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Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Beak started developing his powers at puberty. His body changed into that of a humanoid-bird form, with a beaked face, bulbous eyes, wing-like arms that give him the ability to fly (albeit clumsily), talons on his hands and feet, and double-jointed knees. He also possesses heightened agility, and he may possess heightened senses and a lighter skeletal structure like the avian X-Man formerly known as the Angel. Feeling disgusted and ashamed because of his appearance, Beak ran away from home and went into hiding. He tells Beast that his nickname originated from other teenagers in Rotterdam, who would find him hiding behind beer barrels.

Xavier Institute For Higher Learning

After the Xavier Institute For Higher Learning publicly revealed that the school was a training ground and sanctuary for mutants, Beak traveled to the United States and enrolled there. There, Beast helped him with his powers. Tragically, the fledgling relationship between Beast and Beak never got a chance to fully develop because of the evil tamperings of Cassandra Nova. While in the body of Professor X, Cassandra Nova took control over the Beak's mind, leaving him just enough sentient thought to realize what he was doing but not have any control over his actions. She then ordered him to beat Beast almost to death with his prize titanium baseball bat, which he intended to give as a gift to Beast as a token of gratitude. At the institute Beak fell in love with another classmate, Angel Salvadore. Though Angel originally started the relationship on a bet, she later fell in love with him too. They slept together, and Angel became pregnant. Fearing that the X-Men would kick them out, and what their babies would be like (due to their drastically different mutant physiologies; Angel's mutation is fly-related) they didn't know what to do. Luckily, the X-Men weren't angry with them and the babies turned out fine. Angel had taken over Wolverine's old shack and laid six eggs which hatched healthy babies with wings. Angel and Beak were given a small house next to the mansion to raise their family. Beak was put into the 'Special Class', taught by the new X-Man Xorn. Once again, Beak's trust in those around him would be shaken when Xorn reveals himself to be Magneto (Xorn thinking he was Magneto). He had Beak join his Brotherhood of Mutants along with the rest of the Special Class. The children also came with him. Beak had looked up to Xorn and was happy at first, but when the "Xorneto" started marching humans into crematoriums, Beak rebelled and nearly lost his life as a result. Xorneto launched him high into the air in a car. Beak leaped out, tried to fly and plunged into the street below, barely surviving. He later joined a resistance group of X-Students led by Cyclops. Among the members of the group were the Stepford Cuckoos and Dust. Later, he was the first to strike in the X-Men's last-ditch assault on the Brotherhood. He was able to enter because no one had thought to take his key before trying to kill him. He attacked Magneto with the metal baseball bat and was taken out of action early on.


After helping Cyclops depose Magneto, Beak became "unhinged" from time and was forced to join the reality hopping group known as the Exiles. This has caused him to be separated from Angel, who now thinks he left her. The person who gives the Exiles their missions, the Timebroker, says Beak is destined in the future to save the lives of everyone he knows. Beak saved the lives of everyone in the Marvel multiverse by coming up with the strategy to beat the seemingly invincible evil version of Hyperion. He was then sent home, but returned during the House of M and was present when the second change wave hit. As a result of the effects of the House of M event, Beak, his wife Angel and their children (except for Tito) have lost their powers and thus their "hideous" appearance, and are now finally able to live happily.

New Warriors

Recently, Barnell (under the alias Barry) has been, for months, visiting a restaurant where Sofia Mantega works, under the pretense that he was attracted to her and wished to take her on a date. This was revealed to be a test, in regards to both Sofia's determination and trust toward the recently active, and anti-registration, New Warriors. Barnell reveals on their "date" that he had been working for these New Warriors, and that he had no attraction to her other than the friendship they had maintained back when she knew him as Beak. After revealing who he is and who he is working for, he then leads her to the New Warrior's Headquarters, where his boss is revealed to be someone dressed as Night Thrasher. Barnell is currently appearing in New Warriors (vol. 4) under the guise of Blackwing. Blackwing is shown to have the power of flight and energy blasts, which are derived from a power suit. Angel is also a member of the group under the name Tempest.

Powers and Abilities


As Blackwing: Beak wears an advanced body suit that gives him the ability to fly, superhuman strength, and energy blasts, as well as giving him enhanced protection

Former Powers:

Avian Mutation: Formerly had a mutation wherein his bones were light and hollow. His arms had feathers which allowed him to glide and fly for short distances with great effort.

  • Enhanced Sight
  • Talons: talons on his hands and feet.



  • Beak sometimes wears the metal helmet once worn by Xorn, he seems to wear this more as a fashion statement since it doesn't fit his head properly.
  • Beak also wields a metal baseball bat which was once forced to use against the Beast during the time Cassandra Nova was trying to destroy all mutants on earth. He carries this bat in a case that he carries over his shoulder