Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy - also commonly known as "Beast" - is a popular character in the Marvel Comics universe. He is a human mutant and one of the founding members of the X-Men.
Henry McCoy was born with abnormal physical traits: his arms and legs were longer than average and his feet were comparable to those of a gorilla, capable of manipulating objects just as easily as his hands. His father worked at a nuclear power plant before his birth and was once exposed to intense nuclear radiation, which may have caused his son's mutation.
Henry's mutation would become more apparent during his adolescence as his hands and feet grew and his physical prowess developed well beyond those of the average teenager, earning him the animosity of his fellow students. During this period, he would be approached by Professor Charles Xavier who invited him to attend his School for Gifted Youngsters. Henry eagerly accepted the invitation, finding Xavier's institute to be both a haven from the fear and hatred of normal humans as well as a fount of knowledge to satisfy his superior intellect. He would soon after take on the codename "Beast" when he became a member of Xavier's team of mutant heroes, the X-Men.
When he reached twenty years of age, Beast briefly left the X-Men to take up a job as a researcher at the Brand Corporation. During this time, he developed a serum that he believed would stall his mutation, perhaps even reverse it. The serum did not produce the desired results and accelerated Henry's mutation, permanently altering his appearance into something that no longer resembled a human being. He grew gray fur all over his body (which would later turn blue), developed claws and fangs and increased muscle capacity. He would also develop a more feral, animalistic streak which would take him some time to learn how to control.
Over the years, Beast would find himself among the ranks of various different groups: the X-Men, X-Factor, even the Avengers. He would one day return to the X-Men full time as one of the Xavier Institute's most esteemed teachers and would also experience another development of his mutation, leading to him taking on more feline attributes.
Beast's appearance has changed over the years. Originally, he appeared mostly human but with ape-like proportions. He would later grow claws and fangs as well as blue fur all over his body. In later years, Beast would develop more feline features such as cat-like ears, a muzzle and slitted yellow eyes.
Despite having what some would call a monstrous exterior, Beast is far from the brutish creature that people perceive him to be. He is a gentle giant, boasting a big heart, great strength and greater intellect. He is very much a Renaissance man, both a scientist and a philosopher with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He has been known to regularly quote Shakespeare as well as other great intellectuals.
Powers and abilities Edit
- Superior Strength - Beast can put any bodybuilder to shame with his impressive physique. He is capable of lifting up to 10 tons.
- Heightened Senses - Beast's animalistic mutation has granted him heightened senses of smell, sight and hearing.
- 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.
- Superhuman Dexterity - Beast can perform many tasks with his feet as easily as a human would 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, he dexterity isn't quite what it once was..
- Healing Factor - While not nearly as powerful as Wolverine's, Beast is capable of healing moderate wounds faster than a normal human.
- 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. Beast is even 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.