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Beast (Hank McCoy)

Appearing in "The Plague of... the Locust!"

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Synopsis for "The Plague of... the Locust!"

Continued from last issue....

The X-Men are shocked to hear that Jean's parents have withdrawn her from Xavier's private school and have enrolled her into a more conventional school at Metro College in New York. The Professor gives her some books and a corsage as a parting gift and she is driven into the city by Warren with Scott accompanying them. The whole ride, Scott broods over never being able to express his feelings to her, while Warren muses how she will be attending classes with the Human Torch. Jean dismisses the idea of being "another super-hero" on campus, telling Warren that she is just going to be plain ordinary Jean Grey. Arriving at the building, Jean and the others are introduced to Ted Roberts, a student at the college who escorts Jean to where she has to register. As Ted leads Jean away, Scott believes that he's lost Jean for good.

While elsewhere in a wheat field, a new villain has appeared that will cause havoc in the X-Men's lives: The Locust. Armed in a costume fashioned after the insect for which he is named, he intends to create an army of gigantic insects to threaten the world’s food supply by sending them to eat all of the wheat in the area. His attack on farmland America not only garners the attention of the authorities who are stumped by the weird happening, but the X-Men as well who arrive on the scene to investigate at the Professor's orders. The X-Men track down the Locust's insect horde and battles them. However, the Locust manages to escape and the authorities spray the area with a crop duster loaded with insecticide.

Back at Metro College, Jean is shown around by Ted. Their attention are drawn toward Professor Hopper, an eccentric professor at the College, whom the students make fun of. Overhearing some of the student’s taunts, Hopper lashes out at them. Jean finds him familiar and Ted tells her that he was the top Entomologist until he was fired for his bizarre theories and he now works in chemicals. Returning to his lab, we learn that Hopper is really the Locust and that his experience with insects allowed him to create a device that can make insects grow to fantastic sizes. His plan is to grow insects to immense size, then "save the day" by destroying them, gaining the credit he has been searching for his whole career. He swears to get revenge against both the X-Men and all those who mocked him.

Meanwhile, the X-Men are busy examining one of the giant grasshoppers that was commanded by the Locust. They theorize if the locust is a mutant or not and the Professor tells them that Cerebro confirmed that he is just a normal human. Jean visits for the weekend and tells the X-Men of the strange Professor Hopper and how she is suspicious of his involvement. Xavier goes to Ryan Chemicals and uses his credentials to be shown Hopper’s work. Hopper is nowhere to be found but his boss tells Xavier that he has a mobile lab that he works out of sometimes. The Professor finds a map of locations where the Locust has struck and where he will strike again and sends out the X-Men to stop him.

While the X-Men battle the Locust's insects, the Professor (disguised as a wise old man) tries to convince the unhinged Hopper to renounce his evil ways; it does not work. The Locust grows even larger insects for the X-Men to fight but Marvel Girl telekinetically curls his antennae, which he uses to communicate and control his creations. The Locust no longer can control the giant bugs and they turn on him, thinking that he is a bug to eat because of his costume.

The X-Men destroy the insects and Hopper's lab and the Locust finally breaks down and listens to the Professor. He turns himself over to the authorities to pay his debt for the harm he has caused. The X-Men find out that the Professor has once again utilized his mechanical legs that allow him to walk in order to appear to Locust as a wise old man.


  • credits:
    • Editing by: Stan (Busy Bee) Lee
    • Script by: Roy (Book-Worm) Thomas
    • Art by: Werner (Worker-Ant) Roth
    • Inking by: Dick (Doodle-Bug) Ayers
    • Lettering by: Sam (Pussy-Cat) Rosen
  • references: X-Men #7


  • We find out in this issue that the original team of X-Men graduated from Xavier's school in X-Men #7.
  • There is a note by Stan Lee and the "gang" upon some of the first panels of seeing the Locust. It states that the Locust has hints of having a fascist fixation. It then asks if any psychologist readers would forward their thoughts on that analysis to the Marvel editors.
  • One panel of the story shows a clearly defined Johnny Storm and Wyatt Wingfoot at Metro College, which they attend. Directly below their picture, though, is an arrowed message box that states it is not a picture of them and that they are in the Himalayas (during the events of Fantastic Four #54). It is possible that this is an editing trick made after the picture had already been made and to save having to redraw the panel.
  • This issue contains a letters page, Let's Visit the X-Men. Letters are published from Mark Campbell, H.P. Chan, D. Bruce Berry, Kim Montgomery, Charles Goering, Ervin Hole, and Mark Taylor.
  • This editor's favorite quote from this issue is the Beast telling a giant mutated locust, "Restrain Yourself Invertebrate! I'm trying to apprehend you!"

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