Amazing Adventures #12-13
Issue(s): Amazing Adventures #12, Amazing Adventures #13
He looks like he's made of wax and melting in that picture, but it's just rain. I've just got wax on the mind, for reasons you'll see in a minute.
Steven Englehart takes over from Gerry Conway with this issue, and he'll own it for the rest of the Beast's solo run. I guess he didn't want to deal with a "monster on the run" status quo, which is understandable because it kind of limits your options, but to avoid that Englehart goes with a rather ludicrous idea. Stealing a book titled "The Art of Make-Up" from the library, the Beast sculpts himself a latex and wax Hank McCoy mask and a pair of hands.
Oh, and straps.
We'll just have to say they keep the lights at the Brand Corporation very dim, and/or everyone is very polite.
Later, Tony Stark shows up at Brand. He is looking for new ideas now that he's getting out of weapons manufacturing, and he's interested in Hank's research.
Tony brings his psychic girlfriend Marianne Rogers with him, and she detects something off about Linda Donaldson, who we know is part of a conspiracy that the Beast stymied last issue. So later, Tony shows up as Iron Man to investigate, but he runs into the Beast.
During the fight, Brand's security force arrives and riddle the Beast with bullets, but we learn that he has a healing factor.
A little later in the fight, the Beats freaks out and seemingly kills Iron Man.
Then he runs off. But seconds later, we realize that the final fight scene was all in the Beast's head.
Sensing that the Beast isn't really a bad guy Iron Man (and, based on my reading, unsure of himself after the death of the Guardsman) decides not to pursue the Beast.
The Beast's delusion was actually due to Mastermind...
...who wants the Beast to believe he's a killer so that he'll join the latest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which so far is just him, Unus, and the Blob. They don't recognize this Beast as the one they've faced in the X-Men, and Hank's mind is addled at this point, so he doesn't recognize them, either.
In the scan above, i left in that top panel for a few reasons. One, because i wanted to show that the latest Brotherhood is operating out of a carnival, so you know they mean business. Two, because the panel divider line is unnecessarily angled, so it was easier to leave it in than cut it. And three, because i really love that little guy in the left corner. Dwarf? Leprechaun, maybe. The one in the lower left panel is pretty cool too. Those guys are tiny.
The Brotherhood convince the Beast to help them steal a gem, but he eventually realizes it's wrong and turns on them.
The Blob and Unus' powers are used to odd effect. Helping the Beast access the mansion where the gem is stored, they perform a strange power trick that squeezes the Beast into the air.
Later, the Beast tricks them into a cage, and they can't stop bouncing off of each other.
I guess that all makes sense, but it seems odd.
The Beast's attack on Mastermind leaves him a quivering mess.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon sends someone to look into the Beast's attacks on Brand.
Brand does a lot of work for the military, so they're protecting their assets. There's nothing actually announcing it, but some readers did recognize that Colonel Baxter's wife, Pat, is Patsy Walker, the star of her own teen romance comics from the 40s through the 60s. She's now married to her boyfriend "Buzz" Baxter. Patsy Walker previously appeared in Fantastic Four annual #3, but that was more of a gag. With this appearance, she becomes a recurring character in the Marvel universe. She'll eventually become Hellcat (and he'll, much more stupidly, become Mad Dog).
Englehart's writing is decent enough (not bad at all for his first series at Marvel!), but that whole wax mask idea is just ridiculous. The art has a messy, cartoony quality to it but it actually works for the setting. The Beast looks very... beast-like, and the disheveled Mastermind is particularly menacing.
The reprint of issue #12 cuts out an opening scene with the X-Men trying to contact the Beast, but he brushes them off.
It also trims the end scene that reveals that Mastermind is responsible for the Beast's delusion, but a caption is added to explain it.
Letters in issue #13 complain about turning the Beast into a "talking werewolf", dropping his erudite vocabulary, and taking him away from the X-Men.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The opening scene for this issue seems to take place soon after the end of the previous issue, with the Beast still hiding from Brand security guards on the same night as his initial rampage (but it doesn't necessarily have to). Additionally, a footnote for Tony Stark references "the Guardsman, student riots, a mutinous board of directors, and his weak heart, all on view now in Iron Man". That's Iron Man #45-46. So it has to take place after those issues. Based on Iron Man's comment that he can "wreck lives with my powers if I'm not careful", it makes sense to place this soon after the death of the Guardsman from those issues (and the funeral in issue #47, which has the Guardsman's funeral). That requires placing this back in publication time a bit.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Issue #12 is reprinted in Avengers #136. Issue #13 is an original.
Inbound References (2): showBeast, Blob, Hellcat, Iron Man, Jean Grey, Linda Donaldson, Mad Dog (Buzz Baxter), Marianne Rodgers, Mastermind, Professor X, Unus, Vera Cantor
The Beast's healing factor would disappear before the end of the series, and this is probably the last appearance of Marvel Girl in the green & yellow outfit until X-Men #137.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 10, 2011 9:26 PM
Jean appeared in the green and yellow outfit in Giant-Size Annual 1.
Posted by: Michael | December 10, 2011 10:40 PM
She also appeared in the green and yellow costume in Avengers #110 and 111 (1973), though for some reason her hair was colored a pale brown in several panels in #111.
Posted by: Shar | July 6, 2012 8:35 PM
In #12, when Tony and Marianne show up at Hank's lab, Linda contemplates dumping Hank and making a play for Tony. She decides against it since she's the only Secret Empire agent left at Brand, so there'd be no one left to watch Hank. (Editorial: That's why you shouldn't have shot Maddicks!)
Right after this, Hank runs outside after her. They're about to embrace when Hank remembers he can't kiss her because Linda will realize he's wearing a latex mask. He breaks it off and suggests they get lunch instead.
Posted by: Darci | March 2, 2018 10:07 PM
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