Thursday, January 3, 2013
All New X-men #5 Follow-Up By Newsarama And Preview Page
I normally don't follow up reviews because I either don't have the time or don't have the necessary access to hard liquor. But for a series like All New X-men, I'll gladly make an exception and do the chicken dance in a mud pit at a cock fight because the book has been that awesome. I recently gave All New X-men #5 a 4 out of 5 in my review. A substantial part of that high score came from Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen doing what should have been done nearly 10 fucking year ago. And for once, I'm not talking about Jean Grey.
When I (and most X-men fans I would argue) think of Hank McCoy, an image like this comes to mind:
That's the Beast that's been around since disco was still in vogue and cocaine was cheaper and more readily available in a Miami nightclub. When you look at that, you see a real man-Beast. A half-man, half-ape creature with an intellect that's akin to the bastard offspring of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan. That's the Beast I know and love. He's a lovable yet feral character who offers a striking balance between the civilized man and the primal beast, but unlike Wolverine isn't an asshole about it.
But for the past decade or so, this is the Beast most people have been getting:
That, my friends, is not a beast. That is a bad Thundercats cos-player that lost a bar bet. Most know him as Cat-Beast. I've often called him pussy-Beast, not just because he looks like something a cat would shit on. But mostly because he's been a insufferable douche-bag since he took that form. All he's done is constantly whine about Cyclops's mistakes. It's all "Cyclops is meanie! Cyclops keeps secrets! Cyclops gets to bang a hot blonde while I'm stuck with a hot yet moody half-woman/half-alien with green hair!" And through all this whining and bitching, has he ever offered a single alternative? Has he ever actually attempted to do something about the shit he complains about? Fuck no! Why? Because he's a pussy! Both literally and figuratively.
For this reason, I was extremely happy to see Brian Bendis and Stuart Immonen ditch that stupid cat-look for a look that makes him more like a fucking Beast ought to look.
It's not perfect. That hair style looks like something I Donald Trump would try to trademark, but it's a billion times better than being an overgrown pussy. And Brian Bendis has not hid his love for ape-Beast as opposed to pussy Beast. Granted, he's a bit more polite about it than I am, but that's probably because someone waters down his booze. In a recent interview about All New X-men #5, editor Nick Lowe talked about how he drank the wrong kind of booze altogether and favored Cat-Beast. But he eventually came around. That or Bendis's bald head hypnotized him into going along with it. Probably a combination of the two.
Newsarama: Spoiler Sport - Behind All New X-men's Big Character Change
Newsarama: Nick! You're well-established as one of the — if not the — biggest Cat Beast fans out there, and it looks like that version of Hank McCoy is no more as of this week's All-New X-Men #5. What motivated the change? And were you personally resistant to it?
Nick Lowe: Albert! Great to be back on Newsarama. I’m a big Beast fan, period. I do love the Cat Beast look, as not only do I think that he looks more like a “beast” in that look rather than the classic Gil Kane/George Perez/etc... rendition but I pretty much love every line Frank Quitely has put on paper, so...
Anyway, we would often get in big disagreements (by we, I mean me and most of the room) at editorial retreats about Cat Beast vs. Ape Beast. Also, the old design doesn’t look like an ape! Anyway, my resistance was against reverting to the older version because I thought that the more beastly looking works better for the actual character. But since this is a new, still beastly design and not just a furry guy with big hair, I was all in! But my passion on the subject does open me up to lots of ridicule. But that’s OK, I’m the youngest of three in my family so I’m used to that.
Newsarama: Of course, Beast's change appears to be more than just a makeover. How important is the new look going to be to Beast's character going forward? (He certainly seemed happy about it.) And given history, do you see a visual shift every 10, 12 years or so as a fundamental part of the character at this point?
Lowe: Beast’s happiness had more to do, I think, with the not-dying, but he does seem delighted by the change. I think that has more to do with his scientific curiosity, but that may just be Cat-Beast-Fan-Me rationalizing.
No clue if it’ll be an ongoing cycle for the character, but I do love that thought. The scientist who experiments on himself never learning not to do that.
In addition, we even got a brief preview of a future issue of All New X-men that shows Beast enjoying his new look.
I can go on and on about how awesome All New X-men is, but we all know the Original Five aren't going to stay in the present forever. Hell, Marvel may decide to kill Jean Grey again once they feel they feel like pissing off a certain fanbase again. Fuck, everything they do could be completely undone down the line with a simple mind wipe or another time travel gimmick. But if Hank McCoy's new look stays, the series will still have succeeded on some levels. And for that, I deem All New X-men awesome on an entirely new level. Nuff said!