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Appearing in "The Martyr Perplex!"

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Other Characters:

  • The Apparation/Empath
  • Perry
  • Winnie
  • Agent Marsden
  • Agent Stern
  • Mr Gottlieb (crime boss)
  • Mr Jackson (crime boss)
  • Mr Warington (crime boss)
  • The Beatles (Mentioned)
  • Professor Xavier (Mentioned)

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Synopsis for "The Martyr Perplex!"

Hank McCoy, the lovable furry Beast, is picking up women in a posh nightclub (!!) when his evening is spoiled by a sleazeball who assaults him. Easily thumping the assailant, Beast declares his evening ruined, and stalks out into the rain.

Walking through the rain, he is accosted by a strange apparition of a man. It claims to take wounds for all the spiritual harm done to the Beast!?! Shortly after disclosing this, it dissolves into ashes and is swept away, leaving Hank horribly confused.

He returns to the mansion, where everyone else is as confused as he. But the nagging inside his brain won't stop - by the next week he's out on the town again, but not especially enjoying himself. A woman convinces him to walk her home, and they get to talking about his mysterious vision. She convinces him to do something for her...

Elsewhere, the Manipulator is telling some gentlemen (who are crime bosses) that the Beast will soon break into the apartment they're in and try to steal a little black box, and that he's the one who's manipulated the Beast into his current mental state. He convinces them he could do it to all the Avengers!

Beast breaks into the apartment and they watch him retrieve the box. Then Manipulator cages the Beast, and upon his opening the box Beast is blasted by a ray which puts him totally under the Manipulator's command! All the criminal bosses instantly want to sign up, but then he puts them under his mental control too.

Just then two mysterious men walk into the room, one of whom is Agent Marsden. They pay off the Manipulator, take the little black box, and call the cops to come bust the crime bosses. They then leave. Beast eventually comes to his senses and decide to scoot, observed by the agents below. Suddenly, a strange apparition approaches them from out of an alleyway...

Notes

  • Beast, while singing under the Manipulator's control, replaces 'Father McKenzie' with 'Professor Xavier' in Beatles' classic "Eleanor Rigby".
  • Similar to the infamous Elf With A Gun from The Defenders (also written by Steve Gerber) the mystery of the seemingly empathic apparition who appears to the Beast has never had a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Adding to the list of abruptly dropped dangling plot threads from the last issue is the Beast's return to duty. As recounted in #172, he had essentially gone AWOL, leaving the mansion without a word and taking a quinjet despite knowing full well that the U.S. government had rescinded the team's permission to fly them (which SHOULD have led to some sort of official review by the team). He was then abducted and held prisoner by Magneto along with the current team of X-Men for several weeks and the Avengers would have had no idea whether he was even alive at that point. Yet in this issue, when he finally returns to the series, he's simply back on the team with no remark by anyone about his long departure.

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