The character was created by the writer, Stan Lee and artist/co-writer, Jack Kirby. Beast first appeared in X-Men #1 in September 1963. Beast is depicted as a well- educated man with a witty sense of humor He is a scientist, X-Men’s medical doctor, and the Science and Mathematics instructor at the Xavier Institute.
Beasts deals with the fear of social rejection and his own bestial instincts. He has appeared regularly in X-men related comics.
Powers and Abilities
Beast has superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, flexibility, dexterity, agility, balance, coordination, and endurance. The limit of his superhuman powers has changed with time due to subsequent mutation. Beast can easily perform tasks with his feet as easily as a human would do with his hands. Due to effects of his mutation, he sometimes gets amnesiac and it becomes hard for him to control his animalistic instincts. In such situations, he slips into an uncontrollable rage during combats.
Beast can also repair mild to moderate injuries much faster than a normal human due to his metabolism. Beast’s secondary feline mutation gives him more cat-like appearance. He gains cat-like agility, coordination, flexibility, balance and enhanced senses. His subsequent mutation also causes changes in the color of his fur.
Hank possesses a genius. He is a world-famous biochemist and has a PhD.s in Biophysics and Genetics. Despite not having an MD, he has worked as a medical doctor for X-Men. He also has expertise in chemistry, physics, electronics, anatomy, nano-effusive devices, philosophy, literature, ancient cultures. Apart from that, he also plays the keyboard and speaks various languages like French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Russian and English.
Henry Philip McCoy was born in Dundee, Illinois. His father was Norton McCoy and mother was Edna McCoy. His father worked in a nuclear plant before Henry’s birth and was once exposed to intense nuclear radiation. This affected his genes and his son was born with mutations.Hank was born with unusually long limbs and legs and vast intellect. His nickname in his school was “Magilla Gorilla” due to his appearance.
With The X-Men
Henry’s mutation was more fully manifested during his adolescence. He gained greater strength and agility. As a result, he became a famous football player for the remaining time in his school.
However, this attracted the attention of Professor Charles Xavier and costumed criminal El Conquistador. His parents were kidnapped by Conquistador so that he could coerce Hank to work for him. Hank with the help of Xavier and X-Men, he rescued his parents. Professor Charles invited him to study at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Recognizing the opportunity, Hank accepted the offer. He found the school both a place of sanctuary and fountain of scientist knowledge. He became a member of X-Men with a codename of “Beast”. He studied subjects ranging from differential equations to Proust.
Beast battled Magneto and later Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants while with the X-Men. He was frustrated having to keep his secret identity as an X-men. Post-X-Men, he became a professional wrestler. He met Unus the Untouchable while wrestling and helped the X-Men build a ray gun that would make Unus completely untouchable.
Beast then rejoined the X-men. He also visited Savage Land and met Ka-Zar while with the team. Beast also battled the Juggernaut and the Sentinels. He fought the Maha Yogi with assistance from Ice Man as well.
Hank completed his doctoral studies under Xavier’s tutelage and decided to leave the X-Men shortly after his twentieth birthday after remarking that he was no longer one of the “strangest teens of all”. He joined the Brand Corporation, a genetics research facility and became a research scientist under Doctor Carl Maddicks. He started dating his assistant Linda Donaldson.
During one of his experiments, Hank isolated a “hormonal extract” that would allow anyone to become a mutant for a short period of time. However, Maddicks was planning to steal his documents so Hank took the extract to disguise himself. He went through various radical physical changes that left him with enhanced his agility and strength. However, he waited a long time before deciding to turn back and this caused the transformation to be permanent. He grew grey fur all over his body which later turned blue in color. Beast started to struggle with controlling his feral side.
Youtube: Beast transformation
It became harder to Beast joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants briefly when Mastermind wiped out his memory. However, he quickly recovered. When he was injured Patsy Walker (aka Hellcat) helped him recover and got reunited with his old girlfriend Vera Cantor. He discovered that his girlfriend Lindy was an agent of the criminal Secret Empire and they broke up.
Eventually, Hank left Brand and joined the Avengers as a provisional member. He proved that he was worthy of full membership and remained a member for many years. While with the Avengers he revealed his dual identity to the world in hope that his status as an Avenger would help ease human mutant tensions. He became good friends with Wonder Man. He would help X-Men in time of need.
Beast witnessed Jean Grey’s transformation to Dark Phoenix and later her suicide as well as funeral before returning to Avengers. He eventually left the Avengers which had six member limit at the moment so that it could be filled out by the new recruits.
Beast later joined the Defenders and stayed with them to help with the reorganization of the team. With help of Nick Fury, he was able to get a government clearance for the team. However, in battle with Moondragon and Dragon of the Moon, all members of Defenders died except Beast, Angel, and Iceman. Hence the Defenders disbanded.
A few weeks later, the Avengers found a mysterious cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay which then turned out to shelter Jean Grey. Jean, Beast, Iceman, Angel, and Cyclops joined together to form X-Factor. Beast was again reunited with Vera Cantor. On X-factor’s second mission Beast was kidnapped by Carl Maddicks, who was apparently alive and wanted to find a cure for mutancy which had made his son mute. Maddicks developed a serum and tested it on Beast. This changed Beast back into a normal human.
In the battle Angel lost his wings and then soon went missing. Apocalypse turned Angel into Death who became the most powerful among four Horsemen of Apocalypse. Hank is touched by the Horseman Pestilence in a battle whose virus reacted with the recent serum by Maddicks. As a result, every time Hank used his powers, his intelligence would be compromised.
The battle was won but Hank’s condition got worse. He opened up to reporter Trish Tilby not realizing that she may use the information. Out of respect for Hank, Tilby did not use Hank’s name but did report that one of the X-Factors’ members was losing his intelligence. In an attempt to save his friend Iceman from the deadly kiss of mutant Infectia, who could mutate people to monsters through touch, Hank intervened the kiss. This resulted in Hank turning back into his blue-furred form with restored intelligence and more strength.
Return to X-Men
Beast along with rest of the X-factor teamed up with the X-men to battle against the evil forces trying to invade the city. They were able to close a portal between Limbo and Earth and bring about peace. After this the events X-Tinction Agenda where Beast had a significant role.
It was discovered that the Shadow King had taken control of the mind of almost everyone in the Muir Island. As that included most of the X-Men, Professor Xavier took help from S.H.I.E.L.D and X-Factor to stop Shadow King. After the battle, X-Force merged with X-Men and Professor Xavier was again left a cripple.
Hank returned to the ranks of the X-Men where he worked to find a cure for Stryfe’s Legacy Virus. The virus was deadly against the mutants as it would target their mutant gene and kill them. Watching Rogue and Gambit together, Hank started questioning his accomplishments as a 30-year-old. His frustrations were further increased when Professor Xavier and Moira Mac Taggert excluded him from their research. Beast looked at their research and realized that the virus was a bigger problem than he had expected.
Beast became obsessed with the virus since he always believed that he could solve any problem. He went as far as to give the information to Mister Sinister since he had more resources and fewer morals which would give him much better chance to find the cure. Beast continued his on-again-off-again relationship with Trish until she leaked the information about Legacy Virus which led them to break up.
Later Dark Beast, an alternate version of Beast from the Age of Apocalypse, kidnapped the real Beast and posed as him. Dark Beast finished some of the formulae and later went to join Onslaught. Beast was able to escape and reunite with X-Men. He also patched up with Trish since he realized he valued her a lot.
Beast eventually found the cure for Legacy virus with help from Dr. MacTaggert but it required a mutant to sacrifice themselves. Colossus decided to sacrifice himself to save humankind when no one was watching.
After mourning the death of a teammate, Hank briefly left the school and joined Storm and her X-Treme X-Men team to search Destiny’s diaries. However, after an attack by Vargas that left Psylocke dead and Beast gravely injured, he returned back to the institute.
Enhanced feline form
Beast experienced secondary mutations which were jump-started by fellow teammate Sage. The further mutations caused Beast to take more feline physique which he had trouble adapting. Hank was beaten into a coma by Beak who was possessed by Professor Xavier’s evil twin Cassandra Nova. Unable to keep up the mutations and accusations of bestiality, Trish Tilly broke up with Beast.
Beast eventually developed a friendship with Emma Frost when she joined the team. When she was shot while in her diamond form, Beast spent some time putting the pieces of her diamonds together. His efforts were not in vain, as Jean Grey with psionic energy fused the diamond shards together to bring Emma back.
When Beast heard of a cure that would reverse mutations, he seriously considered taking the cure. However, decided against it when Wolverine urged him not to take it as it would send a negative message to other mutants. It was then discovered that the cure was developed by Dr. Kavita Rao through experimentation on mutant corpse including Colossus. Beast helped take down operation.
When Hellfire Club attacked X-Men, Cassandra Nova telepathically stripped away Beast’s higher human consciousness leaving him with only animal instincts. He then attacked Wolverine and bit off some flesh on his leg but a student named Blindfold faced him down with a device that he and Professor Xavier made in case Beast lost his consciousness. Once restored, Beast helped Wolverine using a special magnetic device. The X-Men, Ord, and Danger have teleported away to S.W.O.R.D and airlifted to the alien Breakworld.
When Civil War broke out regarding the Superhuman Registration Act, Beast along with rest of the X-Men took assumed a neutral stance. However, Beast personally was not a fan of the policy. He secretly violated his stance by giving Spider-Man a holographic disguise to enable him to continue teaching at Midtown High after his secret identity was exposed. Later, Beast enlisted his services to the Initiative program after the war’s end and assisted in the training of next generation of superheroes.
The X-men along with other mutants attended the funeral of a young mutant Matt Landru who was killed in a road traffic accident. The mutants mused on what this meant for the mutant community. The Scarlet witch had stripped nearly all of the mutant population of their powers due to which the population of mutant society had decreased dramatically.
Beast planned a way to reverse it. He took help from some of the most brilliant scientists and even villains like Mr. Sinister, Doctor Doom, and the High Evolutionary. Dark Beast also offered help. He attempted to search for Scarlet Witch but she did not remember anything about her past life.
Beast helped Professor X repair Cerebro while the X-Men tracked down the new child with the X-Gene. Beast helped to cure the mortally wounded Hellion as well as other New X-Men and X-Men who were injured in battles with Purifiers and the Marauders. Beast also fought in the battle of Muir Island and was the first to reach Professor Xavier after he was accidentally shot by Bishop. Xavier’s body then disappeared.
Beast was then dropped off by Logan at the institute where he destroyed all the teacher students’ files fearing that it may fall into wrong hands. He closed down the school and took Martha Johansson.
Move to San Francisco
After the events of Messiah CompleX, Beast relocated to San Francisco with rest of the X-Men where they set up a new X-Men headquarters. He helped Tabitha Smith teach Nuwa to use research instead of brutal strength to fight her enemy. Beast formed a science team called X-Club with new recruits like Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, and Dr. Kavita Rao to find a solution for M-Day (Scarlet Witch’s ramifications).
Together they created a time travel device so that they could go to the future and retrieve the mutant Messiah. However, the device had a side effect that would break the user’s biology upon going to the future causing the person to automatically return back in thirty-two and a half hours.
When the Skrulls invasion took place, Beast discovered that the Legacy Virus could affect the Super-Skrulls with X-Men abilities. Cyclops used the virus on the Skrulls despite Beast’s ethical protests. Then Cyclops offered antidote in return for their retreat.
After raising Asteroid M and naming it Utopia where mutants lived with peace. Beast and Angel formed a team of specialists including Madison Jeffries, Yuriko Takiguchi, Dr. Nemesis and Dr. Kavita Rao called X-Club in order to save humankind from the M-Day effects. Beast and the X-Club traveled back to 1906 to find Dr. Nemesis’ parents and discover the origins of modern mutation.
During the mission, they encountered an earlier version of Sentinel made by the Hellfire Club and accidentally caused the San Francisco earthquake. When they returned to present, they found that their DNA evidence was left buried underneath the Dreaming Celestial.
Beast was then captured and held prisoner on Alcatraz Island by Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) along with Professor X. There he became a test subject for the Omega Machine which was designed by Dark Beast to eliminate mutant powers and place them in Weapon Omega.
Beast was tortured while held captive. He got weaker and lost his claws while being hooked up to the machine. He was rescued by X-Men. Beast became doubtful about staying with the X-Men under Cyclops’s leadership since he allowed Magneto to be a member. Eventually, he left the X-Men.
Beast then decided to join S.W.O.R.D. along with his girlfriend Abigail Brand. He joined her in space. While Beast was there, Brad’s co-commander, Henry Peter Gyrich, who was hired by Norman Osborn, started to gather all aliens on earth in an attempt to avoid another Secret Invasion.
Furthermore, Gyrich made moves against Abigail hence Beast, Abigail and the dragon Lockheed became fugitives and attempted to stop Gyrich’s plans.
Beast eventually returned back to Utopia to attend the funeral of his friend Nightcrawler. He confronted and blamed Cyclops for his friend’s death. He believed Cyclops’ increasing military and extremist attitude to protect the mutant species at any cost caused his death. He stayed at Utopia to help with Bastion’s attacks despite his issues with Cyclops. He then returned back to Utopia.
Beast was shown as part of Steve Rogers’ Secret Avengers team. He was inspecting on something that looked like the serpent crown. Beast researched on the serpent crown by hacking in with the help of Ant-Man and Moon Knight. However, it was later discovered that it wasn’t the real serpent crown. Beast assisted the team in helping Shang Chi and also helped to bring back John Steele’s memory. He went with the team to Pakistan where they couldn’t save a woman being taken away by adaptoids. However, Antman went with adaptoids sneakily.
Beast was attacked by Miss America and was severely injured. Hawkeye came to his rescue but they both end up getting captured. As Beast was bleeding out, Hawkeye pleaded with Deathlok to help him. Ant-Man was revealed to be hiding in the cell and the three escaped. They rejoined with the rest of the team who were successful to recover the child of the woman who was captured.
The X-Men was separated into two teams. Beast was on the team with Wolverine as he opened The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in Westchester County, New York. Hank worked as a teacher and the Vice-Principal of the school to help the headmaster Wolverine.
Wolverine and The X-Men
Beast made an arrangement with the Gladiator to enroll his son Kid Gladiator in return of using Shi'Ar technology for the school. When the Hellfire Club attacked the school, Beast defends against several clones of Frankenstein's monster. Hank was informed by the Hellfire Club that the school was top of a grandson of Krakoa as the monster joined the chaos. The issue was resolved. Beast and Kitty met with Logan and the Uncanny X-Force and discussed to enroll Warren and Genesis at the school.
Beast led Broo; mutant of Brood race, Quentin Quire, Kid Gladiator, Genesis and other students on a field trip inside of toad to show them the X-Gene up close. Upon return, Kitty started acting strange and revealed that she was pregnant. However, upon examination, Hank discovered that she was infected by Brood, a race of alien parasites. Kid Gladiator shrunk down in size and jumped inside Kitty to save her. Beast went after him to find that he had turned into a Brood. Hank planted a localized bomb after recovering Kid Gladiator and left along with the students.
Beast informed Logan of the damage that the matter transmutation ray had done to his legs. So, Beast headed to the Peak to obtain another in order to heal him. As he approached the peak, the bodies of his crew members floated in space and hit the ship. Sabretooth had killed them and held Agent Brand hostage.
Beast and Sabretooth got into an intense battle until Creed cut open Hank's stomach. Creed took Brand out into space to finish her and left Hank without a space suit. However, Beast managed to take a deep breath and took a big leap through the bay to knock Brand out from Creed's grip before landing through the opposite door. Agent Brand returned to Beast after blasting Sabretooth and helped to patch Beast up.
Avengers VS X-Men
Beast fought alongside the Avengers when Avengers Vs X-Men broke out while the Phoenix Force hurdled towards the Earth. After a long fight, they ended up confronting each other on the moon. Ironman shattered the Phoenix force with his new suit of armor.
Due to this, the power of Phoenix Force was received by mutants: Cyclops, Emma, Namor, Colossus, and Magik. They became the Phoenix Five and solved some of the world's problems. Moreover Beast started to question Avengers motives when they were planning to kill the Phoenix hosts. Beast returned to aid the Avengers and X-Men when Emma Frost and Cyclops started to get corrupted by Phoenix's power.
All New X-Men
After the Phoenix War, Cyclops actively struck out the government and held mutants prisoners. However, the X-men denied fighting against him since they feared another civil war. Meanwhile, Beast was subjected to secondary artificially-accelerated mutation. Sensing that he would not survive the next mutation he searched for a cure. He talked with Iceman and Storm about Cyclops where he got the idea to go back in past and bring back the old Cyclops so that he could convince the present Cyclops to stand down.
Beast brought back the original five members of X-Men to the present but lapsed into a coma. However, Jean's telepathy managed to connect the minds of young and present Hanks. This allowed the younger Hank to spot a mistake in his future self's calculations. He stabilized his physiology by reverting to a blue-furred ape-like state again however, he was left with no hair on the head. The young X-men decided to stay back and formed All New X-men, except for Angel who joined Cyclops 'Uncanny X-Men'.
Around this time, Beast joined the Illuminati as a replacement for the deceased Professor X. Beast worked to stop the Incursions that threatened all the reality as part of the Illuminati.
Inhumans Vs X-Men
After the events of Secret Wars, the Terrigen Mists which was released by Thanos's last invasion left the world in the midst of mutant health crisis. The Terrigen Clouds that gave Inhumans their power was rather toxic for the mutants as it changed the atmosphere's structure. Beast worked with Queen Medusa ad the Inhumans to find a cure for the disease which was called M-Pox.
However, Beast later realized that there was no cure for M-Pox and it would soon dissipate into the entire planet. Hence he met the Xmen and suggested all the mutants to eave the planet. However, Storm, Emma Frost, and Magneto disagreed and believed they were better off starting a war against Inhumans and destroying the Cloud for themselves. Storm imprisoned Beast and the battle between Inhumans and X-Men unfolded. Medusa activated a generator that destroyed the Terrigen Cloud. After the battle, Beast reconciled with his former teammates on the X-men.
Beast in Movies
Beast was included in early drafts for the 2000 films X-Men but due to budget issues, he was removed. Then, Steve Bacic made his brief cameo as Dr. Hank McCoy in the 2003 movie X2, on a television screen in a bar.
Furthermore, Kelsey Grammer portrayed Beast in the 2006 movie, X-Men: Last Stand. *Spoilers Alert* In the movie, Beast was shown as a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States where he was serving as Secretary of Mutant Affairs. He resigned the position after a "cure " for human mutation was developed and used as a weapon against the mutants. He then helped the X-Men fight Magneto's forces o the Alcatraz Island. Ultimately, Beast injected Magneto with the cure and he was appointed as United States Ambassador to the United States.
YouTube: Wolverine Meets Beast
Nicholas Hoult then portrayed a younger Beast in the prequel film X-Men: First Class which was released in 2011. *Spoilers Alert* In the movie, McCoy's crush on Mystique was highlighted. Mc-Coy was originally shown with only prehensile feet and enhanced speed, agility, and reflexes. However, in an attempt to cure his mutation with a serum derived from Mystique's DNA, he ended up transforming into the blue-furred feline form. McCoy created a mutant-locating device known as Cerebro.
Hoult and Grammer returned as Beast in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past. *Spoilers Alert* Hank had created a serum which controlled his mutation giving him an appearance of normal human until he got angry. When younger Beast asked Wolverine from the future if he was still alive in future, Wolverine told him that he was not. Wolverine's actions in the past, as well as his warning to Beast and Xavier, created a different timeline where Beast was alive. Grammer reprised his role as the older Beast in a cameo at the end of the film.
Youtube: X-Men Days of Future Past;
Hoult again reprised his role as Beast for the movie X-Men: Apocalypse. *Spoiler alert* Hank was shown to have developed a new jet in the mansion's basement. He was still using the serum to maintain his human form. The mansion was then destroyed in the first confrontation with Apocalypse. He reverted to his "Beast" form when he was captured by Stryker and thus he missed his shot. Nevertheless, he stole a jet from Stryker's own fleet and piloted it to Cairo to confront Apocalypse. He got into a battle with the Horseman Psylocke. At the end of the movie, Beast was depicted as one of Xavier's lieutenants with the revived X-Men team.