- "In the future, do I make it?”
“No. But we can change that."
- ―Beast and Wolverine
Beast (Hank McCoy) is a mutant who has super strength. He was one of Charles Xavier's students and was also a teacher in the Xavier Institute.
Henry "Hank" McCoy was a child prodigy, having graduated Harvard at age 15. He was eventually hired to work as a researcher for the CIA, wherein he investigated supersonic flight and built the Cerebro prototype. One day in 1962, he was approached by the CIA, Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, Moira MacTaggert, and Raven Darkholme during the early formation of the X-Men as a black-ops group. When Charles accidentally exposed him as a mutant, the urbane Hank displayed his physical mutation of prehensile feet and agility; greatly impressing Raven. He became instantly smitten with her, and a budding attraction was evident between them.
Hank revealed that he had been working on a serum to cure his physical mutation but leave his abilities intact. He believed that Raven's ability to alter her appearance would hold the key to perfecting it. He requested a sample of her blood, during which they shared each others' wish to appear "normal" as well as a kiss. However, Erik's constant validation of her true beauty and self overturned her opinion, and when Hank finished the serum she refused to take it. He returned to his lab and injected himself and his animal-like feet seemed to revert to normal. However, they quickly changed back and McCoy underwent a radical transformation which resulted in him manifesting blue fur all over his body and taking on a more bestial appearance with the addition of fang-like teeth, pointed ears, and claws. The serum had the opposite effect he'd intended, it enhanced his mutation instead of dampening it. After trashing his lab, he left a note and a box containing the team's suits and met them at the hangar holding the Blackbird of his design. Not long after meeting up with the others, Hank was given the codename "Beast" by Havok. He piloted the team to stop Sebastian Shaw from starting WWIII between the US and the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After they crashed on a nearby beach, he and Havok battled Azazel until Lehnsherr managed to infiltrate the Hellfire Club's damaged submarine and kill Shaw. When the remaining mutants left to form the Brotherhood of Mutants with Lehnsherr, Raven told a saddened Hank to remember to be proud that he was a mutant before being teleported away.
In 1965, when Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters opened, it is likely that McCoy took up a teaching position there partly due to the fact he stated he and the Professor help created the school as well as the labs when the school was opening up. During that year, however, America assumed a direct military role in the Vietnam War. As the war escalated throughout the mid-late 1960's, many students and staff at the school were drafted into the military, and ultimately, the school was unable to function. It is uncertain if McCoy was drafted or not. By the early 1970's, Xavier's school was defunct, and Xavier reverted his mansion to a private residence once again. His estate had also fallen into considerable neglect and disrepair.
By the early 1970's, McCoy resided at the mansion, helping a reclusive Xavier tend to the affairs of his estate. Also during this time, McCoy developed a serum that not only regulated his own mutation, but enabled Xavier to walk again.
Sometime prior to the development of the Mutant Cure, Hank had stopped taking the serum repressing his mutation and was working in a government position as the Secretary of Mutant Affairs.
Department of Mutant Affairs In his office, Secretary Hank McCoy, a blue-furred mutant, is hanging upside-down from the ceiling, reading a book. A woman walks into his office and tells him the meeting has begun, and he jumps to the floor and thanks her.
In the meeting room, Hank enters and takes a seat by the president. The president hands him some papers and tells him that Homeland Security was tracking down Magneto. Secretary Bolivar Trask says that they had hits on several cities – they lost him, but got a consolation prize – Mystique. They picked her up breaking into the FDA of all places. He turns on a screen showing two interrogators questioning Mystique. The president tells Hank she was imitating Secretary Trask, and Hank says she can do that. Not anymore, says Trask – they got her. McCoy doubts they can hold her, but Trask says they'll keep her mobile.
The president turns off the screen, and Hank states that capturing Mystique will only provoke Magneto, although having her does give them some diplomatic leverage. The president responds that, on principle, he can't negotiate with these people. McCoy turns to him and says he thought that's why he appointed him. The president says that's true – but that's not why he called him. He hands Hank some more papers – what Mystique stole from the FDA. Hank looks at the paper before him: a document from Worthington Labs about a young bald mutant boy nicknamed Leech, who can suppress mutant powers. Shocked, Hank asks if it's viable, and the president says they believe it is. McCoy says this will have a huge impact on the mutant community, and the president explains that's exactly why they need some of Hank's diplomacy now.
At the X-Mansion, Storm and Professor X walk into another room to find Hank McCoy examining a painting on the wall. Ororo is thrilled to see her old friend and they hug and compliment each other on what they did with their hairs. Hank thanks Xavier for seeing him on such short notice, and the professor tells him he's always welcomed there – he's a part of this place. McCoy says he has news, and Xavier asks if it's Erik. Beast says no, although they have been making some progress on that front – Mystique was recently apprehended. Just then, Logan walks in and asks, "who's the fur ball?" Hank introduces himself as Secretary of Mutant Affairs, and Logan sarcastically compliments him on his suit. Xavier introduces Logan to Hank, but Beast has already heard of Wolverine.
Storm interrupts and says Magneto will definitely come to get Mystique, but Beast says Magneto's not the problem – at least not the most pressing one. He tells the X-Men that a major pharmaceutical company has developed a mutant antibody – a way to suppress the mutant X-gene, permanently. They're calling it a "cure." For a moment, everybody is quiet, taking in the news, until Storm breaks the silence, saying that's ridiculous – they can't "cure" being a mutant – since when have they become a disease? Xavier stops her, sensing that they're announcing it now.
In the other room, Storm asks who would want this cure? What kind of coward will take it just to fit in? Beast asks if it's cowardice to save oneself from persecution, reminding her that not all of them can fit in so easily. Wolverine suggests that the government helped cook this up, but Beast assures him that the government had nothing to do with it. Logan argues that he heard that before, and Hank angrily tells him he's been fighting for mutant rights since before Logan had claws.
In Worthington Labs at Alcatraz, a helicopter lands in the yard. Out of it steps Hank McCoy. He is greeted by Dr. Kavita Rao. McCoy comments that it's not an easy place to get to, and Dr. Rao explains it's the safest location they could find – that's why they keep the source of the cure there. Hank asks her if they understand the government's concerns about the fact that this "source" is a mutant, but she assures him they're working according to his department's policy. He asks how long they intend to keep the boy there, and she answers it'll be until they can fully map the boy's DNA – they can replicate it, but they can't generate it. Hank asks about the range of the boy's powers, and Dr. Rao invites him to see for himself.
They enter the room of the boy named Jimmy, AKA Leech. Hank greets Jimmy and steps closer to him. He introduces himself and reaches out his hand to shake Leech's but, to his amazed eyes, once his hand get close to the boy, it loses its furry animal appearance and looks completely human. Leech apologizes, but Beast says that it's okay, staring at his human-looking hand. Beast tells Jimmy he has an amazing gift and thanks him. As he turns back to Dr. Rao, his hand regains its animal appearance. Dr. Rao says Leech is extraordinary, and McCoy agrees.
A short while later in the White House, the president asks Hank McCoy if he thinks resigning is going to make a difference, telling him that's no way to influence policy. Beast tells the president that policy is being made without him – the decision to turn the cure into a weapon was made without him. What happened on that convoy was inexcusable, Hank says. The president asks Hank to understand that was an isolated incident – those mutants were a real threat.
McCoy asks the president if he's even begun to think what a slippery slope he's on, and the president sadly admits he has, but he worries about how democracy survives when one man can move cities with his mind. Beast admits he worries about it too. The president says they both know it's only going to get worse, and Beast says that's all the more reason why he needs to be where he belongs. Beast then leaves the president's office, having resigned from the cabinet.
Later at the X-Mansion, outside on the front yard, Ororo Munroe is eulogizing Charles Xavier in a memorial service in front of all his students: "We live in an age of darkness," she says, "a world full of fear, hate and intolerance. But in every age, there are those who fight against it. Charles Xavier was born into a world divided, a world he tried to heal – a mission he never saw accomplished. It seems the destiny of great men to see their goals unfulfilled."
In the crowd sit Rogue, Iceman, Shadowcat, Colossus, Beast, and many other students and friends of Xavier's. Logan isn't sitting with them, as he is standing and listening from afar, a loner as always. Rogue looks at him, as Ororo continues her eulogy: "Charles was more than a leader, more than a teacher, he was a friend. When we were afraid he gave us strength, and when we were alone he gave us a family. He may be gone, but his teachings live on through us, his students." Ororo finishes: "Wherever we may go, we must carry on his vision, and that's a vision of a world united." Logan walks away. All other people present stand up, and one walks to his memorial and puts a flower on it.
The next day, at the school, Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman and Shadowcat gather to decide about the school's future. Hank thinks Professor Xavier started this school and perhaps it's best that it ends with him. He tells Bobby they'll have to tell all the students they'll have to go home, but Bobby says most of them have no home to go to. He thinks they should fight for this school. Before anyone can respond, a young man walks in. It's Warren Worthington III, the mutant Angel. He apologizes for coming at a bad time, but he was told this is a safe place for mutants. Beast sadly tells him it was, but Ororo corrects him that it's still is. She tells Warren they'll find him a room and tells Hank to tell all the students the school stays open, much to Iceman's delight.
Meanwhile back in the school, Wolverine runs in after his encounter with Magneto and calls for Storm hysterically. He finds her, and she asks him what he's doing back there. He tells her he needs help – he found Jean with Magneto, and they're on the move – and he knows where they're going. Beast joins them, asking Logan if he really saw Magneto. Logan tells them he has, and they must go now, before the Brotherhood attacks Alcatraz. Hank reminds him that the government's got troops stationed out there, but Wolverine doesn't think it's enough to stop Magneto. As they walk hurriedly to get set, Angel overhears them, realizing his father's in danger.
A few minutes later, Beast and Wolverine are already in uniforms in the mansion's tunnels. Logan tells Hank that if Magneto gets hold of the cure he'll be unstoppable. Hank asks how many Magneto has, and Logan says he has an army. They meet up with Storm, Iceman, Shadowcat and Colossus, and Bobby reminds Logan that there are only six of them. Wolverine pauses and tells the young students that he won't lie to them – they're outnumbered, they lost Scott, they lost the professor – but if they don't fight now, everything these men stood for will die with them, and he's not gonna let that happen. Iceman nods in agreement, and Logan says they stand together, X-Men, all of them. Bobby looks at Kitty and Piotr, and they both sign they're ready. He then turns back to Logan, and tells him they're in. Ready for the battle of their lives, the X-Men walk towards the Blackbird.
The Blackbird too is approaching the battle scene at high speed, and the X-Men are amazed to see the bridge and what's happening – it's worse than they ever dreamed of.
Lightning falls on the battle scene as Storm descends from the sky. Next, Beast jumps from the roof and lands like a true animal. Iceman and Shadowcat jump together, phasing into the ground to avoid getting squashed, and then phasing right back up. Colossus jumps down too, his metal form protecting him. Lastly, Wolverine jumps down the wall, using his claws to scratch the wall and slow down his fall. Storm lands too, and Wolverine yells to the humans to go back and lock the doors. He then orders the X-Men to stand together and hold a line. Instantly, the six mutants line up in front of the Brotherhood to form a strict line of defense, ready for the battle of their lives.
When Wolverine sees Juggernaut run straight through the wall, Beast realizes he's going for the boy. "Not if I get there first", Shadowcat replies and runs at the same direction, phasing through anything in her way. While battling outside, Beast and Wolverine both go into berserker rages and take down Brotherhood members in large numbers. Logan tells Beast he thought Hank was a diplomat. Hank explains that there comes a time when all men must… he stops mid-sentence to beat up some more mutants and just yells to Logan "Oh, you get the point!"
After Wolverine is thrown at Magneto by Colossus, Magneto uses his powers to stop Wolverine, causing him to fall to the ground and slide on his stomach, stopping right before Magneto's legs. Erik then flips Logan on his back, telling him he never learns. "Actually," Wolverine answers, "I do." Just then, Beast jumps at Magneto from behind and injects him with the cure they took from the gun. Magneto drops to his knees, realizing he's now human, and then falls back.
Later, as Jean Grey unleashes a telekinetic storm is starting to rage, Beast yells for everybody to run out of the building and escape, and they all flee in panic. Shadowcat and Leech too get out of the building and find Iceman, and together they run away.
Sometime later, Logan watches the president on TV giving a speech in the White House: "So it is with the thanks of a grateful nation, that I introduce our new ambassador to the United Nations and a representative to the world for all United States citizens – human and mutant alike: Dr. Hank McCoy." The president then shakes Hank's hand. "Way to go, fur ball," Logan thinks to himself.
In 2015, Beast was dragged outside of his home in Upstate New York and murdered by an angry mob of Human Majority Protesters.
After being visited by Wolverine, Hank learned that the mutant had been sent from the future to prevent the Sentinels from being created. Learning that they would need Charles and Erik's help, Hank assisted him with rescuing the latter by fiddling around with the Pentagon's security systems. Soon afterward, the group would go to Paris to prevent Raven from assassinating the Sentinels' creator, Bolivar Trask. During the struggle, Erik attempted to kill Raven, believing that it was the only way to change the future. However, Hank, mutating himself, stopped him from doing so. Returning to the X-Mansion without Erik, who had gone on the run, Hank briefly addressed the prospect that the future could not be changed before helping Charles with overcoming his reliance on the serum and using Cerebro to locate Raven, who was heading to the Sentinels' unveiling in Washington DC for another attempt to kill Trask. Unknown to them, Erik had taken control of the Sentinels and, after isolating the White House by placing it in the center of a baseball stadium he had taken, attempted to kill all of the government representatives inside. Using the serum, Hank managed to avoid being detected by a Sentinel and encouraged Charles with persuading Raven from killing Trask and showing the humans a better future. Following the apparent "malfunctioning" of the Sentinels, Trask was placed in prison while society began to think more positively about mutants, thus changing the future.
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Hank is one of the few pure good mutants in the world, having never wavered into the darker side, mutants like Magneto and Shaw have created. While always on the side of good, during much of his youth, Hank was ashamed of his mutant heritage. McCoy tried to hide his abilities, in fear others would judge him, even going so far as to create a cure that would strip him of his mutant DNA. Eventually with the help of Charles Xavier, he learned to accept his mutant nature and became a very important figure in the mutant world.
Over many decades (and in both timelines), Hank has protected both human and mutant-kind, both on the battlefield and in the courtroom. He helped Charles build his school for Mutants, serving as a teacher and mentor for many years. Hank eventually left the school and has been working for mutant rights, even taking up a government position, becoming the head of mutant affairs to the President.
Hank is brave and selfless, willing to sacrifice his own life for the protection of his friends and family. Usually, Hank carried himself with a very polite demeanor unless aggravated. His greatest attribute is his near superhuman intelligence, which has gotten himself and the X-Men out of many bad scenarios. Hank has a brother-like relationship with Xavier, remaining by his side even at a time when Xavier did not believe in himself, helping him create the X-Men and staying with Charles to help his school grow.
Powers & Abilities
- Superhuman Strength - Beast has always possessed some degree of superhuman strength, the limits of which have varied at times due to subsequent mutation. After mutating into his simian form, his strength was increased. Initially he can press 1 ton. After his secondary mutation he can press 10 tonnes, capable of knocking out Azazel, easily over powering Wolverine and subdue multiple mutant adversaries with a few hits during the assault on Alcatraz Island.
- Superhuman Speed - Beast can run and move at speeds that are slightly beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. He can run at speeds up to 40 miles an hour over short distances. Before his second mutation, he ran around the entire X-Mansion in seconds.
- Superhuman Stamina - Beast's highly advanced musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than that of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Endurance - Beast is able to take hits will try to get back to continue to fight back. He shrugged off several hits from the mutant assassins Azazel who is a much superior fighter.
- Superhuman Acrobatics - Beast's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. His agility has varied at times due to ongoing and subsequent mutations. While in his simian form, his agility is much more pronounced. He can also walk on his hands for many hours, or perform a complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs without any difficulty whatsoever.
- Prehensile Limbs - Much like apes, Beast can easily cling, grip, and almost latch onto structures and objects with both his hands and feet. He can be upside down for several hours on end.
- Superhuman Dexterity - He can perform many tasks with his feet as easily as a human could do with his/her hands. He can hang upside down from the ceiling or the side of a jet with his feet and also caught Havok with his feet when Azazel attempted to throw him from the sky.
- Superhuman Leap - He can jump more than 15 feet high and 25 feet broad without any discomfort or difficulty.
- Claws and Fangs - Beast sports retractable, razor sharp claws at the tip of each finger and toe. Their natural edge, coupled with his strength, are sufficient to rend most conventional materials - including flesh, wood, stone, and even some types of metals. He also possesses elongated canines that he can use if he chooses to do so, as effective weapons in close quarter combat situations. He does not use them for violence, though he has seemingly used them to scale surfaces, such as a large Sentinel, with ease.
- Healing Factor- Beast is capable of healing minor injuries in minutes, however serious and lethal injuries may takes hours.
- Retarded Ageing - Unknown whether this is his healing factor or an ability from Mystique's blood, Beast ages at a similar rate to Mystique, as they both are physically able and active combatants in their later years whilst Magneto and Xavier are not. It is likely that Beast's usage of the inhibitor serum allowed him to age normally when he was in his human form X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- Foreign Chemical Resistance - Beast possesses immunity to disease and illness. He possesses resistance to most drugs and medicine, this is notable when he encounters Wolverine as a young adult, Wolverine notes that even in his Human form he is still very strong, implying Beast body is significantly resistant to the serum. In addition he appears to be able to transform into his mutated form at will possibly from his enhanced pheromone/hormone control. He also requires large doses of the inhibitor drug to change into his human form, which is seen when he injects a large number of syringes into his arm.
- Pheromones- Beast can subconsciously release pheromones to have minor effects to people around him.
- Enhanced Senses- Beast possesses the ability to see in darkness, hear at greater distances, possesses a higher audible range than regular humans and enhanced smell.
- Genius-level Intellect - McCoy's greatest asset is his keen scientific mind. He possesses a genius-level IQ, with extraordinary expertise in genetics, biochemistry, electronics and other subjects.
- Hand to Hand Combatant - During his stay in the X-Mansion, Beast has proven himself to be an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. He has bested several combatants such as Azazel, Magneto, and several members of the brotherhood. He utilizes his speed, agility, and strength while fighting.
Friends and Family
- Beast was supposed to appear in X-Men but was cut out. Elements of Beast were incorporated into Jean Grey (she serves as a medical doctor as well as a political supporter of mutant rights).
- In the Dark Cerebro scene, Beast was supposed to appear turning blue in agony on the T.V seen in the bar, this was cut and did not make it to the DVD. However, the event is incorporated in the X2 novelization.
- In X-Men: First Class, he has yellow eyes but in X-Men: The Last Stand, he has green eyes. This would be because of his mutation after he tried to go back normal (as seen in X2) and then when he went back to blue form, the eyes would have stayed the same color.