Ok, maybe that headline is a bit harsh. He shouldn’t be killed, but he should certainly be tried, found guilty and locked up. Although he’s done a lot of good over the years, recently he’s messed up big time.
The following contains a decent amount of spoilers regarding the last couple of years of X-Men history, so do not read if you want to experience some of the reveals for yourself.
Who The Heck is He??
So for those of you who don’t know, The Beast is Henry (Hank) McCoy – one of the original five X-Men who debuted way back in 1963. His powers were fairly lame – enlarged hands and feet and superhuman agility (that original team was fairly under-powered). Hanks’s real contribution to any team he’s on is usually his great intelligence (he’s considered by some to be one of the 8 smartest men in the Marvel world. He’s a real polymath. He’s expert level in many areas of science where most people tend to zero in on one specialty.
Although he’s very popular, I never cared much for the guy. He’s supposed to be this tragic character, as in he’s blue and furry, doesn’t want to be, but can’t do anything about it. It was some kind of formula he drank in order to blah blah blah blah. I don’t remember now. The point is whatever the contrived reason, it’s nonsense that neither he nor any other super-brain of the Marvel Universe could help him fix his unnatural mutation. Didn’t I just say he’s one of the 8 smartest guys in the Marvel U? I mean, it doesn’t quite reach “Thing” of “Hulk” levels of idiocy, but it’s pretty bad.
Unfortunately it always seemed like there was no escape from this guy. Hank is also an Avenger in addition to being an X-Man, and he can appear in any one of those comics at any time.
Many times I’d be at the register of my local comic shop, with two and sometimes three comics that have The Beast in them, and I’d scream out “WHY, DAMN YOU!!?? WHYYYYYYYYY?!?”. Then the poor guy behind the register would avert his eyes and reach out to take my credit card, hands shaking and sweating, hoping against hope that he made it home to his wife and kids that night.
But hey, I wouldn’t take it out on him. It’s not his fault The Beast is a shitty character.
What’s the Beast Beef?
So what’s my problem? Well besides his lameness, I was reading an issue of All New X-Men (likely one of my last as I’m not too interested in the story any more) and I realized this is all Hank’s fault.
Ok, wait, I gotta back up some more…
Cyclops Is A Douchebag
You probably know who Cyclops is even if you’re not that big into comics. He’s Scott Summers, the first X-Man, and leader of the team for many years.
Anyway, he grew up to be kind of a terrible person. He marries a woman who looks just like Jean Grey (who is presumed dead at this point), then, he cheats on this woman WITH JEAN when she is revealed to not be dead. He doesn’t tell Jean he’s married for a long time. What a dick.
Then, he eventually does get married to Jean, but proceeds to cheat on her with Emma Frost, one of the most disgusting disease/lice-ridden characters ever. Most of the cheating happens telepathically but it’s still cheating in my book. Jean dies shortly after this. Poor girl.
Cyclops then goes on to allow the X-Men and students to live under occupation with giant Sentinel robots surrounding them, and makes his sidepiece (now elevated to main squeeze with no fuss since Jean is conveniently dead) into the Headmistress. WHAT?! He then allows busloads of kids to be killed right on his front lawn.
To continue his dickery, since he’s not satisfied with this, he kicks Professor X out of his own damn house and out of the X-Men during a particularly desperate struggle. He was pissed because Xavier had let another team of X-Men go to their deaths trying to rescue the original team way back in the day. One of the members of that team had been Scott’s younger brother Vulcan, and the kid was horribly broken and deranged by the ordeal, going on to become one of the most terrible villains Marvel has.
There was some other crap too, where he was mad because Xavier lied about this or that. Whatever, man. None of that was quite as bad as Scott lying, creating a murdering mutant hit-squad, and pretty much leading the X-Men almost to ruin time and time again.
Finally, Wolverine had enough of this crap. He could see that Cyclops had snapped, and he was teaching the children to be soldiers, kind of like Magneto (who was actually now allied with Scott).
At this point, they were living on an island, and a gigantic omega ass-kicking Sentinel robot had been dispatched to kill them. Cyclops prepares the kids to go into battle. Wolverine says “No, these are KIDS, they shouldn’t be fighting, we need to get them out of here.” Cyclops refuses, and in desperation to save the kids, Wolverine lines the island with explosives, then tells everyone to evacuate, planning to blow up the Sentinel when it arrives. Cyclops doesn’t take this well:
Anyway, this resulted in a schism between Cyclops, Wolverine, and the X-Men as a whole. They all fell in line behind one or the other. Cyclops felt all mutants regardless of age should be treated as X-Men, soldiers and should be trained to fight and do battle for the cause. Wolverine felt that kids were definitely NOT X-Men, and should be allowed to be kids, and that the real X-Men should protect and defend those kids as they taught them how to use their abilities. Wolverine and his gang went back to the school on the east coast, and Cyclops and his crew stayed on the West Coast.
You can probably tell that I’m 100% behind Wolverine and Xavier, but there’s still more douchery to be revealed.
Eventually, a cosmic entity called The Phoenix decided to return to Earth. Cyclops thinks it means hope for mutantkind, but the Avengers think it could be a huge problem. Long story short, the X-Men go to war against the Avengers.
Now I normally don’t side with the Avengers against the X-Men, but once again Wolverine and Xavier are right that the power of the cosmic entity is too much. Cyclops doesn’t listen, ends up with all the power and then kills Professor X.
As a result of this, Cyclops and some of those who sided with him become fugitives, and he begins a mutant “revolution”. Essentially scaring people, threatening them and un-doing all the good work Professor X had been doing for all those years.
See, I told you…complete douchebag.
Back To The Beast
Alright back to the person who this article is actually about – Hank McCoy.
Hank is upset because Cyclops is out there spouting the same crap that Magneto was spouting all those years ago, and he’s actually with Magneto while he’s saying it! Even worse, Beast is in the early stages of yet another mutation, and this time he doesn’t think he’ll survive the stress of it.
Instead of asking anyone for help, he decides to just go ahead and die…but wait! Before that he decides to fuck up the time stream. See, he wants to do some good before he dies. He wants to fix the world for mutantkind before he dies and he wants to bring his friend back from the brink. If only there were a way…
Hey, good idea! He decides to go back in time and actually bring the original X-Men forward to the present day!
Yes, that’s right he decides to put the space-time continuum at risk because he wants to get a last good deed in before he dies. Ehhh, why not? Just screw up even more stuff than Scott Summers!
Are there any laws against this in the Marvel Universe? If not, shouldn’t there be? Sure you have guys like Dr. Doom who can build their own machines, but there’s not much to be done about him. You’d think each country would have it’s own laws forbidding time travel, especially if the only reason you’re doing it is for your own vanity project. We need some timecops in the Marvel U.
Admittedly, Hank does say that he’s just completely out of options or he wouldn’t do this…
Needless to say, the original crew arrives in the present day and it seems like no one is happy from the moment they arrive. Which they shouldn’t be, because this is a huge risk.
Especially since Wolverine is willing to kill young (innocent) Scott Summers and mess up the timestream without much thought to the consequences.
And he’d definitely do it, too. Look at how much trouble he caused over in the the recent Age of Ultron crossover. That one was bad on many, many levels though, so the Wolverine part isn’t the only bad part, but still…it was a foolish thing to even suggest.
This is part of the huge problem that McCoy has cause by bringing five teens into the future. Especially five teens who were profoundly instrumental in laying the groundwork for the current X-Men. If one of them were to slip and hit their head everything could be totally borked.
Everyone yells at Hank for a few panels, then the Avengers show up and yell at Hank, but aside from that they kind of move on to other matters. Every few pages, someone says “you kids need to go back!” Except the original team doesn’t want to go back, because Professor X would wipe their memories and they’d forget all about this.
The ridiculous thing is that they sit there and debate whether or not to send these guys back to their own time. Well, they’ve gotta go back some time. X-Men history hasn’t changed (that we know of) so they obviously go back.
Battle Of The Atom
Here’s where I finally just couldn’t take it anymore.
So a whole scenario begins where some X-Men from the future come back in order to do…something, or whatever. It didn’t make much sense.
The original team is upset because they feel they have no free will and are being forced to go back to their own time. Hey, kids…you don’t belong in your own future! Damn. I guess they should be allowed to hang out and mess up the time stream, causing untold damage to places and things that they may never even know about…but whatever, anything to prevent hurting their feelings, you know.
The big reveal is one of the future X-Men is actually Jean Grey, the one brought forward in time by Hank. The only thing I got out of this crossover is that this chick is f^&*ing NUTS!
I mean, she’s clearly traumatized by being brought forward in time like this. She wasn’t ready for it, and she was destroyed by it. She says she doesn’t want to exist? Damn, that’s crazy.
No one turns to Hank and says “You son of a bitch, look what you did to that girl!”
Instead, Kitty Pryde throws a tantrum and leaves Wolverine’s school to go join up with Cyclops, taking the original team with her! Damn you, Kitty, this is Hank’s fault, not the rest of the team, and certainly not Wolverine.
As a final dog, we discover that the originals can’t go back, at least not the same way. Why? It is a (contrived) mystery of course. We gotta keep this awful series going somehow.
But anyway, that’s great, Hank. Now what else have you screwed up?
Those kids have to return to their own time fairly soon. They’ll have to be replaced pretty close to the time they were originally taken, and those teenagers grow fast. If they stay a couple of years it will be noticeable, especially to Professor X. Since he’ll have to make sure their memories are either erased, or stay erased, they’ll be missing a lot of time. So Hank has effectively stolen a lot of time from these kid’s lives.
What a douchebag.
The Wrap Up
Well, the moral of the story here is that The Beast caused a crap-load of problems, but he’s just going to get away with it. Even worse, his plan DIDN’T WORK – Cyclops didn’t change at all. In fact, the young Cyclops actually went off to JOIN the older, crazy Cyclops. Beast should have to spend at least a little time in dungeon or something (they must have a dungeon under that school somewhere), or he should have to face a trial from S.H.I.E.L.D., who have very real concerns about him taking it upon himself to bring people forward from the past.
Normally, I can’t stand S.H.I.E.L.D., I think they’re completely worthless, but at least this time they have a point.
Like I said at the beginning of the article, I suppose I wouldn’t really want him killed, but he needs to be reigned in. Considering the damage he’s done to the original X-Men, including putting his own younger self through emotional turmoil, there has to be some sort of price to pay. Maybe he should mutate back into his lion form? Or this time into some sort of bear?
Ahhh, whatever. I just wish they could keep this clown out of the comics, or at least contain him in one.
The way it is now, I’ll have to scare my comics guy again when I get back to the shop this week. If Marvel won’t do it for me, they should at least do it for him.
Alright guys, I’m outta here…see you all next time!