|Real name: Henry "Hank" McCoy
Occupation: Biochemist, adventurer
Group affiliation: X-Men; formerly the Avengers, the Defenders and X-Factor
Base of operations: Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Westchester County, New York
First appearance: X-Men (Vol. 1) #1 (1963)
Weight: 400 lbs.
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Originally brown, bluish-black in furry form
Powers: Besides superhuman strength, speed and agility, the Beast boasts the acrobatic prowess of an accomplished circus aerialist and acrobat.
History: Henry McCoy's mutant powers were evident at birth in the form of unusually large hands and feet, likely caused by his father's exposure to massive amounts of radiation during an accident at the nuclear power plant where he worked. As a youth, Hank's superhuman agility and athletic prowess earned him recognition on the gridiron. When the telepathic, telekinetic Charles Xavier learned of Hank's existence, he invited him to enroll in his School for Gifted Youngsters. The prestigious, private institution offered limitless academic opportunities and personalized study amid a small, select student body.
Few suspected Professor Xavier's pupils also were the masked X-Men -- a handful of troubled teenagers learning to control their genetically endowed powers...and fighting to preserve Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants. Under Xavier's tutelage, Hank assumed the nom de guerre "Beast" -- joining Warren Worthington III, the high-flying, heroic Angel; Jean Grey, the telekinetic Marvel Girl; Robert Drake, the irrepressible Iceman; and Scott Summers, a modern-day Cyclops, cursed with uncontrollable optic blasts. Hank's days were rich with differential equations, Proust and workouts in the Danger Room. The latter training stood the X-Men in good stead on their periodic field trips to discourage Magneto, mutant Master of Magnetism, from his plans for world domination.
Hated and feared by humanity, the X-Men honed their strange abilities while standing in defense of a world on the brink of genetic war. Hank left the team after graduation, accepting a position as a genetic researcher with the Brand Corp. There, he isolated a chemical catalyst that triggered mutation. Hank tested the serum on himself, with unintended results. The experiment caused him to grow fur, enlarged his canine teeth and amplified his already prodigious athletic abilities. By remaining too long in this hirsute state, he discovered he could not return to his former appearance. At first, he tried to hide his mutation. Later, he learned to accept his more beast-like form.
Leaving the Brand Corp., the Beast joined the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Hank parted ways with the Avengers following a distinguished term of service and joined the Defenders -- originally a loose-knit collection of loners like the Incredible Hulk, green-skinned engine of mass destruction; Prince Namor, the Atlantean Sub-Mariner; Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts and Earth's Sorcerer Supreme; and the Silver Surfer, Lone Sentinel of the Spaceways. After the Beast, Angel and Iceman reorganized the team into a more formal and cohesive unit, the members of Xavier's inaugural class of X-Men reunited to form X-Factor.
Along with the rest of X-Factor, the Beast later returned to the X-Men -- again applying his athletic prowess and vast intellect to aid the team in its fight for genetic equality. The Beast's greatest accomplishment has been implementing the work of his former colleague, the late geneticist Moira MacTaggert, to eradicate the mutant plague known as the Legacy Virus. Unfortunately, he was unable initially to discover a means of administering the cure without emulating the manner in which the plague first had been discharged: through the death of an infected mutant. Though the Beast was resigned to pursue a more benign antidote, the panacea would proceed without his direction. The steel-skinned X-Man known as Colossus, distraught over the loss of his sister to the lethal virus, administered the serum to himself. The Beast had saved the world, but the cost was the life of his good friend and teammate.
He recently left the mansion with a small band of X-men in search of Destiny's Diaries, he was wounded in a battle that ultimately cost Psylocke her life. Upon returning to the mansion, the serum he took once upon a time has been mutating him even more wildly.