Synopsis for “The Beast!”
Nighttime at the Brand Corporation: a grey furred beast wanders about outside the Genetic Research lab, stalking one of the security guards on duty. When the guard breaks into the lab, the Beast attacks him, however they alert the attention of soldiers on location when the guard tries to shoot the Beast. When the guard is gunned down by the soldiers, a mortified Beast returns to his lab to find that that he is running late. Attempting to use a device to restore himself to a human form, he realizes that the process that has turned him into a hirsute beast is irreversible. As the Beast rampages through his lab we learn that he is really Hank McCoy, formally of the X-Men, now more of a beast in appearance than name.
The Beast reflects back about the day that he left the X-Men to accept the a position of a genetic researcher for the Brant Corporation. Needing to be in the city by the next morning, Beast packs his bags and bits his fellow X-Men farewell. Arriving at the Brand Corporate headquarters, Hank meets with his new boss Mr. Grant before being introduced to Linda Donaldson, his assistant who shows him around and introduces him to Carl Maddicks whom Beast will be working together. Right off the bat Linda takes a keep interest in Hank while Maddicks expresses his dislike of Hank, feeling that he doesn’t need a partner to work with.
Sparks fly with Linda, who goes out with Hank for a night on the town, and a romantic interlude on the beach. Returning him, Hank is really excited to have the attention of a beautiful woman. Putting on his Beast costume, Hank decides to go out and expend all his energy. Things meanwhile with Maddicks continue to strain as Hank continues his own work and asks Maddicks to leave while he focuses on his work, an action that Carl vows Hank will come to regret. After toiling away in his lab, Hank comes up with a breakthrough, managing to extract the chemical cause of mutation. Wanting to tell Mr. Grant the good news, Hank stops when he overhears Maddicks on the phone to someone named Agent Nine. Realizing that Maddicks is working for some evil force hoping to steal his work, Hank decides to do something about the situation. However, believing that operating in his Beast costume would make for an easy connection between Hank McCoy and his alter-ego, Hank decides to take the chemical extract to mutate himself further so that he is unrecognized hoping that he can create an antidote later.
Drinking the chemical compound, Hank mutates into a furry beast, with enhanced strength and abilities. These were the events that led to Hank’s stalking of the security guard. With his recollection over, Hank realizes that he is trapped in this hairy form forever. Furious, the Beast goes back out into the night seeking out the one man that he holds responsible for his current condition: Maddicks. Maddicks has been arrested by the military guards, the security guard having spilled the whole story before being gunned down. The Beast bursts into the room and furiously attacks Maddicks. When the soldiers attempt to stop the Beast, Hank easily defeats them even though they succeed in shooting him a number of times to no avail. Throwing the soldiers aside, Hank grabs Carl by the throat and attempts to choke him to death, but stops short of killing him unable to intentional take a human life. Realizing that he has nobody else to blame but himself, Hank then jumps out of a nearby window and back out into the night.
Reviving, Maddicks is held at gun point by Linda, who is also an agent for the organization that Maddicks works for. She shoots Carl dead for his failure and walks out of the room.
This story is continued next issue….