Published July 27, 2023

Beast's Darkest Moments

As Beast unleashes his most sinister plot yet in 'Wolverine' #35, revisit some of his darkest moments along this journey.

An original member of the X-Men, Hank McCoy, AKA Beast is one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe. Although the hero started out as a lighthearted and kind mutant, he has performed a series of morally questionable actions over the years, especially during the Krakoan Era. With Beast's most sinister plan yet taking place in the pages of X-FORCE (2019) and WOLVERINE (2020), let's break down the character's darkest moments so far.

Beast Sacrifices Threnody to Mister Sinister

For several years, mutantkind faced the Legacy Virus, which ravaged their population. Due to the deadliness and pervasiveness of the threat, Marvel's mutants dedicated themselves to finding a cure, including Beast—and when it came to the Legacy Virus, desperate times called for desperate measures.

Melody Jacobs, AKA Threnody, debuted in X-MEN (1991) #27 with a mutant ability that allowed her to absorb energy from the dead, which tied her closely to the Legacy Virus. This led to a battle between Nathaniel Essex, AKA Mister Sinister, and the X-Men over Threnody. 

Despite Mister Sinister's nearly complete lack of ethical compunctions, Beast allowed Essex to take her and use her for his own desires. While Mister Sinister did indeed help Threnody, Beast had no way of knowing if he had condemned her to a life of horrible experimentation at the time.

McCoy's Alliance with Dark Beast

Introduced in X-MEN: ALPHA (1995) #1, Dark Beast is a version of McCoy from the Age of Apocalypse timeline. In that alternate reality, McCoy worked with Apocalypse as a geneticist and experimented on various mutants. Eventually, the villain ended up on Earth-616, where he served as a recurring enemy of the X-Men. 

During the "Endangered Species" arc, which took place following HOUSE OF M (2005), Dark Beast offered his services to McCoy, who was in the process of trying to restore mutantkind's powers. Although he agreed to follow McCoy's orders, Dark Beast went rogue and ended up experimenting on the Guthrie family. While not necessarily an evil act by McCoy himself, the choice to partner up with Dark Beast—a known villain—showed how good intentions can have dark consequences.

X-FORCE (2005) #22 page by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi
X-FORCE (2005) #22 page by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi

Beast Unleashes the Legacy Virus on the Skrulls

Due to the amount of damage the Legacy Virus caused for mutantkind, one would expect Beast had never weaponized the deadly pathogen. However, during SECRET INVASION (2008), McCoy proved once again that tough times call for morally questionable measures. 

In SECRET INVASION: X-MEN (2008), Beast discovered Skrulls were susceptible to the Legacy Virus. To his credit, Beast disagreed with Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, who wanted to unleash the Legacy Virus on the Skrulls. Nevertheless, the pathogen was used against the Skrulls, making him an accessory to a war crime. As in the case with Dark Beast, McCoy made the mistake of trusting someone whose moral compass was compromised.

Beast Helps the Illuminati Destroy Earth

In the lead-up to SECRET WARS (2015), the heroes of Earth-616 found themselves in a tough spot. Known as Incursions, collisions between different universes threatened Earth-616 and all its inhabitants, forcing its heroes to make tough decisions. Beast, for his part, became a member of the Illuminati, a secretive cabal made up of some of the Marvel Universe's smartest heroes. In that capacity, Beast helped to protect Earth-616 by destroying other worlds.

Although Beast's actions during the lead-up to SECRET WARS are understandable, they are no less dark. Plus, not everyone agreed with the decision, and at one point, the Illuminati found themselves the subject of an Avengers manhunt for it. 

Beast Humiliates Colossus and Kills Omega Red

X-FORCE (2019) #1 introduced a new version of the titular strike team for the Krakoan Era. This time, Beast served as the head of the organization, and in that capacity, he's done his darkest deeds in service of what he believes to be the greater good. Piotr Rasputin, AKA Colossus, and Arkady Rossovich, AKA Omega Red, are two of the unlucky characters who found out just how awful Beast can be.

While attempting to deal with the threat posed by Mikhail Rasputin, Beast had his younger brother, Colossus, brought into custody, along with the villain's sometimes-ally, Omega Red. In addition to forcibly probing the minds of both, Beast made a point of humiliating Colossus as part of his propaganda efforts, earning the ire of Wolverine. Beast also murdered Omega Red and had him resurrected to defeat the Vampire Nation, which led directly to X LIVES OF WOLVERINE (2022) and the near end of Krakoa.

Beast Occupies Terra Verde

One of Beast's darkest crimes took place in Terra Verde, a recurring Central American country in the Marvel Universe. In X-FORCE (2019), Beast attempted to secure a deal with Terra Verde to the mutual benefit of both countries. However, he found himself opposed by Hadwin Cocom, the son of the country's president. At the time, Hadwin was enhanced with telefloronics, a plant-based biotech. To secure the relationship with Terra Verde, Beast lobotomized Hadwin.

Forcibly taking Hadwin's mind away from him was evil enough on its own. However, Beast's actions had larger consequences, as the lobotomy allowed the telefloronics to gain more control and devastate Terra Verde. X-Force was forced to intervene, and in the aftermath of that confrontation, the country became a puppet nation under Beast's direction.

Beast Goes Full Supervillain

The last two entries served as the precursor for Beast's fall into complete villainy. After the secret lab he used to experiment on people was exposed, Beast found himself at odds with X-Force, and particularly Wolverine. Starting in WOLVERINE (2020) #26, Beast ended up in a long-term battle with the hero and began targeting those close to him. Logan soon discovered Beast had created clone backups of not only himself, but also Wolverine to use as he saw fit.

Those backups have been crucial to "The Ghost Calendars" arc in X-FORCE (2019) #40 - #42, as an older version of Quentin Quire met back up with the team and revealed the terrifying dystopian futures brought about by Beast. In both cases, Beast has proven that his ends certainly don't justify his means and that his darker turns have led him to become a true Super Villain.

To find out just what happens next for Beast, pick up WOLVERINE #35, now on sale!

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