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Beast Boy
BeastboyOYL.jpg
From promotional art for Teen Titans vol. 3, #36 (July 2006).
Art by Tony Daniel
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance as Beast Boy:
The Doom Patrol #99
(November 1965)
as Changeling:
DC Comics Presents #26
(October 1980)
Created by Arnold Drake
Bob Brown
In-story information
Alter ego Garfield Mark "Gar" Logan[1]
Team affiliations Doom Patrol
Teen Titans
Titans West
Partnerships Cyborg
Notable aliases Changeling
Abilities Metamorphic ability to transform into any animal.

Garfield Mark "Gar" Logan, known as Beast Boy or Changeling, is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown, and first appears in Doom Patrol #99 (November 1965).[2]

Contents

Fictional character biography

As a child, Garfield contracts a rare illness by being bitten by a green monkey called Sakutia but then is saved by his parents who use an untested serum on him. This serum has the unintended effect of turning his skin and hair green and granting him the ability to metamorphose into any animal of his choice.[3] His parents later die in a boating accident, which to this day, Garfield believes he could have prevented.[2] After he is saved from two kidnappers that beat him and force him to use his powers to help them in their crimes, Garfield is left under the care of a court-appointed guardian, the soon-to-be-despised Nicholas Galtry. As young Logan enters his teens, Galtry realizes that his embezzlements from the estate would be exposed when the lad reaches maturity and takes control of his inheritance, so he plots to kill the youngster. The various villains he hires to kill young Logan are impeded by the Doom Patrol, whose member Rita and her husband, DP associate Steve Dayton, eventually expose his embezzling to the courts and adopt Garfield Logan. In the interim, he allies himself with the super-hero team, wearing one of their uniforms (with the addition of a full-head purple mask, bearing a black—and sometimes yellow—swath across the middle of the face, to conceal his true identity) and taking the name Beast Boy.[4] In his days with the Doom Patrol, Garfield has a romantic relationship with a girl from his high school named Jillain Jackson. After he saves her from Galtry (who was using the alias "Arsenal"), the relationship dissolved. Beast Boy is deeply affected by the deaths of the Patrol.

Addressed as nothing but Beast Boy (and epithets, as the team is upset at his invasion of their headquarters) upon his debut, in his second appearance (Doom Patrol #100) he is twice called 'Craig' by Galtry (in his own introduction). In the following issue the first name Gar is used, and later the last name Logan is casually dropped in a caption, each as if they had already been established to the readers. The full "Garfield" is not invoked until The New Teen Titans some fifteen years later.

Cover of Tales of the New Teen Titans #3 (August 1982). Art by George Pérez.

Joining the Titans

He later uses both his green skin and shape-shifting powers to play an extraterrestrial character on a science-fiction television series Space Trek 2020[5], but it is soon cancelled due to lawsuits from both Star Trek and Space: 1999.[6] During its run, Gar joins the West Coast team of the Teen Titans (known as Titans West), and is later part of the New Teen Titans assembled by Raven. By this time, Garfield has taken the name Changeling. This change in names is not explained until a later flashback revealed that a new version of an old Doom Patrol enemy, the Arsenal (from DP #113, August 1967), the identity this time assumed by Gar's ex-guardian Nicholas Galtry, mocked the name so much that he ruined it for him.[7] He remains with various incarnations of the team, and forms a close friendship with Cyborg.

Beast Boy's character is often used as comic relief. However, this is only a facade, as he uses humor to hide a deep inner pain. Beast Boy has suffered many hardships in his life, some described previously. Also, during his time with The New Teen Titans Gar's stepfather was discovered to have been driven mad by the helmet which was central to his powers, and the young man fell in love with Terra, a girl with earth-manipulating powers and fellow Teen Titans member, who turned out to be a spy working for Deathstroke. Despite all his hardships, Garfield is friendly and upbeat.

Limited Series and Titans West

Seeking to resume his acting career, Gar leaves the Titans and moves to Los Angeles in order to live with his screenwriter cousin Matt. Failing to find any serious work, Gar attempts to clear his name after having been framed for a series of murders around the city. He eventually discovers that the real culprit is Gemini, the daughter of his old Doom Patrol foe Madame Rouge. Blaming Gar for her mother's demise, Gemini reveals that she has hired a pair of mercenaries known as Fear and Loathing to kidnap Tim Bender and Vicky Valiant, Gar's former Space Trek 2020 co-stars. With the bound and gagged actors in tow, Gemini attempts to flee, only to be defeated by the combined might of Beast Boy (he decides to return to this code name at this time) and his former Titans West teammate Bette Kane. Once again in the public eye, Gar decides to use his newfound celebrity status to resume his superhero career.[8] Along with Bette and Matt, Gar purchases a new apartment. While accompanying Bette to Tokyo for a tennis match, Gar is possessed by a Tengu, but is freed by Japanese superhero Bushido. Following a failed attempt to recreate "Titans West" as "Titans L.A.", as recounted in Titans Secret Files #2 (October 2000), Garfield rejoins the main team.

Mentor

Following the death of Donna Troy, the Titans and Young Justice both disband. Moving back to San Francisco, Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy decide to form a new team of Teen Titans, acting as mentors to the former members of Young Justice. During the events of the Infinite Crisis, Beast Boy assembles a team of past and present Titans to battle Superboy-Prime. Despite a valiant effort, the Titans are defeated. Risk loses an arm. Bushido, Baby Wildebeest and Pantha are slain.

"One Year Later"

While the events of Infinite Crisis unfold, details of Beast Boy's life "One Year Later" are revealed in the current Teen Titans comic book. Teen Titans vol. 3, #34 (May 2006) shows scenes from the year between the conclusion of Infinite Crisis and One Year Later, from the damaged Cyborg's POV. Garfield leads the Teen Titans, before quitting the team following the breakup of himself and Raven. He then joins his original team, the Doom Patrol, citing that the team need his help and that Robin can handle leadership. He is also feeling uneasy about remaining in a team without Cyborg. After Cyborg awakes, Beast Boy and the rest of the Doom Patrol helps the Titans fight off the Brotherhood of Evil, who have managed to clone Brain. The clone is a failure, however, and Mallah ends up tearing Brain's head off so that he can preserve his master's brain.

After returning, Beast Boy is infuriated to discover that the Chief has been manipulating them and trying to do the same to Kid Devil. Garfield and his parents stand up to the Chief and made him step down as the Doom Patrol's leader. Beast Boy stays on his old team saying that they still need him. However, he does answer a call from Raven to help the Titans combat Titans East. Raven later demonstrates hints that she still loves Garfield and offers to help him heal after the battle with Deathstroke, but Garfield remains uncertain.

Titans

In Titans #1 (2008), Gar is attacked by Trigon, who floods his room with lava. In retaliation, Gar joins the new Titans team, wearing a costume similar to his old Changeling uniform. In later issues, the group are attacked by the Children of Trigon, who use Garfield's suppressed anger and rage against Raven, who is also affected in the same manner. The two attack the other, but the fight is eventually broken up when the Titans begin to recover from the attack.

Raven's three half-brothers then use her and Gar, transforming him into his demonic beast form, to act as keys to open a portal to Trigon's realm. Raven uses her own power to influence greed in others to make her half-brothers steal what little power Trigon had left. The portal is closed, and Trigon's sons, believing they have gained great power, leave the scene, returning Gar to normal.

Following this, the team has settled themselves down at Titans Tower (supposedly the New York base), where they attempt to recover from recent events. Raven and Beast Boy go out together on a "not-a-date". During this, Raven reveals that since she faced her brothers, she has begun to feel as if she is losing control and slipping back under the thrall of her father's powers. Although Beast Boy rejects the idea, he is blind-sided as Raven gives in to her darker side, under the influence of her half-brother's coaxing. Using her teleporting powers, she and the Sons of Trigon vanish, leaving a distraught Beast Boy behind to warn the others.

The Titans are later able to save Raven, using a gem that she had entrusted to Donna Troy. The gem carried a piece of her pure-soul self, which then cleansed the evil of Raven. Afterwards, Raven gave Beast Boy and the rest of the team similar magical items in case she should ever be corrupted again. Raven later turns down Beast Boy's attempts to reconcile completely as a couple, although there are hints that she deeply regrets this but views it as a necessity for Beast Boy's safety.

Back to Teen Titans

After Beast Boy is once again rejected by Raven, Cyborg gives him a talk about his need to act like a clown while around his old friends, telling him that if he ever wants to get on with his life, he needs to forget about the past and move forward. Still depressed, Gar goes to San Francisco after being asked to fill in for Owlman at a superhero convention. After causing a scene by attacking a man dressed in a Deathstroke mask, Gar leaves the convention in a huff, only to stumble upon a massive battle between the Teen Titans and Cinderblock. Despite protests from the team's struggling leader Wonder Girl, Beast Boy shows true leadership by saving the life of Bombshell and stopping Static from making a suicidal charge against the seemingly unbreakable villain. With Beast Boy's help, the Teen Titans defeat Cinderblock, with Gar leaving and telling them to take all the credit. Upon returning home, Beast Boy decides to take Cyborg's advice about moving forward, resolving to move to San Francisco and take over the leadership of the Teen Titans.[9]

Beast Boy returns to Titans Tower and assumes the role of leader for the team, although it remains to be seen whether the current team will accept him in that role, particularly as Wonder Girl is still technically the team's official leader, and there is already disdain for Beast Boy's attitude from the rest of the team. He also has confessed to an unconscious Raven that he is still in love with her and may never stop loving her, no matter what their difficulties are.

Powers and abilities

Beast Boy has the ability to morph into any animal that he has seen himself or has seen in an illustration (as is the case when he shapeshifts into an animal such as an extinct dinosaur).[3] These transformations take only a second and Beast Boy has demonstrated that he is capable of rapidly changing his form with little or no effort expended. As a corollary to this power, he can transform back into his default form if an external force like magic transforms him into an animal. His power enables him to completely alter his body mass, being able to take the shape of animals far larger and heavier than himself, such as an elephant, a hippopotamus, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex (though until recent stories, such larger forms would physically exhaust him), or smaller and lighter animals such as mice and insects. However, he cannot change or return to a form if the space he occupies is too small and he cannot normally break the confines (as seen when he attempt to transform into a Tyrannosaurus Rex underneath a bridge and hits his head, instantly aborting the transformation). His power also enables him to radically alter his body structure and take forms of animals without limbs, like snakes, or those without skeletons like a jellyfish. In two notable instances, he has even taken the form of multiple individuals simultaneously (once as a swarm of fireflies, and again as a mass of barnacles). He also displayed this ability once in the animated series, becoming an amoeba and multiplying into a swarm before returning to human form as a single individual.

While as an animal, he gains all the physical abilities and characteristics of said animal, such as great strength (a gorilla), speed (a cheetah), and durability (a turtle), and abilities such as flight (various birds), and aquatic breathing (various fish). He can even gain the specific poison produced by specific snakes. While in animal form, Beast Boy retains his human intellect, memories, and the ability to speak. No matter what form he takes, his skin, hair, and eyes remain green, making most of his animal forms easy to distinguish from real animals of that species. In the early comics, his coloration would change to that appropriate to the animal form he had taken, with only his head remaining green. Beast Boy has also shown the ability more than once to transform into alien animals, including sentient species such as the Gordanians.

When Raven implanted Garfield with an evil seed of her father Trigon, he began to transform into more demon-like creatures. Eventually, he found himself more comfortable in these horrific shapes rather than as a human, and stayed shifted. After becoming completely corrupted by the evil seed, he was used by Raven and Trigon, but eventually returned to normal. Titans #4 reveals that a small part of that seed still remains within him, which Trigon's sons manipulate, using the demonic energies to open the portal to Trigon's realm.

As of late, he has demonstrated the ability to transform into animals many times larger than their actual forms: among others, he's been seen transforming into a human-sized tarantula and a giant snake. Whether this is a progression of his abilities or a new power altogether is unknown.

Other versions

Earlier Beast Boy

DC had a different character with the same code name and basic powers, in the Legion of Super-Heroes feature running in Adventure Comics. He was one of the young super-heroes of the planet Lallor, introduced in Adventure #324, September 1964. He turned villain and was killed off in #339, December 1965, just after Gar Logan's first appearance in the November 1965 issue of Doom Patrol. This Beast Boy was allowed a last-minute reformation and heroic death.

Titans Tomorrow

In the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, Beast Boy calls himself "Animal Man". In this storyline, he has the power to use more than one animal power at a time such as using an amoeba's power to split to create copies of himself while in the form of another creature. He also demonstrates the ability to become mythical animals, and is much more feral than his more funloving former self.

Kingdom Come

In Kingdom Come (also set in an alternate future), Beast Boy has changed his name to "Menagerie" and, for unspecified reasons, can only transform into mythical creatures.

In other media

Teen Titans animated series

Beast Boy as he appeared in the Teen Titans animated series.

Beast Boy appears in the Teen Titans animated series, voiced by Greg Cipes. In the series, Beast Boy (nicknamed "BB") plays the role of the lighthearted jokester of the group, though often the butt of many jokes himself (similar to his comics self). He wears his old black and purple Doom Patrol uniform, complete with gray gloves and purple sneakers. He abandoned the mask after it was pointed out that having green skin effectively negated any chance of maintaining a secret identity. As with the other Titans, he is much younger than in the comics. He has the ability to transform into any animal he chooses just like his comic counterpart. His favorite form seems to be a pterodactyl, as he uses it a great deal, especially during battle. Of the five Titans, Beast Boy is the only member whose real name, Garfield, is explicitly stated (Starfire's real name was spoken in conversation in an earlier episode, but it is with another of her kind and thus not made clear to the viewer. Cyborg uses his last name "Stone" in an episode where he goes undercover to infiltrate the HIVE). Robin's name, though never mentioned, appears in the episode "Fractured" when Larry, a Robin version of Bat-Mite, says that his real name is Dick Grayson spelled backwards.

Beast Boy is generally portrayed as a carefree, scatter-brained and immature individual. He is prone to making jokes no one but himself can laugh about, and generally displays few intellectual-based interests and little sense for tact (though on occasion, however, particularly in the fifth season, Beast Boy does show hidden intellectual and leadership qualities). His carefree behavior is most like a result of his resignation from the Doom Patrol, where Mento's harsh discipline and less than encouraging attitude had not allowed any free-wheeling. Beast Boy's closest friend among his teammates is Cyborg, with whom he shares a passion for video games and movies. Likewise they are prone to quarreling, especially about their diverging tastes in food; Beast Boy is a vegan who never gets tired of trying to persuade his teammates into adopting his culinary tastes, such as a fondness for tofu.

Like in the comics, Beast Boy also had a romantic relationship with Terra. As in the comic book, Terra betrays the Teen Titans and allies with Slade (Deathstroke). Ultimately, she receives redemption in helping the Titans defeat Slade; however, she is turned to stone in the process. In a departure from the comic book, Beast Boy retains feelings for Terra. In the final episode "Things Change", Beast Boy encounters a girl looking like Terra (although it is unclear whether or not it was the real Terra, as he was the only Titan who saw her), apparently suffering from amnesia. She does show hints of remembering when she tells Beast Boy that things were never the way he remembers. An android of Slade appears to taunt Beast Boy at an abandoned carnival with the notion that Terra denies remembering him because she no longer cares for him, to which he responds to destroying the robot. Later, Beast Boy makes one last attempt to connect with Terra, but she still refuses, saying that the girl he loved is just a memory, and that he should continue to be who he is. This is what makes him decide to allow her to live her new life in peace.

In the Season 3 episode "The Beast Within", Beast Boy is doused with an experimental DNA compound, giving him a new, uncontrollable "Super-Werewolf" form. Although being cured at the end of the episode, "The End: Part 1" shows he can still use it, but apparently avoids doing so unless the situation is dire enough to warrant it.

Season 5 of Teen Titans focuses on Beast Boy a great deal, as it deals with his history as a member of the animated series' incarnation of the Doom Patrol. Until "Homecoming", in which his former teammates make a guest appearance, Beast Boy was the only member of the Doom Patrol to appear on the show. In the second episode of the fifth season, Beast Boy becomes the first male Titan in the series to be explicitly referred to by his real name (Garfield). In "Titans Together", Beast Boy leads Herald, Jericho, Pantha, and Más on an assault on the Brotherhood of Evil and showed his abilities as a competent and accomplished leader during their infiltration and subsequent assault. He remains the leader even after other Titans such as Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven join the fight, and only stands down from leadership when Robin is thawed.

In the Teen Titans Go! comic series, Beast Boy's background is more explicitly detailed. When he was younger, Beast Boy fell ill due to being bitten by a green monkey. To save him, his parents' attempts to cure him resulted in his shapechanging abilities. They later died in a flood, leaving Beast Boy as an orphan. Afterward, determined to join Doom Patrol, he broke into their quarters. He was treated as an intruder, but his effort to escape capture impressed them, thus earning his membership on the team.[10]

Beast Boy's powers are unknowingly borrowed by Robby Reed. While using Beast Boy's powers Robby goes by the alias Changeling.[11]

It was revealed Garfield's greatest fear is to be rejected by his surrogate family, The Doom Patrol.[12]

Static Shock animated series

Beast Boy is referenced in a 2003 episode of Static Shock when Bernie Rast says "...what about that kid in the Titans. Yeah, the green one."

DC Universe Online

Beast Boy is set to appear in the upcoming MMORPG DC Universe Online for PlayStation 3 and PC.

References

  1. ^ Teen Titans: A Kid's Game trade paperback
  2. ^ a b Irvine, Alex (2008), "Doom Patrol", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 61–63, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  3. ^ a b Wallace, Dan (2008), "Beast Boy", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 39, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5 
  4. ^ Beatty, Scott (2008), "Doom Patrol", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 109, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  5. ^ Rozakis, Bob, Don Heck, Joe Giella, "The Coast-to-Coast Calamities," Teen Titans #50, October 1977, DC Comics.
  6. ^ Wolfman, Marv, George Pérez, Gene Day, "Changeling," Tales of the New Teen Titans #3, August 1982, DC Comics.
  7. ^ Wolfman, Marv, George Pérez, Gene Day, "Changeling," Tales of the New Teen Titans #3, August 1982, DC Comics
  8. ^ Beast Boy #1, January 2000 — #4, April 2000, DC Comics.
  9. ^ Titans (Volume 2) #17
  10. ^ Teen Titans Go #45
  11. ^ Teen Titans Go #52
  12. ^ Teen Titans Go #55

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