Saturday, February 15, 2014

365 Days of KirbyTech, Day 46: The Beast's Power-Increaser Ray

Turns out that Reed Richards isn't the only one who can create a mechanism that increases superhuman power. Teen X-Man and Comics Oughta Be Fun! favorite Hank McCoy (a.k.a. the boistrously bouncing Beast!) here shows some of his immense potential for science, when the Strangest Teens of All face off against the mutant villain who not only has one of the most terrible costumes in Marveldom, he's got the absolute worst name: Unus the Untouchable! he's the mutant that cannot be touched not that you'd wanna what with a name like "Unus".

Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men (1963 series) #8 (November 1964), script by Stan Lee, pencils by Jack Kirby, inks by Chic Stone, letters by Sam Rosen

Since Unus (giggle!) can't be beaten by brawn, he's got to be defeated by brain! Which pretty much leaves out Iceman, Angel, and what the heck, Cyclops too. Beast takes to Professor X's lab ("You kids don't touch my tools!") to design and construct the only possible defense against Unus...

...a device to increase Unus' power. Hey, wait, what?

Yes, it's another case of "no time to tell you my plan, only time to tell you I can't tell you my plan." I need to make an entire subcategory for these moments in comic books, don't I?

Whoo hoO! Super-Wrestler Unus the Untouchable is more powerful than ever! If he was untouchable before, he's untouchable-er now! There's no way Jean Grey is gonna get to kiss him now!

Beast still has no time to tell the X-Men his plan, only time to tell them he can't tell them his plan. Upon reflection, I think these really are authentic high school students! Now they're all gonna go to their rooms and mope, listen to Evervescence, and unfriending each other on Facebook.

But as I like to say on this blog, never bet against the Beast. His handy projector of bifurcated cosmic power has increased Unus' power so much that he can't even reach for his cigarettes. That ensures Hank's gonna get that funding grant from U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop! (But say goodbye to that scholarship from Philip Morris that Hank's dad got by saving all those cigarette coupons.)

How powerful is Unus now? So powerful that he can put pie into orbit. Even Reed Richards has spectacularly failed at that feat, being only able to shoot a Hostess Cupcake into the upper atmosphere.

His power increased to the point where he can no longer touch anything, Unus sells out Magneto for a piece of pie. That better be really good pie. Another shot from Beast's clever doohickey apparently reverses the effect. I'm betting there's a big switch on the side that says "Can't Eat Pie/Can Eat Pie." Unus vows to quit crime and go straight. And therefore we never saw him again in Marvel Comics.

So for the not-yet-uncanny X-Men, it's a happy ending, as they all gather around to stand on Stan's yellow caption box. And Iceman's wearing a green suit. Hey Bobby Drake! Where do you buy a green suit?

Wait, wait, wait a minute...what's that Scott just said?


Anyway, as you may remember from three panels ago, Unus promised to give up his life of crime and not-being-able-to-eat-pie. It's a terrible backslide in his 12-step program, then, when he returns to villainy and crossdressing as an X-Men, a mere 12 bimonthly issues later.

Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men (1963 series) #20 (May 1966), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Werner Roth, inks by Dick Ayers, letters by Artie Simek

Which, as it turns out, is just "over a year" that Unus claims he's waiting for a rematch. Hey, the early, pre-bridgening of Gwen Stacy Marvel Age really does move in real time, doesn't it? Oh, and hey, it's a guy named Lucifer, who is the one who caused Professor X to lose the use of his legs. Man, I'd take one look at that helmet and fall off a cliff laughing myself, so I can see how that would work.

And that's the story of Hurricane Henry P. McCoy's Power-Increaser Ray. What do you have to say to that, Scott Summers?


JonJ said...

"How did you like your pie, Mr Unus?"

"It's -- repulsive!"

Isaac Cates said...

There's a great "I never lost faith in you" moment at the end of the "√úberchaun!" episode of The Aquabats! Super Show! ...

... but I can't find a good way to link to it.

Bully, you would like The Aquabats! Super Show!. Trust me.

Blam said...

How can they show a flying teacup in that panel and not have a flying saucer?

Bully said...

Isaac, I love the Aquabats and I've got that episode somewhere on the DVR. Now I have to rewatch it! Thanks for the reminder and recommendation.