Wednesday, January 13, 2010

365 Days with Hank McCoy, Day 13

X-Men #1

Panel from X-Factor #33 (October 1988), script by Louise Simonson, pencils by Walt Simonson, inks by Bob Wiacek, colors by Petra Scotese, letters by Joe Rosen
(Click picture to vocabusize)


joecab said...

Crappy coloring job, but Walt is da man!

Prankster said...

OK, I'm completely confused at this point. I don't know my X-Men history very well, I guess, but when exactly did Hank a) get smart as opposed to being a Ben Grimm-style knucklehead and b) become blue and furry? Because I thought both of those things happened pretty early on, like in the 60s, but you've been posting all kinds of images of him from the 70s when he still seems to be in Ben Grimm knock-off mode. What's the timeline?

Bully said...

Mister P, the short version is that Hank has always been very smart, from Day 1 at Xavier's in X-Men #1 (1963). Although it wasn't carried over in every issue, he was frequently seen reading complicated science books and speaking loquaciously. He was smart enough a scientific genius to get a job at a major genetics research company in Amazing Adventures #11 (1972), where he turns himself into a furry beast (grey at first, evolving into blue over the next few issues) to thwart a robbery, and is accidentally stuck in the fuzzy form. He joins the Avengers in issue #137 (1975). He's still a super-genius during this period, but he keeps that side of him relatively discreet preferring to play up his goofball, wise-cracking side (and also getting drunk with Wonder Man.) After leaving the Avengers (Avengers #211, 1981), he co-founds the New Defenders (Defenders #125, 1983). You still don't' see much of him as a science genius during this period, but it's still part of his personality. He and the original members of the X-Men co-found X-Factor (X-Factor #1, 1986), and soon afterwards he's reverted to his human form after being kidnapped and experimented on by supervillains. But he starts to lose his intelligence in this form, becoming less smart issue after issue until his genetic makeup is jump-started by mutant Infectia and he reverts, after much painful transformation, back into the intelligent blue furry Beast you see in this panel above. He rejoins the X-Men in X-Men #1 (1991) and has stayed with them all this time until recently, when he's left the team to join S.W.O.R.D. (SWORD #1, 2010). Oh, and in between there he underwent a secondary mutation that changed him from ape-beast into cat-beast (New X-Men #114, 2001).

That's a very brief history of Hank McCoy throughout the years, and there's lots of fun moments I'll be filling in as we go along. You may have noticed I'm presenting his history roughly chronologically for the first month of 2010, but after that I'll be skipping around to bring you panels from throughout his career for the rest of the 365 Days with Hank McCoy. And for almost all of those years, he was a pretty darn smart guy, and right now I'd suggest he's probably one of the top ten or twelve smartest persons on Marvel-Earth.

Prankster said...

Comic books!

Thank you, sir gentleman cow.

Brian Smith said...

There's only one thing I'd add to that crazy awesome recap: While he was getting less intelligent, he was getting stronger. He went from (please correct me if I'm wrong here) Captain America-level strength to something at least Spider-Man's level. When he got touched by Infectia and turned beastly again, he regained his intelligence AND kept his newfound strength. Hence the "strength I have -- in abundance!" line there.

The first year or so of "X-Factor" was all about making the team as human as possible -- and in a lot of ways, taking them away from their roots. The next two years or so not only undid all that, but made everyone more powerful in the process.