Amazing Adventures #14
Issue(s): Amazing Adventures #14
Back in his apartment, the Beast has to fake a cold when his semi-girlfriend Linda Donaldson comes around, since he (rightfully!) doesn't trust his wax mask to pass muster on close inspection. But he only doesn't trust the mask because the one he has in the apartment is one that he rejected. His real mask is in his office at work. I don't see how that mask would have been any better.
Anyway, he decides to go and get it. On his way there he bumps into a security patrol, but luckily he's able to get away and put his face on. Unfortunately, he's still questioned by Captain Baxter, who wants to know why he couldn't be located since yesterday, and when he lies and says he's been spending time with Linda, she shows up and denies it. Uh-oh! Baxter's wife Pat shows sympathy for Hank and tries to get her husband off his case.
Luckily a soldier shows up to say that the Beast has been spotted on the other side of the building.
Later, in his lab, Hank sees a beast-like creature run past his doorway. Investigating, he finds Quasimodo.
To fit the needs of this plot, Quasimodo is much more gangly and wild looking than his previous appearances. There's actually already something of a dichotomy for Quasimodo; on the one hand he's a computer brain put into a juggernaut-like body by the Silver Surfer. On the other hand, Stan Lee saw fit to call him Quasimodo since he was originally a lackey of the Mad Thinker, and so sometimes he's a simpering hunchback like his namesake. But he's never been depicted as a wild animal type before or after this appearance.
Quasimodo heard from "Agent 9 -- and Mastermind before his insanity" that the Beast had a fantastic metabolism, and Quasimodo is interested in gaining "true humanity", so he wants the Beast's body.
The two get into a long drawn out fight at a construction site.
During the course of the fight, the Beast learns that his regeneration powers are no longer working.
The Beast's determination to fight even when he's badly injured (and possibly the fact that the Beast no longer has the metabolism that Quasimodo was seeking) causes Quasimodo's robot brain to have some doubts, and he kills himself...
...leaving the Beast to reflect on the true meaning of humanity. And also to wonder about the conspiracy that Quasimodo alluded to.
Meanwhile, someone else is looking for Hank as well. It'll turn out to be his girlfriend from the early X-Men issues: Vera Cantor.
Decent writing by Englehart. Quasimodo's reflections on humanity were actually somewhat interesting, if a bit obtuse. If it weren't for the wacky secret identity hijinx, this would actually be a good book, but that's a bit hard to get past.
The art is a bit sloppy but it works for the Beast. He's actually evolving, artwise, looking less like a total monster and more like what he eventually becomes. Color him dark blue in these panels and you'd pretty much be there.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Marvel Team-Up #4 takes place during this issue. See the Considerations section there for details. Despite the fact that the Beast is rather calmly contemplating things at the end of this issue, his injuries must get worse, because at the beginning of issue #15 he'll be staggering into Patsy Walker's apartment in need of help.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBeast, Hellcat, Iron Man, Linda Donaldson, Mad Dog (Buzz Baxter), Quasimodo, Vera Cantor
Off-model villains will be a runner int is title when the Juggernaut shows up with a weird new status quo he's never had before or since. And then
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 5, 2015 6:03 PM
And then what, Omar?
Posted by: Michael | November 7, 2015 2:25 PM
And then I realized that both I and the Beast's run on the title had run out of issues pretty soon afterwards! More seriously, it was a hastily composed comment with serious typos. (You will find many in my comments; I should really be more cautious with my proofreading.).
I suppose I could have thrown forwards to Engelhart's early Avengers, where we got his very weird version of the Toad right when the Beast first arrives. Toad wasn't "off-model" in visual terms, but there's certainly a distinctively "Engelhart" take on ol' Morty than virtually no one else uses. He's always tended to make characters into what he needs them to be for the story's sake. In some cases, as with his revival of Madame HYDRA as the Viper or his development of the Wizard, it works; in others, especially with more sharply defined characters like Doctor Doom or the Red Skull, it just feels weird and "off."
I don't know that he *ever* wrote an X-Men villain well.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 7, 2015 3:39 PM
I prefer the gray-haired beast to the blue-haired one. There are too many blue mutants in general and the gray-haired beast somehow looks a bit tougher.
Posted by: kveto | November 3, 2017 4:12 PM
Linda catches up with Hank immediately after he returns to his apartment, and when he fakes having a cold to explain why he's all bundled up in clothes while indoors she offers to give him a good rubdown (with Vicks Vap-o-Rub, I'd guess). Even with his best latex mask there'd be no fooling her then, so he claims he's too contagious and gives her the bum's rush.
If I were Agent 9, at this point I'd be worrying that I'd lost my touch. Hank broke off their kiss in #12, now he's turned her down again (though she doesn't know it, for similar reasons). [If she'd paid attention when she left, Linda would have seen another woman waiting to go upstairs. If she was really paying attention, she'd see that woman was waiting for Hank. That should have really set off alarm bells!] Actually, I think Linda does give up seduction after this?
Posted by: Darci | March 2, 2018 10:56 PM
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