Henry "Hank" McCoy was born with abnormally large hands and feet, leading to his childhood nickname of "beast". But his superhuman agility made him a standout high school football player. During one game, Hank stopped an escaping band of robbers. In response, the villainous Conquistador kidnapped Hank's parents to force Hank to work for him. The X-Men arrived to stop the Conquistador, and Professor Charles Xavier recruited Hank into the first class of X-Men.