BEAST: Page 2 of 10

Publication Date: 17th Oct 2019
Written By: Peter Luzifer, Monolith and Gremlin.
Image Work: Dean Clayton.

BIOGRAPHY - page 2

Hank immersed himself in the science of his new time, studying what he could in order to improve his understanding of their situation. He was thrown off-guard, however, when the newly telepathic Jean Grey confronted him about being in love with her. Jean had accidentally read the thoughts of the older Hank, and wanted to know if they were true. Hank had indeed developed feelings for Jean the moment they met, but stepped back and repressed them because he thought Scott and Warren had a better chance than he did. Now, Jean was reeling from all she had learned about her own future and destiny, and obstinately wanted to choose a different path just to show she could. It was out of these circumstances that Jean and Hank shared a passionate kiss, although neither knew what it really meant for them. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #15]

Soon after, young Scott was nearly killed on a mission, highlighting the dire peril the timestream was in the longer the original five remained in the present. The X-Men began to insist the five return to their own time, and their argument was suddenly joined by a team of X-Men from the further future, including an even older version of Beast. Jean didn't trust these new arrivals because they were blocking their thoughts from her telepathy. She mentally communicated this to Hank, and suggested they run for it. Hank reasoned these X-Men had good reason to protect their thoughts, in order to prevent Jean from doing exactly what she was doing and picking up unwarranted knowledge of the future. Jean was unpersuaded and wanted Hank to trust her instincts, but he was content to wait and gain more information before acting. So, Jean contacted Scott and he immediately agreed. The future lovers created a distraction and fled, stealing a Blackbird so the other X-Men had to follow.

Beast soon came to agree with Jean, and began researching what he could about time travel adventures by the X-Men to validate her concerns. While the others were out running around, he and Bobby were contacted by Magik, who brought them into the further future to meet the real future X-Men and discover the other group was actually the future Brotherhood. Despite these reinforcements, the future Brotherhood managed to capture Beast and the other originals and place them on the time cube. For unexplained reasons, however, the time machine would not allow them to be returned to their own time. [Battle of the Atom crossover]

After this, Kitty Pryde moved Hank and the other original five to Cyclops's New Xavier School, since adult Cyclops had stood by her students during the crisis. Hank and Jean had an awkward conversation about their relationship. Jean felt Hank didn't support her judgment (especially since she turned out to be right), but Hank was jealous that Jean ran off with Scott the moment he didn't agree with her on something. This conversation only got more awkward when they realized Scott had overheard them. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #18]

The original X-Men continued to have adventures while situated at the Xavier School. They battled the Purifiers, the Shi'ar and the return of the Brotherhood from the future. Cyclops left after a time to reunite with his space pirate father, but Hank and Jean's relationship didn't get any easier in his absence. Hank was relatively glad to learn the Brotherhood's older version of him wasn't truly evil; merely a broken man being mind-controlled by Xavier II. They tried to send the Brotherhood back to their own time after the truly malevolent Xavier and Raze were defeated. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #19-29]

When the original five X-Men confronted a new mutant named Carmen Cruise, they were accidentally deposited into the Ultimate Universe. Henry found himself a prisoner of Victor van Damme, the Ultimate Doctor Doom. Under the influence of a truth serum, Henry was forced to explain the fascinating history of the original five and how they came to be in this time and space. Once he got going, Henry also admitted how much he loved Jean and how he couldn't understand why she wasn't talking to him. She was a telepath -- she knew how he felt. She must. But still she was silent. Beast was rescued before his confessions before Doom got too much more embarrassing. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #31-36]

Beast also continued to see his older self go down an irrevocable path of hubris and arrogance. On top of bringing the original five into the present, older Hank accepted the power of the Black Vortex, seizing cosmic power despite the dangers presented by the process. Older Hank also admitted to Henry that he was a member of the Illuminati, and the threat of the Incursions. Henry was complicit in the destruction of entire worlds, even if it was in the name of protecting their own Earth. Henry could not understand how his older self had so completely lost his way, and stood with the rest of the X-Men at an intervention intended to make older Beast answer for the actions he had taken. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600, New Avengers (3rd series) #23, Black Vortex crossover]

The original five X-Men decided to take a break and spent some time apart. Jean finally returned Henry's affections again, but soon after she went off to study at university and whatever relationship they might have had didn't end up lasting. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600, Extraordinary X-Men #2] With Scott off brooding over terrorist actions apparently committed by his older self, Beast took responsibility for reassembling the team and leading it. He brought together Iceman, Angel, Laura and their new friends Oya and Genesis, to travel together in the Airstream. What Bobby called Henry's "nerd wagon" was actually twelve rooms of compressed space stored inside a camper trailer and capable of teleporting anywhere in the world thanks to their personal Bamf, Pickles. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #1]

Despite his innovations and applied use of technology, however, Henry found himself hopelessly behind the curve when it came to the science of the present. He spent time creating an "incident tracker," extrapolating newsfeeds and other data using his own self-designed algorithm to determine where the X-Men may be needed... only to find the same results could be achieved by looking at the Twitter phone app. Beast's self-confidence began to slip and he started to doubt his own intelligence. He blamed himself when Cyclops was nearly killed in the catacombs under Paris because his mini-Cerebro pointed them to the streets above, without accounting for three-dimensional space. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #1-7]

Beast became desperate to prove himself and sought out Doctor Strange for a crash course in magic, willing to cast aside science entirely if necessary to find a way for the original five to return to their own time. Hank began experimenting with various confiscated forms of time travel as well, but only when one of his time machines mixed with the mystical Eye of Horus did he actually achieve any results. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #8-11]

Henry eventually found a way back to his own time period, but what he found there astonished him. Seeking a distraction to avoid broaching the topic with the others, Beast parked the Airstream over a dimensional rift he had detected, performing experiments with this mystical doorway as his touchstone. As a child playing with nuclear matches, Henry accidentally drew the Goblin Queen from another universe to Miami, unleashing a horde of demons that destroyed the Airstream and began wrecking the city. While the other X-Men bought him time, Beast tried out various spells and incantations he had discovered, all to no avail. He sacrificed his blood and his pride and everything he had left, until an enchanted object known as the Orb of Zarjul bonded with him, triggering a bestial transformation that even the older Henry McCoy would have been daunted by. Seemingly with ease, Henry summoned eldritch forces to close the dimensional breach and drove off the Goblin Queen and her demons. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #14-16]

After the war with the Inhumans ended and the threat of the Terrigen cloud was over, Beast finally found the time to come clean with his friends. He reunited the original five and brought them back into the past. What they found were the original X-Men, just as they had always been, as if they had never left. According to Henry, the present they were living in was not their future, because this timeline's past wasn't missing its X-Men. So either they were the X-Men of some other timeline or the universe had somehow accounted for their time travel so they could both be and not be in the past at once. In any case, it appeared as if the original five X-Men's future was truly their own to chart, without any ramifications on the timestream. [All-New X-Men (2nd series) #19]

Jean returned to the group after that and made an alliance with Magneto on behalf of the team. They would work for him on missions to defend the mutant race out of his mansion in Madripoor, while also watching him to make sure he didn't slide back into villainy.

Beast became more confident with using magic in combat situations, summoning various spells when the situation called for it. Cyclops was still uncomfortable with the idea of Hank using magic after last time, but Hank wasn't interested in naysayers. And, since Jean was now back and dating neither of them, there was once again tension between Scott and Hank. [X-Men: Prime (2nd series) one-shot, X-Men: Blue #1-2]

In fact, Beast had made a pact with the Goblin Queen and was training with her in secret to improve his mystical skills. Hank's insecurities made him desperate to prove himself, in magic if not in science. Still, he was not unaware of the risk he was taking. When the X-Men confronted Madripoor's mutant guardians, the Raksha, Hank was targeted by Gazing Nightshade, and her empathic powers overwhelmed him with the guilt he felt over going behind his friends' backs. Once the X-Men and Raksha became friends, Nightshade became something of a confidant to Hank, to whom he could confess his doubts and feelings. [X-Men: Blue #6, 10]

This didn't stop him from continuing with the Goblin Queen, however. In time, Hank cast a spell that allowed Madelyne to cross dimensions and recruit a team of HeX-Men, other-dimensional X-Men who had made their own Faustinan bargains with her. Hank was transformed into his demon Beast form again, and the HeX-Men attacked the X-Mansion in Madripoor, securing it for further mystical rites. Hank believed he was hopelessly lost, having betrayed the X-Men to the Goblin Queen with no chance at redemption. In fact, Madelyne was feeding off his sense of guilt and betrayal, fueling her magic with his emotions and trapping him in a loop where he continuing betraying the X-Men because he believed he had to. It was Bloodstorm, one of the HeX-Men, who saw that the Goblin Queen couldn't be trusted and helped Beast break her spell over him. The Goblin Queen was banished in her own summoning rituals and Hank McCoy returned to the X-Men, once again brought low by his own insecurities. [X-Men: Blue #10-12]

Beast saw no clear path forward in magic or science this time, and resigned himself to rather tame tinkering with both to occupy himself. One day, the X-Men experienced a temporal shift as the timeline started to fray around them. Magneto directed the original five to a time machine he had hidden in the mansion before he vanished from existence. The X-Men visited points in an altered timeline where they apparently killed Magneto and the Brotherhood shortly after the X-Men were formed, forging a harsher future overall. In the year 2099, Beast got ahold of some stealth cyber gear from Cerebra, boosting his confidence with a newfound ability to instantly master technology.

After passing through several time periods, the X-Men returned to their original era in the past. They discovered the Brotherhood of the future had travelled back in time and started posing as them. It was these imposters whom the original five had seen when Hank visited the past months earlier. Beast used the cyber gear and time machine to summon the X-Men 2099 and Generation X of this new timeline to help defeat Xavier II and his minions, and their changes to the timeline were ultimately reversed. However, the original five were no longer free to shape their own destiny, and knew they inevitably had to return to the past or else risk further damage to the timeline. [X-Men: Blue #16-20]

Time passed, and the original five began wrapping up their affairs. Beast had an emotional good-bye with Gazing Nightshade, for whom he had truly come to care. He also confronted his older self once last time, making it clear he still blamed the older Hank for the essentially negative experiences he had had throughout his time in the future. Hank McCoy had not only been confronted by his own limitations, he saw how badly he reacted to those limitations, and didn't like what he saw in himself. [X-Men: Blue #35-36]

The X-Men's enemies finally recognized how vulnerable the original five made the timeline. Ahab, time-traveling Houndmaster from the future, intended to murder one of the O5 in order to cause a paradox that could wipe out the X-Men's history. A teenaged alternate counterpart to Cable vowed to stop him, by any means necessary. When Kid Cable kidnapped Iceman and Ahab killed Bloodstorm while going after Cyclops, the X-Men knew the time had come to get the original five safely home. Jean had learned a psionic trick involving memory manipulation from a girl named Manon, and so the original X-Men used Cable's time machine to return to the past, moments after they left with adult Beast. They put on their old clothes and got into places before Jean bottled their memories, causing their recollections to return in the present to their older selves after the original five left. With that, Beast's adventures in the future were forgotten and he returned to the same argument he was having with Cyclops when they first left. Fed up with anti-mutant hysteria, Hank left the X-Men and... [Extermination #1-5]

...started a career as wrestler. He was quite a success and became a wrestling villain, again using the name Beast. However, when he had to fight Unus soon thereafter, he realized that his untouchable opponent was a mutant too. When the X-Men were attacked by Unus, Hank rejoined and defeated him by inventing a device that augmented Unus' powers to such a degree that he could no longer control them. Unus was restored to his normal level only after he vowed to not join Magneto’s Brotherhood. [X-Men (1st series) #8]