Marvel decided it needed to start reminding people that it has X-Men, so in the panels above they explain why there had been no X-comics lately. The book had been running reprints for years, and the characters had dropped out of sight. So, they made Beast hairy and give a new, young writer the opportunity to fail. In his first Marvel work, Steve Englehart had nothing to lose. If he failed, nobody cared about the X-Men anyway. If he succeeded, he would rebirth a franchise. Tom Sutton’s art was perfect, too: He matched a grotesque Beast, a savage, with much clearer and straightforward art for the rest of the characters in the book.
But how to sell a mutant nobody remembered or cared about? Easy: Put Iron Man in the book!
In these early issues, Beast has a “savage” side that he tries to keep under control, kind of like a milder Hulk (or a werewolf).
One thing though: Since when was Beast bulletproof? Answer: Never. The above scene never happened. It was all Mastermind messing with Beast.
Creators: Steve Englehart and Tom Sutton
Grade: B-. Above average, and very interesting.