The Beast. Artist: John Buscema.


Original Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1963
Creator: Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist)
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The Beast (aka Hank McCoy), one of Marvel Comics' many super-powered mutants, was one of the founding members of The X-Men. His mutation was …

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… great strength and agility, coupled with prehensile toes. As counterpoint to his ape-like appearance, he adopted the habit of using big words. Like all X-Men founders, he first appeared in issue #1 of that comic (September, 1963) and remained with the group throughout the 1960s. Unlike most, after the title was cancelled, he began to roam free.

His first stop, a couple of years after X-Men folded, was a series on his own (he was the first of the X-Men to have one, although The Angel had appeared in one or two solo back-up stories on an irregular basis) in Marvel's Amazing Adventures, starting with its 11th issue (March, 1972). There, his original mutation became more pronounced. In keeping with a trend toward monster/horror-oriented heroes (such as Morbius the Living Vampire and Werewolf by Night — even Frankenstein and Dracula themselves had Marvel series in the '70s), he suddenly grew long, pointed ears and head-to-toe blue fur. He took to wearing a rubber mask to maintain his secret identity, but eventually gave that up as a lost cause. The series (in which, by the way, Patsy Walker was a supporting character) lasted only seven bimonthly issues (the last of which was a reprint), but the additional mutation stayed with him.

Next, he joined The Avengers, where he stayed for a few years, forming a special friendship with Wonder Man, a long-time member. When The X-Men got going again, he returned to become a semi-regular member of that group. Later, he joined The Defenders, where he was an every-issue regular for several years. Still later, he was involved in X-Factor, an X-Men spin-off. Nowadays, he turns up from time to time as a semi-active member of either The Avengers or The X-Men, but isn't part of either group on a regular basis.

The Beast was able to hold down a series of his own only for that brief period in 1973-74, and doesn't seem to stay with any one group permanently. But he doesn't seem to stay completely out of the public eye for very long, either.


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