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Secret Wars II #4: Review

Oct 1985
Jim Shooter, Al Milgrom

Story Name:

Love is the answer

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Wars II #4 Review by (September 20, 2016)
This issue doesn't include Iron Man (and only features the real Captain America in a cameo) but I'm including it in the IM database for completeness.

Since #1 Dazzler has been in New Mutants #30-31 which finished off the interrupted Gladiators storyline. And in her own #39 she had an adventure which ended with her capture by O Z Chase.

The story of Algrim will continue next issue.

Thing stayed on Battleworld after SWI and got involved with a woman called Tarianna who turned out to be imaginary. When he returned to Earth be discovered his girlfriend Alicia Masters had switched her affections to Human Torch. Angry but guilty because he'd already betrayed her with Tarianna, Ben Grimm left the Fantastic Four. (But this Alicia will much later turn out to be a Skrull.)
Now he's roaming at a loose end. The Marvel Chronology Project doesn't place this 1-panel appearance but he's likely already searching for Tarianna-lookalike Sharon Ventura (since Thing #26).

Alpha Flight #28 is an official tie-in, but it only contains an alternate view of the end of the encounter here. However the end of that issue *is* connected in another way as I'll explain below.

This issue continues in Dz#40 where Beyonder does take Alison Blaire back to O Z Chase. But he also hides his essence inside her to experience her life, and emerges as a superhero to help her fight some baddies sent by the villain who hired Chase to hunt her down. And he gets a taste for the hero's life.

At the end of AF#28 the team send an interdimensional probe to find a new body for Walter Langkowski (ex-Sasquatch) which hooks the Hulk (as seen in more detail in Hu#313) and leads to a battle in AF#29. However Hu#312 is a SWII tie-in where the end shows the Beyonder exploring other dimensions like Asgard and popping in to the Crossroads where Hulk/Banner is currently stranded and directing the probe towards him. Thus this must happen after his interaction with AF. There is no room to insert the dimensional wandering in his subsequent adventures with Dazzler so I place it here after Dz#40.

Then in ROM #72 Beyonder follows up his noticing of Cindy Adams and Brandy Clark here, and Rick Jones who lives with them. As well as the desires mentioned in this issue, Rick Jones wants to be cured of cancer and to be a superhero. Beyonder grants these wishes but then learns that they might have wished for different things if they'd known what he was going to do. In the end he also restores Cindy's parents to life, sends Brandy to Galador to be with ROM as a human, and removces Rick's superpower but leaves him cured of cancer.

Beyonder tries his hand at superheroing again when he visits the Avengers in Av#261 after their return from the Skrull galaxy. The team attack him until Wasp resolves things by offering him the status of Avenger-in-training, on the grounds that it's the best way to keep an eye on him. B says he'll consider it.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Wars II #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue ended with Beyonder going to see Murdock & Nelson about a legal way of getting control of the world. They convinced him to give that idea up in Daredevil #223.

He's obviously gone on to explore other things as we find him in his hotel suite kissing rich socialite and actress Sharon Ing who's in her underwear (we are left to read into that what we want). But now he finishes getting dressed, says it was fun but he's leaving now and he won't be seeing her again (even though he's leaving her in his own rooms). She's devastated.

Beyonder gets into his sports car and causes it to fly off. Meanwhile he records his thoughts about his investigation into desire. He scans all living creatures on Earth for their desires and finds most are boringly predictable. But he has found some exceptions.

He detects the Dark Elf Algrim trapped in an underground lava pool in England after a fight with Thor in Th#347-348. The armoured body is kept alive by an all-consuming desire to kill the Thunder God. B mentally rescues him and gives him improved armour and power. The being senses his foe in America and starts walking across the Atlantic floor.

Beyonder also finds 2 unusual desires together. Cindy Adams is a little girl who wants to get rid of the Dire Wraith in her brain. And her friend Brandy Clarke wants to be a cyborg spaceknight so she can be with her love ROM.

Others he spots are Thing who's life is up in the air since he quit the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer who wants to break through the barrier that keeps him on Earth, Ronald Reagan who wants some tax changes, and Captain America who wants the world to live the American Dream.

The Air Force pick Beyonder's car up on radar and send some jet fighters to investigate. They report a man in a Lamborghini dicing carrots in a cuisinart (a habit he picked up last issue). They are ordered to attack and a missile wrecks the back of the car. But the man just gets out and walks through the air and takes the plane that fired, making it invisible to radar to avoid further interruptions. And the pilot is delivered to the ground in the damaged car.

B flies to Denver to see his friends Molecule Man and Volcana. They welcome him but Owen Reese gets rid of the plane because he doesn't want to draw attention. And Marsha Rosenberg leaves for dancercise class.

Beyonder wants Owen to explain about love. Owen says he didn't know until he met Marsha. Love means caring deeply about someone for who they are, without expecting anything in return. If you're lucky the other person feels the same way. B thanks him and teleports back to his hotel ....

.... where he finds Sharon dead from an overdose of barbiturates. A note informs him that she couldn't live without him. But he brings her back to life and asks her why she loves him. Her reply indicates that it's the great sex, which he doesn't think meets Owen's criteria.

He says he's searching for real love, and conjures up the images of random people who might be the 1. Sharon points out that some of them are men. Beyonder points out back that his natural form doesn't have a gender, and he could just as easily manifest as a woman - and he demonstrates.

But then he reverts to male and restricts his selection to females (1 of whom might be Peter Parker's Aunt May) who's love can't be bought. And selects Dazzler because she may also be the most powerful mutant on the planet. He dismisses Sharon and she leaves in tears.

Alison Blaire has been arrested by bounty hunter O Z Chase. She's going willingly to clear up whatever she's wanted for. But Beyonder teleports her out of Chase's truck to a domed habitat he's created on an asteroid.

She's angry and confused and blasts him with her light rays, but the Big B transmits a brief resume of his life into her mind:- He existed in a universe where he was all there was. An event opened a pinhole into the Marvel U and what he saw interested him. So eventually he came to Earth, took human form and started to experience things.

Now he wants to experience love and he's chosen her. Dazzler says she normally likes to get to know someone before falling in love with them. Beyonder agrees and takes the dome on a tour of 'some of the more interesting places in the galaxy'. But Alison asks to be returned to Earth.

Ever willing to oblige he transports them to an igloo in the Antarctic and invites her to get warm with him under a bearskin. She's not happy about this arrangement either, so she next finds herself in a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park with B as the driver .... and also as a jogger who offers her flowers, and a man in a suit who does the same.

Next stop the carnival in Rio de Janeiro. And a café in Paris where he gets privacy by becoming all the people around them. And then finally real solitude on a (not snowy) mountain peak.

All the while Alison has been rejecting all this showy (but flattering) attention. It's all too much for her - she just wants normality.

Beyonder remarks that her 1st reaction was to fear him, just as humans now fear her since she was outed as a mutant. In #1 various heroes including herself attacked him in Los Angeles. And he knows that in his ignorance some of his early actions were a mistake. But now he just wants a chance to court her. He's looked into her soul and seen beauty. They kiss.

Next morning she wakes naked in a bed in Beyonder's South of France mansion. The maids tell her she was asleep when the master brought her home last night, and they put her to bed. She goes down to breakfast where B tells her to enjoy what the house has to offer. He'll be back soon - he's just popping out to get her a gift (without just magicking it up).

He teleports to Edmonton, Canada where Alpha Flight have just ended a fight with Omega Flight in AF#27. As usual for superheroes they attack the unknown, but Beyonder uses minimal power to defend against them. Shaman held back but now reaches into his magic medicine pouch to find something to use against him.

But that pouch is exactly what B is here for. He takes it and enlarges it enough to retrieve Michael Twoyoungmen's daughter Talisman who got trapped in it in the AF issue. He figures this good deed is enough to earn him the right to get something else from the bag - a ring for Dazzler's finger.

But when he 'ports home he finds Alison Blaire leaving. She turns down the ring and says she's going to get a flight to New York. So Beyonder just zaps them both there. But she still doesn't want to stay with him - she's got her musical career to get on with.

Suddenly she's fronting her band at a large venue. B says he did this all properly - booked the place and sold tickets (but he must have used time-travel). But this still isn't real, and she makes him put them back on the NY sidewalk.

Suddenly the Avengers (Black Knight, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hercules, Starfox and Wasp) show up and agree with Dazzler that Beyonder is too powerful - too powerful to leave free. Despite her protestations they attack him. He easily beats off most of them but Starfox subdues him with his pleasure power. They threaten to kill him but Dazzler stops them and B takes them back to their mountain top.

But now she has time to think Alison realises the Avengers weren't acting in character. Beyonder admits they weren't the real deal, just figments of his power. But it showed that she cared about him. She admits that, but says it would never work between them. He's omnipotent and she's a mere human.

B says he can fix that and gives her half his power. They are now both cosmic beings, and merge like that. But then Alison pulls away and flies off. He catches up with her but she fights him off and wills the power away.

Unfortunately she's in mid-air and now plummets to the ground with a fatal 'thrak'. B realises she's dead, but worse - she didn't love him. His frustrated grief/anger destroys a distant galaxy. But then he calms down and restores her to life.

When she recovers Alison immediately professes her love for him and suggests they get married. But after a few minutes Beyonder takes her away from the crowds and admits that he's controlling her mind. But that's not what he wants so he stops the control. Except he makes her forget most of what happened and just remember that they had a good time. He'll return Dazzler to her life and try to forget her.

Al Milgrom
Steve Leialoha
Joe Rosen
Al Milgrom (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)


Plus: Omega Flight.

> Secret Wars II: Book info and issue index

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