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Beast Boy

Garfield Mark "Gar" Logan, also 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). In Superboy Comics #33 (6/54), Superboy meets a green creature from Outer Space that can morph into any animal it wants to (also green).

Fictional character biography

As a child, Garfield contracted a rare illness called Sakutia and is cured by a serum extracted from a green monkey. This serum had the unintended effect of turning his skin and hair green and granted him the ability to metamorphose into any animal of his choice. His parents later die in a boating accident, which to this day, Garfield believes he could have prevented. After he is saved from two kidnappers that try to use his powers to help them in their crimes, Garfield is left under the care of his despised guardian, Nicholas Galtry. Galtry is unhappy that Garfield is alive and plots to kill the boy in order to claim his inheritance. The various villains he hires to kill young Logan are impeded by the Doom Patrol, whose members Rita and Steve Dayton adopt Garfield. Logan eventually joins the superhero team, taking the name, Beast Boy. 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 the only survivor of the Doom Patrol, a loss which deeply affectes him. Presumably in error, in his second appearance in Doom Patrol #100, he is twice called 'Craig'.

He later joins the West Coast team of the Teen Titans (known as Titans West), and is part of the New Teen Titans assembled by Raven. At this time, Garfield takes the name Changeling. He remains with various incarnations of the team, and forms a close friendship with Cyborg. He later uses the name Beast Boy again, under which he gets his own miniseries Beast Boy. 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.

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 (both his real parents have died, and his foster mother, whom Garfield became very close to, died in battle along with virtually all of the other Doom Patrol members with whom he was part of the team and his foster father was driven mad by a helmet he used to fight enemies). During his time with The New Teen Titans, Gar fell in love with Terra, a young 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.

"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 stands 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.

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 into 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.

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). 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 endlessly-multiplying plague of amoeba.

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.

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 son manipulate, using the demonic energies to open the portal to Trigon's realm.

Beast Boy has gained a new "Super-Animal" form made with the traits, strengths, and abilities of all the animals in the world. This gives him a multitude of abilities from a falcon's vision to beyond a tyrannosaurus's strength. This animal form has a constant feral attitude, and Gar has problems controlling its powers and mental state. This form appears in the Teen Titans animated series as stated below.

Other versions

Titans Tomorrow

In the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, Garfield 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 spilt to create copies of himself while in the form of another creature. He also demonstrates the ability to become mythical animals.

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 appears in the Teen Titans animated series, voiced by Greg Cipes. In the series, Beast Boy (nicknamed "BB", and others) 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 with seemingly velcro straps. Like with the other Titans, his appearance is much younger than in the comics.

Beast Boy is generally portrayed as a carefree, scatter-brained and immature personality. He is prone to making jokes no one but himself (Raven in particular) 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 behaviour is most likely conditioned by 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 about persuading his teammates into adopting his culinary tastes as well.

Like in the comics, Beast Boy also had a romantic relationship with Terra who had the power of Earth manipulation. As in the comic book, Terra betrays the Teen Titans as an ally of 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 strong 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.

In the Season 3 episode "The Beast Within", Beast Boy is seen in a newly-gained "Super-werewolf" form when he was doused with an experimental DNA compound. Beast Boy dislikes this form and refrains from using it again until he and the other Titans are fighting off Slade's fire-soldier army in "The End: Part 1" when they have to use their most powerful abilities to defeat them. He never uses it after then, suggesting that even with the strength and abilities it gave him, he considered it a "last resort" to be used.

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. 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.

Beast Boy's background is delved into further in Teen Titans Go! #45. 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. Afterwards, Beast Boy determined to join Doom Patrol and 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.

In TTG #52, his powers are unknowingly borrowed by Robby Reed. While using Beast Boy's powers Robby goes by the alias Changeling.

In the closing issue of Teen Titans Go, it was revealed Garfeild's greatest fear is to be rejected by his surrogate family, The Doom Patrol.

References

External links

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