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 superhuman mutants, Henry showed signs of mutation from birth: unusually large hands and feet.
Thanks to his superhuman agility, strength, and speed, Henry became a star football player as a teenager. His remarkable athletic abilities attracted the notice of both Professor Charles Xavier, who was forming the original X-Men, and a costumed criminal named El Conquistador. The Conquistador captured McCoy’s parents in order to force McCoy to aid him in his criminal schemes. However, with the help of Xavier and the X-Men, Henry defeated the Conquistador, and he then joined the X-Men, taking the code name “Beast.”
A brilliant student, McCoy completed his doctoral studies under Xavier’s tutelage, 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. On drinking the serum McCoy underwent radical physical changes. He grew fur over his entire body, his ears became larger and pointed, and his canine teeth became larger, resembling fangs. The serum also further increased his superhuman agility, endurance, speed, and strength.
Eventually, McCoy left Brand, joined the Avengers, and publicly revealed his dual identity. After years of service with the Avengers (during which he also aided the X-Men against Dark Phoenix), 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.
Subsequently, the Beast and his fellow members of the original X-Men formed a new organization, the original 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 appearance.
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. At present the Beast remains an active member of the X-Men as well as serving as a research scientist at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.
HEIGHT: 5 ft. 11 in.
WEIGHT: 355 lbs.
HAIR: (originally) Brown, (currently) Blue-black
OTHER DISTINGUISHING FEATERS: Covered with fur, unusually large hands and feet, pointed ears, fang-like teeth
KNOWN SUPER HUMAN POWERS: The Beast has the superhuman strength, agility, endurance, speed and dexterity. He is strong enough to lift (press) 2,000 pounds. His legs are powerful enough to enable him to leap 14 feet high in a standing high jump, and 22 feet in a standing broad jump. He is able to crawl up brick walls by wedging his fingers and toes into the smallest cracks and applying a vise-like grip on them. He has enough power to smash through a four-inch thick oaken door with a single blow or tie a three-inch solid steel bar into a knot.
He has the agility of a great ape and the acrobatic prowess of the most accomplished circus aerialist and acrobat. Ha can walk a tightrope or a slack rope as easily as most people can walk on a sidewalk. He can 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 at gymnastics apparatus (such as flying rings, climbing ropes, horizontal bars, trampolines). Further, his manual and pedal dexterity is so great that he can write using both hands at once or tie knots in rope with his toes.
The Beast is quite fast, able to run on all four at approximately 40 miles per hour for short sprints. His stamina is approximately triple that of a well-trained athlete in his prime. His physiology is durable enough to permit him to take a three-story fall without a broken bone or stain (providing he lands on his feet).
At the time of his further mutation into his present furry form, his metabolism underwent a period of accelerated change. As a side effect, he was able to metabolize and recover from penetration wound to his body within a matter of hours. Since then, his body’s metabolism has stabilized and he no longer has quite such a rapid recovery rate. He is still able to recover from a wound at about twice the normal human rate.