Beast is a mutant, a scientist and superhero, and member of the original X-Men. This is the Joint Venture Universe version of the character.
|Beast (Joint Venture)|
|Real Name||Henry James Phillip McCoy|
|Alias(es)||"Hank", "Blue", "Furball", "Fuzzy", "Brains", "Q"|
|Relatives||Sadie McCoy (paternal grandmother); Norton McCoy (father); Edna McCoy (mother); Robert McCoy (paternal uncle); John McCoy (paternal uncle, deceased); Lester McCoy (cousin)|
|Base Of Operations||1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, New York|
|Universe||Joint Venture Universe|
|Hair||Blue-Black (formerly brown)|
|Unusual Features||Possesses primate-like bodily proportions; covered with a thick layer of dark blue fur; eyes shine, animal-like, at night; pointed ears; sharp canines; clawed fingernails and toenails; unusually large hands and feet (shoe size: 20)|
While most mutants manifest their powers at puberty, or during times of heightened emotional stress, Hank McCoy (of Dunphee, Illinois) was born with features that would distinguish him as a mutant early on: namely, in infancy his hands and feet were already the size of a small child's, with coordination to match. This manual and pedal dexterity only increased as he grew older.
His family, assuming him to simply be athletically gifted, attempted to guide him into a sport-oriented academic career, but there was far more to Hank than met the eye.
Behind his parents' backs, he would read, and read insatiably. Science fiction, fantasy, mathematics, biology, chemistry, medicine, mechanics, technology -- Hank devoured it all, from Hawking to Heinlein. At the age of twelve, Hank already had the knowledge equivalent to a college-level intellect, and was well-versed in most of the world's most popular authors and poets.
His parents thought little of this, aside from being grateful that Hank could keep his grades high enough to stay on the varsity football team in high school. Their attitudes changed, though, when he abruptly declared in his senior year that he was going to quit football and devote himself to the study of science and medicine, preferring Leonardo da Vinci or Albert Schweitzer over Jerry Rice or Deion Sanders as role models.
The McCoys had little faith in their son's intellect, being all too ready to judge him by his immense size and gorilla-like musculature. Undaunted, Hank went to apply for scholarships, devoting himself to scientific projects that would secure him a place in the higher halls of learning alongside the great thinkers of his youth.
His yearbook photo sports a quote by Robert Frost: "Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."
Unfortunately, Hank would eventually lose both of those things, and far, far more.
The Brand Corporation
After graduating high school, Hank took an internship at the Brand Corporation, a cutting-edge STEM company, while he worked on securing a scholarship. There, he became the assistant to Dr. Linda Donaldson, one of the corporation's foremost genetic researchers, on whom he immediately developed a crush. Believing himself to be too ugly for her, however, he kept his affections a secret -- or tried to, though Donaldson could perceive his attraction quite clearly. While she did not reciprocate his feelings, Linda was one of the few people at Brand who saw Hank's remarkable intellect beneath his brutish exterior, and Hank and Linda's partnership led to several minor scientific breakthroughs.
Among these breakthroughs was documented proof of Professor Charles Xavier's theory of "self-actualizing homomorphism" in human mutation. Hank and Linda tested this through the formulation of a "mutagen serum" which, when ingested by a normal human, could temporarily simulate an active X-Gene, granting them a mutant power for a few brief hours. Hank and Linda noted, to their delight, that the mutant power the serum granted was the same each time a subject ingested it, suggesting that while the range of mutation in humanity was as wildly diverse as genetics itself, the "code" for a mutation was intrinsic to an individual's own DNA.
Their progress did not go unnoticed, however. Linda Donaldson's chief rival in the Brand Corporation was Karl Maddicks, an unscrupulous scientist who had made his fortune off of stealing his fellow scientists' research and selling it to the highest bidder. He hid his criminal activities from both the Brand Corporation executives and the colleagues he victimized through the use of a short-term memory eraser of his own design. Linda eventually discovered Maddicks' subterfuge and tried to expose him with her assistant at her side, gambling that with Hank's amazing physicality on hand as backup, Maddicks could not escape, and the two gave chase.
The next thing Hank McCoy remembered, he was standing on a bridge near the Brand headquarters, with Linda's dead body in his arms.
Becoming The Beast
Hank McCoy was now a wanted man, framed for the murder of a respected colleague and one of the few true friends he had had in his life. Stripped of his internship, a fugitive from the law, Hank was determined that the truth of his innocence -- and the blame for Linda's murder -- lay squarely with Maddicks. He broke into Brand headquarters in a way that only he could, using his impressive strength and agility to enter through a 14th-floor window, and his intellect to evade detection once inside.
Upon finding Maddicks' lab, he confronted the man, smashing his memory-wiping device in a fit of rage. Maddicks responded by surrendering...or seeming to, long enough for the police to arrive.
Then, just as they were leaving the building together, in full view of local law enforcement and a sizable crowd of onlookers, something happened to Hank McCoy. During the time lost to him, Maddicks had somehow managed to get him to drink the mutagen serum he and Donaldson had used to study the nature of mutation. Unfortunately, no one had yet tested what it would do to someone who was already a mutant.
His body, already larger than average, now grew even more so, his hands and feet grew claws, his canines grew fang-like and sharp, his features more bestial, and he grew a heavy coat of blue fur. Worse still, although he remained in complete control of his faculties, nothing Hank could say through his newly-fanged mouth could calm the panicking crowd -- or the armed police. With everyone except Karl Maddicks in the grip of hysteria, Hank leapt into the air, bounding higher than he'd ever jumped before, and fled the scene, disappearing into the woods.
He made it to the cabin of his cousin Lester, who despite a rural upbringing both recognized and believed Hank when he claimed innocence, and agreed to harbor him for as long as he needed. However, by now the serum's transformation had not worn off, and Hank began to suspect that it was permanent. He was now stuck as a monstrous and blue beast. He resigned himself to hiding from the world, his dreams of academic success, scientific recognition, and a life of enlightened intellect and prestige dashed forever...or so it seemed.
The X-Men and the Brotherhood
Unbeknownst to him, upon his metamorphosis into the Beast, Hank's mutant signature had spiked, finally becoming evident to Cerebro in New York -- and thus, bringing him to the attention of Charles Xavier and his best friend, Magneto, co-founders and heads of the X-Men.
At the same time as the Beast's signature appeared, another mutant's signature registered on Cerebro's "radar", this one from London, England. Xavier went to London to seek out the mutant in need there, while Magneto took one of the X-Men -- a young orphan named Cyclops -- to meet Hank in Illinois.
However, they were not the only ones. Word of Hank's misfortune had reached the ears of Exodus, the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutant Liberation and the X-Men's primary adversary. He sent three of his Brotherhood there -- a photokinetic named Eclipse, a strongwoman named Frenzy, and Iceman, whose powers are self-explanatory.
Iceman, unlike his teammates in the Brotherhood, attempted to approach the Beast with an overture of friendship, which Hank reciprocated. However, it was then that Hank's cousin Lester came home. Confronted with hostility from the vengeful Frenzy and the troubled Eclipse, Lester tried to fight them off, but was badly injured by Frenzy. Eclipse moved to finish him off, when Cyclops and Magneto appeared to fight the Brotherhood off and save Lester.
Despite his fondness for Iceman, Hank had been ambivalent about the prospect of joining the Brotherhood -- an ambivalence that turned to outright rejection when his cousin, the one person who had believed in him even after his grotesque transformation, had been attacked by them. He helped Cyclops and Magneto fight back against the two hostile mutants, even having them on the ropes, before Iceman was forced to intervene to save them. The Brotherhood escaped on one of his ice slides, and Hank sadly watched him go for a moment before taking Magneto's offer to enroll in the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and become an X-Man.
The X-Men's "Smart Guy"
To be disclosed
Genetic Atavism: Beast's simian physique bears a strong resemblance to genetic atavism, meaning traits that resurface in a species after many years of dormancy. He also possesses neotenous traits, or traits in a descendant that resemble those of an ancestor organism. His unique physiology gives him a wide range of physical abilities, including:
- Superhuman Agility: Beast's agility, balance, and coordination are far beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. His simian form in particular has the agility of a great ape combined with the acrobatic prowess of an Olympic-level gymnast. He can walk a tightrope, or a slack rope, as easily as most people can walk on a sidewalk. He can also walk on his hands for extended periods of time, hang upside down or off the sides of walls without experiencing disorientation or "head rush", and perform complicated gymnastic feats (such as flips, rolls, and springs) that can match or exceed any Olympic gymnastics records.
- Superhuman Strength: Hank always possessed some degree of super human strength; during his teens, he was able to lift approximately 1 ton. After mutating into his simian form, his strength was increased to the point where he can now lift about 10 tons. Furthermore, his physical strikes (punches, kicks, etc.) now possess sufficient force to smash through a brick wall with a single punch, and to tie an iron barbell into a knot. This strength also extends to the muscles in his legs, allowing him to leap 25 feet in a standing high jump and 40 feet in a standing broad jump.
- Superhuman Speed: Although his conventional running speed is somewhat slowed by his considerable bulk, Beast can run on all fours, bound, and leap through the air at speeds beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. On all fours, he can run at speeds up to 50 miles per hour over short distances. His leaps can propel him considerably faster, clocking in at roughly 80 miles per hour while in the air. Like most mutants gifted with superhuman speed, Beast's body is more durable than the average human's, and has developed enhanced protection from impacts at these velocities.
- Superhuman Stamina: Beast can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before the buildup of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him. He can also recover from fatigue faster than humans, requiring only 2-4 hours of sleep per night to be fully rested.
- Quadridexterity: Beast is quadridextrous; he can perform many tasks with both feet as easily as a human could do with their hands. His manual and pedal dexterity are so great that he can write using both hands or feet at once, or untie knots in rope with his toes alone.
- Pheromones: Beast's simian body secretes a weak pheromone that serves as a sympathetic chemical -- it mirrors his emotional state in those around him. If he is calm, his pheromones can calm others. If he is angry, others can be incited to anger. However, these pheromones cannot overcome a strong will or make someone act against their nature.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Beast's body can recover from injuries much faster than a normal human. He can recover from minor ailments, such as a severe cold or fever, within a few hours. More severe injuries, like broken bones, often heal within a matter of days, whereas normal humans might take many weeks or even months. However, he cannot regenerate destroyed organs or severed limbs.
- Superhuman Senses: Hank's simian form possesses acutely enhanced senses that are comparable to those of certain animals, enabling him to see and hear far more clearly, and at far greater range than a normal human. In addition, he can identify and track someone, or detect changes in chemical composition (such as someone's emotional state, or when they are lying) purely by scent. He also possesses high-end night-vision that allows him to see even in near-total darkness -- as evidenced by the way his eyes shine, animal-like, in dark conditions.
- Claws and Fangs: Beast's fingernails have become 3" razor-sharp claws at the tip of each finger and toe. Their natural edges, coupled with his strength, are sufficient to rend most conventional materials (fabrics, flesh, wood, and stone) effortlessly. Stronger materials, like metal, take more work, but are not insurmountable. Furthermore, his claws' fine edges and strength enable him to climb up vertical surfaces by wedging his claws into the smallest of cracks. He also possesses elongated canines that he can use, if he so chooses, as effective close-quarter combat weapons.
- Fur Coat: Beast is covered in a thick layer of blue fur which regulates his body temperature, making him resistant to extreme cold -- and, surprisingly, extreme heat as well, due to a unique ventilating property of the fur itself.
Genius Intellect: Even without any sort of formal degree, Hank McCoy is one of the smartest people in the world. He has the intellectual equivalent of six PhDs (though not the formal degrees themselves), including extensive knowledge of biophysics and biochemistry. Henry's greatest asset is his keen scientific mind. As the X-Men's resident technological and medical genius, he possesses extraordinary expertise in genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and electronics. He and Dr. Linda Donaldson successfully created a serum that temporary simulates the process of natural genetic mutation, though if it's ingested by a mutant the transformations become unstable, and permanent. Among his technological feats, McCoy is the inventor of the Danger Room, head of maintenance on Professor Xavier's mutant-detection device Cerebro, and the administrator and chief programmer in charge of the Xavier Institute's state-of-the-art computer system. In addition, he regularly designs various paraphernalia for the X-Men's use on a regular basis, such as producing the ruby-quartz visor and sunglasses that keep Cyclops' powers in check.
He has extensive knowledge of a variety of other scientific fields, including knowledge of theoretical physics and both basic and advanced anatomy. He has an eidetic memory, demonstrated by an ability to recall complex mathematical or chemical formulae with little to no research. Lastly, his knowledge of both classical and pop culture is second to none; Hank can quote famous movies or television shows, historical texts, poetry, classic and contemporary literature, or even comic strip quotes from memory. It is unknown whether this staggering intelligence is part of his mutation or simply a natural gift.
- Multilingual: He is fluent in several languages including English, German, French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian.
Animal Instincts: Since his transformation into the Beast, Hank McCoy has had to come to terms with his increasingly animalistic instincts. Typically a man of enlightened intellect who prefers discourse to combat, Hank finds himself increasingly tempted to violent outbursts and predatory behavior, particularly under the effects of certain external stimuli (i.e. the smell of blood) or psychic intrusion.
Pheromone Control: Beast cannot control his pheromones; they are secreted whenever he is emotionally compromised, and affect those around him accordingly, unless they can resist due to a strong will or an opposing emotion.
Vulnerable Senses: Due to his animal-like mutation, Beast's enhanced senses can be taken advantage of. He is uniquely susceptible to high-intensity sonics, stroboscopic lights, and chemical attacks like mustard gas.