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Secret Avengers

Secret Avengers Spotlight: Beast

Rick Remender explores the role Hank McCoy will play in the Secret Avengers and how he will achieve balance in his life

By Ben Morse

When writer Rick Remender and artist Gabriel Hardman assume full command of SECRET AVENGERS with issue #22 on February 8, Hank McCoy, The Beast, will provide a sense of continuity, sticking around from the current Steve Rogers-led lineup to remain with Hawkeye’s new team. As it happens, the X-Men founder and veteran Avenger will have a lot more to offer than just agility, scientific knowhow and the occasional quip—whether he likes it or not.

“[Beast] is in the awkward situation of having to parent [Hawkeye] a bit, having to be the voice of restraint and composure in the face of some of Clint’s more ‘emotional’ decisions,” shares Remender. “He doesn’t want the leadership role, but he definitely has some opinions on Clint’s performance. He’s the wise old senator offering advice to the new president; he’s second in command and the first person Hawkeye turns to for advice.”

In addition to his Avengers responsibilities, Hank has recently returned to the X-Men after a fashion, taking on a faculty position at Wolverine’s Jean Grey School for Higher Learning as the vice principal. While juggling his responsibilities could prove a challenge for Beast, Remender for one contends it will be worth it.

“He’ll obviously have a very full schedule, but I think Hank’s found the perfect balance in his life,” says the writer. “He’s able to further Xavier’s dream at the Jean Grey School helping young mutants use their powers and acclimate into daily life, and he can also serve the greater good by protecting the world in the Secret Avengers. Plus he’s working with many old friends: Valkyrie from their Defenders days, Black Widow and Hawkeye from his time as an Avenger, and Captain Britain from his time with the X-Men. Of course having allegiances to both teams could cause complications.”

Since his mutant powers manifested during his teen years, Hank has struggled to not lose his keen mental prowess to the bestial nature and appearance that have threatened to define him. As his tenure with the Secret Avengers continues, Beast will continue to have his genius called on, but become more comfortable than ever with his physical gifts.

“Early in his career, I would have said he was mostly a man of science, but after many years of adapting to his mutations I’d say it’s a 50/50 split,” contends Remender on Beast’s balance of analysis and action. “Within the Lighthouse, the Secret Avengers’ new satellite base, he has a fantastic laboratory many floors high accessible through an open plan gymnasium. However, he is not the chief science officer of the team, [as] that would be Hank Pym; they do work together, but have a healthy spirit of competition.

“I like the idea of having two of the greatest scientists in the Marvel Universe on one team. I have some ideas for how to build their dynamic into something pretty wild. The Beast’s new science suit can retract into a pair of black shorts, giving him the opportunity to change from a man of science to man of action in a matter of seconds.”

Beast Digital Comics Spotlight

X-MEN ORIGINS: BEAST #1: How Henry McCoy became The Beast

AMAZING ADVENTURES #12: A mutated Beast clashes with Iron Man

AVENGERS #143: Beast battles Kang alongside his new team, the Avengers

NEW X-MEN #117: Back with the X-Men, Beast undergoes further mutations

SECRET AVENGERS #1: Beast joins Steve Rogers’ new black ops squad

Stay tuned for more Secret Avengers Spotlight and be sure to get SECRET AVENGERS #21.1 on January 25!

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