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Real Name: Sonny Bean

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Student  

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Xorn (Kuan-Yin Xorn)

Enemies: NYPD, his frightened neighbors and one particularly tasty, yappy dog (see comments).

Known Relatives: His mother

Aliases: "The monster"

Base of Operations: Mutant Town, New York City, New York

First Appearance: New X-Men I#127 (August, 2002)

Powers/Abilities: The extent of Sonny Bean's mutant abilities have not been revealed. He died just as he was reaching the final stage of his mutation, which caused him to resemble a giant, semi-anthropomorphized 7 foot ant, complete with two head mounted antenna that generated an unknown type of (psychic) energy. As a result of his ongoing mutation, Sonny was unable to speak properly. His words came out stunted and slurred, making it hard for those around him to understand what he was saying (see comments).

Height: 7'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 450 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: White
Hair: Bald


(New X-Men I#127 (fb) - BTS) - 12-year-old mutant Sonny Bean's ongoing mutation was so disturbing that his mother decided they would be best off in Mutant Town, a New York city neighborhood inhabitated by X-Gene positive residents. They moved into an apartment and tried to make a go of it, but Sonny's mutation soon made it more and more difficult for him to go outside. He continued to grow, eventually reaching around 7 feet, his body resembling that of an ant, causing rumors of a giant monster in Mutant Town. When he accidentally ate his neighbor's tiny, yapping dog the rumors turned to unrest with crowds trying to storm Mutant Town, afraid of the alleged monster. The X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey and Xorn) managed to quell the riots.

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(New X-Men I#127) - Sonny was being cared for by his mom in their tiny Mutant Town apartment. His continued mutation caused him pain, but his mother didn't dare leave him alone to visit the pharmacy. At her wits' end, she decided it would be for the best to kill both of them. She casually gave Sonny what she thought would be a lethal dose of medication, swallowing the same amount herself. She continued to care for him, wetting his massive forehead with a damp cloth while waiting for the drugs to take effect. Their final moments on Earth were interrupted by the arrival of Xorn who had come to their aid. Quickly realizing what Sonny's mom had done, he tried to save both of them. However, the news his mom might be dying caused Sonny to grow mad and frantic, briefly attacking Xorn before grabbing his mother's already limp body. He slammed through the outside wall of their apartment and headed for the nearest pharmacy. The police forces, still present shortly after the riots, misjudged the scene and decided to attack. Even though Sonny only tried to get his mother the medicine she needed, he was unable to make the officers understand his intentions. Not only did they shoot him, a special flamethrower unit also made sure Bean didn't survive. Sonny was mourned by a saddened, furious Xorn who had felt the true tragedy of the situation: in 10 days the boy's mutation would have been complete and Sonny'd become "something new and wonderful, unique, rare and never seen before."

Comments: Created by Grant Morrison (writer), John Paul Leon (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks).

Perhaps Sonny's ongoing transformation also caused him to lose his grip on reality for a brief bit... After all, you don't just decide to have a person's pet for a snack.

Be that as it may...Man, Grant Morrison's first year and a half on New X-Men were something else. The one shot story in #127 has remained a particular favorite of mine, in no small part because it featured Xorn when he was "just" a Chinese mutant with a star for a brain. At any rate, the way Morrison captured Xorn's internal monologue as he tried to cope with the fact a 12-year-old was basically burned to death for being different has always struck a particular cord with me. The closing pages, with Xorn and an old family friend trying to make sense of the Beans' senseless demise remain among my favorite lines of prose.

"The old man asks me if I remember a man named Chi Ping and I do... He was a baker in Gaochang where my aunt was married to my uncle. And while the rain falls, we talk of living and dying below the lake of heaven. And life goes on." 

Given he was created by a Scot, Grant Morrison, I think it is unlikely that the name Sonny Bean is a coincidence. Though they share little bar the name in common, Sawney Bean is a Scottish legend, the head of a clan of cannibal killers.

Profile by Norvo.

Sonny Bean should not be confused with

Sonny's mom

Mrs. Bean moved with her 12-year-old mutant child Sonny to New York's District X. At first, she allowed her son to roam the streets but when his mutation continued to grow out of control and he even accidentally ate a small dog, she decided to keep him inside. As a result of Sonny's ongoing mutation, the child got ill. She was unable to leave him alone because a mob was gathering outside their apartment to demand someone took care of "the monster" in Mutant Town. Seeing no way out of their predicament, Mrs. Bean decided it would be best if she and Sonny committed suicide. She swallowed a lethal amount of medication and gave Sonny a similar dose, though his mutant metabolism was largely unaffected. When Xorn arrived at the Bean's abode and learned of her predicament, he tried to help. However, news of her impending death caused Sonny to rush out in terror, heading for the nearest pharmacy with his mom's already limp body in hand. He was repeatedly shot and even hit with a flamethrower by the gathered police. Both Beans died soon afterwards.

-- New X-Men I#127

images: (without ads)
New X-Men I#127, p19, pan1 (main image)
New X-Men I#127, p16, pan2 (closeup)
New X-Men I#127, p11, pan1 (Sonny's mom)

New X-Men I#127 (August, 2002) - Grant Morrison (writer), John Paul Leon (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Mike Marts (editor)

Last updated: 06/29/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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