Alternative versions of Beast

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Alternate versions of Beast
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceX-Men vol. 1 #1 (September 1963)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
See alsoBeast in other media

Beast (Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Marvel Universe features an undisclosed number of alternate realities in what they describe as the Multiverse, with several of those worlds featuring an alternate version of Hank McCoy. McCoy is often referred to as "Beast" in those alternate realities, although it is not always the case. His appearance in the various universe varies from appearing like a normal human being to various feral forms of the blue furred "Beast" version.

While the main Beast from the universe designated Earth-616 is a scientist, a super hero and a member of the Avengers (comics) and the X-Men (comics) some of the alternate reality McCoys are portrayed as the opposite, such as the Dark Beast from the "Age of Apocalypse" alternate reality where he is an evil geneticist. In other realities McCoy was not known under the name "Beast" or had mutated to the point where he was no longer intelligent but instead a savage beast.


In Marvel 1602, Beast is known as Hal McCoy and retains his original appearance of a human with lengthy arms and legs and enormous hands and feet. He is well spoken and eloquent, and a member of Carlos Javier's (Professor X) group of "witchbreeds", though he tends to not give others a chance to speak when he is talking. When several soldiers stare at him, he glowers and attributes his appearance to his origin as an Orkneyman.[volume & issue needed] He also tells of his mother's humiliation when he was born, her cruel neighbours having suggested that Hal's father was an ape.

He reappears in Spider-Man 1602. Between the two appearances he was working with Henri Le Pym, a natural philosopher employed by Baron Octavius to create a potion that will counteract the effects an octopus based serum have had on his physiology. Testing some of the potions on himself, Hal becomes more bestial in appearance. When he first appears in Spider-Man 1602 #1, he is imprisoned in Le Pym's laboratory, treated as a source of mutagenic blood rather than a fellow scientist.[volume & issue needed]

He is not shown clearly until he is released from the cage by Peter Parquagh in #3. He resembles a gorilla to a greater extent than the main universe Beast, with only a slight blue tinge to his fur.[volume & issue needed]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

Dark Beast, sometimes known as the Black Beast, is a Marvel Comics supervillain, an evil alternative reality version of the main universe's X-Men's Beast.

Deadpool Corps[edit]

In the second issue of 'Prelude to Deadpool Corps". Deadpool visits a world where Prof. X runs a school for troubled kids. There Beast is a teacher and sends child versions of Cyclops and Deadpool to see Storm for causing trouble in class.[volume & issue needed]


A version of Beast from Earth-763 is drafted onto the superhero team the Exiles. Beast-763 is far more brutish in appearance, including a long tail and strongly protruding canine teeth. He was seemingly killed while fighting MODOK, but was in fact taken to join the Exiles.[1] It was revealed that this version of Beast lost most of his intelligence due to his mutation, however he regained his mind after he was briefly connected to the Crystal Palace. Also this version of Beast was in a romantic relationship with Wonder-Man. At the end if the series, Beast was given the option to return to his home, but seeing that Wonder-Man was killed in battle shortly after, decided he had nothing to go back to and remained with the team.[2]

Endangered Species[edit]

During the "Endangered Species" storyline after House of M, Beast tried to ask Doctor Strange for help fixing the problem. Dr. Strange not only demonstrated that he could not help, but showed Beast a number of alternative reality versions of him who were facing equal failure, including but not limited to: a version of Beast in the raiment of a Catholic hierarch, a red-furred gun-toting version seeking a cure with Bishop, a version with a cyborg arm, a wheelchair-bound version using a synthesis of magic and technology, a version who looked like Beast's original human form, and a caped Beast in a snowy landscape.[volume & issue needed]

Here Comes Tomorrow[edit]

In the "Here Comes Tomorrow" story arc (set 150 years in the X-Men's future), Beast takes on the role of Headmaster of the Xavier Institute after the death of Jean Grey and the retirement of Charles Xavier and Scott Summers. Unable to cope with the pressures of this position and trying to find a cure for the looming extinction of the human race, Beast turns to the power-enhancing drug Kick. Unbeknownst to him, Kick is an aerosol form of an entity known as Sublime. Sublime takes over Beast's body, relegating him to a passenger in his own form. 150 years after the death of Jean Grey, Sublime is finally purged from the aged, white-furred Beast, who is seconds later beheaded by Sublime's champion Appolyon.[volume & issue needed]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Beast appears as a scientist working alongside Hank Pym and Forge, all of whom work for Tony Stark. Here, he retains his human appearance similar to when he first joined X-Men. Beast assumes he is superior to humans, simply because of his mutations.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Noir[edit]

In X-Men Noir, Hank McCoy is a member of the X-Men, a band of young, sociopathic criminals. Like his mainstream counterpart, McCoy is physically imposing as well as an avid student, though he has a penchant for employing obscure words in an inaccurate way.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

It appears that Beast, along with the other not-yet infected X-Men, battling the zombified Alpha Flight, in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days. However he has been unexpectedly infected by a squad of zombies, and he next returns as a zombie.[volume & issue needed]

He also appears in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army Of Darkness, Beast works with Reed Richards to rewire Cerebro to detect humans. Many are detected at Doctor Doom's castle and Beast participates in the multi-zombie attack upon it and somehow both found a sizeable stash of meat, which ironically pleases the other zombies.[volume & issue needed]

Beast is later shown arguing with Colonel America when the Colonel is vigorously explaining to him how things work. However, he is slain by the Colonel's newly granted 'cosmic powers' when he accidentally blasts off his head.[volume & issue needed]

X-Men: Misfits[edit]

Beast is portrayed as always in a blue bear humanoid like form with a short tail, he wears glasses and a tie with the X-Men symbol on it. He's a professor at the school, and is strangely never referred to as Hank or Beast by name in the story.[volume & issue needed]

Mutant X[edit]

In this universe, Hank McCoy is a member of the Six, a team of mutant heroes led by Havok. Instead of a furry simian-like form, McCoy's experiments mutated him into a green, amphibious form with childlike intelligence, codenamed the Brute.[3] As well as having his usual acrobatic and athletic ability, Hank has webbed extremities and can breathe underwater. He becomes further mutated during the Inferno crisis, when he makes a deal with the demons S'ym and N'astirh.[volume & issue needed]

When the Goblyn Queen first ascends to power, she brainwashes the Brute into serving her purpose.[4] Scotty Summers, the child of Havok and the Goblyn Queen, unknowingly frees the Brute from her control.[5] After the Goblyn Queen is defeated, the Brute chooses to remain with the Six.[6]

Later, Brute jumps in front of a psychic blast from Professor X that was meant for Havok.[7] This has the unexpected effect of restoring his intellect, and the Brute tries to find a way to return Havok to his reality, to cure Bloodstorm and Gambit of their vampirism, and to restore Ice-Man. Brute succeeds in all, but Havok opts not to return to the main Marvel Universe. The Brute's intelligence is lost again as the after-effects of Xavier's blast wear off.[volume & issue needed]

Brutes stays with the team until the series ends. He is seriously injured by Dracula during the finale issue, thus his ultimate fate is left uncertain.

New Exiles[edit]

After the New Exiles land on the world of warring empires, they encounter Dame Emma Frost, head of Britain's Department X and founder of Force-X. This team include Hank McCoy, a more feline version of Beast who is codenamed Puma.[8]


New Excalibur battles an evil counterpart of the Beast who is a member of the Shadow-X, the X-Men of an alternative reality in which Professor X was possessed by the Shadow King. They are brought to Earth-616 as a result of M-Day. This version of Beast, never having been free to fiddle around with his mutation, retained the more human appearance he had in the Original X-Men. He was later killed by Sage.[volume & issue needed]

Star Trek crossover[edit]

One notable crossover in which Beast appeared was the Star Trek/X-Men crossover, in which the X-Men traveled to the 23rd Century to team up with the original crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. During the encounter, Beast met his Star Trek counterpart, Dr. Leonard McCoy. (When a nurse calls out, "Dr. McCoy!" both Beast and Dr. Leonard McCoy answer, "What?") The story also featured Beast teaming up with Mr. Spock to stop an inter-dimensional rift caused by the villain Proteus. In a one-page drawing included at the end of the issue, we see Beast and Mr. Spock engaged in a game of chess, with Beast intently studying the chessboard while hanging upside-down from the ceiling.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Henry "Hank" McCoy was not born like a 'blue ape'. He was born with hands instead of feet, he tried to make a substance that would cure his mutation but instead it only made it worse. With his own parents denouncing him throughout his childhood for his genetic status, he chooses to hide his immense intelligence to avoid further complications. Hank becomes a founding member of the Ultimate X-Men taking the codename Beast. He also takes on the role of the team's elite engineer, frequently upgrading the X-Men's Blackbird X-Jet and Danger Room sequences.

When the team is kidnapped by Weapon X, they operate on him, causing him to take on his blue furry appearance and gain additional, strengthened senses, such as smell and hearing.[volume & issue needed]

Beast begins an on again/off again relationship with Storm. Storm loves him very much because of his intelligence, but Beast's inferiority complex often gets in the way of their relationship. He becomes convinced that Storm only loves him because Professor X is using mind control on her. Beast starts an online relationship that eventually leads to the Ultimate War debacle, when he lets it slip that Magneto is still alive (the supposed mutant "supermodel" Naomi he is chatting with is actually the Blob fishing for information).[volume & issue needed]

Beast is killed after being crushed under the rubble of a Sentinel attack.[9] While his death is felt by all of the X-Men, it has had the greatest impact upon Storm. However, it is revealed that the Beast is revived at the hospital.[10] Xavier and Nick Fury keep his survival a secret, Xavier making Beast believe he is regularly visiting his family and the X-Men in order to keep him occupied. Having reversed himself back to his normal human appearance (maintaining the blue hair from his former kangaroo kidney transplant, which was independent of Weapon X's modifications), Hank is now working on a cure to a "Legacy Virus", created by an anti-mutant government conspiracy led by Admiral Stryker, that threatens mutants. The apparent death of Xavier (actually time travel) breaks the mental holds on him so he knows that everyone thinks he is dead and is not happy being forced to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Beast escapes S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and heads towards Xavier's Institute.[11] He later rescues Pyro, and shocks his former teammates by revealing that he is still alive. After being proved to be the real Beast by Psylocke and Wolverine, he is allowed to join Bishop's new X-Men and continues his relationship with Storm. After Bishop's death, Xavier is revealed to be alive and Beast returns to his life at the Xavier Institute. In Issue #1 of Ultimatum Beast, among Dazzler, Angel and Nightcrawler are overwhelmed in Magneto's flooding of New York (via Thor's hammer). Angel survives the flood and recovers the bodies of Dazzler and Beast, who drowned. Scott can't believe that "that size 16-wearing dweeb" would borrow his best tie and then die with it on.[volume & issue needed]

Hank has a genius level IQ. His mutation grants him a simian physiology with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, agility, flexibility, coordination, balance, and manual and pedal dexterity so great he can write with all his hands and feet at once and tie knots equally well with both his fingers and toes. The Weapon X program mutates Hank further, causing him to evolve into a more animalistic form with claws, fangs, pointed ears, enhanced senses, and thick, blue fur covering his entire body. Since then, he is like this continuously throughout the comics until his own modifications are made.[volume & issue needed]

What If?[edit]

An issue of What If? asked "What If Beast Had Truly Become a Beast." As Hank McCoy has isolated a catalyst for a mutation in a hormone extract, industrial spies attacked and he drank the extract. He then turned into a beast when the catalyst was too well concentrated. As he escaped into the night looking for meat, Professor X telepathically contacted Beast to ask if he was OK. Beast savagely responded that he was no longer an X-Man and refused to accept his help. Professor X sent the X-Men to retrieve him before any harm can come to people. Beast managed to take Angel down before being scared away by Jean's telepathic scream. When Jean Grey and Cyclops caught up with him, Beast attacked, throwing rocks at them. With his optic beam, Cyclops destroyed most of the stones but one is able to knock out Jean Grey. When Beast was about to claim Jean as a meal, Professor X used his telepathy to calm Beast down. In his final human words, Beast told Professor X not to let him become an animal. To keep humans safe from him, the X-Men released Beast into the Savage Land where he became Ka-Zar and Zabu's hunting companion.[volume & issue needed]

Beast appears in the What If? story "What If the X-Men Died on their First Mission?" as the leader of a newly formed X-Men team following his former teammates' demise on Krakoa, consisting of Theresa Cassidy (who named herself Banshee in honor of her late father), Rahne Sinclair, Namorita, and James Proudstar, the brother of the original Thunderbird.[12]

X-Men Fairy Tales[edit]

Beast appears as the monkey, Aoi (Japanese for blue).[13] Aoi appears younger and more monkey-like than the 616 version of Beast, although he retains his blue fur. Unlike the studious and intellectual Beast, Aoi is playful and mischievous. After being outwitted, Aoi joins Hitome (Cyclops). He also shows an ability to change into a larger stronger form.[volume & issue needed]

X-Men: Forever[edit]

In this alternative reality (with a history identical to 616) that begins after Chris Claremont's X-Men 1-3, Beast retains his blue-furred ape-like appearance, and is the X-Men's chief-scientist. Beast is responsible for checking for blood-work of two Storms (one who is an evil adult and the other who is a teenager) and discovers that they are identical. After the death of Logan, who Jean was having an affair with behind Cyclops' back, Beast becomes Jean's closest friend and confidant, trying to help her over-come her loss, and her newly re-awakened Phoenix power. Recently, Jean has admitted to knowing about Hank's long-time crush on her, and the two begin a relationship.[volume & issue needed]

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe[edit]

In the limited series Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Wolverine encounters Deadpool who has killed Beast and turned his pelt into a cloak.

Old Man Logan[edit]

In the "Old Man Logan" storyline, Beast is among the X-Men who perish at the hands of Wolverine when he is tricked by Mysterio into believing his friends are super-villains attacking the mansion. [14]

Battle of the Atom[edit]

In the possible future witnessed in Battle of the Atom, Beast has mutated further, with one side of his head notably more feral than the other, including a horn. He has also defected to the Brotherhood, having apparently become disillusioned with the X-Men's goal while blaming himself for causing some unspecified catastrophe by bringing his past self into the present.[15] He is apparently killed in the final confrontation between the various time-displaced X-Men teams, with the past and present Hank vowing that they will never accept that they become what they have just witnessed. However, he later appears alive during the future Brotherhood's new attack on Cyclops' base, during which the X-Men discover that the entire Brotherhood (With the exception of Raze, the son of Wolverine and Mystique) were under the control of Charles Xavier II (The apparent son of Xavier and Mystique), with Hank's future self being allowed just enough freedom to be horrified at what Xavier II was making him do as the telepath blames the X-Men for failing to live up to Charles Xavier's dream. At the conclusion of the fight, Hank and others are freed from Xavier II's control and allowed to return to their home time, with Hank still blaming himself for some past mistake but committed to making up for it by returning to the X-Men.


  1. Exiles vol. 3 #1
  2. Exiles vol .3 #6
  3. Mutant X #1 (October 1998)
  4. Mutant X #6-7
  5. Mutant X #11 (August 1999)
  6. Mutant X #15 (December 1999)
  7. Mutant X #23
  8. New Exiles #9
  9. Ultimate X-Men #45
  10. Ultimate X-Men #81
  11. Ultimate X-Men #85
  12. What If vol. 2 #9 (1990)
  13. X-Men Fairy Tales #1
  14. Old Man Logan Vol. 1 #5. Marvel Comics.
  15. All-New X-Men #17

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