Marvel’s X-Men has made a huge comeback due to the success of the last few films from First Class and beyond. With the new film X-Men Apocalypse having pulled in huge numbers, earning over $500 million at the box office with a relatively low budget in comparison to other movies, the theory is that the greatness in X-Men is back and may only continue with the new movie Logan set to hit theaters next year.
With Logan, we watch Wolverine in an older state and like many other points in X-Men, the characters are what draw you to everything and force you to stay invested. Regardless of who, everyone has a favorite X-Men member. The question has always been, who truly is the best of the bunch? It will always be debated but one person that constantly gets overlooked is Beast. Hank McCoy may seem like nothing more than a blue animal, but he is much more than this.
In the comics, he is a crucial figure to the team and in mutant rights. Without him, there is a likelihood that things fall apart. He truly is like glue to the X-Men and an example of mutant kind not being seen as all bad, when there are many good like him who are capable of great things for both humans and mutants alike. Due to being overlooked, there are a lot of things people do not know about Beast. We at The Richest felt that was terrible and decided to give you fifteen things you may not know about Beast so that you look like the smart one at the next mutant discussion. Enjoy!
15. He Wasn’t Always A Blue Fuzzy Dude
Many do not know that Beast was actually not originally the blue animal-like figure we know from the comics and what he is often portrayed as in film and TV. First Class got him totally right at the beginning, as he really was a normal looking guy who had super-human abilities.
The film also got it partially right that Hank would accidentally dose himself with a creation of his own that would actually be called MGH or mutant growth hormone. This was what made him change color and what caused him to speed things up with his abilities, which were already high but even more so after this.
14. He Was Grey Once
You remember when we said that Beast accidentally gave himself MGH? Well, he did not turn blue like we know today when he did that. Instead, he would actually turn grey and would be that way for a while in the early version of the comics. People do not know much about that version because the blue one is way better and is used far more often in the comic books and in every form he’s been used in through media.
This was actually a good transition, as dog fur that happens to be grey is often called blue instead for reasons we really don’t have enough time to go into. This transition to actual blue worked well due to the fur situation and the artists eventually went with it full on.
13. His Smarts Are Part Of His Mutant Abilities
A lot of mutants have a good brain, but many are not simply born with smartness and achieve it by learning as much as they can. Others have it naturally; in the case of Hank McCoy, he was a genius when he was younger and as his powers began to get bigger and more powerful, so did his intelligence. His entire body grew in ability, not just his athletic prowess.
People often times do not associate his smarts to his powers, but they are very much part of the situation. When he took the MGH as we spoke of earlier, this only did more to increase his intelligence. Any wonder why he ended up being the one to represent mutants with the public?
12. The Movie World Is Weird For Beast
While many of the characters in X-Men have been played by only one actor, there are a few characters that have been played by two different actors. These tend to be the people who play the young and old characters such as James McAvoy playing Charles Xavior when he’s younger while the older version we all know best is played by Sir Patrick Stewart. However, Beast or Hank McCoy himself has been played by three different actors.
Of course, we know of the people most famous for the role such as Kelsey Grammar and Nicholas Hoult who played the character over multiple films in old and young roles. However, Steve Bacic also played the role in a very brief cameo in X-Men 2 years ago when Hank McCoy was seen on television taking part in an interview.
11. There Are Ten Versions Of The Way Beast Looks
You read that right. Marvel has apparently made ten different versions of Beast. We spoke about the original Grey look and of course the later blue look. However, the way he looks is what we’re going with. He’s been human, he’s been awkwardly blue, but by far the funniest versions have to be cat beast and horse beast.
Yeah, Marvel really lost it a bit here and there and probably need to be evaluated after a few of these decisions. Characters tend to grow and evolve in look over time, but Beast having ten different versions is absolutely criminal to do to one character in any comic, much less a popular one like X-Men.
10. He Almost Lost His Powers Completely
Beast was captured by people trying to experiment on him and cure their son of his mutant self, and to do so, they gave a serum to Hank that turned him human again. He would manage to get away, but not with the restoration of his powers.
At one point during an attack in New York, Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen would manage to strike Beast with a virus that would affect him very weirdly. The more he used his strength and superhuman abilities, the more intellect he would lose in the process but the more strength he would gain. Brilliantly done, Hank had very few options to get his powers back and would have a dealer’s choice with what he was given…but he remained a hero.
In order to save Iceman from a very deadly kiss by Infectia, Beast interfered and got infected by her instead of Iceman. This worked out well for him, as it restored him back to the way he was before. As weird at it might seem to get infected only to regain his powers, this is the world of comics, ladies and gentlemen…we don’t make the rules.
9. Beast Is Actually Dead In Another Timeline
You may recall a time when in Days of Future Past Hank McCoy asks a sort of time traveled Wolverine if he makes it in the future, and Logan being the kind man that he is, claims he’s pretty much dead. Beast was killed by an angry mob of human extremists in the year 2015. This makes him dead in a timeline not connected to the one we’re in now.
This is mainly due to what Logan said and how events changed things in the X-Men movie universe with Days of Future Past. Hank would ultimately survive later on because he more than likely would never have been attacked. We, of course, know Hank is alive due to Kelsey Grammar showing up later on in the film helping reassure us that all is well with our favorite blue guy.
8. Beast Is Totally Screwed Up In The Movie Timeline
While yes we all know that no one cares about the X-Men 1-3 movies, now that the universe has been reset, we do still need to touch on these immediate and absolutely terrible problems. You may recall we spoke of a cameo with Hank McCoy in X-Men 2. He was on TV for an interview, not as the blue beast but as a human.
We know that Hank could not turn his powers off by that time at least and would have never even considered it due to his stance on mutant rights in X-Men 3, where he was the blue guy. So from one movie to the next, they changed the character drastically. Meanwhile, he’s blue dating back years because of what happened to him in Days of Future Past alone. We’ll discuss his power-dampening device later, but the fact that he was human from one movie to another with no connection to each character or even as much as an excuse for the difference was absolutely terrible.
7. He’s An Avenger Too
There are many people that are surprising members to the Avengers like Spider-Man and even Wolverine, however Beast also made the list and for good reason. Combined with his sheer athletic ability and super strength he’s highly intelligent and could probably rival Tony Stark in every way as Ironman.
He would join the group in 1976, making him the first mutant to join the ranks of the Avengers. He would be part of the team for years and years, but only off and on as he helped out the X-Men first before any other squad. He was of course busy with mutant relations for a while, making sure his calendar was always packed with activities.
6. Kraven Is The Reason Beast Is A Pacifist
For those unaware, Kraven is a popular villain in Marvel comics normally associated to Spider-Man. Known as the ultimate hunter, Kraven once wanted to test himself against Beast in the comic X-Men: The Hidden Years #17. Kraven does his best to take down Beast, at one point planting traps for him throughout the X-Mansion. He would end up catching Beast with tranquilizer darts which would slow Hank down. While Beast’s higher cognitive function slows down, his animal instinct does indeed take over due to that.
This sends Beast into a rage, not caring what he does or who he kills. He would catch Kraven and begins destroying him before the X-Men step in. After almost killing Kraven, Beast decides he wants to hold back his rage and strength and goes on a journey toward pacifism where he only fights when there is no other option.
5. The New Defenders
The Original Defenders would be started up as a similar brand to the Avengers but they would do other jobs. The original members included some major names such as Dr. Strange, Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. However, by the 1980s, many of the original members added had other things they were tied to. Strange in particular picked up massively in terms of popularity and involvement in other storylines. This left a need for the New Defenders to come in.
So Defenders #125 in 1983 saw the reformation of the team that included the likes of Angel and Iceman. However, more importantly, it also included Beast. People often forget he was a Defender, and not just that, a leader of the team who did a lot for it. He made the team far more organized and cohesive. It was he that recruited many of the new members to the group like his X-Men partners mentioned previously.
4. He Was Evil Once
The Dark Beast character was quite alarming for people to see. Of course, this Beast is from another timeline, but that doesn’t make him any less captivating. On Earth 295, Xavier died before being able to form the X-Men. This made it easy for Apocalypse to jump in and take Beast, who became one of his top scientists. He would delight in the torture and infliction of pain on his victims. He would even experiment on himself so he could gain even more power, he was really an evil scientist if there ever was one. This led him to turn into the Dark Beast we saw.
He would eventually travel to Earth 616 or regular Earth, where he would continue the evil ways of his. He would even kidnap the good guy Beast and attempt to replace him on the X-Men. He would even eliminate some close to him, like his old classmates and ex-girlfriend just so he could maintain his ruse. Basically Dark Beast was a pretty evil dude and one of the most featured villains in the X-Men canon due to it.
3. He Cured The Legacy Virus
The Legacy Virus was one of the worst things that happened to the mutant world as the virus spread and quickly began to take out mutants day by day. As hundreds started to die off, many of the top scientists in the mutant world worked on a cure. Beast was at the forefront. He would become the X-Men’s top scientist once the X-Factor team disbanded, which made him THE man to go to for scientific cures.
However, he seemingly could not crack the code. Finally, he would figure out a cure, but the only way to make sure it worked was to sacrifice someone. While you can imagine this was not an easy decision, it was decided that Colossus would have to sacrifice his life in order for the official cure to be completed (which it was). Have no fear though as the fan favorite would be resurrected later on.
2. He Once Got Even More Powerful For A Random Reason
Beast would end up joining Storm’s X-Treme X-Men team, which was made to find the diary of Destiny, a diseased mutant. He would nearly die in the first battle but was saved by teammate Tessa. She would use power she never knew she had at the time, which would accidentally increase Beast’s mutation to a higher level than ever before. Heading back to the mansion, he would try to recover from the attack only to get bigger, heavier, and look more like a lion than his former self.
This would end up making him relearn how to use his body and would actually become more powerful than before once he gained control over it. However, despite his physical strength, Beast may always be known for his teaching after this incident and how he helped young mutants learn how to use their power.
1. Movie Serum Was Made Up By FOX And Isn’t In The Comics
It should not be shocking to know by now that comics do not always translate 100% to film. You need to look no further than the X-Men movies to see this first hand. Wolverine is the biggest example as Hugh Jackman has been great as the character but does not fit it by comic standards whatsoever. However, one of the biggest issues with the movie universe has to do with Beast. You remember the serum that Hank McCoy used in the Days of Future Past film? Beast would manage to use it to suppress Xavier’s power so he could walk.
Basically he was able to take something similar to it that allowed him to not turn into the Beast character as long as he did not get angry or worked up. When he did, he would turn into the blue guy we all know and love. However, this is not in the comics at all and does not ever happen. It also goes out of line from the Hank from the third X-Men film who even shows up in the Days of Future Past. So we’re really seeing a lot of weirdness in this film alone.