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Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy / Beast

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/beast_decades.png

Notable Aliases: Blue Gorilla, Kreature, Mutate #666

Nationality: American, Krakoan

Species: Human mutant

First Appearance: X-Men #1 (September, 1963)

A brilliant scientist, athlete, and bibliophile, at first the only thing that indicated that Hank McCoy was a mutant were large hands and feet, and, later, an overall simian aesthetic. However, an experiment to enhance his already superhuman strength and agility transformed him into a blue-furred ape creature and later a blue lion man. Beast is a genius in genetics and biology and enjoys quoting Shakespeare. His even-handed and professorial attitude tend to keep the other members from panicking in situations. He's actually been in more teams than any other X-Man, having been a member of The Avengers and The Defenders before; accordingly, being in the public eye as a member of the high-profile Avengers has made him one of the most accepted mutants by society at large.

Introduced as one of the original five X-Men, Hank was a genius-level intellect whose mutation manifested itself in the form of gorilla-like physiology and enhanced strength, but remained otherwise human-looking. Because of his combined brains and brawn, he's often regarded as a trope codifier of the genius bruiser trope. It wasn't until nearly a decade later, however, that Hank would transform into a literal blue, furry beast man.

Despite his monstrous appearance, Hank remained upbeat and witty for years, and continued serving as a stalwart X-Man and professor at the Xavier Academy in the following decades. He also became known for his pro-mutant activism and accolades in the fields of genetics and biochemistry. However, after M-Day, Hank grew angry and frustrated at his failures to prevent or reverse the depowering of almost all mutants and had a severe falling out with Cyclops over the morality of X-Force and other issues. From there, he became convinced that only he had the intellect to solve the problems facing mutantkind, to the concern of the rest of the X-Men who called him out for his increasingly reckless and immoral actions. Upon the founding of Krakoa, little remained of the witty and kind Dr.McCoy, and Hank was appointed the head of the new X-Force to act as the new nation's "mutant CIA", wielding a large amount of unchecked power which he believed only he had the intellect, right, and ability to hold.

Beast is also notable for being one of the few Marvel characters to serve as an X-Man, Avenger, and Defender, while also spending a period of time with The Inhumans as well. He was specifically placed on The Avengers by Steve Englehart because of his light-hearted personality, serving as a foil to some of their more serious members.

Because of his status as a founding X-Man, Beast has appeared quite often in other media. He's been in every animated X-Men series to date, and even two anime featuring Marvel characters.

Beast also appears in most of the X-Men Film Series, portrayed by a number of actors throughout the franchise — most notably Nicholas Hoult and Kelsey Grammer as the younger and older incarnations of the character, respectively.


Beast provides examples of:

    A-H 
  • A Beast in Name and Nature: A rare heroic version; codenamed for his gorilla-like physique, enormous hands and feet, and (later) his blue fur and other animalistic attributes. In sharp contrast to his beastly appearance, Hank is commonly portrayed as a brilliant scientist and a gentleman. Even following his moral decline, his behaviour is less obviously beastly, more cold, and clinically cruel - though Wolverine (2020) shows moments of it, sharply contrasting his gentlemanly manners over a parley dinner with Wolverine and his messy devouring of a lobster.
  • All for Nothing: The main reason he's had so many mutations over the years is that he took the first dose of mutant growth hormone he had synthesized in order to avoid it being taken by thieves. A few flashbacks to the backstories of contemporary characters show that MGH ended up on the streets soon after anyway.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Hank, like practically everyone in the original X-Men (sans Bobby), had a crush on Jean Grey and he even stole a kiss but was never a contender for her affections between Scott and Warren. This only came up well after the fact when his past self is brought to the present and his love for Jean is explored, with their past versions even starting a relationship, but one that is ultimately broken off-panel, with his teenage self ruefully explaining to Bloodstorm (who had feelings for Scott) that Jean and Scott never stay apart for long.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The fur which covers his body was grey when he had his own series in Amazing Adventures. It later changed to blue, which is his signature color.
  • Anti-Hero: Originally Hank was one of the nicest X-Men, but since not that long ago he seems to have gotten into this. Specifically one of his more questionable decisions is pulling out O5 from the past just to show Cyclops how Scott has changed since the team’s early days. And as of the present Krakoan Age he’s X-Force supervisor and by issue 6 his methods include torture, ordering to kill the creatures (that were once humans), and brainwashing, veering into Nominal Hero territory, before going full Face–Heel Turn.
  • Arch-Enemy: Dark Beast, his alternate universe counterpart, who kidnapped Beast and killed his loved ones to cover it up.
  • Badass Bookworm: A Science Hero who reads Shakespeare, quotes poetry, can lift well over 10 tons and once flipped freaking the Juggernaut on his head. There is a good reason Hank is Trope Codifier (and picture) for Genius Bruiser.
  • Bad Boss: As head of Krakoa’s X-force he’s quite verbally and psychologically abusive to Sage, intentionally exacerbating her alcoholism. He also turns Logan back into a weapon when he refuses to carry out his orders. Then he clones himself and Logan as part of his Weapons of X program and abuses all of those clones.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: From the 60s to the mid-2000s, Beast was once a shining pillar of morality and a jovial and witty prankster who objected to ruthless and reckless acts and orders. Unfortunately, since M-Day bitterness and his belief that he failed mutantkind in the past, has gradually erased almost all of the standards he once held, and as of the present Krakoan Age, Beast now operates in a very clinical and often horrifying fashion, using his former friends and subordinates as pawns for plans he believes that only he can comprehend and direct to secure Krakoa and mutantkind's future.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a very nice person, but push him too far and you WILL regret it. Sadly, the nice part of this trope no longer applies as he has fallen considerably from his once moral heights.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Hank cares deeply for his fellow less strong teammates, he even gave Iceman a spine cracking hug upon discovering he was alive. Hank is also protective of Jean though his feelings weren’t always brotherly. Later in the 90s Beast insisted on joining Gambit and Rogue’s date alongside Wolverine and Jubilee making sure Gambit “treats her right”.
  • The Big Guy: The strongest and more physically imposing of the original X-Men, though he's gone a bit to seed in the Krakoa era, which is why Wolverine has very little trouble killing him when he tracks him down.
  • Blood Knight: Hank may be a Genius Bruiser poet and Gentle Giant but due to his animalistic side, he falls into this trope occasionally. It’s especially evident when he’s facing the aforementioned Juggernaut and has a huge smile on his blue furry face before flipping Jugs over. Sometimes Depending on the Writer Hank is more civilized but other times he’s as enthusiastic about fighting as he is working on scientific discoveries.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Beast with his blue fur, intelligence, and kind nature.
  • Blue Means Smart One: Beast has blue fur as a result of experimenting on himself to increase his physical attributes and possesses a genius level intellect. Some of the fields that he has expertise in are biochemistry, medicine and genetics, astrophysics, and computer engineering.
  • Break the Cutie: He is widely known as an energetic and brainy sweetheart. But recently? It's implied that M-Day and any tragedy that followed haven’t done any favors for his mental health.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": His initial Secret Avengers costume had a gigantic "A" on the chest, which is kind of odd for a guy who's on a secret team. Thankfully he's gone back to his normal X-Men costume.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He frequently quotes poetry and literature, and is a very kind and warm man.
  • Catchphrase: "Oh my stars and garters!" and "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent"—usually said right before he slugs someone.
  • Character Development: Zigzagged between this and Depending on the Writer. Since the aftermath of House of M, Beast's morals steadily circling the drain has been a frequent yet fluctuating motif for the character with Henry’s increasing God Complex, loss of accountability (see “Never My Fault” and other examples on this page), and propensity to assume that anyone disagreeing with him is simply too thick to understand the proper way to accomplish things or his reasonings. On the other hand, Ben Percy’s portrayal of Hank during the Krakoan Age leans toward the logical endpoint of this motif; and has been consistent since the beginning of the relaunch.
  • Characterization Marches On: He was originally written as a Dumb Muscle, but the third issue abruptly changed his characterization to Genius Bruiser, and it stayed that way.
  • Chick Magnet: At least before he took on a feline appearance (and after gaining his blue fur), quite a number of women displayed attraction for him, or at least when he was with The Avengers, as it was not a rare sight to see groups of women swooning over him. He has had longtime relationships with Vera Cantor (1966-1990) and Trish Tilby (1988-2001). More recently he has been dating Abigail Brand.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He was the main source of verbal humor in the original X-Men and this trait has remained defining for him.
    Jubilee: Show-off! I was just about to do that!
    Beast: I am certain. Fact is, I was sitting over there thinking, "What would Jubilee do in MY place?"
  • Death is Cheap: In The Infinity Gauntlet #1 (July, 1991), Thanos wipes out of half the population of the Marvel Universe. In issue #2 (August, 1991), a list of "missing" (dead) heroes is read and Beast was among them. Every casualty of the event was restored to life in issue #6 (December, 1991), Beast included.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • His original appearance, chubby looking nerdy guy with oversized hands and feet? Or rugged nerdy guy with oversized hands and feet? All-New X-Men settles on a Adorkable look but his height still changes so that sometimes he’s only a head taller than Jean but other times he’s only a little shorter than his adult self.
    • Hank’s blue beast appearance is infamously all over the shop, sometime he looks like a bear, a lion, a horse, an ape or Wolverine.
    • Notably "Cat Beast" (the version of Hank that is cat-like) has a tendency to look like a different animal depending on who draws him. He's been a grizzly bear, a lion or a baboon, and sometimes looks closer to the older version, "Ape Beast". Grant Morrison (likely to get the artists off the hook) unlocked this Pandora's box when he introduced the lion look as Beast's "secondary mutation," and he's been morphologically unstable ever since.
    • Does Hank have pupils? Or featureless eyes like Nightcrawler.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Hank does not like magic. The X-Men: Endangered Species short series is about him trying — and failing — to understand the way Scarlet Witch's "no more mutants" spell works and revert it. He even goes on a rant about how, for all the weird magic stuff he found, he always hoped Sufficiently Analyzed Magic was in effect. That the effect of said spell was the mutant population being reduced to 198 doesn't hurt his case. Ironically, the "Time-Displaced Hank" from All-New X-Men ultimately switched from studying science to studying magic after being stranded in the future, because he couldn't catch up to how far science had advanced.
  • Drunk with Power: Whether or not it’s because of M-Day and the other traumatizing events following it; either way, the moment he is appointed as head of X-Force, all of the simmering hubris and recklessness that has been gestating in him for the last ten or so years is ballooned to an egregious level that it zig-zags with Drunk on the Dark Side - with all previous goodwill shriveling up in him, wholeheartedly believing that only he is in the right no matter his actions; that antagonism is the only way to solve problems, never considering (or acknowledging) the full spectrum of consequences from his actions, gets offended when he isn’t gifted with leniency, and looks down on everyone, including his own (former) friends and allies as ineffective dullards.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Beast originally looked like an ordinary human, albeit one with enlarged hands and feet. He didn't gain his iconic apelike appearance until the Amazing Adventures series in The '70s, and even then, his fur was initially gray, then black, before finally being described as blue in the pages of The Avengers.
  • Evil Twin: While all the X-Men have evil twins, Beast is notable because his Evil Twin (known as the Dark Beast, who is actually himself from the Age of Apocalypse timeline) has stuck around long-term, become a recurring villain, and even teamed up with Beast himself on occasion. It's a mark of how far Beast's Character Development has gone that Sinister himself has cheerfully remarked to Dark Beast (currently a head in a jar) that he's not even the Darkest Beast anymore.
  • Expy: Beast (in his human form) is very similar to "Monk" Mayfair, sidekick of proto-superhero Doc Savage. Monk is a scientist (industrial chemist) who resembles a great ape. Beast is a scholar (later scientist) with apelike features and abilities. Monk loves a good brawl, and so does the Beast. Monk loves beautiful women, and so does the Beast.
  • Eye Scream: In X-Force (2019) issue #24, he ripped out and crushed his own eye after realizing one of Xeno's nesting doll soldiers was inside it. He keeps this look until Logan kills him in #30 and he uploads his consciousness to a new body with both eyes.
  • Fatal Flaw: In recent years, Pride, to the point of Hubris, wherein he believes that he has the right to play God and that anyone objects to his actions are simply too thick to understand. This includes his own younger self.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Hank has suffered from this syndrome at least twice in various continuities. His original mutant power was superhuman strength and dexterity and unusually large hands and feet, and it was established early on that he also happened to have genius-level intellect, leading to a career in biochemistry - a Genius Bruiser. He has occasionally suffered from traumas, or performed medical experiments on himself, that made him lose intelligence, turning him into Dumb Muscle. He often has time to see this coming and regret the loss (until something comes along and makes him better). In one continuity, being Dumb Muscle was the status quo for him and he was temporarily enhanced, playing this trope completely straight.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: The final story arc of his feature in Amazing Adventures concerned an old friend named Vera, who approached Hank with the revelation that she needed his help to save the world from some unspecified threat. The threat was never revealed in Amazing Adventures, and the story was eventually (hastily) concluded in an issue of The Incredible Hulk.
  • Genius Bruiser: Hank is super-strong (depends on the writer, but sometimes he is said to bench press 70 tons), agile, and Nobel-level intelligent (generally regarded as the preeminent biochemist in the Marvel Universe, and he gave himself the power upgrade that made him look like how he is today, only stronger than he was when he looked more human). As a bonus, he was played by Kelsey Grammer in X-Men: The Last Stand.
    Jean Grey: His name's Henry McCoy, dipstick—he reads poetry, swings from trees, knows the square root of a million, and he's gonna kick your butt.
    Beast: [cracks knuckles] Indubitably.
  • Geniuses Have Multiple PhDs: He is a genius biochemist and geneticist who has at least two doctorates in genetics and biophysics but has claimed to have as many as six. One of the eight smartest men in the world, his skills veer into Omnidisciplinary Scientist territory, having invented a time machine with the X-Club and installed a thermonuclear reactor into the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Before his God Complex clouded his judgement, his politeness and courtesy were on par with his renowned intellect; serving as the voice of reason on many occasions. Even during the latter, Wolverine explicitly notes that he likes to present himself as a civilised gentleman.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: He is known for his iconic blue fur, but when he first debuted this new look back in Amazing Adventures #15, his fur was explicitly stated to be black. However, since black hair is usually colored with a blue tint in comics, this gave off the perception that the fur was supposed to be blue, which was later made canon by subsequent creators.
  • Handy Feet: One of his most notable powers is superhuman manual dexterity, even in his feet. He regularly uses them along with his hands to perform all kinds of tasks, sometimes seen typing with his feet alone. Some adaptations (and further mutations) go so far as to make his big toes opposable like a gorilla. This is generally when he actually has feet, instead of lion-like paws.
  • Hated by All: He wasn't this trope before, but by the time of the Hellfire Gala, his hypocrisy, smugness, and overall morally bankrupt actions have been nearing a breaking point. He has lost almost all of the respect, care, and trust he had garnered throughout the years. Even his longtime allies and friends and his X-Force teammates have had enough. Hell, even Jean Grey, who has a kind word for practically everyone and formerly regarded Hank as a close, dear friend, has told him where to get off. Even worse, he rationalizes the hate as proof that he is more intelligent and righteous than they are.
    • Its played with in regards to his metatextual inner monologue in X-Force 2019 issue #23, and a line of dialogue by Kate Pryde in Immortal X-Men #1; which elaborate and imply that despite abhorring what Hank is now, many characters in-Universe still have fond memories of who he was before.
  • Healing Factor: He has one, making him able to recover from non-fatal wounds at a much faster rate than normal humans.
  • The Heart: Throughout the majority of his appearances from the 60s to the mid-or-late 2000s, Hank would usually serve this role to the Avengers, Defenders, X-Men, etc. in general or as a backup version of this whenever it was already filled; using his down-to-earth friendliness to keep everyone in check. Then he steadily began turning into a complete monster.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: Before M-Day and Krakoa-as-a-Nation, when he was still an earnest, heroic figure, he adopted a small dog named Sassafras during his tenure within the New Defenders run by JM De Matteis. Whatever happened to Sassafras afterwards is anyone’s guess.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Iceman, and later his Avengers teammate Wonder Man.
  • Hidden Depths: Before his "secondary mutation" kicked in, giving him cat-like paws, he was a talented guitar player. Something he revealed only after he lost the ability to do so. He later started learning how to the play drums.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He brings the O5 to the present to mess with Cyclops by showing his younger self how far he had fallen. It works for Cyclops (though his younger self ends up admiring him) but it also works for young Beast. And unfortunately (and ironically), while the integration of their past selves' memories does wonders for Scott, it does absolutely nothing to Hank.
  • Holier Than Thou: After the Decimation, Hank develops quite the self-righteous streak toward Scott, Emma, and anyone who agrees with them on anything, judging them for actions he’s even had a hand in. It’s one of the characteristics that drives him to a more villainous role.
  • Hypocrite: Once accused Scott of forming X-Force as a black ops team to do all of his “dirty work”. In Dawn of X he himself became a supervisor of the Krakoan X-Force and his deeds involve torturing, brainwashing, and giving direct orders to kill... and that was the nice side of it. As a whole, his version made Scott's version look like fluffy bunnies.

    I-Z 
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Beast's entire view on his job as head of the Krakoan X-Force - that, and that no one is smart enough to judge him for anything. The result is that nobody on the team likes him anymore.
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    • His encounter with Uatu condemning him for his actions and destroying potential futures with mutant utopias caused Beast to reflect on his actions and wonder if he could fix them. However, he then proceeded to continue down his same self-righteous path and decide that only he could judge himself. It happens again when he integrates the memories of his younger self, as the other O5 does. All of the others? They have reason to think, and in Scott's case, it causes positive Character Development. Beast? Doesn't even think about it.
    • He gets another when he finds himself in prison from the beginning in Age of X-Man, rather than sent there for breaking the rules of Nate Grey's reality. When he calls Nate out for this, Nate simply informs him that if he was there, it's because deep down he thought he belonged there. Beast doesn't even think about this, angrily brushing it off, when it's hinted that this was the last twinge of his conscience.
  • Insufferable Genius: Increasingly in recent years as he starts Jumping Off the Slippery Slope by bringing the Original Five to the present on false pretenses (he claimed that present day Cyclops was about to unleash mutant genocide) and refused to admit he'd done anything wrong - while the incident with Uatu suggests that it haunts him somewhat, he just continued to double down.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Wolverine. Wolvie was born in the 19th century and is old enough to be Beast's ancestor. Sadly, this friendship later becomes broken by Beast's moral decline and manipulations of Wolverine.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Pre-Schism, Henry McCoy was one of the most reasonable and sensible people in the Marvel Universe. Post-Schism, Hank’s developing habit of shirking accountability (See “Never My Fault”) was mainly due to pride and/or insecurity, with shades of this regarding the consequences of bringing the O5 to the future. However, since the Krakoan Age, he appears to have completely graduated to this trope. No matter how much empirical evidence there is that his methods cause more harm than good or if his colleagues and peers have more valid points than he does, he will perpetually insist to himself that he is the only one who can do the right or smart things; and will compulsively shun his colleagues’ points to near-delusional levels.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Throughout the Krakoan Age, Beast slips further and further down the scale of morality and is repeatedly called out by his teammates and former friends. Beast insists everything he does is right and for the security of the nation, but grows increasingly frustrated and unhinged due to his critics, particularly Wolverine. He ultimately decides to eliminate that source of criticism by murdering Wolverine in secret and leaving him a mindless husk under Beast's sole control upon resurrection with no one else the wiser, utilizing him to murder Krakoa's "enemies", which include both legitimate threats and innocents, like a reporter who wrote a negative article about mutantkind.
  • Karma Houdini: After handing over Threnody, endangering others by teaming up with Dark Beast in his attempts to undo M-Day, using the legacy virus against the Skrulls, screwing with the time space continuum in a petty snipe at Cyclops, killing several alternate Earths as part of the Illuminati, betraying mutants during M-pox, committing War Crimes as head of X-force, turning Logan back into a living weapon making him relive his trauma, murdering several people, abusing his X-force subordinates and generally being a huge hypocrite, Beast has avoided any real consequence of his actions and the damage he’s left in his wake. Then, Wolverine kills him.
  • Knight Templar: He was formerly open to admitting his mistakes and taking responsibility for his actions. Unfortunately, he has become so convinced of his own righteousness in the Krakoan Age that he will tolerate no criticism of his work or even consider he might be wrong in the brutal and monstrous actions he takes in the name of Krakoan security. It reaches the point where he begins to plan on excluding refugee mutants from the island behind the Quiet Council's back because he considers them undesirable and contributes nothing to the security of the nation.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Not only is Hank strong, but he's also incredibly fast and agile.
  • Lovable Nerd: Before the Schism event, when he was portrayed as a genial character, his warmth towards his friends and allies was as infectious as his intellect was extraordinary. Later, there were still shades of it. By the Krakoan Age? Officially Hated by All.
  • Loved by All: Before the Krakoan Age turned him into the skin-crawling opposite (see “Hated By All” above and “We Used To Be Friends” below) Hank was a downplayed, but significant example of this for the Marvel Universe (just not at the same level as Captain America or The Thing). He often served the role of a bridge between the Mutant groups and the non-Mutant groups; generally viewed (even by a large amount of baseline humans) as a respectable, trustworthy, endearing, and diligent individual from both a social and academic standpoint. Even his parents and (implicitly) his uncles cherished and supported Henry well after he grew mammalian traits and a blue pelt (though it did take his mother a little longer to warm up to him again) - a rarity for Mutants in the Marvel Universe. There were plenty of times when he would butt heads with his friends and allies, get on their nerves, or be in the wrong, but never to the point of receiving utter dislike from them. Even after his moral fracturing and loss of accountability after M-Day, he was still thought fondly of by a large portion of the superbeing world.
    • The often gruff and surly Wolverine also expressed a brotherly soft spot for Hank on a handful of occasions (though that relationship has also turned sour very recently).
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Hank has always been a capable fighter belying a brilliant mind, regardless of how various media portray him. Yet his incarnation in Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) states early on that he's "a pacifist by nature." Push comes to shove, however, he'll knock you down.
  • Mistaken for Gay: His girlfriend Trish Tilby once accused him of being gay... prompting him to admit to such in the media... despite not actually being gay. See, she gave him the idea that he could be a role model for mutants and gay people at the same time.
  • Monster Modesty: He started off looking reasonably normal. During this time, he was covered up almost completely. Once he turned into a furry monster, he stripped down to underwear. This is especially odd since the character is a very educated, polite individual who would normally be the type to dress in a dignified manner.
    • Hank explained at least once, though it may not have been fully serious (or even canonical), that he dresses the way he does because all that fur got downright HOT when all covered up. When he DOES get fully dressed, he's about as dapper as a bulky, stocky man with bright blue fur all over his body can be.
  • Mutants: He is both a mutant and a mutate. He was born a mutant with ape-like features and abilities. He mutated himself by ingesting a chemical. It turned him into a new form with new powers. He grew gray fur over his entire body, his muscles expanded, his ears became larger and pointed, claws sprouted, and his canine teeth became larger, resembling fangs. The serum further increased his superhuman agility, endurance, speed, and strength, as well as enhanced his senses, and granted him an extraordinary healing factor.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's suggested that at least up until the Krakoa era, he has some idea of how far he's fallen. Immediately before, he ends up in the prison in Age of X-Man, and when he reacts angrily to having been imprisoned, the reality's creator, Nate Grey informs him that if he was there it was because deep down he believed it was where he deserved to be.
  • Natural Weapon: His fangs and claws are weapons.
  • Never My Fault: When the entirety of the current X-men and the O5 he brought to the present try to talk to him about tampering with time and space, for petty reasons and how his actions have affected others, all he can do is talk about how Scott Summers made him do it.
  • Nice Guy: Before his gradual and dramatic moral fall from M-Day to the present Krakoan Age obliterated this trait from him, he was genuinely this from the 60s to the mid-2000s. A kind, gregarious, playful, and very empathetic soul. However, even then, he did have his fair share of emotional and psychological baggage now and then. Even during the years before Krakoa-as-a-Nation, this friendly side of him popped up every once in a while to varying periods of time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He tried to secure Krakoa's future by hacking Terra Verde's telefloronics to kill their prince, but he also ended up making them dominant and in control of people's bodies, which at the least nearly resulted in a genocide of the whole country.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: When he gets knocked down by a mind-controlled Colossus, he goes: "Anyone… get the number... of that uru hammer?"
  • Nuclear Mutant: Stan Lee toyed with the idea that Mutants were the result of exposure to radiation. Which is why the X-Men were the so-called "Children of the Atom." Beast's Origins Episode in X-Men #49 (October, 1968) reveals the reason for Beast's mutation. His father Norton McCoy worked in nuclear power plant. An accident exposed him to a massive dose of radiation. When Norton eventually had a son, this son was born with an obvious genetic mutation.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He had his brains undergo an inflation similar to Superman's powers going from Flying Brick in the Golden Age to almighty in the Silver Age. In the early days, he was just the best and most studious of the school's students. By now he's a world-renowned expert in every science there is, and when it comes to solving the science-based problem of the week, be it a virus, a killer robot that doesn't respond to Eye Beams, etc. he'll be the one to do it. Officially Reed Richards is the smartest human in the Marvel Universe, but Beast really can stand up to him in the actual count of scientific day-saving moments. Need a device to make the godlike Dark Phoenix's butt temporarily kickable? He'll whip it up in an hour. The Big Bad is using an alien spaceship left behind by the Precursors? He'll pull up a chair and make it work for him in under an hour! Legacy Virus? Get on it, Hank. And somehow, even with the superhero-ing and research work in all fields of science, Hank also finds time to be a regular on the talk show circuit.
    • Interestingly, he's less like this in his Avengers appearances: when you've got a team with Pym, Stark, and Banner you don't need another genius, so he's more of a Boisterous Bruiser with his (considerable) physical powers emphasized (which have also greatly increased since his days as one of the original X-Men; he once casually boasted about being able to bench press 70 tons and his agility has always been on par with Spider-Man). However, that was when he was first with the Avengers, during the interregnum between the original X-Men series and the "all new, all different" one that introduced Storm, Wolverine, etc. This many decades of being the X-Men's resident genius later, it's no longer possible to ignore the brains angle. He keeps his X-Men characterization during Secret Avengers, and in that series, he's clearly on par with Pym.
      • The in-universe explanation (although never stated outright) was that this was the time when he started experimenting with pot.
    • Dark Beast, the evil alternate Hank who arrived here from the Age of Apocalypse universe, once posed as "our" Hank and ended up complaining about all the things he was expected to know. Dark Beast is an expert on genetics, making him seriously bad news to have on the wrong side in this universe. However, genetics is his specialty while prime Hank's specialty is "everything ever." At one point, that was prime Hank's specialty too, but he's branched out a lot since then, being a medical doctor in addition to having Ph.Ds in genetics and biochemistry and being a self-trained expert in everything else.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In Inhumans vs. X-Men, Storm ends up blasting Beast with a lightning bolt to stop him from ratting out the X-Men to the Inhumans over their plan to attack them and stop the Terrigen Cloud's effect on mutants. This would be seen as a Kick the Dog moment since they're teammates and friends. However, since the end of Avengers vs. X-Men, Beast has been written as a major jerkass trying his damnedest to prove that Cyclops was some sort of monster and essentially treating his friends like crap. Even more, Beast wasn't going to warn the Inhumans due to moral objections (Rogue had decided to Opt Out of the attack because of this), but because he was scared of any possible Inhuman retaliation. And as of Wolverine (2020) #30 (Feb 2023), he has been killed by Wolverine, but then given what he did'' to him, many feel Hank had it coming.
  • The Paranoiac: Not long ago, Hank was an amiable and fun-loving soul. Even after his disillusionment post-House of M, he found it in himself to maintain these two traits. Unfortunately, as of the Krakoa relaunch, he has, tragically, become a man who harbors a nigh-sociopathic fear of imminent doom, the unpredictable, or just being wrong; as exemplified with these instances:
    • He has an obscenely high opinion of himself; proclaiming in his inner monologues and data pages that his role is the most vital compared to everyone else’s; that only he knows how to accomplish “the job” and everyone is too dim witted to make valuable contributions.
    • Rationalizes cruelty and violence as the only solution to solving Mutantkind’s problems and defeating their “enemies”.
    • Rarely holds himself accountable for any screw-ups that are tangibly his own fault.
    • Expresses a grim outlook of the world; believing that everyone, including Mutants, are full of nasty tendencies (in X-Force 2019 issue #23); often deriding the Quiet Council’s work as “diplomatic nonsense” (behind their backs); having an accusatory outburst at Sage - suspecting her of sabotage (in Wolverine 2020 issue #13); and claiming his teammates are acting on “sickening optimism” when they agree on inducting Omega Red (in X-Force 2019 issue #27). He distrusts anyone else to do “the job” properly (like him) so much that he lies and keeps secrets on a regular basis.
    • Expresses a fear of dying and being gene-edited or having his mind tweaked upon resurrection (in X-Force 2019 issue #23).
    • Bristles or becomes agitated when someone (even professionally) calls him out on his B.S.
    • Has installed a bio-technological surveillance network across the globe, even on Krakoa, in order to “protect” everyone.
    • Plays the role of fear-monger in X-Force 2019 issue #12; rationalizing that instilling paranoia and terror in Krakoa’s residents will motivate them to be more vigilant.
    • In Wolverine 2020 issue #27, he wants a band of Arakki pirates eliminated before they commit a crime in order to prevent a crime from happening.
  • The Penance: The last gasp of his conscience may have taken this form in Age of X-Man, where he'd ended up in a prison in the titular reality from the start, not simply put there for breaking the rules. When he gets angry about this, Nate, the reality's creator, simply informs him that if he was there it was because he thought he deserved to be. Unfortunately, this ends up being an Ignored Epiphany.
  • Pillars of Moral Character: Originally. His heroism was duty-based, seeing it as his duty to save lives as both a hero and a scientist, driven by compassion, refusing to compromise his morals and attempting to act as a living conscience to others. That changed following M-Day.
    • Undermined somewhat in recent years; while he still sees himself as this and tries to behave as such, he tends to behave in an increasingly reckless, self-righteous, and destructive manner - bringing the teenage Original 5 to the present and consequently screwing up the timeline in a hairbrained scheme to get Cyclops to 'see reason', for instance, nearly wound up retgonning Cyclops out of existence, increased the rate of the universe's decline and according to Uatu in a "Reason You Suck" Speech, destroyed multiple positively Utopian possible futures for the X-Men.
    • Worse, when repeatedly confronted with his habit of defying the laws of nature with no regard to the consequences, even when called out for it by his own younger self, he refused to admit that he'd done anything wrong and his justification was basically 'I'm far too smart for you to understand anything I do, therefore you are in no position to judge me.' It gets to the point where Storm bluntly asks when he stopped knowing the difference between right and wrong.
    • In the present Krakoan Age, it's only got even worse; he's now running an incarnation of X-Force - something he'd once condemned Cyclops for - and one that, if anything, made Cyclops' version look like fluffy bunnies. They, after all, only targeted direct threats to mutantkind. Beast's version is less discriminating... and he still believes, as ever, that he is right and no one is fit to morally judge him because they aren't smart enough. Even the eternally compassionate Jean Grey, the Original 5's other version of this (and unlike Beast, managed to largely stick to it), shuts him down because she's sick of his behaviour.
    • And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, he THEN jumps off the slope by murdering Wolverine, keeping his skull as a memento, and having him resurrected as a mindless, mind-controlled husk that he points at anyone he deems an 'enemy' of Krakoa, even if they just wrote a negative article about mutants.
  • Pointy Ears: When he mutated himself, Beast gained pointy ears. He lost them when he changed to a new catlike form, then regained them when he started looking human again.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Gradually becoming a recurring problem with him during the Krakoan Age, who keeps making decisions unilaterally without consulting anyone else, leaving them to confront him when they find out after it blows up in their faces.
  • Power at a Price: During X-Factor Pestilence infected him with a disease that increased his strength the more he exerted himself at the cost of his intelligence.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: That is how Beast went from a hairless gorilla to a furry form. While working for the Brand Corporation, discovered a hormonal extract that causes mutations in genetic structures. He then discovered a mission that would need him to be unrecognizable. Beast decided to use the chemical on himself to temporarily disguise his features. He would have an hour to complete his mission and take an antidote to change back. He missed that deadline and the furry form became permanent.
  • Psychologist Teacher: As a teacher, Beast tries to solve the problems of his students. Though, he is far from infallible in his role.
  • Queer Flowers: Invoked (but probably as Gay Bravado) in the case of Wonder Man and Beast. When Wonder Man returns from the dead again in the pages of the Busiek/Perez Avengers, Beast shows up with a bouquet of roses, tackles him, and gives him a sloppy kiss on the lips. In an issue of Marvel's Alternate Universe Exiles, the team's Alterna-Beast chooses not to return to his own universe because, with his lover Wonder Man dead, there was nothing left for him there.
  • Self Made Super Powers: Henry McCoy (Earth-295), better known as Dark Beast, continuously experimented on himself and others and gained Super Strength, slowed aging, etc. The full extent of his capability remains unknown as he continuously changes them. He also received cybernetic enhancements from Mr. Sinister.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Easily the most verbose of the original X-Men and has a tendency to use "big words." It's just for the joy of wordplay — everyone he works with already knows he's a genius — though it undoubtedly has a side effect of convincing people he's never met before that even mutants who look like him can possess an enormous vocabulary.
    • And he does it with insults too; "go suck eggs" becomes:
      Hank: Why don't you go orally extract embryonic fluid from a hen's egg?
  • Shoe Size Angst: His first mutation gave him enlarged hands and feet but his feet got the most attention, especially because of everything he could do with them.
  • Silly Simian: Beast's original thing was his incredibly simian physique, causing him to look like a shaved gorilla. Then he became something akin to a blue-furred gorilla with a bizarre Wolverine-ish hairdo. Later he lost the gorilla-like traits to become cat-like, though.
  • The Smart Guy: Although he was probably more The Big Guy of the original team, since his intelligence was downplayed in those days. He is the resident genius.
  • Smart People Know Latin: In one issue, he converses with a Catholic nun in Latin.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: He wears reading glasses and is a genius scientist. It's a little odd to see a big blue cat/ape thing wearing reading glasses, but it lets you know what you're in for.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Always finds ways to make sophisticated references to literature, science, music, and science fiction. It's like a game for him, and it's his favorite one.
  • Status Quo Is God: Not as bad as the Hulk or the Thing, but he's never going to stay human-looking for long.
  • Stripperiffic: Less likely to wear a shirt than Iggy Pop. After mutating to his original furry form, he went around almost nude. Only his crotch and buttocks were covered by clothing.
  • Strong and Skilled: Hank balances brute strength with scientific guile to an excellent degree, in one comic when Juggernaught is middle of a rampage, Hank figured out to use Juggs's mass and inertia against him by literally flipping Juggernaut on his head. During the Krakoan era, more time in the chair has meant he's gone a bit soft, meaning that Wolverine has relatively little trouble hunting him down and killing him. Of course, given that he's running a Cloning Gambit by this point, it makes very little difference.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: A strange case in that his time displaced younger self began dabbling in magic, and is seemingly possessed by a mystical artifact, and the nature of restoring the timeline means that technically Beast has been an Adept for years. This has yet to be followed up on in the present, especially the demonic transformation.
  • Super-Speed: He can run and move at speeds that are slightly beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete, despite his abnormal size. He can run at speeds up to 40 mph for short distances, particularly if he runs on all fours, Beast can even take out flying foes with his mobility.
  • Super-Strength: Has always had some level of super strength. As a teenager, Beast could lift 1 ton. His strength has since increased over the years.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: With Dark Beast offstage, Hank’s recent characterization has been evoking more and more of his Age of Apocalypse counterpart to an uncanny degree with his terrifying actions reaching closer and closer to the same level of pointless unethicality as the grey-furred version - it gets to the point where Sinister cheerfully informs Dark Beast (now a head in a jar in his lab) that he's not even the Darkest Beast anymore. In addition, this present characterization and its visual portrayals have echoes of Weapon X alums Dr. Abraham Cornelius and Professor Thornton from the Weapon Plus mythos; with their Scary Shiny Glasses aesthetic; their personalities as menacing science leaders who take themselves very seriously; their management of a government-sponsored black-ops group with nationalist vibes; their reliance on mind control, brainwashing, and insanely sketchy experimentation; their goal to make the world a better place through borderline fascistic methods, and the styling of Hank’s facial fur is similar to Dr. Cornelius’s hair and beard combo. The similarities to Doctor Cornelius and Professor Thornton are elevated to a shocking degree when Henry develops a disturbing obsession with using and controlling Wolverine as a “perfect tool” to solving the world’s problems via assassinating the “enemies”.
  • Techno Wizard: He is an expert in electronics.
  • Transplant: After gaining his blue-furred form in Amazing Adventures #11, he was recruited to join the Avengers, before leaving to rejoin the original five X-Men as X-Factor.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Although not impossible for him to recover from this trope, the beginnings of his recent moral fall set in after M-Day, when he was desperate to save mutantkind, but it got supercharged after the death of Charles Xavier, when he became increasingly reckless, self-righteous, and destructive. This doesn’t stop when Xavier returns - if anything, he just gets that much worse, to the point where Sinister considers him worse than his Evil Counterpart. See What the Hell, Hero? below.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: From the death of Charles Xavier onwards, he's become increasingly reckless, self-righteous, and destructive. This doesn’t stop when Xavier returns - if anything, it only gets worse. See What the Hell, Hero? below.
  • TV Genius: He's actually one of the better socialized members of the team, but constantly spouts volumes of jargon and technobabble and frequently expresses amazement at others' lack of intellectual curiosity.
  • Underwear of Power: His costume for most of The '70s and part of The '80s was just underwear-type bikini briefs covering his crotch and buttocks.
  • The Unfettered: He was formerly the opposite. However, starting from the aftermath of House of M, when he was trying everything to seek a solution to the Decimation and teaming up with even the likes of Dark Beast, he steadily began to become this - exemplified by bringing the Original Five to the present on extremely spurious grounds. By the Krakoan Age, as the head of X-Force on Krakoa there are absolutely no lines that Beast will not cross to ensure the security of Krakoa. This includes murder, human experimentation, lying to his teammates and sending them to die as tests, and numerous other crimes. It reaches the point where Sinister mocks Dark Beast (now reduced to a head in a jar) that he's "not even the darkest Beast any more." Whether or not he breaks away from this trope and gets restored to The Fettered in future books is uncertain.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: As of the Krakoan Age he believes that any actions are justified, even ones that violate the nation's laws or hurt those closest to him. It’s uncertain whether he will or won’t be snapped out of this phase in the future.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Iceman. They are best friends, but that does not prevent them from taking shots at each other. Beast pointing that Iceman is not the brightest guy around: "meet my blundering associate – who's not such a bad idiot when you get to know him!"
  • We Used to Be Friends: His fellow X-Men have all come to despise Beast by the Krakoan Age viewing him with disdain and only ever reluctantly working with him due to his brutal and corrupt nature. This is particularly notable with Scott, Jean Grey, and Logan. The former who he began to resent after the Decimation and the latter two who he recently fell out with during the Krakoan Age, with the former being disgusted by the lengths he was willing to go to and what he was willing to justify, and the latter by his complete lack of scruples and, oh yes, murdering him and resurrecting him as a mindless weapon, which he then cloned repeatedly. Only time will tell if he makes a recovery from his moral fall and somehow (miraculously) rekindle these friendships in future books.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He was on the delivering end of this to Cyclops but ended up taking their falling out too far and has since been on the reviewing end of this a number of times.
    • When the Phoenix Force makes Cyclops kill Xavier, he brings younger versions of the original X-Men (himself, Scott, Jean, Bobby, and Warren) to the present day in order to torment him. Many people including the Watcher voice disgust in him for putting the whole Universe in danger just to mess with someone he hates, with even his younger self horrified at who he’s become. The X-Men eventually have an intervention in order to confront him about his actions telling him his hatred for Cyclops does not justify what he’s done. He just dismisses them all as not smart enough to see what he does. While he is haunted by the Watcher showing him all the Utopian futures he wiped out, and he has a breakdown when he achieves cosmic awareness and realizes he broke time, he arguably gets even worse.
    • He joins the Illuminati in destroying alternate worlds in order to save their own, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers are horrified and they end up on the run. When the end of their world comes anyway, he receives another “What the hell” from his younger self for bringing him to the present knowing the world was in danger instead of letting him live his life.
    • When he teams up with the Inhumans in I.V.C, he received another from his former team when they come around to the fact that what the Royal Family was doing was wrong.
    • In X-Force (2019), Jean calls out Hank on keeping secrets within X-Force, as they nearly ruined a whole country and made a threat to Krakoa, before walking off the team.
    • Later in the book, when Krakoa comes into conflict with Russia, he starts rounding up Russian mutants for being potential moles, including longtime friend Colossus. To make it worse, Beast gathers Krakoan citizens to watch Colossus be arrested in a humiliating traitors parade. Both Domino and Wolverine voice how inappropriate and flat out messed up this is especially for someone as sweet and peaceful as Colossus. Wolverine even punches him in the stomach for this having had enough of his crap.
  • Wicked Cultured: "Beast turns evil" is kind of a much more common scenario than you'd think. See Grant Morrison's "Here Comes Tomorrow" arc in New X-Men for a quintessential one. Beast (under the influence of Sublime) attempts to destroy the X-Men (now led by a reformed clone of Cassandra Nova) once and for all. After his Face–Heel Turn in the Krakoa Era, Wolverine explicitly states that he likes to act all civilised despite being utterly savage.
  • You Make Me Sick: In All-New X-Men, This is what Uatu the Watcher says about the present-day Beast, after he deliberately jeopardized the timeline to bring the O5 X-Men from the past. His specific words are "You disgust me".

    Time-Displaced Beast 

Beast/Henry McCoy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/henry_mccoy_earth_616.png

The younger version of the Beast who brought the O5 forward in time, and who found his future self's further mutated appearance to be quite a shock.


  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually aimed at Bobby.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: In regards to Jean, who seemed to at first reciprocate his interest (once she realised it), but instead ended up drifting back towards Scott. He's fairly matter-of-fact about it, in the end, eventually remarking sympathetically to Bloodstorm - who had a similar interest in/was close to Scott - that he's been there and that nothing seems to keep Scott and Jean apart for long.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Blue makes clear he feels like second (or possibly third or fourth) best in Jean's eyes to Scott.
  • Horned Humanoid: His Black Magic-induced "Beast" or "Demon" form is distinguishable from the older Beast by its white fur and its demonic horns.
  • Human Resources: Steals the heart of a Wendigo for magical purposes.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The technology of the future is so far beyond him that he's willing to tamper with forces beyond his control just to feel special again. He at least realises this and vows to cut it out.
    • And later on he starts dabbling with magic and repeats the same mistakes over again.
  • Insufferable Genius: It's Beast. However, cracks start to appear in his facade in Volume 2, as he feels increasingly left behind and useless in the era of 21st century technology, especially with the level of tech that superheroes and villains alike have access to. Particularly after his failure to rescue Scott from Toad. He's smarter than the average person with it, but it's not good enough anymore.
  • Jerkass: In #8 Hank approaches Doctor Strange to ask for his help sending the O5 back to their rightful time... while openly insulting him and disparaging magic to his face. Strange's reaction is less offence more, 'oh blessed Vishanti, here we go again'.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Beneath the Inferiority Superiority Complex is a genuinely kind and decent young man who wants to make amends for both his mistakes and those of his future self - who, by contrast, is a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk. Storm even contrasts the two of them in the prelude to Inhumans vs. X-Men, pointing out that she thought she'd have to teach his younger self that power comes with responsibility, but she's discovered that unlike his older self, young Beast knows that.
  • My Greatest Failure: His confidence is severely rocked when Scott is nearly killed by Toad, and he made several blunders that helped exacerbate the situation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the Apocalypse Wars crossover with Extraordinary X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, it's revealed that the reason En Sabah Nur became Apocalypse is because Hank got captured in the past by his father. En Sabah Nur, who Used to Be a Sweet Kid, selflessly attempted to rescue him rather than make good his own escape, and ended up being captured in the process. Evan tried to go back for him to save both En Sabah and the world from what he would become, but Hank forcibly returns them both to their own time, abandoning the boy to his fate. Of course, this could be a stable time loop, so he might not have had much choice.
    • Tampering with magic leads to him literally opening a Hellgate that results in their RV being destroyed.
      • And by Issue #12 siding with the Goblin Queen for forbidden knowledge ends up leaving him doing this again.
  • Science vs. Magic: Hank is very firmly rooted on the Science side of the conflict, and outright plays the Magic Is Cheating angle in a conversation with Dr. Strange. Later on, he tries to merge them... it doesn't go well.
    • Though, by X-Men Blue #1 he has shown the ability to use magic and scan for magical signatures, so he's been making progress.
  • The Smart Guy: Fills this role on the team. Much like his older self, he's hard at work trying to unravel the mystery of why they're unable to return to their own time. He later claims that he figured out why it happened: the universe essentially filled in the gap their presence made, replacing them. This turns out not to be the case, however.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Despite his cavalcade of mistakes, as listed above, he steadily learns from them and does his best to understand the whole 'great responsibility' thing... and more than once calls out his older self, who should know better, for bringing them to the future and false pretenses and tampering with the timeline simply to spite Scott Summers.

Alternative Title(s): Beast, Beast Marvel Comics

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