Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why Beast?

When people think of the X-Men, they tend to think of Cyclops as their premiere member – Wolverine may get all the publicity, but Cyclops is the classic leader, the one who’s seen as carrying on his legacy, the guy you’re supposed to think of as the new future of mutants when Professor Xavier isn’t around.

Except he does a lousy job of carrying on ‘Xavier’s Dream’, the part about humans and mutants living together in peace and harmony. For that, you should instead look towards the likes of Dr. Hank McCoy, AKA Beast.

Most X-Men are typically considered ‘X-Men’ and leave it at that. A handful manage to stretch beyond those boundaries, Beast being among the most prolific. Avengers? Beast has been there, both mainstream and as a handpicked member of Cap’s secret variety. Defender? Beast has done that. SWORD? Beast counts it among his resume, even serving hand-in-hand (sometimes literally so) with its commander, Abigail Brand. It’s even more notable when you take adaptations into account. In the movies, who’s the one mutant you see openly serving in a prominent government position? Beast, of course.

And he does this in spite of being an ‘obvious’ mutant who’s covered in blue fur. Most mutants could get away with pretending to be humans if they wanted to. Beast? He really doesn’t have that option.

Cyclops may be the future of the X-Men, but if you want the future of Mutantkind? They might be better off if they tried following Beast’s example instead.


  1. This wasn't an easy character-script to figure out, but once we decided on the theme it flowed right on to the page.


    By Taj Gunn

    Page 14. 6 panels.

    Panel 1:
    Box panel. The blue hand of Hank McCoy holding a pair of glasses. McCoy's face is reflected. This is 70's apelike Hank when he's an avenger.

    McCoy (Caption): I haven't worn these since I turn blue.

    Panel 2:
    Head shot of Hank McCoy. Glasses are on and an intellectual look shines on his face.

    McCoy (Caption): Only to keep appearances.

    Panel 3:
    The Quinjet landing in front of what appears to be The White House. Wide shot, just extravagant.

    No Copy

    Panel 4:
    Hank, wearing a suit, near the quinjet. He is greeted by by the faceless, white POTUS and five secret service agents. we see the backs their head when.

    McCoy: Hello Mr. President. Beautiful weather, isn't it?

    President: Dr. McCoy. You look different from when I last saw you.

    Panel 5:
    Hank, awkwardly making a joke, barely hiding his pain.

    McCoy: Crisis of appearance. I haven't shaved in a long time.

    President: It's okay, Hank. I know you tried to cure yourself. Steve Rogers told me.

    Panel 6:
    The hands of the POTUS and Hank shaking.

    McCoy: Thank You Mr. President. Now about the Magneto situation.

    1. Sorry for the delay in providing any feedback, Taj, but happy to have you this week.

      I like the quiet moment you've captured here. Something of the calm before the storm, focusing in on the everyday niceties between the action we usually get from comics. Your back and forth works very well here.

      Look forward to seeing more!

  3. Beast - Bestiam Illuminati - Shaun Richens.

    Note: This tale takes place during the current Secret Wars Event.

    PAGE 22 - 4 PANELS.

    Page wide panel. We are in a meeting room. Underground, no windows, the only light coming from the fluorescent ceiling lights. We are looking up at current day BEAST. He stands at the end of a large round table. He’s the only person we can see, but he is talking to someone else, lots of someone else’s in fact.

    Although heresy to say, it cannot go unsaid any longer.

    Pull in close on Beast. He lightly rubs at his temp. He is stressed.

    The All-father Doom has lied to us.

    Pull in tight on Beast’s hand. Its open, palm up as if he is gesturing for everyone to look around themselves.

    He has lied to us all.

    Large page wide panel. Maybe a half splash. This is our reveal, the big money shot.

    Looking from behind ‘our’ Beast, we see sat all around the table and stood in all available space are multiple other versions of Beast.

    The original none blue Beast, New X-Men Beast in full uniform, Astonishing X-Men Beast. A Beast who wears the garments of a sorcerer supreme, another with black fur and a white skull shaped marking on his chest, a Beast with pure white fur with red eyes. One beast only has fur down one side of his body. A few Beasts are Henrietta McCoy’s. Henry McCoy has the brains to be anything he sets his mind to, this room proves that.

    Now it is up to us to see that this world, and all the others are put right.

    1. Nice moment here, Shaun. I was consiering suggesting combining panels 2 and 3, but I like the pacing of dragging out the reveal a bit more and emphasizing the weight of Beast's words. Also, solid reveal. I'm not reading the storyline currently, but I'd love to follow this part of it.

  4. BEAST 2016
    David Press
    5 panels

    All of these panels can be wide ones if you like, stretching across the tier, because this is a kind of Aaron Sorkin-Walk-and-Talk scene.

    1.1: Giant wood doors blow open, exposing a dark chamber but a hallway bathed in light. Pushing the doors open is HENRY MCCOY, BEAST, in a suit. Alongside him is a young, early 30s WOMAN—his ASSISTANT.

    1. CAPTION [Location]: The Capitol Building, Washington DC.
    2. BEAST: Sanctimonious troglodytes!
    3. ASSISTANT: Dr. McCoy! I don’t have to tell you that was foolish.

    1.2: We’re looking at them straight on as they walk down a hall framed by giant bay windows bathing them in sunlight.

    4. BEAST: No. No. That was the smartest thing I did all day.
    5. ASSISTANT: Really? Walking out on the House Human/Mutant relations committee?
    6. BEAST: A committee full of humans!

    1.3: In the background of a similar shot, FOUR REPORTERS fly out the doors McCoy just stepped out of.

    7. REPORTER: Dr. McCoy!
    8. BEAST: How are we supposed to improve Mutant/Human relations if the committee introduces another voter registration bill?

    1.4: The REPORTERS catch up to McCoy and his assistant. They’re surrounding them in a circle. Recorders, microphones and camera lenses stick in frame.

    REPORTER 1 is the only speaking person in the crowd. She wears a pantsuit, Asian-American woman, and you can tell she’s a veteran because she’s weary, tired of covering the same old same bullshit on Capitol Hill.

    9. REPORTER 1: What happened in there?
    10. BEAST: What happened was I reacted in a rational manner to Senator Cruz’s attempt at racial profiling.
    11. REPORTER 1: Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh? Voter IDS are not profiling.

    1.5: Close on Beast’s face, it’s very calm and centered. His feline features smiling like you just pet your cat. They’ve fallen into his trap and he’s about to eat the bird.

    12. REPORTER 1 [OFF]: What are you going to do about it?
    13. BEAST: Well if Senator Ted Cruz wants to shore up the human vote in his presidential bid then I have no choice…
    14. BEAST [2]: …but to announce my candidacy for the presidency on the Independent platform.

    --END OF PAGE--

    1. Yes! I love it. You really capture the Aaron Sorkin vibe and the tight, crisp dialogue that it's signature. And a brilliant combination of current day issues with in-universe situations for that reveal at the end. Great stuff.

    2. Thanks, Grant! Very kind of you to say.

    3. Thanks, Grant! Very kind of you to say.


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