BEAST: Page 4 of 10

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


Because of the continued Beast sightings at the Brand Corporation, the Pentagon sent General Buzz Baxter, accompanied by his wife, Patsy, to investigate. Ironically, the Beast wound up drained, exhausted and delirious at Patsy’s doorstep, having barely defeated Quasimodo. She decided to treat his injuries and, overnight, his fur changed color from gray to bluish black. The next morning, Hank wanted to leave but Patsy had learned his secret identity, as he had been talking in his fever dreams. She blackmailed him into a special agreement and then helped Hank to create an alibi for his continued absences from work. What she gained out of the deal would only be revealed later. [Amazing Adventures (2nd series) #15]

Somewhat later, Linda Donaldson arranged for the Beast’s capture by the Secret Empire, who, around that time, were using mutants to exploit their unique energy with a special machine. Hank and many of his former teammates in the X-Men and their foes were held captive for many weeks, until Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Captain America and the Falcon finally destroyed the Secret Empire. [Captain America (1st series) #174]

Hank no longer could return to the Brand Corporation and took some time for himself. He finally came to accept his new appearance and, when the Avengers had a membership call on TV, he decided to try out superheroing with another group. Mere minutes after he and Moondragon were accepted as probationary members, the team found themselves against what they believed to be the Stranger (actually the Toad in disguise). He filled a stadium with floating mines and, while the other Avengers failed to get through, Beast’s agility did the job and Moondragon used her mental powers against the opponent. [Avengers (1st series) #137]

Although the Avengers had their own scientist with Hank Pym, the Beast’s biochemical skills were needed too. For example, when Giant-Man and the Wasp were affected by some strange illness that was based on their Pym particles. [Avengers (1st series) #140]

Shortly after the two new Avengers recruits soon were covered by the press, a certain visitor showed up at the doorstep – Patsy Walker, now divorced from General Baxter. Turned out that she had made Hank promise to get her into superheroing too, as she was not satisfied as mere housewife. She could no longer blackmail Hank with exposing his secret ID, as he had revealed it himself to his teammates, but he offered to take her along for one Avengers assignment. The team went to check out weird happenings at Roxxon and, in one of the storage rooms, found the costume and equipment of the superheroine formerly known as the Cat (who, since her transformation to Tigra, no longer needed it). Patsy, who had been a good athlete since earliest childhood, put it on and named herself Hellcat – the original deal was fulfilled. [Avengers (1st series) #141]

In time, the Avengers decided on their new roster and also offered their applicants full membership. Moondragon declined, feeling that a “goddess would not fit in with mere mortals, and Hellcat departed with her to receive some training. The Beast, however, happily joined the team. [Avengers (1st series) #151]

One advantage of belonging to the legally authorized Avengers was that Hank was no longer feared for being a mutant. Indeed, he was not only actually admired by the public but soon became a real ladies' magnet, a chance to which he definitely had no objections. [Avengers (1st series) #164]

After not having heard from the X-Men in quite some time, the Beast checked out the mansion, only to find it deserted. He tracked down his fellow mutants and, much to his surprise, found them working in a circus, enthralled by Mesmero. By the time Hank had snapped the X-Men out of the illusion, Magneto had taken control of the situation and had the team transported to his Antarctica base, deep within a volcano. The ensuing battle between he and Phoenix damaged the base's structure and the incoming hot lava separated Phoenix and the Beast from the other X-Men. After Jean transported them to the surface, Hank managed to carry her through the snowy wasteland until they were found by a helicopter. Believing the others dead, they returned to New York. [X-Men (1st series) #111-114]

Back with the Avengers, Hank slowly became friends with Wonder Man. The others were either busy with married life (Yellojacket with the Wasp and the Scarlet Witch with the Vision) or had other matters to attend to (Iron Man, Cap), so Hank and Simon started to spend their time together; like going to the movies, drinking in pubs or discussing superhero life. In time, the Avengers had problems with the regulations put on them by Henry Peter Gyrich of the National Security Agency. He considered the many people loosely associated with the Avengers a security risk and limited the membership to seven members. They were not even allowed to choose these members themselves, as Gyrich felt the need to make sure that certain minorities would be included in the line-up. Though the Beast was among the chosen, Wonder Man was not. He left to pursue a career as an actor, though he acted as a stand-by member and occasionally returned to aid Beast and his fellow Avengers on special cases. [Avengers (1st series) #181]

Around the same time that Hank learned the X-Men had survived the events in Antarctica, the Avengers’ problems with Gyrich climaxed in his trying to take away the team‘s governmental clearance. The mighty assemblers had to appear in front of the federal court and the trial was not going well, until a giant creature started a rampage through New York, Sarcastically, Beast suggested that Gyrich would fight it himself.

The head of the National Security had no choice but to admit that the heroes were needed and all regulations were canceled. [Avengers (1st series) #190-191] One member, the Falcon, had been forced onto the team by Gyrich in order to fill a 'racial minority quota'. Growing tired of being "Earth's Mightiest Token," Falcon quit the Avengers, at which point Hank quickly called his buddy Wonder Man, who then returned to live in the mansion.

One night while on monitor duty, Beast received a distress call from the police. Apparently, the X-Men had attacked the Hellfire Club. Torn between duty and friendship, Hank erased the tape and proceeded to check out the incident himself. He then witnessed Phoenix’s transformation into Dark Phoenix and was transported to a Shi’ar cruiser along with the X-Men, who then had to duel the Imperial Guard over Phoenix's fate. In the end, Phoenix committed suicide, knowing that she never could control her dark desires and, following her funeral, Hank returned to Avengers mansion. [X-Men (1st series) #134-138]

In a bar, Hank unexpectedly met Vera Cantor again and they talked the whole evening. He later invited Vera to Avengers mansion, to introduce her to his teammates but, after drinking some of Jarvis‘ tea, she fell into a coma. “Jarvis“ was a Skrull in disguise who had poisoned Vera to blackmail the Avengers into retrieving a powerful gem called Resurrection Stone for him. The team departed and, after using the Fantastic Four’s time machine, they acquired the item in the past. However, before they turned it over to the Skrull, Hank destroyed the jewel, knowing how much destruction it would cause in the wrong hands. As a result, Vera remained comatose and all Reed Richards could do for her was place her in suspended animation until a cure could be found. [Avengers (1st series) #209]

The time came, however, when the Avengers realized that not all of Gyrich’s intended regulations were useless. With about ten members and a few houseguests, the team was too unorganized and finally the Avengers were reduced to only six members by Captain America. After a conversation with Wonder Man, Beast wondered if being a joking superhero was all he wanted and he decided to leave the team to make way for the new recruits to sort out his life. [Avengers (1st series) #211]

A few weeks later, Hank showed up at Dr. Strange’s house, asking for help to bring Vera back to life. Together with Reed Richards and Daimon Hellstorm, they once and for all ended the threat of the Resurrection Stone and Hellstorm’s netherwordly abilities could reunite Vera’s soul with her body. [Defenders (1st series) #105]

Hank then stayed to help Dr. Strange locate his missing teammates, who had been captured by the Secret Empire. Hank was drawn into superheroing again, but not sure if that was what he truly wanted.

When he opened up to Vera about his insecurities, she tried to support him by pushing him towards a relationship with her. She mistook Hank’s silence for agreement, though actually he was as insecure about her as well. [Defenders (1st series) #116] His inner conflicts became clear as he kept forgetting dates with Vera and she was quite angered with him.

Yet around the same time, Hank accepted that superheroing was his true dedication, though he could not come to like the Defenders‘ non-team status. Encouraged by some teammates, Hank reorganized the team [Defenders (1st series) #120], with his fellow X-Men Iceman and Angel, former Defenders Gargoyle and Valkyrie and Moondragon, who had been punished by Odin to learn about humanity under Valkyrie’s guidance.