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X-Men: First Class Character Profile: Beast

Beast just needs to be more comfortable with "Beast."

Oh, the irony. Comic Vine maniacs frustrated by the creative license FIRST CLASS is taking with the X-Men’s chronology will surely appreciate knowing that, unlike the five others young mutants in the movie, Beast was actually a member of the “real” first class in the comics.

The character’s evolved significantly since his days in that "real" first class, of course.

Hank McCoy debuted in X-MEN #1 in the late summer of 1963 (the same year FIRST CLASS is set in!) His gimmick was basically that he was a hairless, incredible-agile gorilla man who also happened to be absurdly smart. While his hunched posture and over-large hands and feet made him look simian in these early appearances, a series of “secondary mutations” made him look progressively more feline over the years as he’d adventure with the likes of X-Factor, the Defenders and even the Avengers in addition to the “strangest super-heroes of them all.” His genius-level intellect would remain a constant, though. Goes to show all you maniacs: brawn comes and goes, but smarts are forever.

Beast has actually shown up a few times in the movies already. His first appearance was a quick cameo on a TV in X2 as a talk-show guest chatting up mutant affairs and he was a major player in THE LAST STAND. The latter movie established him as mutantkind’s de facto ambassador to human America: an ex-X-Men who’d put aside adventuring for politics at some indeterminate point in the past. Eventually, he'd master government dealings enough to became the president’s Secretary of Mutant Affairs.

== TEASER ==

By X3, Beast is comfortable and proud of his feral mutation, walking around freely in public without fear of embarrassment or harassment. The Beast of X2, however, doesn’t have a single blue hair on him and, while that’s logically explained by the crew changing ideas between movies, it’s fun to interpret the discrepancy as being a result of a disguise (perhaps a holographic one, as he's often used in the comics.) Believe it or not, speculating on that actually gives a greater context for his arc in the new movie.

The character profile trailer on Beast reveal that he'll have a romance with Mystique. Though, they’re both blue and monstrous in the comics, they’ve never had anything close to a romantic relationship before. Hank’s dated various human girls while Mystique’s had trysts with Sabretooth, Azazel, Forge and even Destiny. It looks like her arc in FIRST CLASS will see her growing more comfortable with her scaly, natural appearance while, conversely, Beast’s attempts to suppress his own abnormalities backfire on him.

About ten years after his debut in the comics, Beast often disguised himself with a serum injection that accelerated mutation and gave him a furry coat. He'd use a second injection to reverse the transformation but, after waiting too long to administer it once, he was stuck with the fur permanently. The trailers hint at something similar to this, as we see Hank struggling to suppress a fast-acting transformation after dropping a syringe. Presumably, he’s trying to repress the more extreme parts of his mutation with a serum until, ultimately, his own nature wins out.

In the trailers, Hank and Raven bond over a mutual desire to “be normal” even though, later on in the movies' timeline, they end up embracing their monstrous appearances. It seems, then, that the choice is involuntary for one and voluntary for the other. Considering how no history between the two is ever alluded to in THE LAST STAND and how Mystique made such a strong declaration to Nightcrawler in X2 about how she shouldn’t ever have to disguise herself, I suspect their romance will be short-lived; broken off by a disagreement on the value of “hiding.” Tragically, Mystique may be driven into the arms of Azazel while Beast will only come to peace with his appearance in middle age.

That’s my conjecture, anyway. We'll find out how on-the-mark it is come June 3rd.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

26 Comments
Posted by Pepeman

cool beans

Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows

That's pretty much who I saw any romance between the two happening. Were Azazel not in the movie then they could have taken it in another direction making Mystique different with her opinions on mutanst hiding.

However I imagine it will go down in a way like this, they will bond over feeling like outcasts.  In Mystique's case she will grow resent ful of humans which will lead her to embrace her mutation, while Hank will try instead to hide it.  His chemical supressions of his mytations will trigger the secondary mutation.  He will feel more shame than ever, while Mystique will find him even more alluring.  However when she sees his own self hatred she will resent him as much as the humans and then fall for a Azazel who will share her same resenment driven pride.

Posted by EnSabahNurX

This is the only aspect aside from prof x and magneto I like in this movie and is the only creative liberty i think is kind of interesting pairing the two with extreme appearnaces

Posted by dorsk188

I miss pointy-hair gorilla Beast.  While cat Beast was entertaining at first (especially when talking about coping with paws instead of hands and his new tomcat hormones), but since they've basically discarded those nuances, Beast is just like he used to be except with a hair lip and a botched  nose job.

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

the cool thing about young Beast is that he has monkey feet and Mystique is alluring him, then you look back to X3 and you see Hank's look while Mystique is interrogated, maybe just maybe, they are connected, I don't know?

Posted by Out_of_Space

Looks awesome

Posted by SupremoMaximo

"  His genius-level intellect would remain a constant, though"


I seem to remember a story arc in early X Factor, where Beast lost the fur, but then he became as dumb as someone from Yancy Street.
Posted by Cherry Bomb

In X-Men: The Last Stand,  Beats had a keen interest in Mystique for some reason, so I guess this is the reason behind it.  (: 

and Nicholas Hoult who's playing Beast is gonna be great (: 
Posted by SilverZeo

Ugh... Mystique and Beast? ... why not... so many Alternate Realities Shippings, who really cares anymore.

Posted by cattlebattle
@EnSabahNurX said:
This is the only aspect aside from prof x and magneto I like in this movie and is the only creative liberty i think is kind of interesting pairing the two with extreme appearnaces
Exactly ..I don't know why people want to see the same crap from the  cartoons and comics all the time, I like how they take new directions with old characters in these films
Posted by Iron Apollo

Beast has always been one of my favorite characters and x-men, and he looks awesome in this movie, both versions with and without fur!.

Posted by Illuminatus

I think the actor playing Hank McCoy is doing a relatively decent job with the character. But the makeup for this Beast looks....bad. That's just my opinion, but as terrible as X3 was, the makeup for Beast in that movie was far better. Again, just my personal opinion(s).

Posted by Gallivant
@Illuminatus said:
I think the actor playing Hank McCoy is doing a relatively decent job with the character. But the makeup for this Beast looks....bad. That's just my opinion, but as terrible as X3 was, the makeup for Beast in that movie was far better. Again, just my personal opinion(s).
Agreed. yet i think they make up team was just trying to make him look a little younger in first class. He looks very distinguished in X3 and for good reason, he is older and wears his mutation with pride.

@Iron Apollo said:
Beast has always been one of my favorite characters and x-men, and he looks awesome in this movie, both versions with and without fur!.
Heck yes! i knew i wasnt the only one that thought so. being a fan of the 90's Xmen cartoon i used to love Beasts' comments! 
Posted by SandmanEsq
@SupremoMaximo said:
"  His genius-level intellect would remain a constant, though"

I seem to remember a story arc in early X Factor, where Beast lost the fur, but then he became as dumb as someone from Yancy Street.

I was about to comment on the same arc.  If I recall correctly, he contracted a virus from some Mutant Villainess du jour which caused him to get dumber every time he used his enhanced strength, until finally he was little more than a brute.  The process was reversed, I think, by him intercepting the same Villainess from attacking Iceman, but a side-effect was the return of his blue fur.
Posted by King Quisling

That's an awesome picture of Bradley Cooper.....oh wait.....

Posted by Icon

I love Beast. One of the best Marvel characters, not just one of the best X-Men. I can't wait. Plus I love that they've gone with the feline Beast. Looks awesome.

Posted by The_Diamond_Prince

I love the feline look as well, but I still am finding it hard to connect this movie with the earlier ones. I guess It'll just have to be a complete reboot  to the series in my mind.


Posted by Symbiocide


What I don't understand is why did he ever undergo a cat's appearance? His powers are very simian. He bounces off ways and graps things with his feet. Like a monkey. So it made sense that his 1st mutation had him looking like a man-ape even before the blue fur. I've never seen feline characters or cats in general swinging from poles and grabbing things with their feet. The feline appearance clashes with the ape-attributes.

 

Regarding the Beast/Mystique love, I don't care. Seriously, this movie will have as little connection to the original comics as they will to the X-Men's films before.    

Posted by Eyz

I wouldn't think to much into that X2 Beast... The movie producers & writers surely didn't, so don't fanboy all over it guys!
"story-wise", It's either an holographic illusion or a cameo that wasn't supposed to be part of the plot.

Posted by wdchefdave

Why the Marvel "wizards" chose to make Hank McCoy look like a blue version of 
Ron Perlman's "Beast" (About ten years after the series ended!) I'll never know.
"The Beast" on the cover of X-men #1 was why I bought that comic all those years ago.
He was a genius that looked like a caveman! Then, to my HORROR, they altered him and tried the old Jekyll & Hyde routine. His fur was blackish grey and the series was uninspired and kinda left him in limbo for a while. He finally shows up blue in bathing suit bottoms and fangs. Add some Ben Franklin glasses and he can hang out in labs with Reed Richards and Henry Pym. I don't think Marvel has EVER known what to do with this constantly mutating mutant.
The version in this movie could not possibly mess up his messed up past any more than the Marvel madmen who should be turned in for "child abuse"! (Starting with the first mutation.)
And why doesn't he play cards with WonderMan, The Thing, and Nick Fury anymore?

Posted by feargalr

I CAN'T FRAKING WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!

Posted by Dh4niel

When this film was first announced, I was really excited. An X-Men film with the original team of Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Marvel Girl and Iceman. What went wrong? I wanted a reboot, not a prequel!

Posted by Antonio_Blackheart

this beast looks better then x3 beast
Posted by weaponmaster

I always wondered why he didn't just use electrolysis to remove his body and facial hair.
Posted by jordama

Mystique’s had trysts with Sabretooth, Azazel, Forge and even Destiny.

Can I just critique the way you say even Destiny. I always saw the two of them as an actual relationship, instead of the others that were more of a fling. THe way you say it makes it sound like a fling that didn't matter.
Posted by Chibi-Iroh

I like the way Kelsey Grammar looked in X-3, but I understand that this is movie is showing the more feral side of him so I can accept it.