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Henry McCoy (Earth-616): Misc


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Real Name
Henry Philip McCoy
Current Alias

Hank , Kreature, Mutate #666, Magilla Gorilla, Golden Armed Boy




Sadie McCoy (paternal grandmother)

Robert McCoy (paternal uncle)
Norton McCoy (father)
Edna McCoy (mother)
John McCoy (uncle)

unnamed cousin



5' 11"

402 lbs (183 kg)



Unusual Features
Covered with blue fur; snout, fang-like teeth, pointed ears, claws, unusually large hands and feet. (shoe size: 20)


Marital Status

Currently Xavier Institute Science and Math Instructor, Adventurer and Mutant Activist, formerly Biochemist and College Lecturer

Ph.D. Biophysics


Place of Birth


First appearance

X-Men #1
(September, 1963)




Early Years

Henry McCoy is a mutant, born with the power of simian-like enhanced agility, reflexes and strength. He gained his first furry form after drinking a biogenic serum that he had developed.

Henry McCoy's father, Norton, worked at a nuclear power plant where he was exposed to massive amounts of radiation during an accident. Norton was unharmed, but the radiation affected his genes, and as a result his son Henry was born a mutant. Unlike most mutants, Henry showed signs of mutation from birth: unusually large hands and feet. He was also endowed with an innate superhuman intellect.

Thanks to his enhanced agility, strength, and speed, Henry became a star football player as a teenager. He hid his mutation and thirst for knowledge in plain sight - until the school asked him to leave after he was exposed as a mutant. His remarkable athletic abilities and brilliance attracted the notice of Professor Charles Xavier, who was forming the original X-Men and offered Hank, who excelled in the classroom, the chance for unlimited academic opportunities at his prestigious School for Gifted Youngsters. The costumed criminal named El Conquistador, however, also took note of his abilities and captured McCoy's parents in order to force McCoy to aid him in his criminal schemes. With the help of Xavier and the X-Men, Henry defeated the Conquistador, and he then joined the X-Men, taking the codename "Beast."


Under Xavier's tutelage, Hank's days were rich with differential equations, Proust and workouts in the Danger Room. During this time he dated Vera Cantor, a librarian. He was sought out by Kraven the Hunter, who wanted to hone his skills in battle against the Beast. Kraven drugged to Beast to dull his reflexes, but it caused Hank to regress to a more feral nature and went into a berserker rage. Hank would have killed Kraven if his teammates hadn’t separated them.[1]

A brilliant student, McCoy completed his doctoral studies and finally left the X-Men and Xavier's school to take a position as a genetic researcher with the Brand Corporation. There he developed a serum that acted as a catalyst for activating latent mutations. (This serum would become the basis of the Mutant Growth Hormone.) On drinking the serum McCoy underwent radical physical changes. He grew grey fur over his entire body, his ears became larger and pointed, claws sprouted, and his canine teeth became larger, resembling fangs. The serum also further increased his superhuman agility, endurance, speed, and strength, as well as endowing him with an extraordinary healing factor which repaired damage to his body as fast as it was created.[2] An encounter with Quasimodo caused his life force to be virtually expelled, which resulted in the gray fur becoming blue and the loss of his extraordinary healing factor.[3]

Avengers and the Defenders

Eventually, McCoy left Brand, joined the Avengers, and publicly revealed his dual identity. Beast tracked down the X-Men and found them working in a circus, enthralled by Mesmero. Hank managed to snap the X-Men out of the illusion, just before Magneto arrived and transported them to his Antarctica base. The Phoenix and the Beast ended up seperated from the other X-Men, mistakenly believing them to have died. During this time, he became the best of friends with Wonder Man.

Hank witnessed Phoenix' transformation into Dark Phoenix. He was among the X-Men who had to duel the Imperial Guard over Phoenix' fate. In the end, Phoenix committed suicide. Later, a Skrull posing as Jarvis poisoned Vera Cantor to blackmail the Avengers into retrieving a powerful gem called Resurrection Stone for him.[4] Beast was able to save her with the help of Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, and Daimon Hellstorm.[5]

After years of service with the Avengers, the Beast took it upon himself to reorganize another super-hero group, the Defenders, into a more formal combat organization. His X-Men cohorts Angel and Iceman served in the Defenders along with him, but the team collapsed after a climactic battle in which several other members seemingly perished.


Following the return of Jean Grey, the Beast and his fellow members of the original X-Men formed a new organization, the first X-Factor, which publicly appeared to hunt down allegedly dangerous mutants but secretly taught them how to use their superhuman abilities. Shortly after the formation of X-Factor, the Beast was captured by the geneticist Dr. Carl Maddicks, who performed an experiment that caused the Beast to revert to his original, more human appearance. Some time later, however, the mutagenic powers of the mutant Infectia triggered the Beast's return to his furry, more animalistic look.

Dr. Henry Philip McCoy -- Beast

During this time, Hank dated television news reporter Trish Tilby. After Professor Charles Xavier returned to Earth following an extended period in outer space with the Starjammers, the Beast and his fellow X-Factor founders returned to the X-Men.

Return to the X-Men

For years the Beast remained an active member of the X-Men as well as serving as the resident technological and medical genius at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.

One of Beast's greatest challenges emerged with Stryfe's fatal techno-virus. Hank was already despondent, as he was turning thirty and questioned his life accomplishments. His frustrations became further compounded when Professor Xavier and Moira MacTaggart didn't ask for his assistance with the Legacy research, but it turned out Xavier was just giving him his privacy. Perusing through their data, he learned that the problem was more difficult than he had initially imagined. Hank always believed that, given time, he could solve any problem; the Legacy Virus had become his obsession. He went as far as making an unethical decision in giving Sinister information on the virus, since he had more resources and lesser moral baggage to inhibit him.

A turning point came when Dark Beast finished some of the formulas, occasionally prying more information from Hank, whom he imprisoned and replaced for a while. The most critical step toward a solution, though, was when Dr. MacTaggart discovered a cure due to Mystique's irresponsible manipulation of a virus strand. This was still incomplete and it took the Beast to design the cure. Based on Moira's notes, Beast concocted the anti-virus to much elation, but this good act soon was repaid with a heavy toll — Colossus had to sacrifice his life to release the remedy.

After mourning the loss of a teammate, Hank briefly left the school with Storm and her X-Treme team in search of Destiny's diaries. Hank underwent a Secondary Mutation that caused him to mutate further into a more feline creature after having his "latent genetic potential" jump-started by Psylocke[6]. After an attack by Vargas that left Psylocke dead, Beast was gravely injured and returned to the Institute.

The combination of a loss of a friend and his further mutation caused Beast to become very insecure, feeling that he was devolving into an animal. He finally ended his relationship with Trish Tilby as she was afraid what would happen to her image if she was seen with him in public. After he discovered Cassandra Nova was inhabiting Xavier's body, Nova manipulated Beak into beating Beast so dreadfully as to place him into a deep coma. Hank eventually woke up, just in time for Jean Grey and Emma Frost to perform a psychic surgery and keep Xavier alive. Over time, Beast struck up a strong friendship with Emma, even collecting her shattered diamond form and arranging thousands of pieces into place. He also began claiming he was gay to the public.

Falling for John Sublime's trap, Hank uncovered that the human race would be extinct within a few generations. Working hard to keep the X-Men together and solve the human extinction problem, he turned to the drug Kick and got infected by Sublime. Corrupted, Hank caused a chain of events leading the world to ruin. Phoenix disinfected Hank of the Sublime parasite and traveled back in time to end the bleak timeline.

Hank was still an active X-Man, working with Cyclops on his squad. He also had recently questioned his intentions as far as mutant rights went, firstly during Kavita Rao's so-called cure, then later after the events of House of M. He seriously considered taking the "cure" but decided against it after vigorous urging by fellow team member Wolverine, because it would send out a bad message to other mutants.

After learning that the cure was developed by fellow geneticist Kavita Rao through experimentation on mutant corpses — as well as on the X-Man Colossus — Beast helped take down Rao's operation. When the villainous Hellfire Club attacked the X-Men, Cassandra Nova telepathically stripped away Beast's higher human consciousness, leaving him with only his animal instincts. After hunting Wolverine around campus (and even eating his leg), a student named Blindfold faced him down with a device he and Xavier had built in case his consciousness was ever lost. The device was a high-powered sensory stimulant in the form of a ball of string, which Beast had alluded to as being his greatest fear. Once restored, he was quick to put on a suit and tie and save Wolverine with a hyper-magnetic device. He, along with his teammates, were taken from the Mansion by the government agency S.W.O.R.D. and airlifted to the alien Breakworld.


Dr. Henry McCoy.

During the Civil War, Beast, along with the other X-Men, assumed a neutral stance. However, Beast was not a particular fan of the policy and secretly violated his stance by providing Spider-Man with a holographic disguise to enable him to continue teaching at Midtown High after his secret identity had been exposed. Despite his personal feelings about the Superhuman Registration Act, Beast enlisted his services to the Initiative program after the war's end, to assist in the training of the next generation of superheroes.

He endeavored to find a way to reverse the de-powering effects of M-Day, and thus prevent the extinction of the mutant race, as not only had most of the current mutants lost their powers, but no new mutants were developing powers. To this end, Beast enlisted numerous villains, after having exhausted the help of the likes of Reed Richards and Tony Stark to help him understand the situation. Hank traveled to Transia, in search of the High Evolutionary, whose earlier cryptic comments aroused Hank's curiosity. Scaling Mount Wundagore, he and his group of travelers were confronted by the Knights of Wundagore.

Beast helped Professor X repair Cerebra as the X-Men were tracking down the first child to be born with the X-Gene since M-Day. He survived the Sentinel attack at the Mansion, worked with Prodigy, and was able to stabilize the mortally wounded Hellion, as well as the other New X-Men and X-Men injured in their battles with the Purifiers and the Marauders, respectively. He was later present during the battle on Muir Island and was among the first to reach Professor Xavier after he was accidentally shot by Bishop. In the aftermath, Cyclops sent Beast to search for Professor Xavier, whose status was unknown by the X-Men. Beast closed down the ruins of the X-Mansion and took Martha Johansson with him.

Hank was part of the team setting up a new X-Men headquarters in San Francisco, California. He was working closely with Cyclops, Emma Frost and the rookie X-Man, Armor. He was also still seeing Abigail Brand, who requested that he take a weekend off from the X-Men so that she could 'tamper with him extensively'.

During the Skrull Invasion Beast discovered that the Super-Skrulls with X-Men abilities could be infected with the Legacy Virus.[7] Despite his ethical protests to the contrary, Cyclops decided to use it on them, offering the antidote in return for the Skrulls' retreat.[8]

In order to save mutantkind from the effects of M-Day, Beast and Angel had to gather a team of specialists to help them. They gathered Madison Jeffries, Yuriko Takiguchi, Dr. Nemesis,[9] Dr. Kavita Rao (who was formerly trying to cure mutation).[10] Beast and the X-Club traveled back to 1906 in order to find Dr. Nemesis's parents and discover the origins of modern mutation. During the mission, they also fought an early version of a Sentinel created by the Hellfire Club, and inadvertently caused the San Francisco earthquake. However, when they returned to the present, they found that their DNA evidence had been buried beneath where the Dreaming Celestial was standing in the park. Yuriko Takiguchi died of natural causes shortly after, and Beast spoke at his funeral.[11]

After being captured, Beast became a test subject for the Omega Machine (designed by Dark Beast to eradicate mutant powers and place them in Weapon Omega) while being held prisoner on Alcatraz Island by Norman Osborn, along with Professor X.[12]


Henry McCoy wondered why he wasn't one of the "lucky ones". If he had to remain a mutant, why did he have a power that made him look and sometimes feel like a beast? He continued to struggle for the acceptance of others. As a man of arts and letters and the sciences, Beast was very much the Renaissance man, and while his peers in the intellectual community knew this, he never received a Nobel Prize or got invited to the National Academy of Sciences as they still considered him very much a mutant. He even knew what it was like to be jilted by the proverbial Beauty — his recent fear of human emotion had caused him to turn away from long time lover Trish Tilby, who had finally seemed to find the error in her ways as far as attitude towards his secondary mutation.

Despite his ongoing battle with the demons of loneliness and rejection, he was an inveterate prankster and wit, and besides his brutish exterior, Beast was the most literate and eloquent of the X-Men, possessing a million-dollar vocabulary. Henry was every bit a human being plagued by duality: man/beast; genius/sports star; gentle giant/feral aggressor.

Equal parts biochemist and activist, Beast focused on the X-Men's goals of building better relationships between man and mutant. In immersing himself in this campaign, Beast held hope that in the world he and the other X-Men dream of, he'll finally be known more for the genius within than for the creature outside.

Powers and Abilities


Beast displaying his simian attributes.

Beast is a Gamma-Level mutant.

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.

Due to secondary mutation Beast transformed from his original ape-like physique to a more cat-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. During his teens, he was able to lift approximately 1 ton. After mutating into his simian form, and after this mutation eventually stabilized, his strength was increased to the point where he could lift about 10 tons, which was sufficient to smash through a brick wall with a single punch and to tie an iron barbell into a knot. Although the Beast has since mutated into a somewhat larger, more feline form his strength still remains at the 10 ton level.[13]
  • 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 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. His physiology can withstand great impact forces, though he can be injured by many types of conventional weapons such as standard firearms and bladed weapons. However, he can withstand physical impacts, such as falling from several stories or being physically struck by many superhumanly strong beings that would either severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no discomfort.
  • 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. Like some of his other powers, his agility has varied at times due to ongoing and subsequent mutations. While in his simian form, he had the agility of a great ape combined with the acrobatic prowess of an Olympic level gymnast. He could walk a tightrope or a slack rope as easily as most people can walk on a sidewalk. He could also walk on his hands for many hours, or perform a complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. He can easily match or top any Olympic record in gymnastics. Upon mutating into his feline form, his agility remains roughly the same, though it has taken some time for him to become accustomed to the physical changes.
  • 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. Although he can still perform many of these same tasks in his current feline form, his dexterity isn't quite what it once was.
  • 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, whereas normal humans might take weeks or even months.
  • 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 the opposite sex.
  • 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.
Power Grid [14]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills


Genius-level Intellect: Henry McCoy possesses a genius-level intellect and is a world-renowned biochemist with great insight into mutant genetics and evolutionary biology: a peer of Professor Xavier, Moira MacTaggart, and Kavita Rao. He also has expertise in chemistry, physics, differential equations, electronics, nano-effusive devices, anatomy, philosophy, ancient cultures, art history, musicology, and literature. He is a polyglot. 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.

Strength level

Class 10; Hank is able to lift 10 tons.


He has no inherent "weakness".



The Beast possesses a fully-equipped laboratory in Xavier's mansion. Presumably it holds the latest in biological and material analysis devices. It may also contain Shi'ar technology.


The Beast often travels with the X-Men in their modified SR-71 Blackbird.


While known to use heavy weapons, The Beast prefers to fight bare-handed.


  • In X-Treme X-Men Volume #1, it was revealed that Hank had a crush on Betsy Braddock when she was a supermodel. They flirted with one another in the same issue.
  • Hank's religious affiliation is Episcopalian.
  • The Beast enjoys Twinkies. Evidence can be found in X-Men #73, where Beast's list of New Year's Resolutions revealed that one of his resolutions was to "Eat fewer Twinkies" (the other resolutions were to "read more 15th century texts" and "cure Legacy Virus", the latter the only one which it is evidenced that he did).
  • Beast was the one who initially discovered the cure for the Legacy Virus.
  • Due to Beast's transformation into a cat-like being he has developed a carnivorous taste for flesh, which he is conflicted over.


  • Due to his experience, intellect, physical abilities and fierce determination, ONE considered the Beast a significant threat if a mutant-human conflict emerged in light of recent events.
  • Beast was set to appear in X-Men, but was taken out due to make-up problems. His doctor persona was transferred into Jean Grey's character.
  • Kelsey Grammer is also known for playing psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane in the Frasier TV series, a character that, while having none of Beast's powers, was very refined and cultured himself.


Discover and Discuss

  1. X-Men The Hidden Years #17
  2. Amazing Adventures #11 (1972)
  3. Amazing Adventures #14
  4. Avengers #209
  5. Defenders #105
  6. X-treme X-Men #3, though he first showed up as cat-like in New X-Men #114, which supposedly happened later.
  7. Secret Invasion: X-Men #3
  8. Secret Invasion: X-Men #4
  9. Uncanny X-Men #507
  10. Uncanny X-Men #508
  11. Uncanny X-Men #515
  12. Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
  13. [1]
  14. OHOTMU X-Men 2004, officially corrected on


This article uses material from the "Henry McCoy (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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