In the Heart of the Beast, Part 1
Adventures (Season II) #10
Writer: Ralph Macchio
Penciller: Paul Borges
Inker: James Pascoe
Colorist: Joe Agostinelli
This means that reading superhero comics takes a level of compartmentalizing, contextualizing, and meta-analyzing that no other type of fiction can match. If comic readers didn't do those things, they'd surely drown in a sea of incoherence.
Writer Steve Englehart took over for the next
issue of Amazing Adventures. Under
Englehart’s pen, Hank was no longer hyper-articulate, and, as before, no
explanation was given for the switch. Englehart wrote the Beast for five issues
of Amazing Adventures, wrapping up
the threads of his plotline in the pages of Incredible
Hulk #161 in March 1973.
To his credit, DeMatteis did try to explain why the character had become so drastically different over the years. In issue #116, Hank opens up to his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Vera, saying,
“Since I was a kid I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb! So I developed an interesting skill. I learned how to recreate myself –how to construct new personalities to win people over – and protect me from them at the same time! In my X-Men days it was the ‘intellectual’ game. That was the Hank McCoy you first met – the guy who hid behind a smokescreen of big words and big ideas. But inside I was the same scared kid I always was. I thought I was beginning to find myself when I left Professor Xavier’s school and went out on my own – but then I was accidentally turned into this overgrown Muppet – and it was back to square one! My whole world fell apart! To keep myself together I put on a new mask. No more stuffy, brainy, Henry McCoy. Now I was happy-go-lucky Hank, the man of a thousand jokes! I’ll tell you, Vera, sometimes I don’t know who I am.”