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Hank McCoy : The Bouncing Blue BEAST

"I'm a cute li'l furry Freak whose only Friends are other Freaks. Of course all of them can pass as Human, when they like. Is it any wonder I sometimes get the Blues? That wasn't meant to be a Pun." --BEAST
With X-Men First Class media hype blitzing along, let us take a closer look at one character who actually is part of the comicbook's First Class - Henry McCoy : The BEAST.

Who is the BEAST?
Henry "Hank" McCoy is the BEAST. One of the original X-Men. Has the perfect combination of brawns and brains. Someone with a ferocious exterior yet having a kind and gentle heart

BEAST (or The BEAST), Dr. Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy, is 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).

First Appearance
1963: The BEAST is the most articulate, eloquent, and well-read of the X-Men to contrast with his brutish exterior. On his first appearance, he look like a regular person, but with unusually large hands and feet. His first costume, the blue and gold, is similar to all of his fellow X-Men but without boots or gloves, as they would hinder his ability to cling to or bounce off walls. Later on Jean Grey, their costume designer, will change the color of their belts into red, and streamline the yellow part on their chest.

Blue and Red Costume
1967: When they have proved themselves to Professor X that they could function well as a team, the Professor allowed his X-Men to have individualized costume. BEAST wore a similar costume to his previous one just changed the yellow color into red.

1972: BEAST decided to leave his life as an X-Men and worked in Brand Corporation where he can hone his bio-chemical skills. This is where he drank one of his serums that transformed him into a furry gray BEAST.

After a few issues the gray fur of the BEAST started to turn from bluish black to the now more familiar shade of blue. During this time BEAST applied for membership in the AVENGERS. He wears a simple trunk as his costume.

Rejoins his X-Men teammates to form X-factor. The plan behind X-Factor was to pose as mutant-hunting humans to police evil mutants and recruit innocent mutants to help them learn how to use their powers. They also worked as mutants in a team known as the X-Terminators. During this time BEAST has reverted back to his normal looking self.
First X-Factor Costume:

X-Terminator Costume:
He wore a nostalgic red and blue motif for his X-terminator outfit, with the red forming an X-emblem on his chest.

X-Factor II costumes
After saving New York, the X-Factor ended their charade as mutant hating team. They were given newly designed costumes which are similar to their X-Terminator costumes. BEAST now wears a brown and yellow costume.

Later on BEAST will revert back to his furry looking self. At first wearing his new X-factor costume but then went back to wearing trunks again.

Shi'ar Mining Suit
BEAST and his X-factor teammates eventually returned to the X-Men. After a few years with the X-Men, a small group of them were abducted to space to help battle an alien invasion, they had nothing to wear but some Shi’Ar mining suits and other uniforms. The exact capabilities of the suit worn by the BEAST are unknown. [Uncanny X-Men #342]

Red Goggles
The X-Men for a time adopted some sort of uniformed team look which would have their costume bearing a big X across the chest area and Hank’s version included many gadgets and pockets and a mask with red goggles.

For awhile BEAST was a member of Storm's group of X-Men

Further Transformation

When the secondary mutation of BEAST happened which made him look more feline rather than ape-like, he was part of Cyclops New X-Men. They all now sports a leather jacket with big X's on their chests.

Astonishing BEAST
When the X-Men wanted to improve the public perception about them, they wanted to "astonish" them, they wanted to be colorful and be categorized as part of the superhero community, they went back to more colorful costumes.

2nd Astonishing costume:

BEAST Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
Beast as an agent of S.W.O.R.D., a subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Heroic BEAST
On Marvel's Heroic Age BEAST joins Captain Steve Rogers group of Secret AVENGERS.

Live Media
1. Steve Bacic
Dr. Hank McCoy is seen in his normal human appearance in a small cameo played by Steve Bacic. He appears on the television in the bar scene as an authority on human mutation.

2. Kelsey Grammer
In X-Men: The Last Stand, Kelsey Grammer portrays him. BEAST is established as one of the earlier X-Men, and after having graduated from the Institute, he left and became involved in politics, becoming Secretary of Mutant Affairs. He is also confirmed to be a brilliant scientific researcher with vast intelligence and insight into mutant genetics on the official website.

3. Nicholas Hoult
Nicholas Hoult will portray the BEAST in X-Men: First Class.

Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.

Genetic Atavism: It is possible that BEAST's mutation is a result of genetic atavism (or genetic traits that resurface in a species after many years of dormancy). He also possesses neotenous (or traits in a descendant that resemble those of an ancestor organism, like a chimpanzee trait in a human) characteristics, which would explain why he has a big modern brain with an ape-like physique.

Superhuman Strength: The BEAST has always possessed some degree of superhuman strength, the limits of which have varied at times due to subsequent mutation.

Superhuman Speed: The 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, particularly if he runs on all fours.

Superhuman Stamina: The 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 Durability: The BEAST's bodily tissues are harder and more resistant to certain types of injuries than the bodies of normal humans.

Superhuman Agility: The BEAST's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.

Superhuman Dexterity: He can perform many tasks with his feet as easily as a human could do with his hands. His manual and pedal dexterity are so great that he can write using both hands at once or tie knots in rope with his toes.

Regenerative Healing Factor: The BEAST's metabolism enables him to repair mild to moderate injuries much faster than a normal human. For instance, he can recover from minor ailments, such as a cold, within a few hours. More severe injuries, like broken bones, can heal within a few days.

Super-humanly Acute Senses: Hank possesses enhanced, acute senses that are comparable to those of certain animals, enabling him to see and hear distant objects more clearly than a normal human, and identify and track someone purely by scent. He also possesses cat-like night-vision.

Pheromones: BEAST has the ability to secrete pheromones to attract members of both sexes.

Claws and Fangs: The 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.

Genius-level Intellect: A world-renowned biochemist, Henry 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. BEAST is also an accomplished keyboard musician.

Hand to Hand Combatant: The hyperactive, bouncing BEAST is an excellent hand-to-hand fighter. He gained his initial combat training from Professor Xavier, and then continued his tutelage in combat gymnastics from Captain America. He typically uses a freestyle form of combat, similar to that of Spider-Man, that allows him to make full use of his great strength and agility. During times of anger, however, the BEAST is known to resort to brawling and street fighting tactics.

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This is the 32nd article in my Know Your CBM Character series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.
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