If you know the X-Men Beast from 1992 X-Men: The Animated Series or the X-Men movies, you can imagine him as a bouncy blue scientist who uses three-syllable words where one-syllable words would do. He’s the cheerful brains of the classic X-Men lineup.

You are not wrong; this version of Henry McCoy is also very often present in Marvel Comics. But in the Krakoan erathe pressure and power of being put in charge of a mutant nation’s “CIA” pushed Hank McCoy’s pragmatism and intelligence to sociopathic war criminality.

In the pages of X factor And Wolverine – both written by Benjamin Percy since 2020 – he tortured, entrapped and lobotomized in the name of “mutant safety”. He’s created bioweapons, tricked his agents into killing innocent people, and heightened a teammate’s addiction so she’s less likely to understand his crimes. Lately he finally went too far and was discovered. Percy’s paired X-Men books rush into a meaty (as in spilled guts) showdown between Wolverine and Beast, and it’s going to be delicious when that blue bastard gets what’s coming to him.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We will tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of books our comics editor enjoyed over the past week. It’s part society pages about the lives of superheroes, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be spoilers. Perhaps there is not enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read it.)

Wolverine stabs Beast in the throat and sternum and, covered in blood, watches him bleed in Wolverine #30 (2023).

Image: Benjamin Percy, Juan Jose Ryp/Marvel Comics

As you’d expect for a Wolverine comic, this image is gory – but believe me, this guy deserves it.

Understanding of Beast’s potential for villainy dates back to the mid-1990s, when writer Scott Lobdell and artist Roger Cruz introduced an alternate universe Henry McCoy (eventually known as “Dark Beast”) that had surpassed the ethical threshold of madness. scientist.

Writers like Brian Michael Bendis have expressed this by giving Hank a god complex, where he unilaterally makes decisions like “I should bring the X-Men the youngest move forward in time to remind those present of their ideals and their dreams, I will certainly be able to keep anything bad happens as a result of this.”

But it’s one thing to create the young, time-displaced X-Men, and another to assassinate Wolverine, to spoil his resurrection so that he returns as a mindless, expensive assassin monster, and to tell those responsible of mutant resurrection that he was Logan’s whole idea for a top-secret mission anyway. Logan has gotten better and finally set his claws on Hank this week, but with none of the X-Men remaining dead, this promises to be just the beginning of the fight between a nigh-invincible weapon and a nigh-unbeatable strategist.

An old woman with a knife-pointed stick walks through a wild landscape with a giant cheese and an ear of corn talking, a 100-foot-tall skeleton sitting on the landscape and the moon hitting a pair of sunglasses from the sun in Eight A Billion Geniuses #7 (2023).

Image: Charles Soule, Ryan Browne/Image Comics

Eight billion geniusesthe story of what happens when every person in the world simultaneously receives a genius wish – told in chunks of the first eight minutes, first eight hours, first eight days, and more. – ends its story next month with an oversized issue covering the first eight centuries after the world is crazy. Watching the bizarre creativity of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne in this series has been an absolutely wild ride, and no matter how they bring it home, I’m going to savor it.

Image: Alyssa Wong, Haining/DC Comics

I find myself genuinely intrigued by DC Comics’ Lazarus Planet anthologies – even though I don’t usually enjoy all of the stories in them. I like this strategy of using at least one piece from each book for a short story featuring a brand new hero who is then confirmed for a lead role in a new book.

Another thing I love: that character design!! Xanthe is the new non-binary hero at the heart of The spirit world, a mini-series featuring an obscure title by Jack Kirby. Award-winning writer Alyssa Wong joins artist Haining for a story about Xanthe and John Constantine saving Batgirl Cassandra Cain from hopping vampires. The spirit world will kick off in May in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month.