Although most often associated with the Teen Titans, Beast Boy made his first appearance in Doom Patrol #99 in 1965. Born Garfield Logan, he was created by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown. Just as Gar’s teammate Kory wasn’t the first hero to go by Starfire, he was not the only character to don the mantle of Beast Boy. There was another shapeshifter who went by that name in Adventure Comics just one year earlier. However, that Beast Boy didn’t last very long, losing his life shortly after Garfield Logan made his debut.
While he did begin his comic journey with Doom Patrol, Gar was added to the Titans’ lineup when the team was famously revamped by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in the ‘80s. It was their run that created the Teen Titans that most fans are familiar with. During this time, Beast Boy was known as Changeling. Interestingly, Gar actually dabbled in acting leading up to his tenure with the Titans.
Beast Boy may often be portrayed as the team’s comic relief, both on TV and in the comics, but he is also the heart of the Teen Titans. Gar has experienced plenty of hardships throughout his life, but found a new family when he joined up with his fellow young heroes. Now portrayed by Ryan Potter in Titans, he has become a fan favorite. Beast Boy is a kindhearted shapeshifter with incredible abilities and as such, there are plenty of impressive revelations to be had about his physiology.
Here are 20 Weird Details About Beast Boy’s Anatomy.
20 He wasn’t born this way
Although Titans chose to give Beast Boy a more human appearance, in the comics, he is immediately recognizable by his green hue, pointy ears and the layer of fur covering his entire body. These may be his most distinctive characteristics, but when Garfield entered this world, he was really no different from the rest of us.
Like most comic characters, the details of Beast Boy’s origin have been altered over the years, depending on who is writing the story. One aspect that has remained consistent, however, is the fact that Gar was born a mere mortal. He looked just like any other kid and did not have any special abilities that a human child wouldn’t possess.
19 He almost lost his life to a virus
When Garfield was a child, he lived in Africa with his parents, Mark and Marie. During this time, he contracted a rare virus called Sakutia. Gar’s mother and father may not have been the best when it came to actually raising him, but they were both scientists. It was an untested machine created by Garfield’s dad that wound up saving his life.
Gar’s illness proved fatal to every species, save one: the West African Green Monkey. In fact, Mark’s machine briefly transformed the child into that creature in the hopes that he would be able to fight off the virus in that form. The gambit paid off, although it had some unintended side effects that would leave Gar forever altered.
18 The machine that saved his life also granted him powers
Garfield survived his near fatal illness, but the experience left him with green skin and the incredible ability to transform into any animal he chose. At first, his new hue was the only noticeable change in Gar. However, when his mother was threatened by a Black Mamba, Gar was able to go all Rikki-Tikki-Tavi on the snake. He transformed into a mongoose and fought off the poisonous reptile, saving his mom’s life.
Garfield may have rescued his mother on that fateful day, but his parents were not around too much longer. Trapped in a boat after their camp had been washed away, Gar’s Mom and Dad convinced him to take the form of bird and fly away. The boy got to safety, but never really forgave himself for leaving them behind.
17 He used to look very different
This can be said of pretty much every comic character who has managed to endure for multiple decades. Times change and with them, appearances as well. Even putting aside Beast Boy’s various costumes over the years, there was one very distinct difference about the hero when he was introduced.
When Beast Boy took the form of an animal, only his head remained green, while the rest of him changed into whatever color the creature would actually be. This didn’t last too far beyond Garfield’s introduction. Perhaps the artist simply realized that Beast Boy maintaining his now natural color in any form looked a bit less jarring. A green lion is one thing, but a regular lion with a green head is something else entirely.
16 He has to see what an animal looks to become it
Beast Boy is capable of morphing into any type of animal, so long as he has seen what it looks like. It’s not like this detail really matters all that much, considering Gar need only look at an illustration of a creature to be able to transform into it. This is how he manages to become an extinct animal, such as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It could also apply to aliens or mythical creatures.
While in the form of an animal, Beast Boy gains all of its attributes and abilities, whether it’s strength, speed, or even flight. Gar is also capable of transforming into animals without limbs, such as snakes, or even creatures that lack skeletons entirely, like jellyfish.
15 He has a powerful healing factor
Beast Boy’s ability to heal makes sense when one considers his general power set. It stands to reason that if he can completely alter his body and transform into an entirely different creature, healing from a bullet wound shouldn’t be all that difficult. The same goes for other major injuries, such a burns or broken bones. In fact, Gar has even proven himself capable of regrowing limbs if necessary.
Aside from the power to morph in seconds, Beast Boy doesn’t even necessarily have to become one animal at a time. If he chooses to take the form of an insect, he can transform into many simultaneously. Perhaps a single wasp wouldn’t instill fear in his enemies, but no one wants to tangle with an entire swarm.
14 He’s a vegetarian
Although Beast Boy’s dietary restrictions haven’t been dealt with all that much, what we do know is that he refuses to eat meat. There has been the occasional continuity error with this fact, both in the comics and cartoons, but it makes perfect sense that Gar wouldn’t want to consume the very creatures that he becomes.
Surely after spending time as so many of these animals, Beast Boy has a level of empathy that most humans simply are not capable of. He has quite literally seen the world through many different eyes, so how could he possibly eat those animals after living as both predator and prey? It’s also probably not lost on Garfield that, under different circumstances, he could be the one who winds up on someone else’s menu.
13 While in animal form, he retains his human intellect
One might think that because Beast Boy morphs into an animal so completely in both body and spirit, that his mind might transform as well. However, regardless of what form Gar takes, he does retain his human intellect. This is a vital aspect of his power set and without it, his abilities would not be nearly as useful.
Sure, Garfield could take the form of an intelligent creature such as a pig, dolphin, octopus or dog, and manage just fine. On the other hand, if Beast Boy transformed into a jellyfish or a turkey, he might not even be able to accomplish whatever his original goal was, let alone find his way back to his true form.
12 His level of communication can be dependent on the form he takes
In most comic lore, Beast Boy not only retains his human intellect, but can also communicate much in the same way that he always has. Regardless of what form he takes, Garfield is still capable of speech. However, there have been times when this wasn’t actually the case.
Most notably, in the Teen Titans animated series, Gar literally only possessed the same skills as the animal that he had morphed into. If he became a parrot, he could get out a few words, but in the form of most other creatures, Gar complete lost his ability to communicate – at least with words. Luckily for him, his intelligence remained intact, so he could still find a way to get his point across if necessary.
11 He can transform into a hybrid creature
If you think that Beast Boy’s power to transform into any animal is impressive, consider the fact that he is also capable of assuming a hybrid form. This means that he can morph into a combination of several different animals, thereby granting himself a host of incredible abilities that wouldn’t all reside within the same creature. Although he has proven capable of this amazing feat on more than one occasion, Gar doesn’t like to take this route too often.
While transforming from one form to another in seconds, even in rapid succession, doesn’t seem to have any ill effect on Garfield, becoming many creatures at once takes a toll. Beast Boy struggles to remain in control when he takes this hybrid form and only does so if absolutely necessary.
10 He is one of the team’s shortest members
Although Beast Boy’s comic version is significantly taller than his animated counterpart, Gar has always been one of the shortest, if not the shortest member of the Teen Titans. In the comics, he is said to stand about 5’8”, but the animated series puts him at just 5’. While undoubtedly the smallest member of the cartoon team, his height still varies from one episode to the next.
While it is true that this could very well be a simple error in continuity – it’s not so easy to keep all the characters the same height at all times – the change up could also be a side effect of Gar’s power set. He is constantly altering his height, so perhaps Beast Boy doesn’t always return to the exact same size.
9 He can transform into mythical creatures
There are several stories in which Beast Boy has specified that he can only transform into real creatures, as in animals who have actually existed in the world at some point. However, this rule hasn’t always applied, particularly where alternate futures or universes are concerned. In the “Titans Tomorrow” storyline, Gar was known as Animal Man and was much more feral than the Beast Boy fans had become familiar with. He was capable not only of hybrid transformation, but also of morphing into any creature, real or imagined.
In Kingdom Come, Gar was known as Menagerie and was actually only capable of turning himself into mythical creatures, although the reason why was never really specified. He also was able to morph into a dragon in Teen Titans Go!
8 Raven implanted him with an evil seed of Trigon
Raven may be a beloved member of the Teen Titans who has proven her loyalty time and again, but she has what you could call a complex relationship with her actual family. The Titan has more than once found herself enslaved to her villainous father, Trigon. On one of these occasions, she implanted several of her friends with Trigon’s “seed” which quickly took root within them.
The seed had a rather intense effect on Gar, who found himself transforming into demonic creatures. He eventually even grew so comfortable in these forms that he chose to remain in one of them for quite some time. Although Beast Boy did eventually return to normal, it was later revealed that a small part of the seed remained within him, a fact that Trigon’s sons were only too happy to exploit.
7 He could transform into other people if he chose to
Over the years, fans have wondered whether or not Beast Boy was capable of morphing into other humans. He can shapeshift into any animal he chooses, and people definitely an animal he’s seen before. It stands to reason that Gar’s power would apply to any creature, including human beings. However, because he never took advantage of this, many readers wondered if it was because he couldn’t.
Thankfully, Wolfman and Pérez eventually cleared this up. The duo explained that while Beast Boy can transform into other people if he chose to, his green hue would instantly give him away. This leaves little purpose for Gar to bother taking the form of another person, since anyone would instantly know that it was really him.
6 He’s better than you think at hand-to-hand combat
You might think that without Beast Boy’s impressive power set, the Titan would be lost in battle. Lucky for Gar, that’s not true at all. Let’s not forget that his team was led by the hero who was trained by the Dark Knight himself – and that guy is prepared for pretty much anything.
Robin has, of course, accounted for the possibility that Garfield could someday find himself without his powers. He made sure to train Beast Boy in various forms of hand-to-hand combat, leaving little doubt that Gar would be able to handle himself if the unthinkable did indeed happen. In fact, Batman’s former sidekick has spent time sparring with every member of the Titans in an effort to prepare them for any situation that may occur.
5 He once got stuck mid-transformation
Beast Boy may be able to shift from one form to another in seconds, but it hasn’t always gone smoothly for him. In Nightwing: The New Order, Dick activated a device that completely eliminated the majority of superpowers in the world. At the time that he made this choice, Gar happened to be mid-transformation.
This incident left Beast Boy trapped that way, permanently caught somewhere between a man and a big cat. Sure, Dick thought that he was making the right decision to keep the planet safe, but he left his buddy Gar in a pretty rough spot. As is his way, though, Beast Boy found a way to roll with his new situation.
4 In Titans he can only transform into a tiger so far
There were many questions that arose when fans learned that the Teen Titans would see a live-action adaptation. One of the biggest ones was how the show would handle Beast Boy’s transformations on a TV budget. Titans actually found a way around this, at least for season 1. Thus far, Garfield has only morphed into a tiger. He explained to Raven that he thought it was psychological, because tigers were his favorite and that it would probably take him some time to figure out the rest.
It’s a smart way to get around the undeniable budgetary issue, while still being believable. Most heroes need some time to gain mastery over their abilities. However, Ryan Potter has assured fans that Beast Boy’s powers will grow in season 2.
3 He’s not the first hero portrayed by Ryan Potter
Ryan Potter may be the first person to bring Beast Boy to life in a live-action setting, but Garfield Logan isn’t the only hero that the actor has portrayed on the small screen. Prior to his casting in Titans, Potter played Mike Fukanaga in Supah Ninjas, which aired on Nickelodeon. The show ran for 2 seasons from 2011-2013.
That’s not Potter’s only other heroic role, though. He also leant his voice to Hiro Hamada in Big Hero 6, meaning he has portrayed a Marvel character as well as one for DC. Potter obviously has an affinity for characters who happen to be heroes. We’ll have to wait and see where his Titans journey will take him.
2 At one point he could only transform into inanimate objects
Beast Boy’s moniker tells you everything you really need to know about his power set. However, at one point in Teen Titans, Gar found himself unable to transform into the creatures that he was named for. Instead, Mumbo altered his abilities, leaving him only with the power to morph into inanimate objects. This was particularly limiting due to the fact that Gar could only communicate at the level of whatever he transformed into. Unless he was an object capable of sound, Gar couldn’t really communicate with his teammates.
Beast Boy was also briefly gifted this ability by Trigon in Teen Titans Go!, but he could morph into plants as well. Even still, who would want to be a basketball, a cup, or a lamp when you could instead become an eagle, a wolf, or a cheetah?
1 He can’t control his abilities when he’s sick
Much in the same way that his teammate Starfire could accidentally take out her friends with a cough, Gar also doesn’t have a great deal of control over his abilities when he’s sick. In Teen Titans, a single sneeze could lead to a transformation that Beast Boy never intended. It will just keep happening over and over again. As if being sick wasn’t bad enough on its own.
While this unintended side effect is certainly inconvenient, Beast Boy catching a cold could obviously be much worse for everyone around him. When Kory gets the sniffles from being exposed to metallic chromium, the results can be far more catastrophic for the rest of the team when she unleashes some of her starbolt sneezes.
Do you know any other facts about Beast Boy’s anatomy in Titans? Let us know in the comments!