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Beauty and the Beast #1 AND Iceman #1 (1984, December)

November 18, 2014

It’s an incredibly rare double-post! Because both of these minis kinda suck, so this way, I can spend less time on them both. First up, by Ann Nocenti and Don Perlin, “Beauty and the Beast Part 1.”

Beauty and the Beast Part 1

I don’t like this Sienkewicz cover. It just doesn’t look good.

We start with Doom in his castle’s art gallery, when one of his aides lets him know about some news regarding a guy who claims to be Doom’s son, living in California. Also in California, the Beast! Taking some time off from the Defenders. He thinks to himself about the anti-mutant hysteria sweeping the country.

That night, at a party, Alison meets a fan, Alexander Flynn. She’s bitter about her career being ruined, and the guy tells her things will work out. He knows a producer who’ll hire her. And he does! Over the next few nights, she does more parties with Alex. She starts leaking light from her fingertips. She feels things are moving too fast, and she starts getting all confused.

At one party, Alison meets a guy with a horse face. Beast and Wonder Man are also there. Beast starts to pick a fight with horse-face, Rocker. Alison leaves with the sleazy producer, which bothers Beast. Wonder Man says the producer’s sleazy, and runs weird shows. Alison starts glowing again, and runs away in a panic.

The next day, Beast reads a newspaper headline about her disappearing, and feels he has to save her. He tracks down Rocker and they fight. Rocker reveals he’s a professional fighter, but Beast still beats him and makes him call the sleazy producer. Meanwhile, Alison’s passed out on a beach, and found by some people. Beast tracks her to their house, Heartbreak. She’s glowing brightly, and Beast promises to take care of her.

Ann Nocenti wrote some good stuff in the ’80s. This is not good. It’s over-wrought, melodramatic garbage. The art is likewise mediocre. I’ll have more bad stuff to say about this mini in later issues.

But that’s not all! By J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Kupperberg, “The Fuse!”

The Fuse!

Even Iceman’s cover is boring.

We get two opening splash pages of a war and its aftermath, then some Dark and Mysterious Bad Guy sends his two henchmen to do something no doubt nefarious.

Then Iceman arrives in his hometown, running a bit late and dreading his dad yelling at him for it. He sees his cousin Mary getting off a bus, and he grabs her. They flirt a little bit. Um, OK then. Is it normal for cousins to call each other “gorgeous” and “cute”? Because it feels to me like that’s supposed to be weird. Anyway, he tells her he’s been feeling really anxious about the family reunion, and how his parents feel about him leaving accounting to be a superhero. Then he sees a cute girl walking down the street, and decides he has to talk to her. He makes an ass of himself and she runs off. Her family disappears, too. Then Iceman’s hassled by a mutant-hating cop, so Iceman freezes him solid. He ducks into a yard to de-ice and put on his civilian clothes, and an old lady yells at him for being a sexual deviant.

As he walks down the street, he reflects on how his parents smothered him as a kid, and then he bumps into the girl again. It’s the Smith family. And the girl’s name is Marge. And they live right next door to his parents. He heads inside, and his parents hug him, then criticize him.

Across town, the two minions show up and mind-wipe two cops. The minions are named White Light and Idiot.

At the party, Bobby heads outside with his cousin to talk some more. Another cousin comes out and offers some advice, but Bobby tells him off and walks off. He bumps into Marge again, and they talk. Bobby says his dad’s Irish-Catholic, and his mom’s Jewish. He admires how normal Marge’s family is, and talks about how tough it is seeing his own parents as normal people. Then they say they like each other. Aww, how sweet.

Then White Light and the Idiot attack. Upstairs, Marge and her brother head through a portal in a closet. The Idiot collapses the house on Iceman, but he protects himself with an ice-dome, and captures the bad guys. Who then teleport away.

I think JM DeMatteis is one of the most under-appreciated of Marvel’s ’80s writers. That decade had a lot of fantastic talent doing amazing runs. Claremont, Miller, Byrne and more – it was a strong decade. DeMatteis tends to be overlooked, as he did fantastic runs on a lot of books. This, once again, is not one of them. This is crap.

It doesn’t help that I don’t like Iceman in general. But DeMatteis doesn’t make him any easier to like here. He’s a whine-ass, and it gets tiring really fast. Yeah yeah, we can all relate to blah blah blah, but he’s the friend we all have who constantly complains about his life. He doesn’t even ask you about how you’re doing, he just keeps going on about how much things suck for him. The story also suffers from the fairly common problem in fiction of two people meeting and immediately being practically in love. There’s no build-up with the Bobby-Marge relationship, so it’s hard to care about it.

The art is OK, for the most part. It’s very much conventional. It’s exactly what ’80s comic book art looked like. It’s not the least bit interesting, one way or the other, aside from a few panels that look odd.

So, two comics, neither of them actually worth bothering with. And I’ve got 3 more issues of both. Ugh.

Song of the day: Guggenheim by the Ting Tings.

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From → 1980s, 1984, Dazzler

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