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Monday, November 12, 2012 

Hank McCoy is still more feline than Beast

Back in 2001, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely made Hank McCoy, aka the Beast, look more like a blue-furred mountain cat than the creature he'd come to look like in the 1970s when they took over the sans-adjective X-Men series. This picture is from Brian Bendis' first issue of "All New" X-Men, and wouldn't you know it, they're still going pretty much by the same character design Quitely foisted upon Hank, this time drawn by Stuart Immonen.

I hadn't thought about this much for several years, but it's very sad how they made Hank more unrecognizable than he made himself with that experiment he ran in the early 70s that turned him blue furred. Back then, what made the character design work was that it still gave room for a fully expressive mouth, and while he may not have thought it great to be transformed, he still kept an upbeat personality and a sense of humor (including some of those neat exclamations like "Oh my stars and garters!"), going on to become a member of the Avengers for several years and then a member of the Defenders at the latter end of its 1972-86 run. Nowadays, much of that's been thrown away, along with Prof. Xavier. The current design is ill-suited for smiling expressions, and Hank's humor has been mostly trashed by the terrible writing staff Marvel now employs.

And I don't forsee the defamation of Cyclops being reversed for a long time.

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