In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
In 1985, Marvel came out with a “Beauty and the Beast” mini-series by Ann Nocenti, Don Perlin and Kim DeMulder that was originally planned to come out as early as 1983. It could have been Nocenti’s first series for Marvel had it come out then. Instead, it was delayed a couple of years until after “Dazzler: The Movie,” the graphic novel that revealed to the world that Dazzler was a mutant (the world was not enthused).
So anyhow, Beast and Dazzler team-up and they fall in love with each other, but get caught up in a plot to brainwash people into being gladiators (if you heard that plot idea and thought to yourself, “Oh man, I bet Chris Claremont followed up on this idea,” you would be right. People being forced into fighting as gladiators is one of his favorite tropes. These gladiators would soon show up in “New Mutants”). In the end, they help lead a revolt of the gladiators but then decide (with as little motivation as they had to get together in the first place) to split up.
I honestly don’t know if Dazzler and Beast ever acknowledged their romance again. Anyone know of an instance when they mentioned that they were in love with each other for a time there? Drop me a line at email@example.com to let me know!
So they both go back to whatever they were doing in their respective titles (again, the gladiators plot then does actually tie back in with Dazzler in “New Mutants” #29).
Then, as part of the whole push Marvel was doing regarding the “Dazzler: The Movie” idea (where Dazzler became sort of the face of anti-mutant hysteria in the United States), the original plan was to have her be the fifth member of X-Factor.
The writer and artist for the series, Bob Layton and Jackson Guice, did some designs of the group (Layton and Guice drew them together)…
Dazzler was intended to be the person in the blank spot in that drawing.
So, too, was she drawn into this drawing initially…
But when Marvel decided that, nope, Jean Grey was going to the fifth member of X-Factor, Layton went back in and edited and re-inked the above piece so that the figure would match Jean Grey.
Here are some early designs with Jean Grey on the team…
And here is Jean Grey on the final “X-Factor” #1 cover…
The hilarious thing, though, is that obviously Dazzler’s ongoing series was set to end at just the same time, since she was going to move on to “X-Factor.” So Beast guest-stars in the final issue of “Dazzler” (#42 by Archie Goodwin, Paul Chadwick and Romeo Tanghal) and he flat out asks her to join X-Factor!
And that “hmmmm” was presumably followed by a “Nah,” as that whole plot was abandoned and Dazzler was off of X-Factor. With the character now available, Chris Claremont brought her into “Uncanny X-Men” with “Uncanny X-Men” #210 (by Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green), where we see her join Lila Cheney’s band and get possessed by Malice, which leads to her getting caught up with (and ultimately join) the X-Men.
It would be interesting to see how “X-Factor” would have been received with Dazzler on the team. Why would Cyclops have left his wife, I wonder?
Okay, that’s it for this installment! Feel free to write in with your suggestions for abandoned comic book plotlines to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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