Dracula’s aid in fighting the vampire threat in San Francisco requires that he be resurrected. As previously mentioned, this plan consists of obtaining Dracula’s body and re-attaching it to his severed head, currently being held undersea by Atlantean vampires. Don’t bother checking the date of this post – it’s not April Fool’s Day – this is really the plan. Despite the bizarre set-up, writer Chuck Kim does a superb job telling a layered and entertaining tale of how the X-Men obtain Dracula’s body, with Northstar playing a key role.

During a flashback scene that takes place at Utopia, the X-Men’s new island headquarters, Northstar can be seen in the background seated at a conference table. Emma Frost makes a frustrated reference to a recent and undepicted encounter with vampires during which Northstar speed-staked them all before she could read their minds. The details of this off-panel encounter are unrevealed to the reader, except for the outcome – a hysterical shot of Emma pulling back her top to reveal tan lines caused by Dazzler’s UV light powers. Dazzler is unable to use her powers to kill vampires with sunlight because of refractive medallions that protect them (as revealed in the Death of Dracula #1 One-Shot, not an Alpha Flight appearance).

Storm and Gambit are able to take down a shield surrounding the vampire fortress island where Dracula’s body is being kept, allowing Magik to teleport in a team of X-Men consisting of Emma Frost, Colossus, Wolverine, Angel, Psylocke, Dazzler and Northstar in a full page splash. It’s nice to see Jean-Paul among some of the heaviest hitters on the X-Men. In another scene, Northstar can be seen as Gambit calmly walks by through nine Watchmenian panels of X-Men/vampire battle scrum to clock an unnamed vampire woman in red.

Northstar and Dazzler handily win the battle in a two-page sequence where Northstar “fwips” around snatching the refractive medallions off the necks of their vampire opponents. This is exactly how Northstar, a speedster, ought to be written in a battle sequence, so good job, Chuck Kim! The unprotected vampires are then easily exposed for Dazzler to sunlight-blast them to ashes. Northstar then utters the obligatory Twilight jab, “Go Team Jacob.” It was going to happen at some point, folks!

This Northstar/Dazzler team-up is now the fourth time we’ve seen them together – arresting a bad guy in San Francisco, at Nightcrawler’s funeral, as Dark Dazzler and Dark Northstar in Limbo and again here. This pairing seems to be working out quite nicely for him and is generating some nice volume for the Alpha Flight collection!

Chris Bachalo continues to draw Northstar in a similar fashion to how we saw him in the Supernovas arc in X-Men (in 2007), wearing Aurora’s costume (starburst on the left side) and with white wrappings on his arms. Unlike his previous version, he’s got black wrappings for boots now instead of white, and lacks the “X” that ought to be on his chest. And, most unfortunately, he’s drawn with rounded ears. It’s a shame he missed this detail because this issue is possibly Bachalo’s best single work, marred from what otherwise would be a full five stars by this flaw. Another note about the art – an inexplicable cavalcade of seven inkers and two colorists made for several unnerving transitions among various portions of the book, including at least two pages inked so differently from the rest in a blurry crayon style as to appear misprinted.

Note: there is a variant cover by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend

X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1 – Bachalo variant

You’re going to fetch whose head? Wait, what?

October 3, 2010

X-Men #2
Oct 2010

No, not that X-Men #2, and no, not that other X-Men #2. This is the third volume of adjectiveless X-Men – the first series from 1963 becoming Uncanny X-Men, the second series from 1991 becoming New X-Men, then adjectiveless X-Men again, then X-Men: Legacy. This third incarnation runs parallel to Uncanny and Legacy with its own vampiric story arc: Curse of the Mutants. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505.

While Wolverine, Colossus and Storm meet up with Blade on a vampire-capture run, Dr. Nemesis tries to figure out how to un-vampire Jubilee, who has been infected with a vampire virus. Later, the X-Men gather in a conference room where Mister Jeffries can be seen in two panels seated next to Dr. Nemesis.

There’s a bit of a continuity error because suddenly, Jeffries is shown seated in front of a laptop, unless he got up and walked around while Blade was blathering on and on about, guess what, well, he sort of has a one-track mind, but I’ll give you a hint: Vampires! To find out what they’re up against, Jeffries announces:

I’ve reconfigured Cerebro to detect vampire DNA.

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy editing: that should be Cerebra, not Cerebro, and there really isn’t such thing as vampire DNA, as they are undead creatures of unearthly origin. Even the initial premise of a vampire virus makes no sense, and as Dr. Nemesis himself muses in this issue about the limits of science, it seems that the writer, Victor Gischler, is also struggling to set up a plausible mix of tech, magic and mutant powers to deliver this story line.

Once Jeffries turns on the video screen, an enormous number of vampires show up on a map of San Francisco, and Jeffries can be seen prominently on a two-page spread featuring Storm’s boobs.

I've reconfigured Cerebra to detect Storm's boobs

Cyclops then suggests the X-Men resurrect Dracula so as to enlist his aid against the new vampire leader. This plan consists of obtaining Dracula’s body and re-attaching it to his severed head, currently being held undersea by Atlantean vampires. A completely hysterical image of Jeffries’ incredulous reaction to this cunning plan is the absolute gem of this issue, reminding me of an equally incredulous look from another issue.

Note: there is a variant cover by Paco Medina, taken from one of the teaser “We are the X-Men” promo images released in April 2010 and a Second Printing variant featuring interior art.

X-Men #2 – Paco Medina variant
X-Men #2 – Second printing variant