And now, the rest of the Beauty and the Beast story is coming at you in wham-bam fashion — let’s go!
When we last saw our lovelorn couple, Dazzler had worked herself into a nice little nervous breakdown, Beast was getting inexplicably possessive and Doctor Doom was still railing like Michael Jackson that the mysterious kid in L.A. was not his son. He may have moonwalked, but that is unconfirmed. After getting picked up by an apparent gang of hippies on the beach, Dazzler ended up at a mutant misfit halfway house called (sigh) Heartbreak Hotel, with Beast hot on her heels.
What happened next? Well, there was some inappropriate touching …
… and then, after “days pass” a couple of times, Beast finally wears Dazzler down with his teddy bear charms!
Who knew Dazzler and Beast were such sticklers for proper grammar?
Everything is copacetic until sleazy show producer Hugo Longride and smooth operator/Dazzler boyfriend Alex Flynn remind Alison that she signed a contract that they expect her to honor. Eventually she hits the “stage,” which looks like a cross between the floor of the Coliseum and a Lovecraftian rumpus room. Dazzler sings, gets booed, and what the crowd really wants is revealed — fiiiiight!!!
Afterward there’s some moral debate, heavy mutants-are-outcasts discussion and a lot of angst I’m gonna skip over. Beast busts into the dressing room to rescue Dazzler (again), but she starts to glow uncontrollably (again), freaks out and tells Beast to hit the bricks. Which, of course, leads to more frowny-face Beast.
Later, Dazzler and Beast seem to be an item again (writer Ann Nocenti has a tendency to get loosey-goosey with the flow of time), but still debate whether or not she should be “performing.” There’s some more “we’re all misfits in some way” talk (it really starts getting thick at this point), as well as more pining from Beast. And then, in preparation for her next battle, Dazzler puts on a stereotypical Native American costume for absolutely no reason.
Hank decides to do some snooping and discovers that Flynn and Longride have been drugging Dazzler to make her more suggestible, while also causing her to lose control of her light powers. But before he can do anything about it, he’s caught and drugged himself. Now a slobbering animal, Beast is put on the gladiator floor with Dazzler and a nasty little fight breaks out pretty quick.
Faced with the embarrassing smell of burning dog hair, Beast snaps out of it and desperately shouts some sweet-nothings to Dazzler. True love wins through and the fight ends with the two hugging it out in the middle of the floor. The crowd, of course, isn’t very happy about this turn of events and to calm them down, Flynn puts on a cape and talks the other fighters into killing Longride.
Meanwhile, Doom decides he’s had enough and hops a doomjet for California, but still takes the time to doomslap his butler some more. Stupid butler, with his constant updates on Doom’s bastard son!
Once he reaches L.A., it’s revealed that Longride was really a doombot keeping an eye on the alleged doomspawn — Alexander Flynn!
While all this is going on, Beast and Dazzler have been captured and hung upside down in a basement. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make out a little, right?
At the same time, a couple of the Heartbreak residents decide to mount a rescue of their own, Rocker (remember the horse-faced fighter?) switches sides, Flynn monologues about how he’ll be the next ruler of Latveria, and Doom lurks in the shadows while continuing to deny Flynn is his son (alright, man, we get it — gah!).
After being freed by Rocker, Dazzler and Beast confront Flynn (who’s now wearing a Kirbyesqe helmet in addition to his doomcape) and his semi-mind controlled mutant gladiators! Against all odds, the duo not only hold their own, but start winning. Er, surprise?
Even more surprising is Flynn’s O-face:
In his defense, that line never fail to impress da ladiez. Feeling pretty good about himself, Flynn captures one of the misfits, which forces another gladiator to nearly kill Flynn before he’s stopped by Beast and Dazzler.
Defeated and utterly humiliated after his fighters turn their backs on him, Flynn finally gets a little face-time with dear old not-dad. It goes about as well as you’d expect.
And this is where things really fall apart because the whole thing ends up being one big anti-climax. Doom just sorta leaves, the fighters get revenge on Flynn by mocking him a bit before leaving, and then — AND THEN — Dazzler and Beast come to the conclusion that maybe they should “just be friends.”
I SWEAR TO GOD.
Am I the only one who thinks this is just like the last scene in Singles? It just needs more Paul Westerberg. But that, finally, is the end. Heavy-handed but morbidly entertaining, the mini-series winds up being a little frustrating because, things just go back to the way they were when this whole thing started. As far as I know, this Love-That-Could-Not-Be is never mentioned again. Ever. Personally, I’d love it if somehow this little bit of ancient romantic history would be brought up again, even if it was just in passing. Like a lot of past relationships, it’s just too damn weird to ignore.
Ann Nocenti, writer; Don Perlin, artist; Kim DeMulder, inker