BEAST: Page 7 of 10

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


Not long after returning to Westchester, Beast experienced a regressive mutation that transformed him from ape-like to cat-like. His new body was much larger and possessed greater senses and predatory instincts. He needed some time to adjust to his altered state but, at the same time, began working with the new students at the Xavier Institute to help them fulfill their potential.

Trish Tilby could not deal with Hank’s further mutation, however; she feared for her career and broke off her relationship with Hank over the phone. To add injury to insult, Hank was then beaten into a coma by Cassandra Nova, a malevolent entity who had possessed Xavier's body and forced a student named Beak to pummel McCoy with a titanium baseball bat. [New X-Men (1st series) #114, 117]

Beast eventually recovered in time to reveal Cassandra's treachery and discover strands of Nano-Sentinels eating away at the X-Men's genetic codes. Cassandra then attacked the X-Men, first with a misguided squadron of Shi'ar Superguardians and then directly, but a combined effort by the team managed to incapacitate her. Nova's attack came during a media event on the grounds and many human reporters, including Trish Tilby, were present at the time. Trish attempted to apologize to Hank, but he brushed her off and even claimed to be gay just to hurt her. What Beast didn't expect was that Trish would air a story about his alleged homosexuality - however, he decided to play the part for all it's worth, presenting himself to the world as a bestial, gay mutant and a symbol of equality and diversity. Though the idea held the public's attention for a while, it eventually faded and everyone has apparently forgotten about it. [New X-Men (1st series) #125, 134]

The Beast was one of the few members of the X-Men to get along rather well with the questionable Emma Frost; in fact, he really liked her. When the woman was shot, her diamond body shattered into hundreds of pieces, Hank refused to believe that she was gone and collected every single shard and put her back together. It turned out that his efforts were not in vain, for once everything was in place, Phoenix managed to fuse the pieces back together and Emma was among the living once more. [New X-Men (1st series) #140-141]

Despite his sympathy for Emma, Hank did not approve of her and Cyclops starting a relationship and becoming officially an item so soon after Jean’s death. He even approached Cyclops about it but Scott confided in Hank that it would be hypocrisy if he didn’t act according to his feelings.

What neither was really aware of was that actually, from a state outside of regular time, Phoenix herself had “pushed” Scott into Emma’s arms to save the timeline from a cruel fate. [New X-Men (1st series) #154-155]

Beast soon took a role as a member of Cyclops' super-hero X-Men team, which acted as the public face of the Institute and worked to put mutants in a positive light. One of the first threats the team faced was from an extra-terrestrial called Ord, who wanted to wipe out the mutant race. Ord hailed from a planet known as Breakworld that, through means of techno-augury, had been prophesied to be destroyed by a mutant. Ord had employed Dr. Kavita Rao, a world-renowned geneticist, to create a cure for mutation. Beast was still coming to terms with the limitations of his feline form, so the possibility of a cure weighed heavily on his mind. His thoughts turned to anger though when he discovered that his supposedly deceased friend Colossus was being kept as a test subject. The team defeated Ord and rescued their former teammate, but the threat that Breakworld posed still remained. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #1-6]

The team had to deal with another former teammate coming back from the dead when Jean Grey rose from her grave. Beast was on hand to deal with the situation which turned out to be a fragment of the Phoenix Force animating her body. [Phoenix: Endsong #1-5] Yet another former friend found her way back to the living, only this time it was much more personal for Henry. Psylocke, whom Beast had held in his arms as she died, had been resurrected and was back at the mansion. When he gave her a medical exam, he couldn’t help but break down over the events of her death. She put his mind at ease and told him that she knew there was nothing he could have done to save her. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #460]

As well as working as a teacher and doctor at the Institute, Beast was also on hand to help with threats ranging from the Sentry [New Avengers (1st series) #8-10], to the X-Men’s Danger Room, which had become sentient. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #7-12]

The X-Men’s lives were turned upside down when the Scarlet Witch depowered most of the world’s mutants. Beast was one of the few who managed to keep his powers, although many of the students and his fellow X-Men were not so lucky. Much like how the search for the Legacy Virus cure had consumed Beast’s mind, so would the quest to restore the mutant X-gene. With only a few hundred mutants remaining, the X-Men opened their doors up to anyone seeking refuge, friend or foe. The government also decided to act on the chaos sweeping the nation and sent Val Cooper and her O*N*E Sentinel squad to watch over the X-Men. Despite the best efforts of the O*N*E squad, Beast and the X-Men were still forced to protect their home from numerous anti-mutant groups desperate to deliver the final blow to the mutant race. [House of M: Day After, X-Men: 198 #1-5, X-Men (2nd series) #177-185]

Despite their strained relationship from recent months, when Xavier went missing after M-Day, Beast and the X-Men tried to locate him. When a suspicious energy spike lit up Cerebro, Cyclops and Rachel went to investigate, only to go missing themselves. As well as trying to find them too, Beast had to contend with a squad of O*N*E soldiers who were investigating a plane crash which had claimed the life of Banshee. They believed the X-Men were involved but it was revealed that the crash and the disappearances were both the actions of Gabriel Summers, the long lost brother of Cyclops and Havok. Gabriel had been part of a secret team that had been sent to Krakoa to rescue the original X-Men many years before. Xavier believed them to have been killed and covered up their deaths before assembling another rescue team. Whilst the other X-Men were horrified by Xavier’s actions, Beast was somewhat sympathetic and more concerned with the well-being of Darwin, another survivor of the first rescue team. In spite of his feelings on the matter, Beast stood by Cyclops when Xavier was banished from the Institute for his past actions. [X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6]

When a fight between the New Warriors and some villains inadvertently caused the deaths of over 600 people, the superhero community was split on how to proceed. A law was soon passed that required those with super powers to register with the government. Naturally, there were those that opposed the enforcement of the registration and the situation started to escalate, with violence breaking out between the two sides. Having gone through something similar with the Mutant Registration Act, the X-Men took a neutral stance and tried to stay out of it, as they were dealing with their own issues. Beast was unable to stand back and do nothing though, so when Spider-Man revealed his secret identity to the public Hank gave him an image inducer so that he could still remain hidden to the authorities and pro-registration forces. [Civil War: X-Men #1-4, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #14]

Beast continued his primary job of physician to the X-Men and, unfortunately, there was no shortage of injured X-Men coming through the infirmary doors, thanks to their numerous enemies. Beast was on-hand to help both Lady Mastermind and Omega Sentinel when they were injured during a conflict with a mysterious group known as the Children of the Vault. His morals were tested when Sabretooth also came to the X-Men, looking for protection. The psychopathic mutant was chained up and, upon Rogue’s orders, Beast reluctantly injected him with some nanites that would deter him from attacking any innocent people. [X-Men (2nd series) #188-192]

In the months since M-Day had hit, Hank had worked around the clock to figure out how to reverse the effects of the Scarlet Witch’s power. He had consulted many of the world’s leading scientists but none were able to come up with a solution. The fragile status of the mutant race weighed heavily on Hank’s mind but it wasn’t until the death of the world’s youngest remaining mutant that he decided to put aside his principles and venture into dangerous territory. He asked some of the most notorious scientists and villains the world had to offer if they were willing to look into the mutant plight. Many dismissed him but a few gave him hope. Hank met with both the High Evolutionary and Dr. Kavita Rao but neither could offer a solution. When he travelled to the abandoned Neverland camp, he discovered that his villainous counterpart, Dark Beast, was also looking into the situation. Against his better judgment, Hank teamed up with the alternate McCoy but they still hit wall after wall in their research. For a little while, Beast thought he was onto an answer when he noticed that none of the mutants from alternate futures suffered depowerment, but this line of inquiry led nowhere, increasing his desperation.

Hank soon decided to go and visit the home of the Guthrie family, as Mrs. Guthrie had given birth to ten children, five of whom developed mutations. Unfortunately, his decision to work with Dark Beast proved disastrous when the renegade scientist secretly injected one of the children with a test serum to see its effects. Hank was furious and barely managed to save the boy. After a violent confrontation with his counterpart, the two parted ways. Hank was ready to give up on his quest but a dizzying visit from Spiral hinted that since magic caused the depowerment then magic could be the solution. He met with Dr. Strange, who took him on a tour of the magical side of the universe. Beast learned that the Scarlet Witch’s spell was so powerful that all of reality would be put in danger if someone were to try and reverse it. With hope dwindling, he set off on one final trip to see the cause of all the problems, the Scarlet Witch. He found her in Transia but discovered she had no recollection of who he was or the life she had led before M-Day. Hank could see that she wasn’t going to be of any help and so he went back home, realizing that he wouldn’t be the one to save the mutant race. [X-Men: Endangered Species]

Many months ago, before Cassandra Nova had been defeated, she had hidden a psychic failsafe in Emma Frost in case anything went wrong. With Nova’s defeat, the fail-safe triggered and Emma was brainwashed into trying to set the malevolent woman’s mind free from her prison. Emma psychically attacked the X-Men and, in Beast’s case, reverted him to a feral state. Beast hunted Wolverine, who currently had a child-like mind, but was stopped by Blindfold. She showed Beast a ball of string that he and Xavier had specifically created for such an occasion. The complex smells and stimulants snapped Beast back to normal and he quickly figured out what Nova was up to. With the rest of the X-Men, he helped free Emma from Nova’s influence and stop her re-birth. Whilst contending with that, he also had time to thwart both Danger and Ord’s attack on the school. In the chaos, SWORD, the cosmic version of SHIELD, decided to deal with the Breakworld situation and so Beast and the X-Men were taken to the far off planet. Once there, the team was scattered across the Breakworld and Beast discovered that everyone was being manipulated into thinking a mutant would destroy the planet. In fact the prophecy was a well-orchestrated plan designed to trick Colossus into destroying the planet. Breakworld was saved from imminent destruction but Kitty Pryde was now lost to the X-Men, seemingly forever. Beast mourned for his friend but also found happiness when Abigail Brand, the head of SWORD, declared a romantic interest in him. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #13-24, Giant Sized Astonishing X-Men #1]