Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #124

Issue Date: 
December 1982
Story Title: 
Spider-Man and the Beast: The Ties That Bind

J. M. DeMatteis (script), Kerry Gammill (breakdowns), Mike Esposito (inks), Jim Novak (letters), Bob Sharen (colors), Tom DeFalco (editor), Jim Shooter (chief)

Brief Description: 

Deep in the Smoky Mountains of Virginia, in a secret medieval-style castle, Professor Anthony Power uses a device to incorporate his mind into the body of his comatose villain son, Matthew. As the new Professor Power swears revenge against Charles Xavier, he destroys the inner laboratory. Meanwhile, Beast is excited to meet his parents at JFK Airport, as he hasn’t seen them since shortly after he joined the X-Men years ago. Elsewhere, Peter Parker and some of his college friends help Aunt May’s retired friends move into May’s house as Peter is out on his own. Edna McCoy expresses disgust at her son being a mutant. As Beast follows her out of the restaurant they were eating at, Professor Power attacks, with speed and strength that he cannot match. Spider-Man soon joins the fight, and Power beats them both soundly. Finally, Edna realizes that Henry is still her son, and she can’t allow him to be killed. She rushes in just as Power is about to crush Beast with a large crane, begging for mercy. Power is stunned, and Spider-Man wakes up and catches Power with a web, causing him to drop the tractor on himself. Power gets up quickly, and promises mercy as he flies away. Spider-Man lets him go, and notices something behind him: Edna and Norton McCoy and Henry sharing a family moment.

Full Summary: 

Smoky Mountains, West Virginia:

On a stretch of privately-owned land, a medieval castle appears – one that was not there whatsoever just 24 hours ago. Inside, a troop of Roman-garbed soldiers stands guard in front of an adamantium-enforced door.
Behind the door, Professor Anthony Power conducts a chilling experiment, in which his assistants transfer his mind into the body of his comatose son Matthew. As the transfer continues, Anthony recalls his son’s bitter end. He remembers how Professor Charles Xavier refused to rebuild Matthew’s psychotic mind, and also how Matthew went irrevocably insane and ultimately comatose as a result of the psychic crossfire between Xavier and Mentallo.
Anthony ordered his team of scientists to rebuild Matthew’s body using cybernetic enhancements, and make him into a veritable god. The project also required a new mind for Matthew, so Anthony joined with him.
An explosion occurs as the project finishes, leading the scientists to believe that both Powers were killed. However, emerging from the smoke is the new Professor Power, with the enhanced body of Matthew and the mind of Anthony. Power cries out that he is man no longer, but pure power – and the first to feel that power will be Charles Xavier. Power declares war on all mutantkind, and picks up a large machine and hurls it across the room, destroying the lab.

JFK Airport, NYC:

As the usual crowds walk in and out of the airport, the blue-furred Beast somersaults his way through, excited to see his parents for the first time in years. With him is Vera Cantor, his girlfriend. Vera begs Hank to slow down, as he is embarrassing. Hank explains that he hasn’t seen his parents since shortly after he joined the X-Men. As the McCoys walk through the airport gate, Beast becomes excited again, and cartwheels up to them. He rushes over to give them a hug, and his father welcomes him with open arms. Mrs. McCoy, however, tries to avert her gaze from Hank. Norton McCoy, the father, expresses great pride in Henry since he joined the Avengers, but jokes that he should consider electrolysis. Beast introduces his family to Vera, and they make arrangements for dinner. As Beast goes to get the luggage, Norton chastises Edna for refusing to give Henry a warm welcome, but Edna ignores it.

Queens, NYC:

Peter Parker and his friends help Aunt May and her friends from the retirement home move their belongings into the house. As the house gets cleaned up, the old folks look through May’s old photo albums and ask what Peter’s parents were like. Peter reminisces that May and Ben were as good as any parents could have been, but he still feels empty inside for not knowing them. The entire crowd at May’s house offers to go to dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Flavours of Bombay Restaurant, Manhattan:

Vera and the McCoy family sits down to dinner. Edna complains that they should have gone for something more American, but Norton insists that the food is really tasty. Beast is confused by his mother’s bad attitude, and asks what his wrong, but Edna screams “Don’t touch me, you disgusting freak!”
Henry, Norton, and Vera are all appalled by the reaction. Edna calls Henry a disgrace and a horror, and storms out of the restaurant. Norton asks Henry to let her cool down. Norton explains that he knew that his exposure to radiation would cause their child to have deformities, but was relieved at Henry’s relatively normal appearance at birth. Both Norton and Edna knew that Henry was different, but he suggests that Edna may have been keeping quiet about her concerns, hoping for Henry to have a normal life. Of course, after he became Beast of the X-Men, all of Edna’s hopes were dashed. Beast understands her pain, and rushes off to find his mother.
Outside, he realizes that though he is an outcast as a mutant, being the mother of a mutant makes her as much of an outcast in society. As he searches, someone calls his name, and suddenly Hank is hit by something ferocious.
Professor Power stands there, having almost knocked Beast out cold with his blow. Professor Power tells him that it is fitting how the first X-Man to leave the team would also be the first to die at the hands of Power. Beast punches Power, but Power retaliates with a sharp blow. Beast feels that the punch is worth of the Thing, and rolls out of the way. Power snaps a street light off the road, and hurls it at Beast as a harpoon. Beast continues to dodge Power’s assault, but is unsuccessful as he is slammed across the road, right in front of a car carrying May and Peter Parker and their friends.

Peter rushes out of the car, claiming that this is a great opportunity to get some pictures for the Bugle. In a nearby alleyway, he changes into his Spider-Man costume and checks that he has a full supply of web cartridges.

Power has Beast cornered and almost unconscious. Power claims that his alpha-converter is now recharged, and he can destroy Beast with a gesture. However, a web-line grabs Power’s arm at the last moment, causing the laser beam to miss its target. “Whatever happened to the good old days when all you bad guys just wanted to rob banks and run for political office?” quips Spider-Man. Beast thinks that the tables have now turned, but Power says that Spider-Man has interfered with his plans twice before, but not again. Spider-Man notices that this isn’t Anthony Power anymore, but Matthew. “Haven’t you caused Matthew enough pain?” asks Spider-Man. Power claims that Spider-Man knows nothing about pain, but it is time he had a taste. Power grabs Spider-Man’s wrists, and hurls him to the ground. He tries to web a building, but it turns out that Power crushed his web cartridges. As Spider-Man is about to hit the ground, Beast rushes over to catch him. As Beast attempts to strike Power again and buy Spider-Man time to replace his webbing, Power slams into the sidewalk and goes directly underground from the force of the blow, barely missing Hank. Spider-Man and Beast try to escape, as the fight has drawn a sizeable crowd and they don’t wan innocents to get hurt.

Meanwhile, in a hotel room fifteen floors above the fight, Edna McCoy looks over her old photo albums, wondering where her wonderful child went. She looks out the window and sees Beast getting beaten badly as Spider-Man rescues the innocents, but does not react. As Power looks to lay the final blow on Beast, Edna finally reacts with horror, as it appears Beast is dying. Spider-Man says that he cannot show mercy after what just happened to Beast, but Power calls Spider-Man naïve and incompetent, and knocks him out with a hard punch. Edna sees Beast laying on the pavement, and slowly realizes that she cannot let her son be killed. She rushes downstairs.
Power picks up a tractor, with which he intends to crush Beast. Before he can do it, Edna gets in the way, begging him to stop. Edna says that she cannot let her own flesh and blood be killed, and asks Power if he knows what it is like to have a child and to be bound to him by blood forever. Power hesitates at Edna’s words, just as Spider-Man wakes up. Spider-Man webs Power quickly, causing him to drop the tractor on himself. Edna and Henry finally begin talking again. Power flies out of the ground to everyone’s surprise, but declares that he will show mercy and leave Beast alone. However, he swears that he will return for Spider-Man and Xavier. Spider-Man realizes that he will never be able to catch him at the speed he’s moving, but why spoil a happy ending?

The McCoys celebrate their first family gathering in years.

Characters Involved: 



Norton McCoy

Edna McCoy (Beast’s parents)

Professor Power II (Matthew and Anthony Power)

Vera Cantor (Beast’s girlfriend)

Phil Chang, Steve Hopins, Roger Hochberg, Mia Carerra (Peter’s friends)

Victor, Harriet, Sophie, Arthur Chekov (May’s friends)

Professor Charles Xavier

Aunt May Parker

Story Notes: 

Beast was a member of the Defenders at this point.

Beast hadn’t seen his parents since X-Men (1st series) #1.

Professor Anthony Power’s hatred of mutants stems from Marvel Team-Ups #117 (Spider-Man & Wolverine) and #118 (Spider-Man and Professor X), where Xavier was unable to rebuild son Matthew Power’s comatose mind. Power blames Xavier and therefore all mutantkind for allowing his son’s life to dwindle away.

Issue Information: 
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