Comics : Spider-Man: Mutant Agenda #1
This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!
This review was first published on: 2006.
Nothing much to say here besides the fact that this limited series is actually a crossover with the Spider-Man newspaper strip that ran at the same time as this series was released. In issue #0, you could cut out the strips from the paper and paste them in their appropriate boxes inside, creating your own scrapbook to go along with the series. I never did read the news strip comic so I don't know how much this classifies as a crossover. I believe that the strip merely retold the same story only in its own format allowing the reader to experience the story in two different media.
Spider-Man: Mutant Agenda #1
Mar 1994 : SM Title
Summary: Newpaper Crossover (X-Men, Beast Appear)
|Reprinted In: Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda|
Beast, Archangel, Rogue, Bishop and Gambit are honing their skills in the danger room, where each character gets a chance to display their unique mutant super powers. After the exercise is over and the dust settles Hank McCoy (aka, The Beast) and Warren Worthington III (aka The Archangel) meet up to talk about the good old days when they were a part of the flagship team of X-Men. Back then they both looked like normal people and could be a part of society without having to disguise and hide themselves. Warren asks McCoy if he's alright but Hank blows it off and walks away.
Back in McCoy's room, he flips through some old scrapbooks remembering before he became an X-Men when he was working at a Genetic Research company called Brand. Everything was perfect back then until a horrible accident caused Hank's mutation to change causing him to grow blue hair all over his body. Back then he was still naive of Brand's true aspirations, thinking he was contributing to the greater good of science for human and mutant kind.
An article in a newspaper has sparked all these emotions in Hank saying that Brand is about to uncover the secret of mutation, the very project McCoy was working on when he was studying there. Somehow it looks like Brand has picked up his research where he left off and he feels responsible for anything that Brand might do with the knowledge he gained from his experiments. Leaving the mansion, Rogue confronts Hank telling him he's not going anywhere alone. Knowing that he really can't explain it perfectly to her why he has to do this alone, he tells her to touch him with her bare hand, taking his thoughts and memories along with his powers, so that she'll know for sure why he has to do what needs to be done alone. She uses her powers and sees and understands what is inside Hank's soul and lets him go.
Elsewhere, in an apartment in Soho, Mary Jane Watson Parker nags Peter to get to the conference today on time because his professor is expecting a report covering what is discussed and that he doesn't really have time to go out as Spider-Man. Telling her he's just using it as cheap transportation, he kisses her and takes off out the window. Swinging over the rooftops, Spider-Man doesn't immediately see the Hobgoblin flying past him but the Hobgoblin sees him. Not really wanting to waste time fighting, the Hobgoblin tries to get by Spider-Man without being seen but he is spotted anyway and, of course, a fight breaks out. Ending it pretty quickly with a ghost slime ball to the face, sending Spider-Man plummeting to the streets below, gives the Hobgoblin the time needed to get away. Spidey does manage to get the green sludge off his face in time but not fast enough to stop the Hobgoblin or to see which way he went.
A little later Hobgoblin also runs into the Beast on the rooftops but thankfully for him, this time, the Beast doesn't see him. Down in an alleyway below Hank McCoy drops down from the roofs and takes out a long trench coat and a hat from his pack so that he can attend today's conference on mutation that Brand is giving. With his coat and hat (the perfect disguise) in place he's ready to be seen among the populace.
Peter Parker, walking into the conference notices the Beast (so much for his disguise) but can't approach him without revealing to Hank his secret identity. Inside the front doors Hank sees a colored statue of the X-Men with a caption reading "Mutation: Force Without Control?" This is all Hank needs to see to know that Brand is probably still up to it old tricks gaining support for their experimentation on mutants by spreading fear and paranoia about them.
Before going into the conference Peter sees some of Brand's results and statistics on some displays boards and comments on the fact that Brand might be mere years away from being able to give humans specific animal traits, which reminds Peter of how he got his powers. Walking into the packed house Peter notices the Beast again and wants to sit next to him hoping to be able to spark up a conversation with him about the conference. Peter would love to hear Hank's take on the presentation, but because of the crowds Peter doesn't get his chance.
Landon, the reigning CEO of Brand, makes his way to the podium at center stage and announces to the audience that Brand has now cracked the genetic code and they are ready to start splicing DNA in people, making their own mutants. Hank knows that Brand is only interested in making mutant slaves but before he can voice his opinion, the Hobgoblin bursts above the stage revealing to everyone that Landon has been doing horrible things but doesn't say what they are. The Beast, now without the coat and hat, jumps on stage and knocks the Hobgoblin away from Landon but is saved moments later by Spider-Man from an electrified net thrown at him. Hobgoblin, knowing he wouldn't be able to take on both the Beast and Spidey, throws a pumpkin bomb onto the balcony where a woman is watching the fight. With Spider-Man easily saving the woman from the blast, Hobgoblin gets frustrated and decids to leave well enough alone, blowing a hole in the wall to make his getaway. Still inside the building that is now about to collapse are the Beast and Spider-Man and still a lot of people that haven't gotten out yet.
With the Brand company back researching on mutant genetics, Hank McCoy (The Beast) decides to attend the conference Brand is giving on their latest findings. Also at the conference is Peter Parker (Spider-Man) who needs to be there to get material for a report he has to write for one of his professors. As the conference is taking place, the Hobgoblin breaks in explaining that the Brand Company and the CEO, Landon, have been involved in some bad practices but before he gets a chance to explain further the Beast and Spider-Man stop him from hurting Landon. During the fight, with Hobgoblin escaping, the building they are in has suffered seriously structural damage and is about to collapse with a lot of people, the Beast and Spider-Man included, still inside.
Just a nice average issue where nothing spectacular happens and the writing and the drawing are not really all that bad. They're not the greatest but I could get through the issue without the feeling of being let down by one or the other. I never did get the logic of characters like the Beast or the Thing being able to blend into public with a mere overcoat and hat - sort of like a certain caped super-hero whose only disguise is a pair of glasses, but you take what you get. I remember the X-Men having some sort of holographic technology that could disguise their true appearances, making them look completely normal, but I suppose if you've got your large trench coat and a wide brimmed hat you don't need some fancy doodad gadget to allow you to walk unnoticed in a crowd.
Read this issue if you're the type that needs to read everything with Spider-Man in it but don't feel like you need to. There's nothing much here but it's like a bowl of cereal, not very filling but it'll do in a pinch and it can help tide you over until something a bit more substantial comes along.