So, welcome back to this blog for Beast's supporting cast. Firstly, there's Vera, who has moved back to New York and has become some kind of radical. She's been appearing in Defenders on and off, and I don't know how compatible her appearance here is with where she'd been left off - Hank certainly seems surprised! Also, there's Carl Maddicks, who'd last been seen ages ago, in Amazing Adventures #11. He's a funny character to bring back after so long, especially as he was killed off in that single appearance (retconned here). He hires Tower, a new mutant with the ability to size-shift (but who is not as awesome as Axe. Nobody can be that awesome), to kidnap Beast. X-Factor respond (in character, which definitely involves calling each other things like "Warren" and "Jean" in public), and start trying to track down Beast.
Maddicks is being used because of the storyline he appeared in: Beast, way back, isolated what the comic is still not calling "Mutant Growth Hormone", and Maddicks wishes to see if he can develop a cure, too. There's still one loose end to dispose of, though: Tower. So Maddicks sics X-Factor on him. That backfires very slightly - the X-Men are able to extract the information needed out of Tower, and rescue Beast.
Beast has had Maddick's "cure" tested on him, prior to its proposed use on Artie Maddicks, Carl's son. This is like the fourth time we've had someone motivated by their son being a mutant (previously we've had Mimic's father, Bolivar Trask, and William Stryker), which is an odd pattern. Nobody seems to care about their daughters? This sort of works, insofar as it cures his blueness and furriness, reverting the one remaining significant character development that any of these people had happen to them since 1970. Apart from the nostalgic element, it also means can "pass as human" now - as X-Factor #1 puts it. They're trying to make that premise work, even as they undermine it by having the team refer to themselves as X-Factor even in their mutant garb.
So, after killing his father, they get Artie as a ward. Or rather, they seem to just take him - at the urging of Carl, it has to be admitted - without any official state approval. He looks young, probably younger any of the New Mutants. His mutation leads him to look very different, and he's mute, so he communicates by projecting images of stuff, instead. I don't know why he hasn't been taught sign language or writing or something: we'll see later on that he's capable of using symbols, I believe.
Throughout the arc, Scott is being avoidant about telling Jean about Madelyne, or vice versa, even though Warren has told him he needs to, and Jean knows something is wrong and wants to have a talk with him. And as I said for #1, he's not out of character, this is exactly the sort of cretinous thing that he'd do. The bastard.