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X-Men: The Evolution of Beast's Costume and Design

More than any other Marvel hero, Beast has historically been the main link between the Avengers and the X-Men. Since he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the '60s, he's played a lot of roles. Due to his physical prowess, he was the star on his high school football team and he carried those athletic skills with him to the first X-Men team.

Despite his brutish appearance, he was a sophisticated soul and one of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe. From star student at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters to a happy-go-lucky Avenger to the serious scientist mutant leader he is today, transformation has always been a big part of the Beast's life.

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As he's gone through all of those changes, Hank McCoy has gone through numerous costumes and even more dramatic desgin changes. Now, CBR is taking a look back at some of his most memorable changes in appearance and his different costumes.

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BEAST'S EARLY COSTUMES

In his 1963 debut, Hank's mutation solely consisted of having large feet, hands and a stocky frame. Like the other X-Men at the time, his costume consisted of a yellow and black suit with a matching black hood. Later, he would trade the black and yellow color scheme in for a red and blue one. This human form of Beast lasted for a few years, and even after his famous blue-and-furry transformation,  he'd occasionally revert back to his human form for various arcs.

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Most notably, McCoy transformed back into his human form during writer Louise Simonson's X-Factor run in the 80s. In that run, Beast started off in his blue furry form, but after he is captured by Tower, an experimented cure was used on him. With his new human form, Beast donned a new costume that was similar to his old red and blue costume, only now it had a red X on it, which he wore for a little while.

GRAY BEAST

After leaving the X-Men, Hank became a genetic researcher for the Brand Corporation during a brief run as the star of Amazing Adventures. While working, Beast discovered a hormonal extract that would give anyone the ability to become a mutant.

However, one of his coworkers was plotting to steal his research and in order to protect it, Hank drank the serum himself. While he initially could've changed back into his human form, Hank waited too long to reverse the process and he was stuck with gray fur, pointed ears, canine teeth, claws, the ability to walk on walls and ceilings, and a more feral nature.

BLUE BEAST

In one of his early adventures, Beast notices that his gray fur is starting to turn black, however, because of dark blue coloring being used to represent black at the time, the artists on the book ended up coloring the Beast blue. That coloring mistake would become a permanent fixture for the character and he's been blue ever since. Physically, he looks like his gray form, but the only real difference is his fur's color.

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This would be Beast's longest-lasting and most recognizable form to date. From X-Men: The Animated Series to his tenure on the Avengers in the '70s and return to the X-Men in the '90s, this is the Beast's standard look, which is completed with a small pair of shorts.

BEAST'S X-FACTOR COSTUME

During his stint on X-Factor with the other original X-Men in the '80s, McCoy would undergo another major change. When the team clashed with Apocalypse, Beast came into contact with horseman Pestilence, whose touch created infections. Pestilence's power reacted with the serum Maddicks had injected into Hank and instead of dying, Hank was affected in a different way: every time he used his strength, his intelligence decreased. Hank's condition worsened for weeks and as his intelligence decreased, even his speech patterns changed. During this period, his blue and red costume became a brown and yellow one instead.

Hank's humanoid form would become a part of X-comics once again during 2013's All New X-Men when the original X-Men are pulled from the past into the future. Although he sported his original costume at first, the younger Hank would trade it in for a white, black and orange suit with an orange visor. During All New X-Men's second volume in 2016, McCoy changed costumes yet again, this time to a brown and orange suit that recalls his counterpart's X-Factor attire.

CAT BEAST

During Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's New X-Men run in 2001, Beast's next transformation occurred when a genetic jumpstart from his fellow X-Man Sage activated his secondary mutation and changed Beast's appearance to more of a feline form.

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During the New X-Men title, McCoy sported a black suit with a yellow X in the center, coupled with a black leather jacket. Later, in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men this suit would change, and McCoy ditched the leather jacket for a black suit with a yellow X that covered 3/4 of his body. During Hank's tenure on Captain America's Secret Avengers team, he wore a modified version of his Astonishing X-Men costume, still featuring a yellow X.

GORILLA BEAST

In the aftermath of the "Avengers vs. X-Men" event, Beast brought the original five X-Men from the past into the present timeline. This action would serve as the catalyst for 2013's All New X-Men run. After his time traveling escapade, present-day Beast lapsed into a coma and young Jean took it upon herself to help him out.

By connecting the minds of the two Hanks, the younger Hank discovered an error in his older self's calculations and ended up changing his physiology to a more ape-like form. This version of Beast was bulkier, balder, and for the most part, his costume consisted of a pair of shorts. This is still the look that the modern Beast usually has.

DEMON BEAST

In the pages of 2016's All New X-Men run, the younger Hank McCoy went through a transformation of his own. Instead of scientific experiments, the young McCoy began dabbling in the arts of sorcery and his efforts backfired.

By toying with a spell, he made Earth vulnerable to demonic attacks and when demons eventually did invade, he felt responsible. The spell bonded with Hank and he became a furry, gray demon-like creature. However, this form didn't last very long at all and he was reverted to his original human state afterward.

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