“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!”
Each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we’ve got you covered on the history of Marvel’s most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
By TJ Dietsch
He might be better known as a member of the X-Men, but Hank McCoy boasts another important team franchise on his resume: the Avengers.
By the time Beast joined up in the mid 70’s, he had already gone through a number of changes both costume and cosmetic. Though his look stayed fairly consistent while hanging out with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Hank would cycle through a few more before coming back and joining the team again in the Heroic Age. With that in mind as well as the recent announcement of which side of the post-Schism X-Men he'll be on, let's take a walk down Beast's memory lane!
Like his fellow charter X-Men, Hank first appeared in X-MEN #1 back in 1963. He wore a yellow and blue uniform just as his fellow students at Xavier's school did, complete with head-covering. Unlike his teammates, though, Beast didn't sport boots or shoes of any kind because of his large, mutated appendages that allowed him to supplement his genius with acrobatic skill.
Red & Blue Suit
In 1967's X-MEN #39, everyone on the team got brand new uniforms including Hank. The new duds kept the same basic shape and style as his original, but swapped out the yellow for red. Maybe if he knew he'd be associated with blue for decades he would have chosen a different color!
Grey Furry Beast
After leaving the X-Men, Hank appeared in AMAZING ADVENTURES #11, where he started working on genetic research for the Brand Corporation. While there, he developed a formula that would give anyone mutant powers and used it on himself, resulting in a new, more beastly look. The big hands and feet were joined by claws, pointy ears and teeth as well as grey fur covering his entire body.
Soon enough, Hank's fur turned blue, resulting in the look most fans all know and love. In lieu of a more traditional costume, Beast decided to wear simple briefs—either blue or black—for his crime fighting activities. Beast sported this look when he joined the Avengers on a part time basis in issue #137 and then as a full-time member in #151 as well as during the time he spent with the Defenders.
The original X-Men got back together in 1986's X-FACTOR #1 under the guise of mutant hunters actually covertly helping the mutants they tracked down. Beast started off in his fur form, but a series of medical
Beast rejoined the X-Men after quite some time away in 1991's X-MEN #1. Sporting the fur once more, Hank got some fancier trunks with a yellow belt and “X” symbol where a belt buckle would usually be found. Though he wore normal clothes and a lab coat while working on scientific problems, he went back to this costume in the field.
After he experienced a secondary mutation that left him with a more feline appearance, Beast got a brand new costume, this one incorporating a leather black and yellow jacket as well as a full body suit.
From a deconstructed, more realistic look in NEW X-MEN , Beast turned to a full-on super hero suit in ASTONISHING X-MEN , going for a circus strongman look that showed off his hairy pecs. This new outfit had a base of blue with a yellow “X” created by Hank's lower half.
As the Heroic Age dawned, Steve Rogers asked Hank to assist him with the Secret Avengers, a covert team with a more proactive agenda. When he made the move once again from X-Man to Avenger, Beast kept his costume very similar, just replacing the big “X” on his chest for the familiar Avengers' “A.”