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How the Beast Lost His Fur in X-Factor (and Then Got it Back)

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
How the Beast Lost His Fur in X-Factor (and Then Got it Back)

In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

A few months back, longtime reader Alan B. wrote in to ask about the strange brief period where the Beast grew dumber the more he used his powers. After I answered that one, Alan then wanted to know how Beast came to look like a human again.

It all started when X-Factor was formed in X-Factor #1 by Bob Layton, Jackson Guice and Joe Rubinstein.

You see, the original X-Men worked out a plan where they would pretend to be a group of “mutant hunters,” but they would secretly then train the mutants that they “captured.” Their first “captive” was a young mutant named Rusty Collins who could not control his flame power…

As you might have noticed, Beast could not pretend to be one of the mutant hunters since he was, you know, all covered in blue fur. So Layton and Guice had to fix that. So in the following issue, X-Factor #2 (by Layton/Guice/Rubinstein), the Beast is captured by the Alliance of Evil and a scientist begins to experiment on Beast…

The experiment is harsh and the Beast almost dies…

What’s he yammering on about his kid?

Well, in the next issue, we learn that he has a mutant son and the experiment is designed to find a CURE for being a mutant!

The rest of Beast’s teammates show up and the scientist ends up sacrificing himself to protect his young son. X-Factor takes Beaat home, but he is covered with bandages from the experiment. When they get the bandages off…

So Layton and Guice now had Beast look like a human so he could work as a mutant hunter. And then, sure enough, Layton was replaced on the book by Louise Simonson, who very soon afterwards dropped the mutant hunters angle on the series.

After a couple of years, she also decided to reverse course on the whole “turn Beast human” plan. Beginning in X-Factor #28 (by Louise Simonson and the art team of Walter Simonson and Bob Wiacek), they introduced a mysterious mutant known as Infectia. She could alter people’s molecules through kissing them. She then turned people into monsters. She seduced Iceman, with Beast continually trying to save his friend (but this was during the time when Beast was getting dumber and dumber, so Iceman couldn’t believe him).

In the end, Infectia is about to mutate Iceman when Beast burst in and saved the day by taking the kiss for himself…

The Beast went into a coma for most of the next two issues, but when he learned that his friends were in danger, the adrenaline kickstarted his system and he was now back to his classic form….

Thanks for the suggestion, Alan! If anyone else has a suggestion of an interesting abandoned comic book plot, drop me a line at!

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