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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mutant Affairs

During one of Beast's public lectures about his life as a superhero, Adrian Castorp, a musician who was persecuted for being a mutant, challenged the hero to take his role as a public figure more seriously. Instead of relying on humor, why didn't Beast discuss the discrimination mutants faced?

The message struck home, prompting Beast to found a movement advocating that mutants only need sensitivity, tolerance, and equal rights (New Defenders #142). As an homage to Adrian Castorp, who happened to have six fingers on each hand, the symbol for M.O.N.S.T.E.R. was a fist with six fingers (no connection to the Six-Fingered Hand).

Based on the letters column, reader response to the mutant storyline was favorable. The following letter on the topic appeared in #151.

Dear Peter, Don, Kim, Janice, Michele, & Carl,

I'm writing to thank you for THE NEW DEFENDERS #142. I think this was the best of THE NEW DEFENDERS so far. I'm glad to finally see some intelligent Homo Sapiens in the Marvel Universe. Seeing people who accept mutants as people is an overwhelming joy. I thought this story was very touching.

I guess one of the reasons I liked this story so much was because of Adrian Castorp. He, like the first born male in my family, has six fingers on each hand. Just thought you'd like to know you really hit home with this one!

I guess this makes me a mutant too, huh? I wish you would consider making another character like him. You could even use my name!

Keep up the good work.

Bill Lawrence
Montclair, NJ
The above image comes from the New Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 142. April 1985. "M.O.N.S.T.E.R." Peter B. Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (penciler), Kim DeMulder (ink), Michele Wrightson (colorer), Janice Chiang (letterer), Carl Potts (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief).

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