BEAST: Page 8 of 10

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


When the Acolytes and Marauders attacked the X-Men, there were casualties all round. Beast was kept busy as both Cannonball and Blindfold suffered serious injuries in the assaults, although it soon became apparent that the attack was the herald of something ominous. [X-Men (2nd series) #200-204]

Beast’s and the mutant race’s prayers were answered when the first mutant baby to be born after M-Day lit up Cerebro. The X-Men sent a team to go find it but soon discovered that Mister Sinister and the Purifiers were also well aware of the birth. Whilst the other X-Men travelled the globe in search of the baby, Beast stayed at the mansion and prepared for its arrival. However, the fight quickly came to him when the Sentinels outside the mansion were hijacked and began targeting the X-Men. Injured X-Men soon began stacking up and Beast was working all the hours to save their lives. The baby was eventually found by the Marauders and taken to Muir Island, but the X-Men weren’t far behind. Back at the mansion, Beast was caring for the wounded but the arrival of a Predator X creature forced him to go on the attack to defend the helpless. Pixie teleported Predator X, along with Beast and everyone else, to Muir Island so the X-Men could help. A huge battle erupted between all sides but the X-Men eventually won. The baby was then given to Cable so it could be raised in the future, away from anyone who would want to harm it. [Messiah Complex crossover]

In the final battle Xavier was seemingly killed and in the wake of the tragedy the X-Men were disbanded. It wasn’t too long, though, before Cyclops decided to reform the team in the new location of San Francisco. Beast immediately joined him and became instrumental in designing their new home of Greymalkin Industries. What neither of them knew at the time was that Xavier was alive but he had chosen to let his former students continue to believe he was dead. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #500]

The move across country hadn’t solved the X-Men’s problems and Beast was soon dragged into a murder mystery. His interest was piqued when it turned out the victim was a mutant from a parallel universe and the killer was an artificially-created mutant. After following the clues across the globe, the team eventually discovered that the X-Men’s former ally Forge was creating his own mutants in a bid to save the mutant race and defend the world from an inter-dimensional invasion force. Forge assumed Beast would be happy that he had solved the mutant problem but instead Beast was disgusted at the monstrosities that had been created. Their argument had to take a back seat when a portal began to open that signaled the entrance of a huge army from an alternate reality. To protect his world, Beast had Abigail Brand of SWORD fire a huge laser through the portal, wiping out the army and possibly the whole world on the other side. [Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #25-30]

When the Skrulls made an attempt to conquer Earth, they targeted many of the world’s major cities, including San Francisco. Thankfully for the population of the city, the X-Men were there to protect them. Beast, along with many other X-Men, took to the streets to dispatch the invading Skrulls. After losing the initial skirmishes, the Skrulls realized with who they were dealing and retaliated in force. Cyclops set Beast a task with coming up with a doomsday plan in case they didn’t manage to defeat the aliens. The X-Men brought Beast a dead Skrull to examine and, after doing an autopsy, he deduced that it would take years to develop something to combat it. However, when Nightcrawler found the Skrull bible, it told him that mutants and Skrulls were similar in many ways. That piece of information gave Hank a brainwave but he was once again forced into an ethical dilemma. The only way he could think of to take the Skrulls down was to use a modified version of the Legacy Virus, the very same virus Hank had spent years trying to cure. In the time that he had been researching, the Skrulls had taken over San Francisco and now held fifty-thousand civilians at gunpoint. Hank reluctantly gave Cyclops the virus but made him well aware of his feelings on using it. Cyclops managed to infect the Skrull fleet with the virus, forcing them to kill themselves rather than infect the rest of the Skrull race. San Francisco was saved but Beast’s view of Cyclops’ method was starting to change for the worse. [Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4]

The dwindling mutant race still preyed on Beast’s mind and so he decided to set up a science team within the X-Men. He set about finding scientists with specialist knowledge of mutation and radiation, and to that end he found Dr. Nemsis, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, Madison Jeffries and even Dr. Kavita Rao. During his travels to recruit the various members, Beast discovered that Cyclops had set up X-Force again as a covert kill-squad. He was furious that Cyclops had gone back on the X-Men’s no-killing policy, but he was even more distraught to see that Angel had been turned back into his metal winged form. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #504-507]

Beast’s tension with Cyclops grew even more when he was asked to make a set of time travel devices in a bid to track Cable in the time stream. Cyclops remained cagey about who would be using the devices but Beast instinctively knew what his friend was up to. He told Cyclops that he supported Cable’s mission but he wanted no part in helping to execute Bishop, who had turned against the X-Men and was hunting Cable himself. Regardless of his feelings, though, he still completed work on the devices, which were ultimately given to X-Force. [X-Force (3rd series) #12]  

The science team, nicknamed the X-Club, had immediately gotten to work brainstorming ideas for research. Eventually, they decided to travel back in time to study the parents of one of the first mutants born in the modern-age mutant baby-boom. As it happened, Dr. Nemesis was a child from that time and so the team built a device to take them back to 1906 to visit his parents. They went back in time and took blood samples from his parents, also managing to thwart a plan by that era’s Hellfire Club. As the blood samples wouldn’t survive the time travel, they cryogenically froze them and buried them so that they could be dug up later. When they arrived back in their own time though and found the burial spot, they discovered the giant cosmic entity The Dreaming Celestial was standing on it. Unable to move the enormous creature, Beast had to abandon his latest plan to try and save the mutant race. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #508-509, 512]

In the time that the X-Men had moved to San Francisco, the deranged Norman Osborn had risen to power and the mutants were on his hit list. Elsewhere, an anti-mutant group called Humanity Now! was trying to push through a ballot initiative known as Proposition X that would require all X-gene carrying humans to be sterilised. Beast was naturally opposed to the plan and personally confronted Simon Trask, the leader of the group, when he marched through San Francisco. A fight broke out between the pro- and anti-initiative supporters and, in the chaos, Beast was captured by HAMMER, Osborn’s own version of SHIELD. He was put in a cell on Alcatraz where he discovered Professor Xavier was also being detained. Both men were strapped to a device known as the Omega Machine that began to drain their powers. Hank quickly began to suffer the drain’s ill-effects, as his fingernails and fur started to fall out. To make matters worse, the mastermind behind the device was non-other than Dark Beast, who delighted in the torture of his more heroic counterpart. Despite his initial success, Osborn’s plan soon started to fall apart and the X-Men discovered where Hank and Charles were being held. Hank was rescued and the X-Men moved to a new home on the island of Utopia, just off the coast of San Francisco. [Utopia Crossover]

Beast managed to recover but soon discovered that Cyclops had known where he was being held long before he decided to rescue him. His faith in his friend and his direction for the X-Men was reaching breaking point and it preyed on his mind. The final straw came when Cyclops allowed Magneto to join the ranks of the X-Men. He tried to talk to Iceman, one of his oldest friends, about his feelings on the situation but found that they also had differing opinions on Cyclops’ actions. With no other option left to him, he decided to leave the X-Men. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #515, 518-519]

Whilst his friendship with Cyclops had soured, Beast’s relationship with Abigail Brand was going from strength to strength and so he joined her up on the Peak space station. Things didn’t exactly go smoothly though, as Henry Gyrich took control of SWORD and used his authority to deport all of the aliens off Earth. As Brand was half-alien, she and Hank went on the run, whilst they tried to sort the situation out. After taking care of the bounty hunter Death’s Head and saving the Peak from an invasion force, Beast and Abigail managed to force Gyrich to resign. After all the drama, the two lovers finally managed to get some time to themselves. [SWORD #1-5]

The baby Cable was taking care of had returned to the present day as a teenage girl named Hope Summers. The robot Bastion was entering the endgame of his plan to wipe out the mutant race and the arrival of Hope forced him into action. Whilst Beast kept his distance during the initial skirmishes, he was drawn back to the X-Men when Nightcrawler was killed by Bastion. Beast returned to Utopia for the funeral and made it clear to Cyclops that he put the blame solely on him for his friend’s death. Beast remained on Utopia for a short while to help defend it from Bastion’s forces. However, once the mutant-hating robot was defeated, he left once again. [Second Coming Crossover]

Though no longer an X-Man, Beast skills were required by Captain America and he was soon drafted into the Secret Avengers, a black ops team that would tackle the world’s greatest threats. He was quickly put to work battling the mysterious groups the Shadow Council and Hai-Dai. The work took them around the world and all the way to Mars but eventually the Secret Avengers stopped the plans to resurrect the evil sorcerer Zheng Zhu. In the wake of the operation, Beast helped Captain America to get into the mind of his former ally, John Steele, to discover how and why he was alive and well after seemingly dying 70 years before. [Secret Avengers (1st series) #1-12]

In Beast’s absence, the tensions between Cyclops and Wolverine had reached breaking point and after a bloody confrontation Wolverine left Utopia, taking some other X-Men and many of the students with him. He moved back to Westchester and set up the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Beast immediately joined him and, as well as setting up a lab in the basement, was anointed vice principle and took a teaching position within the school. Naturally, things did not go smoothly at the start, as he had to contend with a baby Krakoa, an army of inter-dimensional creatures known as Bamfs and an attack by the newly formed Hellfire Club. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #1-3]