Comics : Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #30
This is the third and final short story in this issue. It doesn't feature Spider-Man at all, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be a reprint from Rampage (UK) a few years back. But we're gonna review all those UK stories, so this one gets the treatment in any case.
So let's have a look at the X-Men in... "The Beast Inside".
Marvel Heroes (UK Magazine) #30 (Story 3)
Review (No SM)
The residents of X-Mansion are rudely awakened from their slumber by the Intruder Alarm. Specifically, there's a smashed window of the basement laboratory, and giant footprints lead out into the snow.
But what can have happened to Hank McCoy (aka the furry blue Beast) who was working in the lab, attempting to find a cure to return him to human form? Has he been kidnapped? Or perhaps his experiment has misfired, resulting in him being turned into an even more vicious, super-beastly form?
Yeah, the second one. Hank has become bigger and more animalistic. So, despite the danger, the X-Men head out into the snow to rescue their friend. When they find him, Rogue uses her power-absorbing-power to take away his extra-beastliness, leaving Hank only normally beastly.
The next day, Hank feels ashamed. He put his friends in danger, simply because he wanted a chance to be normal. But his friends all understand, because they're mutants too.
Awww.... isn't that nice. I guess the message is... if you're in trouble, and lost in society, it's great to have a peer group you can count on.
It's a sugary little moral which is somewhat belaboured in the story. Equally, all the drama feels rather forced as well. The "danger" of the search for Hank is kind of laughable, given the world-shaking threats that the team have faced together countless times. Also, Hank's sense of individual isolation is rather ridiculous too, given that half the mutants at the school have similar problems. Cyclops can't take off his helmet. Rogue can't even touch anybody, for goodness' sake! So his self-pity is rather misplaced.
At least this story has a goal, and it sticks to it. Unfortunately, the concept is a bit weak, and the plot overcompensates in trying to reinforce it. Despite the effective artwork and coloring, the final result is disappointing.
By the way, let's not forget that Rogue's power stealing is only temporary. There's no explanation given as to how Hank was permanently restored to his "regular" furriness level at the end of the story (which happens a few days later).