Updated - February 26, 2011 | Latest Update : November 27, 2011 | August 23, 2015 

All About The Beast

x-men : the beast

Hank McCoy, the Beast, has undergone some extreme physical changes over the years. I first encountered him as the furry blue Avenger (a change which enhanced his capabilities) and Defender. During the first X-Factor series, Hank reverted back to his original, comparatively human, form. By 2011 he's mutated to a blue cat-like form. As of 2014 Hank has further mutated into a still blue massive simian-like form with a more humanoid face.

Everyone has a favorite Beast. Mine is this .

Let's check up on the Beast's abilities and capabilities.


The Beast has many powers, primary of which is agility. You can see that on display below as he tests himself in the Danger Room in the very first issue of Uncanny X-Men.

x-men : beast in the danger room

Here again is Beast's incredible agility as he 'twirls' down a pole while being fired at by Blob's circus friends.

x-men : beast slides down a pole

Here, Beast disarms some gunmen hired by the Vanisher.

x-men : beast disarming gunmen

The Juggernaut is powerful enough to beat the Beast but he has to catch him first. Once again, Hank's wondrous ability serves him well giving the other X-Men time to regroup.

x-men : beast evades juggernaut

Beast is also weaker than the first Sentinel (we'll look at his strength level later) but the robot can't catch him either.

x-men : beast goes up against a sentinel


This agility is matched with lightning-like reflexes allowing him to dodge small firearms like the one being used by Mastermind, one of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

x-men : beast dodges a gun


I've always enjoyed that Beast can do a Spider-Man by climbing up walls or attaching himself in the ceiling as shown by the next two panels. In truth, Beast needs a toehold to accomplish such feats but it's amazing to see anyway. It's a shame that this ability is not shown very often these days.

x-men : beast climbing a wall

x-men : beast on the ceiling

Attack Styles

Now, let's talk about Beasts straightforward attack capability. Jumping on foes with both feet is a favorite maneuver as he does with the Blob.

x-men : beast jumps on the blob

The first time the Beast meets the Blob, Hank tries to incapacitate him with a straight on headbutt. It won't work but it's powerful enough to destroy the door behind the Blob.

x-men : beast headbutts the blob


Who's stronger, the Beast or a gorilla? This answers the question.

x-men : beast fights a gorilla

The Beast's strength fails him against the one true Submariner. Namor is strong enough to fight it out with the Thing and is as tough as Luke Cage. The Beast simply isn't fighting in his weight class here.

x-men : beast fights the submariner

In another show of strength, the Beast tears off a metal wrapped around Cyclop's head, put there by Magneto.

x-men : beast rescues cyclops

The Beast is far stronger then an average human being. He is the strongest of the early X-Men but he cannot match strength with the middle and heavy weights of the Marvel Universe - his agility is still his main physical capability.


Together with agility and strength, the Beast also brings an amazing sense of balance to the table. The following two panels display highwire acts.

x-men : beast on a highwire

x-men : beast balances on a highwire


The Beast never wears shoes because he has prehensile feet.

Here he catches one of Magneto's missiles.

x-men : beast catching a missile

After a feat (no pun intended)  like that, catching Captain America's shield should be easy when the X-Men tangle with the Avengers.

x-men : beast catches caps shield

The Professor has a mild panic attack because the Juggernaut is arriving, so the team prepares a defensive perimeter, including Hank who lays down some electrical cables Beast-style.

x-men : beast rolls a coil of cable

Here's the Beast walking with his hands and carrying the ice man with his legs.

x-men : beast carries iceman


The beast is also tougher than the average human. Jumping down from a third story window? No problem.

x-men : beast jumps out of a three story window


Ok, enough about the Beast in uniform. What's Hank McCoy like? He loves to study as shown in the panel below.

x-men : hank studying

Now let's get into a very important capability of the Beast - his intellect.

Here, Beast encounters Unus the Untouchable and is able to build a machine to beat Unus.

x-men : beast creates a weapon

x-men : beast creates a weapon2

The nefarious Lucifer attacks the Professor and Hank builds a protective helmet for him.

x-men : beast designs a protective helmet for professor x

The Beast is numbered among the intellectual powerhouses of Marvel - and remains the technical brain of the X-Men. I would put him right under Hank Pym (Yellowjacket) and equal to Bill Foster (Goliath) but well below the two giants of the Marvel Universe: Reed Richards and Tony Stark (I have a feeling Bruce Banner would make this group if he didn't keep turning into the Hulk).

Hank McCoy

Studious he may be but Hank is no introvert. Witness the welcome-to-the-school kiss he gives new arrival Jean Grey in the first issue of the X-Men.

x-men : hank giving jean a welcome kiss

The big feet has been a point of focus in the early X-Men issues. Hank just can't resist taking off his shoes in a jazz bar. Look at the expression on Bobby's face!

x-men : hank in a jazz bar

Hank's special shoes.

x-men : hanks special shoes

Hank McCoy is nice and affable but he has his limits. He saves a little boy. But what does he get for it? An anti-mutant lynch mob.

x-men : hank saves a boy

He comes home in a sorry state and quits the X-Men to . . .

x-men : hank quits the x-men

. . . become a professional wrestler. This is perfect for the Beast's abilities but he's foray into wrestling is short-lived since he'll encounter Unus and go back to the X-Men; he would have grown bored with the lack of intellectual stimulation anyway.

x-men : hank the wrestler

Hank is closest to Bobby whom he goes along with during their time off. Scott is aloof and worried about his optic blasts and the playboyish Angel keeps trying to hit it off with Jean Grey.

x-men : hank and bobby invite scott on an outing

Unlike other hapless mutants Hank is blessed with understanding parents. The panel below is from a storyline that includes the origin of the Beast.

x-men : hank's parents