Dr. Henry McCoy, also known as The Beast, is a mutant and founding member of the X-Men, appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. His savage appearance disguises a tender heart and one of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known.
Henry McCoy's father was employed at a nuclear power plant and exposed to massive levels of radiation over the years, which appears to have led to Henry's mutation. Hank was born with a genius-level mind as well as long arms and oversized hands and feet, giving him almost gorilla-like proportions. His mutation made him an outcast at school, despite his many athletic achievements. When Professor Charles Xavier invited him to study at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Hank jumped at the chance and became a founding member of the X-Men while furthering his education.
Hank McCoy was a brilliant student and well respected member of the X-Men who completed his doctoral studies and left the team upon graduation. Accepting a job at the Brand Corporation as a research scientist, McCoy isolated the hormonal extract that caused the mutant gene. He intended to take his findings to his employer but learned that a supervisor was plotting to steal top secret documents. Taking it upon himself to prevent the theft, McCoy took the extract and underwent a further mutation that left him covered in fur and possessing pointed teeth and claws. He later found himself unable to transform back to his normal form but learned to accept his new appearance. Hank received his doctorate in genetics, left the Brand Corporation and joined the Avengers. During his time as a member, he revealed his identity as a mutant in the hopes of easing the growing human/mutant tensions in America. After leaving the Avengers, Hank reunited with former original X-Men Iceman and Angel to form The Defenders. When that team dissolved, the trio once again joined with Scott Summers and the Jean Grey to form X-Factor. Posing as a group of mutant hunters, they secretly trained the renegade mutants they captured in the use of their powers. It was around this time that Hank was captured by Carl Maddicks, who used Hank as an experiment in an attempt to cure his own son's mutancy. The experiments removed the further mutation Hank had undergone and reverted him to his original, non-furry appearance. Following a battle with Apocolypse's Horsemen, the Beast found himself stricken with a virus that increased his strength exponentially but caused him to lose more and more of his intellect every time he exerted himself. In an effort to save Iceman from the deadly mutant Infectia, Hank found himself affected by her ability to manipulate molecular structures and as a result, once again found himself blue and furry, with even more strength than ever before. When X-Factor disbanded, Hank McCoy once again joined the X-Men, where he has remained ever since. Operating as the team's resident genius, he is an expert in technology and medicine, eventually finding a cure for the deadly Legacy Virus. Hank also underwent a secondary mutation which left him with a much more feline appearance and forced him to relearn fine motor skills. He remains an integral member of the X-Men as well as an advocate for mutant rights.
The Beast possess superhuman strength, endurance and agility. He can leap approximately 15 feet high from a standing jump and survive falls from as high as a three story building without injury. He is also able to run on all fours at speeds of up to 40 mph for short bursts. He also possesses advanced senses, the ability to secrete pheromones to attract members of the opposite sex and a slight healing factor. In addition, his reflexes and night vision are enhanced and he has razor sharp claws on his hands and feet. Hank McCoy is recognized as one of the world's leading scientists in the fields of genetic mutation and evolutionary human biology.
The Beast typically does not rely on any special weapons or devices.
Comic and Film Appearances
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Beast first appeared in X-Men #1 (1963). His more monstrous, furry form was first seen in Amazing Adventures #11 (1972) and his most recent cat-like mutation appeared in X-Treme X-Men #3 (2001). Beast has also appeared in two of the live-action X-Men films, the first being a cameo in X2: X-Men United where he was depicted in his non-furry form by Steve Bacic. The second was a more prominent role in X-Men 3: The Last Stand, where he was portrayed by Kelsey Grammer. In addition, Beast has been a mainstay in nearly every animated depiction of the X-Men.
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