SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “All-New X-Men” #16, which is on sale now.
Beast’s descent into the supernatural continues in this month’s “All-New X-Men” #16 from Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley. The teenage Hank McCoy first started dabbling with magic earlier this year in “All-New” #6, and his magical prowess took a giant leap forward when he began experimenting with the dark arts all on his own. Beast swore off his magical hobby in last month’s issue, after the team was forced to fight off one of the demons he conjured up from another dimension. It turns out, though, that that was just the beginning of Beast’s latest transformation.
After first surfacing in the main Marvel Universe in “All-New X-Men” #12, the Goblyn Queen of Battleworld finally made her hellish move last month. Her reign of terror continues in “All-New” #16, as the beaches of Florida are beseiged by demons both people-sized and building-sized. As the teenage X-Men struggle to contain the demons Beast ventures to Miami’s library of the occult to find a mystical solution. Beast picks up the Orb of Zarjul and gives it his blood.
It has no effect, so he moves on to a potion — which also proves to be a dud. Beast continues on, searching for any spell that will prove effective, but his confidence breaks when another experiment goes up in literal flames. He falls to his knees and begins begging the orb that he cast off to help him.
Much to Hank’s surprise, the Orb of Zarjul responds to him — and latches onto him. Then, the orb does something Beast probably didn’t expect to happen.
Beast becomes a literal beast. This is a big moment for the time-displaced, teenage Hank McCoy. Upon initially traveling forward in time and seeing his future self, McCoy vowed that he wouldn’t experiment on himself with science the way his adult self did. He didn’t want to become the blue furry Beast that he was destined to become. Instead, the young Hank’s traveled down a different path and now, his experiments with sorcery have led him to almost the exact same place. Instead of being a beast born of science, he’s a beast born of sorcery. He’s also gray in color, which harkens back to how the original Beast first looked when he transformed himself back in 1972’s “Amazing Adventures” #11.
This powerful new Beast, wielding intense magic, confronts the Goblyn Queen and her demon hordes.
Recognizing the new power in front of her, the Queen hightails it out of the realm, leaving the X-Men and Beast victorious. Once the smoke clears, the X-Men turn to Hank and see him back in his human form again. But even though he looks fine, he most definitely is now.
It remains to be seen what will become of this new demonic Beast form. Hank himself seems totally aware that this form isn’t gone forever. It’s worth noting that we already have an idea of what Beast will look like come spring 2017. The teen Beast will be a part of the cast of the new “X-Men Blue” book, and the ResurrXion promo art released for the series show him in his human form.
Of course Beast is also in his human form at the end of this issue too. It’s possible that this new demon-beast look is one that Hank can transform into at will. Considering Beast’s own thoughts at the end of this issue, it seems like we’ll be learning more about this all-new Beast in the months to come and in the time ahead of ResurrXion.
“All-New X-Men” #17 arrives in stores on January 18, 2017.
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