Kang’s most recent trip across the Marvel Universe reveals that a founding X-Man may be going down a dark path and the repercussions are grim.
The following contains spoilers for Timeless #1, now on sale from Marvel Comics.
Beast is one of Marvel’s most experienced mutant heroes, having debuted as a founding member of the X-Men alongside Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, and Angel. His recent storylines have cast him in a far darker light, however, pushing him to further embrace a brutal path to protect his people. Now, Kang the Conqueror’s latest battle has teased his next plan — and it could end up dooming more than just Krakoa.
Timeless #1 (by Jed MacKay, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Patch Zircher, Salvador Larroca, Frank D’Armata, and VC’s Ariana Maher) teases Beast’s upcoming scheme to create multiple clones of himself and assemble an army. But on top of setting up the character’s upcoming plans in Wolverine and X-Force, it could also set the stage for one of Marvel’s darkest possible futures.
Kang the Conqueror Gets a Glimpse of Beast’s Plan
While traveling across space and time during his battle with Myrddin and their powerful knights, Kang ends up seeing brief glimpses of other Marvel characters’ futures. Some of these visions suggest dark times ahead for major heroes — with Iron Man possibly turning his back on his sobriety and the X-Men’s Treehouse base being burnt to the ground. Some of these events have already been teased, such as Captain Marvel’s upcoming encounter with the Brood — while others come as something of a surprise, such as the return of the Pet Avengers and Wolverine becoming an avatar for the Ghost Rider.
However, one of the most harrowing of these visions focuses on Beast of the X-Men. In his vision, Beast can be seen proudly standing atop a platform, looking out over a horde of clones of himself. This seems to suggest that he will end up deciding that the only person he can rely on is himself — setting up the “Weapons of X” storyline and introducing a horde of Beast clones to assist in his plans.
Marvel Has Already Teased a Timeline Ruled By Beast
Beast cloning himself might have seemed like a ridiculous notion a few years ago, but Hank McCoy has changed drastically during the Krakoa Era. After being placed into a leadership role within the X-Force, the founding X-Man has increasingly embraced more brutal tactics in the name of protecting Krakoa. His actions have cost him his friends and respect on the island. Recently, he’s even turned to murder as a viable option, killing Wolverine and messing with his resurrection to transform Logan into his personal mindless, violent machine. Even the other members of X-Force have begun to turn against him — which may have come too late, as his latest assignment for Wolverine might have sparked a war between Krakoa and the United States.
Beast’s apparent decision to clone himself is a worrying prospect as it could remove the handful of people within his orbit who could better see how dangerous he’s become. It also could be the first step towards a truly horrifying future, which was visited by Beast and Spider-Man in the story “Planet of the Beasts!” by Kaare Andrews. After being shot into a distant possible future, the two heroes discovered that at some point in this timeline, Beast had grown exhausted with the world and developed a zombie-like virus to wipe out humanity. Only a handful of mutants with similar powers were spared, and under his command, they formed a new society that worshiped Hank McCoy as the “Origin-Maker.”
Although the two heroes returned to Earth-616, it seems like this grim possibility might have given Beast some ideas. With Beast increasingly embracing mutant superiority during the Krakoa Era and steadily losing faith in his fellow mutants, it wouldn’t be too far outside the realm of possibility for the founding X-Man to decide it’s time for the world to go through some serious changes. The chaos of Fall of X could even facilitate this development, with the mutant nation’s collapse potentially setting the stage for Beast to take a more proactive and sinister role going forward. If the X-Men aren’t careful, one of their own could end up being the central figure in the entire world’s collapse.