Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
X-Men Origins: Beast
Carey & Woodward
The premise is very simple. This comic tells the story of how Hank McCoy came into contact with Charles Xavier. It’s his basic origin story. There isn’t a ton in here that is totally new. Yet, this comic is awesome. It delivers so much depth to such a familiar character that I am thinking this is mini-series material. At the very least I am leaving this with serious consideration for one-shot of the year.
This issue begins with Hank hanging out with a female friend in high school. Hank is not the Beast, he’s just a really big kid. The early interaction shows immediately all the charm, humor and humble intelligence that Beast has had for all those years of X stories. It’s a dead on character profile. We also get some information about how the X gene may have been triggered within him as Hank is already suspecting that he is a mutant.
Later, the two find themselves on the football field where the coach makes to embarrass his players by involving the “geek” Hank. Hank wins himself a starting job on the team and manages to put the jocks in their place with lines like, “yawning chasm you call a mouth.” Hank becomes the star of the team and everything is great.
Until a villain named Conquistador shows up threatening Hank’s parents in order to employ the use of the super boy. Hank shines as he uses his brains to outsmart this clown and gives some glimpses of his brawn in the process. Charles finds him as a result of this confrontation and takes liberties of wiping everyone’s minds of who ever knew him so he could walk away from his old life to become an X-Men.
X-Men Origin Beast
A simple story but it’s awesome. Subtle things like the usage of Charles. Charles is as manipulative as ever bending everyone else’s lives and dreams to fulfill his own agenda. It’s brilliant use of the character. Also, the dialogue Hank throws around like calling the football an “oblate spheroid with tapered ends” is just so freaking creative. I laughed out of loud on several occasions. The issue is filled with these types of moments.
The artwork is a painted style that completes this masterpiece beautifully. Hank looks like the beast without the fur or the blue. His glasses even sit on his face perfectly. However, in action you see the Beast all over the place. The stances are fitting of the character, but the art captures the look of an unsure kid who just doesn’t want to lose what he has. It’s an excellent display for this type of story.
All I can say is that if you like the Beast, even a little, you should get this thing. I was turned off by the increase of the price by a buck, but it was worth it. This is the type of a story that restores my faith in the retelling or retooling of character’s origins. I wasn’t sure why Marvel wanted to start putting these out there, but it actually is a great way to get to know a character who’s been around forever but might have some folks not knowing how he got to become a hero. If only Wolverine’s origin were this simple to retell and revamp. I loved this issue and I highly recommend it.
5 out of 5 geek goggles