Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Beauty and the Beast Review

Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty and the Beast #1 – Beauty and the Beast: Part One
Beauty and the Beast #2 – Heartbreak Hotel
Beauty and the Beast #3 – Showtime
Beauty and the Beast #4 – Checkmate

Okay this particular story starts off with Alison trying once again to rebuild her life after being outted as a mutant in the events of Dazzler: The Movie. She meets up with Alexander Flynn who promises to make her a star again and allow her to perform without being treated like dirt. I’ve got a problem with this right away because Alison was a character who escaped the Hellfire Club, battled She-Hulk, Enchantress, Doctor Doom and stood her ground with Galactus and yet we have her once again being manipulated by a man promising to make her a star. I don’t have any idea why they continue to choose to write the girl being this dumb. If she was that easy to manipulate why would the Hellfire Club let her escape so easily, or even want her at all; and why would Xavier have let her go off on her own? Anyway, Hank is also in town visiting Wonder Man and is trying to just go around in Hollywood since he thinks everyone will be so used to seeing things like him around. Alison starts to lose control of her powers and ends up staying at Heartbreak Hotel which is sort of a haven for mutants. Hank and Alison sort of start a little something but that quickly ends when Alison goes back with Alexander (who apparently is Victor Von Doom’s son) and soon gets wrapped up in an underground fight club. I don’t really buy that at all, but I’m willing to suspend belief for the rest of the series, but it was even harder to swallow the idea of Hank falling so hard for Alison and him sitting there crying over her. I think the pacing of the story didn’t help how quickly Hank and Alison fell for each other – everything happened to fast, and not just on the romantic front. All of a sudden Alison is a tough gladiator and then there’s a rebellion of the gladiators against Hugo and Alexander takes over. That doesn’t last long either before he’s ousted by the gladiators, Hank, Alison, Link and Poltergeist stop him while Doctor Doom (who also suddenly shows up again) watches. I think it would have been easier to swallow if there was more of a build up in Dazzler that carried over to this miniseries but alas that wasn’t the case.

Dazzler #35 – Brawl!

Alison returns home after her recent adventures – the only one she mentions though are the events of Dazzler: The Movie although the storyline order goes Dazzler: The Movie, Beauty and the Beast and then Dazzler 35. I do like that they remembered that Alison’s landlords weren’t mutant friendly to begin with, but they seemed to accept Alison a little too quickly after their initial freak out over her being a mutant. I don’t know if I Liked the idea of an exclusive all female club – I don’t really see why that was a plot point. However I did like the fact that Alison could see Barb needed help and tried her best to help her. It shows growth from her recent manipulations she had experienced. The whole ‘Janet Jackson’ thing was a nice wink and a nod to the fact that they already created a fictional Michael Jackson counterpart for the book.

Dazzler #36 – The Human Touch
Wow this is the first issue in a long time that really felt in character and like everyone involved knew what they were doing. Alison trying to sing, going on a job hunt and accidentally stumbling into a gig, reaching out to save the day; the tired clichés of duos spitting up the evils of Hollywood – it all just fit. The book hadn’t been the same since the big reveal of Alison’s half sister Lois being a mutant also and their run to Hollywood so it was nice to touch bases with the things about the book that were always good and sort of bring it back to basics. I know I ragged pretty hard on how cheesy the book used to be when it first started but there’s a big difference between subtle nods and things that make sense than having it constantly bashed over the readers heads that Alison wants to sing not be a mutant, she’s broke, she can’t afford to do anything, how lucky she is if she can afford tomato soup.

Beauty and the Beast #1 – Beauty and the Beast: Part One: C
Beauty and the Beast #2 – Heartbreak Hotel: C
Beauty and the Beast #3 – Showtime: B
Beauty and the Beast #4 – Checkmate: B
Dazzler #35 – Brawl!: B
Dazzler #36 – The Human Touch: A

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