BIOGRAPHY - Page 5
The new team soon obtained governmental clearance, thanks to the help of Nick Fury, but a minor problem proved to be the choice of a leader. Both Valkyrie and the Beast applied for the job. [Defenders (1st series) #126]
They got into an argument and the final choice was delayed, as the team was busy otherwise. Finally, the Defenders realized that an actual field leader was not needed. Instead, they required a person to run things, organize a headquarters, deal with the authorities, etc, and so Candy Southern got the job. [Defenders (1st series) #138]
From the Defenders‘ base in New Mexico, Hank wrote Vera a letter to explain and apologize, and, when they next met in New York, it was as friends, though the mutual attraction was still there. [Defenders (1st series) #140, 149]
Soon, Moondragon and Gargoyle were taken over by a mystical entity, the Dragon of the Moon, to be used as pawns to take over the world. A nomad Eternal called the Interloper could use his powers to stop the Dragon of the Moon, but he needed extra lifeforce to completely defeat the creature. While the three former X-Men were kept busy with rescuing friends and loved ones, the other Defenders sacrificed their lifeforces to destroy the dragon. When Beast, Angel, and Iceman returned to the scene, they found both their allies and their enemies had been turned to dust. [Defenders (1st series) #152] Though all these characters would eventually return to life, the Defenders were kaput for the time being.
A few weeks later, the Avengers found a strange cocoon in Jamaica Bay and brought it to their mansion to examine. They called in Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four to determine what the object was. Richards managed to open the cocoon, releasing Jean Grey from her state of suspended animation. They called Angel in and he brought her up to speed with the world. Jean was shocked at the state of mutant affairs, as well as the fact that the X-Men had accepted Magneto as a member, and wanted to do something about it. Warren agreed and convinced Iceman and Beast to join their new team, X-Factor. To lead them, they recruited Cyclops. The plan behind X-Factor was to pose as mutant-hunting humans to police evil mutants and recruit innocent mutants to help them learn how to use their powers. They also worked as mutants in a team known as the X-Terminators. [X-Factor (1st series) #1]
On their second mission, Beast was captured by Carl Maddicks, apparently alive, and used in an attempt to develop a cure for mutancy, which had rendered his son Artie mute. He developed a serum and tested it on the Beast. X-Factor arrived on the scene and saved Hank, but not after he had been injected with the serum. When the bandages around his face were removed, he had apparently lost his blue fur. [X-Factor (1st series) #2-3]
Slighty before, Beast had also met back up with his Vera, who, in the meantime, had changed quite a lot. Instead of the conservative librarian she looked like before, she now wore her hair half shaved and dressed very flashily. She even made Hank try out her new taste of clothing, but Hank was not comfortable. Shortly after Vera was interviewed by Trish Tilby, a reporter hot on X-Factor’s trail [X-Factor (1st series) #5, 7], he and Vera stopped seeing each other, having developed in different directions.
In a battle with the Horsemen of Apocalypse, Beast was touched by Pestilence, whose touch usually causes incredible pain and virus infection. It interacted with Beast metabolism and the recent serum treatment of Maddicks. Instead of killing him, Hank was affected in such a way that every time he used his superhuman strength, his intelligence decreased. [X-Factor (1st series) #19, 23]
Hank’s condition worsened for weeks and he got progressively dumber. He even openly talked to Trish Tilby, not realizing that she might use the information on TV. Out of respect for Hank’s situation, Trish did not mention his name when she reported about X-Factor’s recent battles, only that one of them lost his intellect while heroically defending New York. The Beast was still hurt by her using the information at all, but she could convince him that she meant well. [X-Factor (1st series) #26-29]
When Hank’s mind was nothing more than that of a child, he intercepted a mutant called Infectia, trying to kiss Iceman. Infectia had the ability to manipulate molecular structures through touch, creating mutated "monsters." When she kissed Beast, he became feverish and began switching back and forth between his normal and furred forms. Finally, he stabilized in his furred appearance, kept his intelligence, and had more strength than ever. [X-Factor (1st series) #30-31]
Meeting Trish again, she had to admit that she had troubles accepting the furry look [X-Factor (1st series) #36], yet after X-Factor returned weeks later from an adventure in outer space, she had come to miss Hank and they started a relationship. [X-Factor (1st series) #52]
Time and again Trish’s duties as a news reporter would come between the couple, as she had to report news that made mutants look bad. One day, Beast was invited to attend the International Symposium on Mutant Research in Brussels, Belgium. He took this invite very seriously for two reasons: his old girlfriend Jennifer Nyles would be attending the conference an a self-immolating animal cyborg tried to kill the mail-woman to keep her from delivering the letter. Over the course of his visit, Beast uncovered a plot by a Belgian military officer, Commander Courage, involving techno-organics and genetic programming. Courage had already created the Were-Borgs, an army of unliving foot soldiers, and planned to employ the same technology to subvert the will of leading figures in other countries with techno-organic implants. Doctor Jennifer Nyles had been duped into working on the scientific theories (though she knew nothing of the world takeover scheme), mostly because of the mind-wipe Xavier had performed on her years ago. Jennifer was aware she had lost something precious in her mind, and had devoted her life to recovering it. Thankfully, her memories returned after interacting with Hank once more and, after he clued her in on the whole evil scheme, Jennifer helped Beast stop Courage's mad plans and they parted as friends. [Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #85-92]
Not before long, she took on an assignment in India and, when Hank arrived in her office to say goodbye, he observed Trish kissing her ex-husband, Paul. Hank left again before Trish saw him. [X-Factor (1st series) #59]
Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the supreme telepath known as the Shadow King had taken over the minds of the residents of the Muir Island Research Facility. Most X-Men were captured by the residents when they tried to stop the Shadow King, and so Xavier enlisted the help of both X-Factor and SHIELD. After the villain was defeated, X-Factor rejoined the X-Men, with the Beast becoming part of the Blue Strike Force. [X-Factor (1st series) #70, X-Men (2nd series) #1]