Henry Philip McCoy (Beast)

beastfilmAnother well known character has been seen in the last pics from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and it appears he’ll be present only in the 1960s timeline: Beast, portrayed by Nicholas Hoult. The mutant genius first appeared in his human-like persona of Hank McCoy in a small cameo, portrayed by Steve Bacic, in X2: X-Men United, while discussing about mutant policy on television with Dr. Shaw. He made a full appearance, this time in his blue-furred form, in X-Men: The Last Stand, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer. In the movie, he’s an old member of the team now working for the White House, coming back to fight alongside his friends against Magneto and his army in the final battle. In X-Men: First Class Hoult portrayed McCoy in his first steps to accept his mutation and to become a precious X-Man. Now, let’s see who one of the first five X-Men is in the comics.

Henry Philip McCoy was born the son of Norton and Edna McCoy in DundeeIllinois. The first one worked in a nuclear plant, and the radiations mutated his genes, granting him a mutant son. Unlike many mutants, whose powers only manifest during puberty, Hank’s mutation was evident since his birth, since he displayed unusually big hands and feet and long arms and legs, to the point that, in school, he was nicknamed “Magilla Gorilla” by his classmates. His body wasn’t Hank’s only mutation, since the boy was gifted with a genius-level intellect. As a teenager, Hank developed also a unique simian agility, along with superhuman strength and speed; he used his gifts to become a football star and to obtain the best grades in his school, often surpassing his own teachers in intelligence and knowledge. After many successes, he was finally exposed as a mutant, and the revelation greatly upsetted his “normal” schoolmates, who started to claim he had cheated beating every record in sports and academic, since he wasn’t properly a “human”. The principal at last surrendered to thebeastcomics1 pressures of the families, and expelled Hank from the school. His undoubtable talents, anyway, had attracted the attention of two personalities, especially after Hank had stopped a robbery during a football match: the first one was Charles Xavier, another mutant who was looking for gifted young people to form his first class of mutants for his unique school; the second one was Orlando Furio, a dangerous world-known terrorist known as Conquistador. The latter was interested in Hank’s physical abilities, and kidnapped his parents to force him to work for him. To save Edna and Norton, Hank accepted to steal a miniature energy reactor from a very well guarded laboratory, a device Conquistador wanted to use to blackmail the entire world under the threat of natural catastrophes. Just before Furio could activate his new device, anyway, Xavier intervened along with his first three X-Men, Cyclops, Angel and Iceman: the three boys stopped El Conquistador and freed Hank and his parents. Grateful, and now interested in what Xavier could teach him, McCoy became his fourth X-Men, chosing the codename “Beast”.

In Xavier, Hank finally found a teacher that was up to his brain: he studied everything, from poetry to physics, from literature to chemistry, meanwhile training in the Danger Room with the other X-Men. When a fifth member, Jean Grey, was found, the team finally faced the first mission: stopping Magneto, a mutant terrorist who once was Xavier’s best friend, from destroying Cape Citadel. Beast proved to be an incredibly good asset for the X-Men, using both his physical capabilities and his great intellect in the school as well as on the battlefield. beastcomics2Stressed for keeping his identity secret (especially from his girlfriend), however, he left the X-Men for a while, becoming a professional wrestler and befriending another mutant, Unus the Untouchable (for whom he also built a particular raygun that could make him even more invincible than usual). Hank than came back to the team, collecting many victories as an X-Man, but also personal traumas: he was severely wounded by the Juggernaut, and a drug from Kraven the Hunter turned him into a feral creature for a while, revealing a dark part of his character he had kept hidden also from himself. When he was 20, Hank completed his doctoral studies, and chose to leave the X-Men once again: he became genetic researcher at Brand Corporation, where he fell in love with Linda Donaldson, but also gained the enmity of Dr. Carl Maddicks. During his researches, Hank managed to isolate the hormone that triggered the mutations, synthesizing a serum that would have become the basis of the Mutant Growth Hormone (a drug able to grant for a short period of time superhuman powers to whoever used it). Envious of his young colleague, Maddicks decided to steal his research, but Hank, trying to prevent this, drank the serum. The reaction was unexpected: his powers got stronger, his nails became claws, his teeth fangs, and his body was covered with grey fur, and Beast also gained a healing factor equal to Wolverine‘s. Because of Maddicks, Hank couldn’t take the antidote in time, and his human appearance got lost forever. During a clash with Quasimodo, some time later, a new mutation made his healing factor disappear, and his fur turn blue. Despite changing look many times (a thid mutation made him look like an antropomorphic lion, while a fourth one made him similar to a giant blue ape), Hank’s heroic spirit never disappeared, and he joined the X-Men again, as well as the AvengersS.W.O.R.D.DefendersX-Factor and many other teams, always fighting for the peaceful cohabitation of humans and mutants.

Hank McCoy is one of the most intelligent men on the planet, a sensitive and gentle soul trapped in a body with monstrous appearance. His powers grants him superhuman physical attributes (strength, agility, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, senses), while his further mutations, beside augmenting the previous powers, gave him sharp claws and fangs. Thanks to his sharp intellect, that allowed him to enter the Illuminati, Hank is a master in many scientific fields, and also in liberal arts. Trained in the Danger Room, Beast’s powers had made him one of the best hand-to-hand combatants among the X-Men, and his gentle soul also makes him one of the most beloved and trusted members of the team. Eternally split between his nature and his appearance, Beast fights for the safety of a world that would gladly kill him along with his kind.

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17 Comments

  1. […] divorced. In Brand Corporation, however, the woman had met and befriended one of the researchers, Hank McCoy, and she started working with him as his assistant; close to him, Patsy found out McCoy was […]

  2. […] presence among them through their heroic deeds. When Xavier found other mutants for his school (Hank “Beast” McCoy, Warren “Angel” Worthington, Bobby “Iceman” Drake and Jean “Marvel […]

  3. […] and the creatures inside it were released on Earth. Only an alliance between Hulk, The Thing, Beast and Giant-Man managed to stop the monsters, and to lock them into the Negative Zone. Somehow, […]

  4. […] was forced to fight him in the Savage Land. During the battle, Ororo was helped by other mutants: Beast, Marvel Girl and Cyclops, the X-Men. With Deluge killed, Ororo came back to her people, but […]

  5. […] blackmailed with the lives of thousands of people; he was also ordered to use a psychic probe on Beast, a mutant the Sentinels had captured, to learn about the X-Men‘s plans. Reading […]

  6. […] master his powers, and became Iceman, the second X-Man. Along with his teammates Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Marvel Girl, Iceman swore to protect a world that hated and feared him, following the […]

  7. […] become the mutant terrorist Magneto, Xavier found his first students: Jean Grey, Scott Sommers, Hank McCoy, Bobby Drake and Warren Worthinghton III, five mutants looking for a guide. When the first […]

  8. […] for Gifted Youngsters, she became the fifth X-Man, after Scott “Cyclops” Summer, Hank “Beast” McCoy, Warren “Angel” Warthington and Bobby “Iceman” Drake. Jean immediately […]

  9. […] his first mission as an X-Man, Angel joined Cyclops and Iceman in a rescue: they had to free mutant Hank McCoy and his parents from the terrorist Conquistador, a mission that was a success. Hank joined the […]

  10. […] for mutants, Angel founded, along with the other original X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman and Beast) another team, X-Factor, with the sole purpose of hunting down the mutants that society perceived […]

  11. […] by Sabretooth in the process. The two runaways were eventually saved by X-Factor, in particular by Beast and Iceman. After a first moment of distrust, in which he tried to come back to his now destroyed […]

  12. […] end of the fight Iceman froze the monster, keeping him hybernated as long as they found a cure. Beast managed to develop a new serum, and Connors was apparently cured from his condition, with his […]

  13. […] in X2: X-Men United, portrayed by Charles Siegel: he’s see debating on television with Hank McCoy the “mutant problem”, with the audience unaware that both the speakers are, in fact, […]

  14. […] men on the planet, able to rival with Iron Man, Doctor Doom, Mister Fantastic, Hank Pym or Hank McCoy; he possesses a so-called hypermind, a brain able to perform an infinite amount of complex […]

  15. […] with quite a psychological trauma, after all those years in a coffin, but thanks to his friends, Beast especially, he was ready to face them to become the hero he wanted […]

  16. […] immediately after using her immense strength. Quite short-tempered (as Wolverine, Punisher, Beast and other heroes she’s beaten the crap out of have realised) but with a heart of gold, Molly […]

  17. […] the March for Purity, a racist demonstration that ended in Washington D.C. with the lynching of Henry McCoy, a mutant lawyer and a civil rights activist. When a young girl (an alternate version of Jean […]


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