Beast (comics)

Beast (comics)
Art by John Cassaday.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance [Uncanny] X-Men vol. 1 #1 (September 1963)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Alter ego Dr. Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations X-Men
Xavier Institute For Higher Learning
Secret Avengers
Jean Grey School
Notable aliases Blue Gorilla, Kreature, Mutate #666
Abilities Animal-like physiology
Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability, senses and dexterity
Genius-level intellect
Regenerative healing factor
Pheromone manipulation, razor sharp claws and teeth

Beast (or The Beast), Dr. Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy, is a comic book character, a Marvel Comics superhero and a member of the mutant team of superheroes known as the X-Men. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist/co-writer Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in X-Men #1 (September 1963).

When first introduced, the Beast—a mutant—possesses ape-like superhuman physical strength and agility and oversized hands and feet, though he otherwise appears to be a normal human being. Throughout his history, the Beast undergoes progressive transformations to his physiognomy, permanently gaining increasingly animalistic physical characteristics. These include blue fur, feline facial features, pointed ears, fangs, and claws. His physical power increases to even greater levels, as do his senses.

Despite his inhuman appearance, he is a brilliant man of the arts and sciences; he is a world authority on biochemistry and genetics, the X-Men's medical doctor, and the science and mathematics instructor at the Xavier Institute (the X-Men's headquarters and school for young mutants). He is also a mutant political activist. Fighting his bestial instincts and fears of social rejection, the Beast dedicates his physical and mental gifts to the creation of a better world for man and mutant. He also has a witty sense of humor.

One of the original X-Men, the Beast has appeared consistently in X-Men-related comics throughout the years. He has also been a member of the "all-star" teams the Avengers and Defenders. In X-Men: The Last Stand, he was played by Kelsey Grammer, and in X2, Steve Bacic portrayed him in a very brief cameo in a newscast scene as a human. Nicholas Hoult portrays Beast in the 2011 film, X-Men: First Class.

Beast has received positive reception as a comic book character and a member of the X-Men.


Publication history

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Beast. Stan Lee writes in the foreword to X-Men: The Ultimate Guide that he made Beast the most articulate, eloquent, and well-read of the X-Men to contrast with his brutish exterior. Further, the book opines that the Werner Roth-Roy Thomas team garnered admiration for their "appealing and sensitive characterizations of the original X-Men." Roth (under the alias Jay Gavin) had taken over for Kirby fully by issue #18 and Thomas was a new talent. Beast was given an individualized, colorful new costume with the rest of the X-Men by issue #39 in order to attract new readers. After Jim Steranko's tenure, which added "exciting art," Roth returned, working with Neal Adams who blended Kirby's style with "realism, idealized beauty, and epic grandeur," making The X-Men (later named Uncanny X-Men) series one of the most popular superhero comics by the late 1960s.

In Amazing Adventures #11, written by Gerry Conway in March 1972, the Beast underwent a radical change in appearance, mutating into the now familiar furry creature. The concept originated with Roy Thomas, an effort to make the character more visibly striking, and Beast also became more werewolf-like to capitalize on the success of Werewolf by Night.[2] Steranko reasons, "he had to expand beyond simply using big words."[2] Over the next decade he would appear on the roster of several teams in titles ranging from Avengers to Defenders to X-Factor. It wasn't until 1991, in X-Factor #70/X-Men #1, that the Beast finally returned to the X-Men. In Uncanny X-Men #390, 2001, the Beast cured the Legacy Virus and in X-Treme X-Men #3, 2001, the Beast experienced a further mutation into a feline being, first shown in the introduction to New X-Men (June, 2001), by Frank Quitely and Grant Morrison. As evidenced on the back cover of X-Treme X-Men Vol. 1, Chris Claremont, writer of that series in addition to both Uncanny X-Men (for sixteen consecutive years) and X-Factor, contributed much to the Beast's characterization. Citing Claremont as inspiration for his run on New X-Men, Morrison explains Beast as a "brilliant, witty bipolar scientist." Morrison continues, "I saw Henry McCoy as an incredibly clever, witty, cultured, well-traveled, experienced, well-read character so I brought out those parts of his personality which seemed to me to fit the profiles of the smartest and most worldly people I know - his sense of humor is dark and oblique. He's obviously quite clearly bipolar and swings between manic excitement and ghastly self-doubt. He has no dark secrets, however, and nothing to hide."[3] Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men: Gifted story arc featured a "mutant cure" designed by Indian Benetech scientist Dr. Kavita Rao, and the prospect of "real" humanity arouses the interest of a heavily mutated Beast, who visits Rao only to discover that the drug is the product of illegal human experimentation on an unknown victim. The idea of a mutant cure, which had previously appeared in the 1992 animated series, was also the basis of the X-Men: The Last Stand movie plot and the series was even made into a motion comic. IGN called the arc focusing on Beast "best X-Men run in a decade" and lauded Whedon for flawless character dynamics.[4] According to BusinessWeek, the Beast is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional characters in American comics.[5]

Fictional character biography

Henry Philip McCoy was born in Dundee, Illinois, in the United States, to Norton and Edna McCoy. His father, Norton McCoy, is employed at a local nuclear power plant before Henry's birth and was once exposed to intense nuclear radiation, which appears to have caused his son's mutation. Hank is born with a vast intellect, unusually long arms and legs, and unusually large hands and feet for a human; in fact, his body's proportions are comparable to those of a gorilla and later stories reveal his nickname in school was "Magilla Gorilla".

With the X-Men

Detail of cover to X-Men (vol. 1) #8.
Art by Jack Kirby.

Henry's mutation more fully manifests during adolescence, providing greater strength and agility, and although his powers allow him to briefly excel in athletics during his remaining time at school, he soon attracts the animosity of his fellow students and other non-mutant humans. As he seeks refuge, he is approached by Professor Charles Xavier, who invites him to study at "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters".

Henry recognizes the opportunities such an institution can offer him and accepts the invitation. He finds the school both a fountain of scientific knowledge and a place of sanctuary and is there introduced to the X-Men, who accept him into their ranks and give him the codename Beast.

Alongside workouts in the Danger Room, under Xavier's tutelage, he studies subjects ranging from differential equations to Proust.

With the rest of the X-Men on their first field mission, he battles Magneto for the first time,[6] and later Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.[7] He briefly left the team, but returned after meeting Unus the untouchable.[8] With the team, he also visits the Savage Land, and meets Ka-Zar.[9] Hank even battles the Juggernaut but is badly hurt.[10] He then fights the Sentinels with the X-Men.[11] In addition, he and Iceman fight the Maha Yogi.[12] Hank later recounts his clash with the Conquistador and how he joined the X-Men.[13]

After the X-Men

Detail of cover of X-Men (vol. 2) #1 (1991). Art by Jim Lee.

Hank leaves the X-Men shortly after his twentieth birthday, claiming that he is no longer one of the "strangest teens of all." He becomes a research scientist at the Brand Corporation, a genetics research facility. His assistant, Linda Donaldson, quickly becomes his girlfriend. Hank isolates a "hormonal extract" allowing anyone to become a mutant for a short period of time, and uses the mutagenic serum on himself to disguise his appearance while foiling an attempt to steal his research.[14] However, he waits too long to reverse the process, leaving him permanently transformed. He has grown gray fur (which later turns blue) all over his body and acquired sharp ears, elongated canine teeth, claws, the ability to run on walls and ceilings like a spider, enhanced senses, an accelerated healing factor, and a feral side he struggles to control. He briefly joins the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants when Mastermind wipes out his memory, but quickly recovers. When the Beast is wounded, he is aided by Patsy Walker, and then reunited with his old girlfriend, Vera Cantor.[15] Back at Brand Laboratories, he discovers his girlfriend Linda Donaldson is a Communist spy, and they break up.

With the Avengers

Not long after this transformation, he is recruited to join the Avengers as a provisional member.[16] He is later granted full Avengers membership[17] and remains a member for many years, becoming a close friend of Wonder Man. He leaves the team periodically to rejoin the X-Men during times of need (such as The Dark Phoenix Saga[18]). He returns to the Avengers each time, but eventually leaves so that the team (which has a six-member limit at the time) can be filled out by new recruits.[19]

With the Defenders

He later joins the Defenders,[20] stays with the team to organize as the "new" Defenders,[21] and is one of the final surviving members at the time of its first disbandment as a result of the battle with Moondragon and the Dragon of the Moon.[22] He and fellow surviving Defenders Angel and Iceman are contacted shortly after by Cyclops and Jean Grey to form a new group, X-Factor.[23]

With X-Factor

With X-Factor, he rejoins the original members of the X-Men, and is again reunited with Vera Cantor. Beast starts out in his furred form, but on their second mission, he is captured by Tower. He is delivered to Carl Maddicks and used in an attempt to develop a cure for mutancy, which has rendered Maddicks' son, Artie, mute. Maddicks develops a serum and tests it on Beast. Hank is also subjected to chemotherapy and radiation, and suffers a cardiac arrest. X-Factor arrives on the scene and saves Hank, but not before he's been injected with the serum. When the bandages around his face are removed, he is revealed to have lost his blue fur.[24] This helps in X-Factor's cover as normal humans who are mutant hunters for hire (though they actually help the mutants they capture). When they see the need for their powers, they don new costumes similar to their old X-Men costumes, and call themselves the X-Terminators, posing as renegade mutants. Beast wears a mask as he did originally, since he now looks human again.

Eventually X-Factor clashes with the ancient mutant Apocalypse[25] after Angel loses his wings in a battle and shortly after goes missing. Apocalypse turns Angel into Death, the most powerful of his four Horsemen of Apocalypse. During the battle, Beast is touched by the Horseman Pestilence, whose touch usually causes incredible pain and viral infection. The infection interacts with the recent serum treatment of Maddicks, and instead of killing him, Hank is affected in such a way that every time he uses his superhuman strength, his intelligence decreases.[26] Though the battle is won, it comes at the cost of Hank's decreasing intelligence and Angel's humanity, which would not return for a time. Hank’s condition worsens for weeks. He even openly talks to Trish Tilby, a reporter, not realizing she might use the information on TV. Out of respect for Hank's situation, Trish does not mention his name when she reports about X-Factor’s recent battles, only that one of them lost his intellect while heroically defending New York. The Beast is still hurt by her using the information at all, but she is able to convince him that she meant well.

X-Factor finally ends their charade and are hailed as heroes, and they then don costumes similar to their previous X-Terminator costumes. When Hank’s mind is nothing more than that of a child, he intercepts a mutant called Infectia who is trying to kiss Iceman. Infectia has the ability to manipulate molecular structures through touch, creating mutated "monsters". When she kisses Beast, he becomes feverish and begins switching back and forth between his normal and furred forms.[27] Finally, he stabilizes in his furry appearance, keeps his intelligence, and has more strength than ever.[28]

Hank soon resumes wearing his old costume, but now no longer has need for a mask. During the events of Inferno, Beast, along with the rest of X-Factor team up with the X-Men and various other heroes to fight the evil forces invading the city; eventually, they manage to stop a portal between Limbo and Earth from remaining open and peace returns for the survivors.[29] Soon after Inferno ends, the X-Tinction Agenda takes place where Genosha wants to punish various mutants for war crimes on their island. Here, Beast plays yet another key role. Shortly after the crisis ends, X-Factor switches costumes once more; Cyclops, Jean, and Iceman all wear identical costumes, while Beast returns to wearing trunks, and Archangel sticks to his old costume he received from Apocalypse.[30]

Towards the end of X-Factor's career, they battle the Shadow King during the Muir Island Saga. The final battle leaves Professor Xavier crippled again, which results in X-Factor rejoining the X-Men.[31]

Back with the X-Men

One of Beast's greatest challenges emerges with Stryfe's fatal Legacy Virus. Hank is already despondent, as he is turning thirty and questions his life accomplishments. His frustrations are further compounded when Professor Xavier and Moira MacTaggert don't ask for his assistance with the Legacy research, but it turns out Xavier is just giving him his privacy. Perusing their data, Hank learns the problem is more difficult than he had initially imagined. Hank has always believed that, given time, he could solve any problem; the Legacy Virus becomes his obsession. He goes as far as making an unethical decision in giving Mister Sinister information on the virus, since he has more resources and fewer morals to inhibit him.[volume & issue needed]

A turning point comes when Dark Beast finishes some of the formula, occasionally prying more information from Hank whom he imprisons and replaces for a while. The most critical step toward a solution (other than when Beast individually finds the cure without acknowledgement) comes when Dr. MacTaggert discovers Mystique's irresponsible manipulation of a virus strand. However, the cure is incomplete and it takes Beast to design the final cure. Based on Moira's notes, Beast concocts the anti-virus to much elation, but it soon is repaid with a heavy toll—Colossus chooses to sacrifice his life to release the remedy.[volume & issue needed]

After mourning the loss of a teammate, Hank briefly leaves the school with Storm and her X-Treme X-Men team in search of Destiny's diaries. After an attack by Vargas that leaves Psylocke dead, Beast is gravely injured and returns to the Institute.

New X-Men

Cover art for New X-Men #117, depicting Beast's feline form. Art by Frank Quitely.

As the world experiences a mutant baby boom, much of the mutant community seemingly begins experiencing "secondary mutations", often taking the form of additional or enhanced abilities. In the aftermath of Vargas' attack, Beast's secondary mutation is "jumpstarted" due to the powers of fellow teammate Sage. The further mutation causes Beast to develop a more feline physique, to which he initially has some trouble adapting. A psychic attack by the genocidal Cassandra Nova leaves Beast humiliated, badly beaten (by the controlled body of his friend Beak) and haunted by the possibility that his new form is simply a step in a continuous state of devolution. Additionally, the alteration in form causes his long-time girlfriend, Trish Tilby, to break up with him after being accused of bestiality in the media. Over time, Beast strikes up a strong friendship with Emma Frost, in one incident bringing her flowers to cheer her up. He finds her diamond form shattered into thousands of pieces and spends some time putting her back together. With a final jolt of psionic energy from Jean Grey, Frost returns to life.

Beast later uncovers what seems to be a female mutant with feline features, like his situation. This raises hopes for him, until he discovers it's not a mutant female that looks like a cat, it's a mutant cat who looks like a human. Either way, the creature is at the limit of her life and Beast allows her to leave the X-Mansion to pass away quietly in a spot she finds comfortable.

When news of a "cure" that would reverse mutations suddenly arises, Beast finds himself seriously considering taking it so he can once again appear human. Hank eventually decides against it after vigorous "urging" by fellow team member Wolverine, as it would send out a negative message to other mutants if an X-Man were to take the cure. After learning that the cure was developed by fellow geneticist Kavita Rao through experimentation on mutant corpses - as well as on the X-Man Colossus - Beast helps take down Rao's operation. When the villainous Hellfire Club attacks the X-Men, Cassandra Nova telepathically strips away Beast's higher human consciousness, leaving him with only his animal instincts. After hunting Wolverine around campus (and even eating his leg), a student named Blindfold faces him down with a device he and Xavier had built in case his consciousness was ever lost. The device is a high-powered sensory stimulant in the form of a ball of string, which Beast had alluded to as being his greatest fear. Once restored, he is quick to put on a suit and tie and help Wolverine with a hyper-magnetic device. He, along with his teammates, are taken from the Mansion by the government agency S.W.O.R.D. and airlifted to the alien Breakworld.

Civil War

When a Civil War breaks out among Marvel's superheroes, Beast, along with the other X-Men, assumes a neutral stance. However, Beast was not a particular fan of the policy and secretly violates his stance by providing Spider-Man with a holographic disguise to enable him to continue teaching at Midtown High after his secret identity has been exposed.[32] Despite his personal feelings about the Superhuman Registration Act, Beast enlists his services to the Initiative program after the war's end, to assist in the training of the next generation of superheroes.[33]

Endangered Species

The X-Men and various other mutants attend the funeral of a young mutant boy named Matt Landru who has been killed in a road traffic accident and muse on what this means for mutant-kind. Beast plans to find a way to reverse M-Day. Despite the 'aid' of his other self (the Dark Beast), along with exploring such diverse avenues of investigation as analysis of alternate timelines or an attempt to track down the Scarlet Witch, he is unsuccessful in his research, but the final part shows him holding a child wearing a three-eyed smiley face shirt saying "Evolution" on it as a promotion of the Messiah Complex.[volume & issue needed]

World War Hulk

Beast is training with the New X-Men when the Sentinels fly off and the Hulk shows up looking for Xavier.[volume & issue needed] Beast summons several X-Men to the fight.[volume & issue needed] Beast is endangered by the Hulk when he is saved by several of his teammates.[volume & issue needed] Charles shows them what he saw and Beast is shocked and apologizes to Hulk.[volume & issue needed][34]

Messiah Complex and Divided We Stand

Beast is shown helping Professor X repair Cerebro when the X-Men are tracking down the child with the X-Gene. Beast is later seen at the Mansion when it is attacked by the Sentinels, who have been taken over by an unknown person. When Iceman arrives at the school with the New X-Men, Beast works with Prodigy and is able to stabilize the mortally wounded Hellion, as well as the other New X-Men and X-Men injured in their battles with the Purifiers and the Marauders, respectively. He is later present during the battle on Muir Island and is among the first to reach Professor Xavier after he is accidentally shot by Bishop. Xavier's body soon disappears.

In the aftermath, Cyclops has sent Beast to search for Professor Xavier, whose status is unknown by the X-Men. He is also seen closing down the ruins of the X-Mansion and taking Martha Johansson with him.[35]

Manifest Destiny

Beast is seen as part of the team setting up a new X-Men headquarters in San Francisco, California. He is working closely with Cyclops, Emma Frost, and the rookie X-Man, Armor. He is also still seeing Abigail Brand, who requests that he take a weekend off from the X-Men so that she can 'tamper with him extensively'.[citation needed] He helps Tabitha Smith, teaching the young and flippant woman to use research instead of brutal strength to fight her enemy, a mutant with sedation powers called Nuwa.[36] He and Warren go to Buenos Aires to recruit Doctor Nemesis to help the X-Men save the Mutant race. Only after they stop tube-grown super Nazis, does Nemesis agree.[37] They also recruit Madison Jeffries.[38] Together, they created a time travel device so that they could travel into the future and retrieve the mutant Messiah. However, because they created a device for time travel in so little time, the side-effect of the device is that the user's biology breaks down upon entering the future, so it will automatically bring the person back in thirty-two and a half hours.[volume & issue needed]

Secret Invasion

Beast discovers that the Super-Skrulls with X-Men abilities can be infected with the Legacy Virus.[39] Despite his ethical protests to the contrary, Cyclops decides to use it on them, offering the antidote in return for the Skrulls' retreat.[40]


In order to save mutantkind from the effects of M-Day, Beast and Angel had to gather a team of specialists to help them. They gathered Madison Jeffries, Yuriko Takiguchi, and Dr. Nemesis.[41] They then returned to Graymalkin Industries to meet their final member Dr. Kavita Rao (who was formerly trying to cure mutation).[42] Beast and the X-Club traveled back to 1906 in order to find Dr. Nemesis' parents and discover the origins of modern mutation. During the mission, they also fought an early version of a Sentinel created by the Hellfire Club, and inadvertently caused the San Francisco earthquake.[volume & issue needed] However, when they returned to the present, they found that their DNA evidence had been buried beneath where the Dreaming Celestial was standing in the park.[volume & issue needed]

Dark Reign: Utopia & S.W.O.R.D.

After being captured, Beast became a test subject for the Omega Machine (designed by Dark Beast to eradicate mutant powers and place them in Weapon Omega) while being held prisoner on Alcatraz Island by Norman Osborn, along with Professor X.[43] Beast is shown getting weaker and mentions losing his claws while hooked up to the machine. Beast was rescued by the X-Men, and later recuperated from his injuries. Later, he spoke at the funeral of Yuriko Takiguchi when Magneto had arrived.[44] Presently, Beast seemed increasingly disillusioned with Cyclops' leadership and methods, such as allowing Magneto to become a member to his time under torture under the Dark Beast.[45] This resulted in Beast leaving the X-Men, for an unknown amount of time.

After leaving the X-Men, Beast opted to join his current girlfriend Agent Abigail Brand as a member of S.W.O.R.D. However, shortly after joining her in space, Brand's co-commander, Henry Peter Gyrich (hired by Norman Osborn) begins to round-up the aliens residing on Earth, in a xenophobic attempt at avoiding another Secret Invasion. As a result of Henry's plan, he has even made moves against Brand, resulting in her, Beast, and the dragon Lockheed, becoming fugitives from S.W.O.R.D. and attempting to overthrow Gyrich.[46]

X-Men: Second Coming

Beast later returns in an issue of Uncanny X-Men to attend the funeral of his friend and teammate, Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) where he confronts Scott Summers and blames Kurt's death on Scott's increasingly militant and extremist attitude to protecting the mutant species at all costs (even at the cost of sacrificing his friends to do so).[47] Despite his issues with Cyclops, Beast remains on Utopia to help deal with the attacks being made by Bastion.[volume & issue needed] Following Bastion's defeat at the hands of Hope Summers, Henry again departs Utopia.[volume & issue needed]

Heroic Age

Hank appears as part of Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers team.[48]


After the separations of the X-Men in two team, Beast is one of them to go with Wolverine at Weschester to open "The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning".[volume & issue needed]

Powers and abilities

It is possible that Beast's mutation is a result of genetic atavism.[49] However, he also possesses neotenous characteristics,[49] which may explain him having a super genius intellect despite his animal physique. He possesses also superhuman strength, speed and agility. He is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, employing a unique style of acrobatic combat, from combat training he received at Professor Xavier's and coaching from Captain America.

Anthropoid/Simian physique

Originally, Hank McCoy retains the basic features of a normal human alongside a generally simian physiology (e.g., elongated limbs and enlarged extremities) equivalent to that of a Great Ape. This mutation gives him superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, agility, flexibility, dexterity, coordination, balance, and endurance. He is equally dexterous in all four limbs; able to perform tasks with his feet or hands with equal ease. Because of his talents and training, Beast can outperform any Olympic-level athlete, contorting his body and performing aerial feats gracefully. His strength and dexterity allow him to climb vertical surfaces with just his hands and/or feet,[50] jump great distances [51] and survive falls that would kill any ordinary person.[52] He also possesses enhanced senses and can track people for great distances over open terrain [53] and his feet are sensitive enough to detect electronic signals (from bombs, listening devices, etc.) through solid walls and floors.[54] Later, Hank mutated further (from drinking an experimental solution of his own making) through the growth of grey fur covering his entire body and the enhancement of all of his existing abilities, especially his strength, and he also gained a nearly instantaneous healing factor.[55] The psychological impact of this first transformation caused Beast to experience short-term amnesia and also made it difficult for him to control his animalistic instincts, which would cause him to slip into an uncontrollable berserker rage during combat.[56] However, his body suddenly mutated again after a short time, changing his fur color from grey to black (although comic book printing technology depicted it as blue), returning his strength back to previous levels, and losing his healing factor.[57] He was also able to more easily control his animal instincts after this second mutation. Beast gained the ability to emit mood altering pheromones, causing sexual attraction in women.[58] During this time he was occasionally depicted with claws and fangs, but these were not a part of his original mutation.[57] Hank McCoy briefly returned to his humanoid/simian form [59] with his hair color now being depicted as black, not reddish-brown. However, as a result of being touched by Pestilence his strength began to increase exponentially while his intellect began to decrease.[60]

After Infectia's kiss restored Hank to his simian physique, his intellect had stabilized and returned to his previous genius-level, and his strength had increased to superhuman proportions.[61] Beast's fangs and claws became a consistent part of his appearance after this return to his "blue and furry" form.

Feline physique

After being critically wounded,[62] Hank's body undergoes a secondary mutation, jump started by Sage. The result is a more feline appearance equivalent to that of a big cat. His strength, speed, stamina, sturdiness, and senses increase further with this change. He gains cat-like agility, flexibility, coordination, and balance, and all his senses are enhanced to twenty times that of a normal human being. In addition, Beast develops an accelerated healing factor that allows him to repair mild to moderate injuries within the span of a few hours. However, as his hands and feet change from simian to feline (going from a normal human set of four fingers to just three, retaining the opposable thumb), he loses his superhuman dexterity, once admitting that he used to play the guitar, but is now learning to play the drums instead. Following the X-Men's relocation to San Francisco, Beast discovers that he had regained some of his old manual dexterity. In the first issue of Warren Ellis' Astonishing X-Men run, Beast also comments he no longer needs full sleep.

Genius intellect

Hank possesses a brilliant intellect. He is a world-renowned biochemist, having earned a Ph.D. in biophysics and genetics,[63] and is the man who cured the Legacy Virus. He frequently functions as both field medic and in-house physician for the X-Men, despite not technically having an MD. His intelligence and expertise in genetics rival that of Professor X, Moira McTaggert, and Kavita Rao. Despite this, he has never received a Nobel Prize or been elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. A Renaissance man, McCoy is well-versed in many fields including languages (fluent in English, German, French, Latin, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian as well as the fictional language Latverian[19]), literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, history, art and art history, anthropology, linguistics, and music, as well as in political science and economics with a special affinity for science and technology and a penchant for quoting literary classics. His vast scientific knowledge ranges from theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, differential equations, nanotechnology, anatomy, biomedicine, analytical chemistry, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering to the construction of a hyper-magnetic device. An electronics expert, he often repairs Cerebro and makes upgrades to the Danger Room settings.


According to writer Will Murray, a possible inspiration for the Beast was Andrew Blodgett "Monk" Mayfair, a companion of pulp hero Doc Savage. Both are possessed of an apelike appearance and are brilliant scientists. Before becoming more erudite in later issues, McCoy also used a great deal of slang in his early appearances much like Monk.[64]

Other versions

In other media


Beast has received positive reception as a comic book character and a member of the X-Men. Wizard magazine ranked Beast the 180th greatest comic book character of all time, on their list of the Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time.[65] IGN ranked Beast as the 58th greatest comic book hero of all time stating that Beast embodies everything about the mutant struggle in the Marvel Universe.[66] IGN also ranked Beast as the 9th greatest X-Men member stating that when the world can accept Henry McCoy, the X-Men will have succeeded in their mission.[67]


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  2. ^ a b Marvel Comics Database Q&A with Steve Englehart
  3. ^ The End of an X-Era
  4. ^ Astonishing X-Men HC, Vol. 1 Review
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  6. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #1
  7. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #4
  8. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #8
  9. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #10
  10. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #13
  11. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #14-16
  12. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #47
  13. ^ X-Men (vol. 1) #50-53
  14. ^ Amazing Adventures (vol. 2) #11
  15. ^ Amazing Adventures #15
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  17. ^ Avengers (vol. 1) #151
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  19. ^ a b Avengers (vol. 1) #211
  20. ^ Defenders #104
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  22. ^ Defenders #152
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  24. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #1-3
  25. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #6
  26. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #24
  27. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #31
  28. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #33
  29. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #39
  30. ^ X-Factor (vol. 1) #63
  31. ^ Uncanny X-Men #281; X-Men (vol. 2) #1
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  42. ^ Uncanny X-Men #508
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  44. ^ Uncanny X-Men #515
  45. ^ Uncanny X-Men #517
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  47. ^ New Mutants #13
  48. ^ Secret Avengers #1
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  52. ^ "X-Men (1963)" #48
  53. ^ "X-Men (1963)" #10
  54. ^ "X-Men (1963)" #11, 38
  55. ^ "Amazing Adventures" #11-14
  56. ^ "Amazing Adventures" #11-13
  57. ^ a b "Amazing Adventures" #15
  58. ^ source?
  59. ^ "X-Factor (1986)" #3
  60. ^ "X-Factor (1986)" #19
  61. ^ X-Factor #31
  62. ^ X-Treme X-Men #2-#4
  63. ^ Uncanny X-Men #308
  64. ^ Murray, Will (April 2004). "Pulp Roots of the X-Men." Comic Book Marketplace No. 111.
  65. ^ "Wizard's top 200 characters. External link consists of a forum site summing up the top 200 characters of Wizard Magazine since the real site that contains the list is broken.". Wizard magazine.. Retrieved Dec 07, 2008. 
  66. ^ "Beast is number 58". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  67. ^ "The Top 25 X-Men". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 

Further reading

Essential readings

  • Essential Classic X-Men Vol. I -first appearances
  • X-Men: Mutations TPB - becomes furred
  • Avengers: The Morgan Conquest TPB -joins Avengers
  • Beauty and the Beast miniseries 1-4 -teams with Dazzler
  • X-Men: Fall of the Mutants -reverts to human; becomes dumber
  • X-Treme X-Men Vol. I TPB -Beaten badly
  • X-Treme X-Men: Savage Land TPB -finds love
  • New X-Men: E is for Extinction TPB -lion mutation

External links

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