Secret Wars II #4

Issue Date: 
October 1985
Story Title: 
Love is the Answer!

Jim Shooter (writer), Al Milgrom (penciler), Steve Leialoha & Joe Rubinstein (inkers), Max Scheele (colorist), Joe Rosen & friends (letterers), Bob Budiansky (editor)

Brief Description: 

The Beyonder ends his affair with heiress/actress Sharon Ing. then flies off with his car. In the air, he considers the beings whose desires he thought interesting, among them Algrim the Elf, who is consumed with killing Thor. He sets him free again. After a short altercation with some jet fighters, he goes to visit the Molecule Man and asks him about the nature of love. Owen explains how wonderful love is but warns the Beyonder it has to be selfless and cannot be bought. The Beyonder returns to his hotel suite, intent on falling in love. He finds Sharon, who killed herself over her desire for him. He revives her and explains he isn’t interested in her, as she desires only what he can do for her. He looks for people whose love cannot be bought and decides on Dazzler, also interested in her because of her powers. He abducts Dazzler from her current situation and tries to woo her by creating one romantic scenario after another with his powers. Finally, Dazzler relents and they spend the night together. The next day, he wants to bring her a gift and does so by getting a ring from Shaman of Alpha Flight’s magical pouch and, at the same time, rescuing Shaman’s daughter Talisman. When he returns, Dazzler is about to leave as she feels overwhelmed. He offers her her dream come true, a concert and stardom but Dazzler isn’t interested in unearned fame and simply wants to leave. He creates a group of fake Avengers to attack him. Dazzler finds herself protecting him and he points out that means she cares or him He shares his power with her. For a moment, she is tempted but then flees, as she refuses to be bought. She releases the comic power but then falls to her death. The Beyonder revives her and she seems utterly in love with him in return, but he realizes that making her love him isn’t true love. He releases Dazzler and wipes her memory.

Full Summary: 

She is Sharon Ing, heiress, actress, jet-set socialite, internationally renowned beauty. But right now, fame and fortune have no meaning to her, so lost is she in love with the man who holds her so firmly and kisses her so sensuously. Nobody does it better. Sharon Ing doesn’t know who’s kissing her. Not really. A man she thinks, a wonderful, incredible, unforgettable man who somehow found her and captured her heart. It is no man embracing her, however. It is the one from beyond – and he will be the death of her.

The Beyonder breaks off the kiss and tells Sharon he has business to attend to here. It was very nice with her. When will she see him again? Sharon demands. He doesn’t know. She’s never going to see him again, is she? Sharon bursts out. While getting dressed, he admits he doesn’t think so. Sharon shouts that she loves him. Though she’s only known him for a short time, nobody has ever meant so much to her. She doesn’t even know his real name. He said he is called “the Beyonder” by some. What kind of name is that? Does he have a name? No, he replies, while cleaning his mouth. Good-bye.

Seconds later, he is outside the expensive Washington DC hotel that is his current residence. The bellboy warns him about heavy traffic. He replies that won’t bother him.

While driving his expensive Ferrari, he sends it flying, not caring that anyone sees him. In the process, he agitates the nearby Air Force base. The people there scramble fighter jets to intercept whatever the flying object is.

Unaware of this, the Beyonder takes notes via handheld tape recorder. He is at ten thousand feet, it is warm, calm, quiet and here behind the wheel it is easy to think and reflect. During the time he has been on Earth, he has learned a lot about humans, and he is beginning to understand the nature of desire, which seems to be the basis of most things going on in the universe. He’s dabbled with various means of gratification, with mixed results. He is ready to begin more pointed experiments. On this tape, he’ll record the first steps of his experiments.

While flying up here, he quickly scanned the desires of every living creature on Earth. Most fall into pretty basic and predictable patterns. There are exceptions, though: There is a creature lying virtually dead, far beneath the English countryside. He is or was Algrim the Elf. He fell into a lava pit while battling the Asgardian Thor. The mystical protective properties of his armor kept him alive… though his body is cooked and shriveled. Of all the higher lifeforms on Earth, he is the one with the most single-minded purpose – and perhaps his all-consuming desire has kept him alive, in addition to the armor. He desires the death of his arch-enemy Thor. It will be interesting to watch him fulfil his desire and what he will do then. He teleports Algrim aboveground. Algrim begins his way across the ocean bottom to reach Thor.

Who else was interesting…the little girl called Cindy Adams, who has the essence of a Dire Wraith in her brain. She desperately wants it out of her mind.

And close by her, a woman named Brandy Clark desires to be transformed into a cyborg warrior so she can be reunited with her cyborg warrior lover Rom who is on an interplanetary quest.

Then there’s Benjamin Grimm aka the Thing whose desires are confusing and unusual.

The alien Silver Surfer desires freedom from Earth. He believes an impenetrable barrier holds him here.

US president Ronald Reagan desires tax reform a certain way.

Captain America desires that the ideals her cherishes become true in all the world.

The jets have caught up and the pilots can’t believe what they are seeing, a man flying a Ferrari, speaking into a recorder and chopping up vegetables in a Cuisinart.

Following orders, one of the pilots fires and hits the car. The Beyonder briefly loses control and decides that was rude. He freezes the offending fighter and walks over, then admonishes the pilot that was uncalled for. His car is a mess now. Stupefied, the pilot asks who is he? What is he doing here? Why was he chopping up carrots? He just likes gadgets, the Beyonder explains. They fascinate him, that’s all. Don’t change the subject! Now about his car, he’s got an idea…

And soon the bewildered pilot in the car is dropped off at Eddie’s Body Shoppe, while the Beyonder takes his jet. On a whim, he decides to fly to Denver to look up Owen Reece and Marsha, though he decides to make the plane invisible this time. He begins singing Rocky Mountain High.

Upon arrival, he creates some space to land the jet in the middle of the street, then walks away while the crowd wonders where the jet has suddenly come from. A young woman asks if she may give him her card (he agrees), while her friend admires her for her brazenness. 

The Beyonder visits Owen and Marsha. Owen looks outside and disintegrates the plane, as he and Marsha are trying to be discreet. Marsha kisses him Owen goodbye, heading out to dance exercise. Owen apologizes for destroying the Beyonder's jet, then asks what he can do for him. The Beyonder explains he thinks he’s beginning to understand this desire thing but what he really wants to know more about is love. Owen’s guidance was very helpful to him when he first arrived. He thought maybe he could explain what love is.

The Molecule Man ponders the question. He used to think love was liking someone very much, but that’s not it at all. All he can do is tell him about Marsha and him. She taught him about love. She is a very loving giving person. As soon as they met, right away she cared about him. Eventually, she grew to care about him more than she cared about herself. Not because he is the Molecule Man and can do anything for her. It was because she saw something worthwhile in him, long before he did. He was pretty screwed up back then. But when he finally stopped being wrapped up in his fear and self-hate, he was able to give, too.

He smiles. Love is always good but it’s nice when it’s mutual. Then it can make you so happy. And the more you give, the more you have to give. It’s amazing. It’s… limitless.

The Beyonder believes he understands and thanks him. They shake hands and Owen adds love is only good if it’s real. Love gone wrong can be dangerous, even for guys like them. He tells him to be careful. He will, the Beyonder promises as he teleports away.

The Beyonder reappears in his hotel suite, where he finds Sharon Ing, dead of an overdose. Her reads her suicide note that she cannot live without him, then decides to return her to life. He came back to her! Sharon moans. No, he simply came back, he corrects her. This love she professes to feel for him, why does she feel it? Because of what he does to her, she stammers. He brings her ecstasy like no one else could! Ah, a business deal, the Beyonder realizes. He wants to experience real love.

He makes the images of several women and men appear. He must find a partner. One of these, perhaps. Sharon points out some of them are men. The Beyonder demonstrates that he can easily change his sex, but then decides he is used to the male form.

He finally settles on a pretty strawberry blonde. Sharon points out she is as pretty - why not her? The Beyonder replies bluntly she doesn’t really love him. She loves what he does for her. He only considers women whose love cannot be bought at any price. She intrigues him as well because she is a mutant, perhaps the most powerful one on Earth. He asks Sharon to go. Hurt, she complies.

Outside in the corridor, Sharon begins to cry at the humiliation and shatters the mirror with her fists Then she stands erect and proudly as she enters the elevator, unware that one man in the cabin admires her beauty and poise.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Arizona, a pickup truck rumbles along, bound for Colorado. Inside are O.Z. Chase, bounty hunter, his prisoner Alison Blaire aka the Dazzler and his dog.

Chase is clearly embarrassed by the situation and apologizes to Alison for taking her in. Petting his dog, Alison assures him she is glad in a way. She’d like to get whatever charges there are against her cleared up. Chase doubts there would be any charges, if she weren’t a mutant. That seems to be a mite unpopular these days, just because they can do things that aren’t exactly… He wants to say ‘human’, but at that moment Alison disappears.

She reappears in a transparent bubble, floating through the cosmos. The Beyonder welcomes her. She immediately attacks and orders him to keep his distance. Just start talking! Right after he undoes the blindness her flash caused, he replies. What a wonderful power she has, absorbing sound, storing the energy and release it again as light. May he call her Alison? Call her a taxi! she shouts. She wants out of here! Who is he? What is this?

The Beyonder forges a psionic contact with her and shows her his story. How in his universe he was all until an event opened a pinhole into their universe. Curious, he eventually came to Earth, took human shape, that he might come to experience and understand the way of things here. He has learned much in his days here. Today he has learned of something called love. He would like to experience it. Out of all the women in the world, he has chosen her.

Oh, so suddenly it’s Valentine’s Day and she is elected, Alison scoffs. Does she get any say in this? Of course, he assures her. She’d like to get to know someone before… love isn’t something you can rush. He enthusiastically agrees.

Alison notices the scenery outside keeps on changing. He thought he’d give her a tour of some of the more interesting places in her galaxy while they talk. She asks him to put them back to Earth.

Moments later, she crawls out of an Igloo to find they are in the Arctic. Antarctic, the Beyonder corrects her, lying naked under a bearskin. Want to cuddle up with him? It’s nice and cosy in here. That’s not how she gets to know someone! she tells him.

Moments later, Alison finds herself on a romantic carriage ride with the Beyonder as the coachman. Is this better? he asks. He doesn’t know much about courtship yet. A jogger, also looking like the Beyonder, offers her flowers. Another Beyonder, a business man, takes the flowers to hand them to her. He apologizes for frightening her. She can’t believe this! she shouts.

Would she believe this? A moment later, they are in Rio at Carnival time. It’s a café in Paris a moment later. Would he please cut it out!? she shouts. He apologizes. He just wanted to make her smile.

Ali in turn is sorry for making a scene. No problem. Everyone here is him. She looks around and realizes he is right. This is all very flattering, Ali admits, but he is so powerful… omnipotent. He realizes she fears him. Just as humans fear her because she is a mutant and more powerful than them. Why? He means no harm. Does she? She guesses that is hypocritical. Touché, she admits.

He takes her to another place, a mountain top, so they can talk alone. He remarks she is still afraid. Ever since he appeared on this world, people have been afraid of him. The first day he was here, Captain America, Iron Man, the X-Men and she, as he recalls, traced him to Los Angeles to attack, worried about what he might do. He admits he did a few foolish things early on, but nothing terrible. And here he is wanting to court her. Is that so bad? He guesses he hasn’t gone about it the usual way but he is no ordinary guy and she is not ordinary either. In fact, while they’ve been dating he took the liberty of looking into her soul and what he found there was greater and more beautiful than he dreamed possible.

It’s astounding… paradoxical! Alison finds. All at once she is but a tiny speck of protoplasma… infinitesimal , and yet inside, in the essence of her being she is more it seems than the universe itself. He is awed but does not fear. He only asks for a chance. He kisses her and she reciprocates.

The next morning, Alison awakes to be greeted by three maids who inform her she is in the master’s house in the south of France. She walks downstairs, where the Beyonder waits with breakfast. A small band plays classical live music. She admits she is overwhelmed.

He’s decided to work on that control himself, play by the rules a little more. For instance, today he is going to bring her a gift and he is going to earn it. He tells her to feel free to use his music library and recording equipment and teleports away…

To the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, where moments ago a pitched battle between Canada’s superteam Alpha Flight and the villains of Omega Flight took place.

When the Alphans see the Beyonder materializing, Heather Hudson fears he might be another member of Omega Flight. They agree to subdue him and attack. Instead, the Beyonderr grabs Puck and Northstar, tossing Puck aside and Northstar into his twin Aurora, causing a blinding flash. As he next magnetically repels Box, Snowbird attacks as a polar bear while Shaman watches. As the Beyonder puts Snowbird to sleep, Shaman reaches into his medicine pouch for a magical artifact. However, the Beyonder takes the pouch to Shaman’s horror. The pouch suddenly grows and, from out of  the mystic void inside, the Beyonder saves Shaman’s daughter Talisman, who was trapped within. He restores the bag to its normal size and grabs a ring from it.

And, after a very short explanation later, he disappears. He returns to his villa, where his entire staff is pleading with Dazzler, who is trying to leave. He shows her the present, the ring, but she isn’t interested. She just wants to get on a plane to New York.

A moment later, they are both in Manhattan. Forcefully, she informs him she’d rather he didn’t do than anymore. She just can’t deal with this. She is not afraid of him anymore, but she doesn’t want trips and presents and things so easily. Okay, he tosses the ring aside. Alison continues that yesterday was beautiful… beyond words. She gets chills just thinking about it. She could very easily lose herself in him. But she’s got a life to live and wants to get back to it. She’s got dreams. He knows, he smiles.

A moment later, she finds herself on stage and is presented to an adoring crowd. From backstage, the Beyonder urges her to sing. It’s what she wants. Not this way, she replies coldly. He assures her he was very careful to do this the right way. These are real people. He sold tickets. He... She asks him to put her back where they were a moment ago.

Back in Manhattan, he apologizes. Shall he call her a taxi? Ali refuses. He’d probably whip one up out of thin air. He is too all-powerful. The Avengers show up and agree. He is too powerful and dangerous for the Avengers to allow to roam free. Hercules immediately attacks, only for the Beyonder to tell him to go easy on the shirt. Dazzler shouts at Herc to leave him alone. He wasn’t doing anything wrong!

The Beyonder tosses him aside to be hit by Captain America’s shield and the Wasp’s sting. Wasp, the Black Knight and Cap tackle him at the same time. Still not attacking, the Beyonder levitates himself free, only to be blasted by Captain Marvel. Starfox uses his pleasure power to mellow him, while the Wasp again attacks. The Beyonder is out of it.

What are they going to do with him? Dazzler demands. They must make certain he menaces their universe no longer, Herc replies. They have no choice, Cap agrees. Then neither does she, Dazzler decides and dazzles them. The Beyonder recovers and creates a forcefield to protect them, then teleports himself and Ali back to the peak in Nepal. The Beyonder thanks her for saving his life. Alison now realizes that the Avengers were uncharacteristically belligerent and the Beyonder could have spirited them away earlier.

He admits that they weren’t real. He faked it. But she was concerned about him, wasn’t she? She really does care for him. Yes, she does, she admits, but she is just a tiny fleck of protoplasm, remember? And he is… something else.

The Beyonder offers to fix than and shares his power with her. She is still transfixed as they share a cosmic kiss but then she tears herself away. She flees and, in a microsecond, is half a world away. Driven by desperation, he catches her in the skies of Dallas. Why does she flee? he demands. It was glorious. She kicks him away and shouts that she doesn’t love him. She can’t love him. When they touched, she knew, and no pleasure or power can make it so. She won’t trade her love, her soul for this! She wants the power gone and casts it away.

He is momentarily overwhelmed and she falls to her death. He realizes it’s his fault. And even worse, she doesn’t love him! How could she do this to him?! He cries in rage, glowing with energy. He blasts a bolt of pure force into the sky that obliterates an entire galaxy far away.

Calmer, he uses his power to restore Alison to life. He helps her up as she admits that what she did was really stupid. She can’t tell him how wonderful it was to open her eyes and see him. She missed him. She loves him! Does she? he asks. Totally, she assures him. Hey, isn’t it about time he told her his name? What should she call him? A taxi? he asks. Sure, she agrees, let’s get married! She drags him into a mall to find wedding gowns.

The Beyonder takes her up into the sky and realizes he can’t go through with this. He’s making her act this way. She doesn’t really love him. He releases her mind and then makes her forget what happened. And then… he will try to forget.

Characters Involved: 


Aurora, Box, Heather Hudson, Northstar, Puck, Shaman, Snowbird, Talisman (all Alpha Flight)

Molecule Man

Sharon Ing
O.Z. Chase

Black Knight, Captain America, Captain Marvel II Hercules, Starfox, Wasp (fake Avengers)

In images:
Cindy Adams
Brandy Clark
Silver Surfer
US president Ronald Reagan

Story Notes: 

This is a follow-up to the popular Marvel Super-Heroes Secret War maxi-series.

Algrim fought Thor in Thor (1st series) #247-248

Evel Knievel was an American stuntman.

Talisman was lost in Alpha Flight (1st series) #27.

Side stories:
The story between Dazzler and the Beyonder continues in Dazzler #40, although the continuity is wonky as Dazzler seems to retain her memories in that issue.

Alpha Flight’s version of the story is shown in Alpha Flight (1st series) #28.

In Rom #72, the Beyonder heals Cindy Adams and Rick Jones (who has cancer) of their afflictions and reunites Brandy Clark with Rom.

In Avengers (1st series) #261, the Beyonder faces the real Avengers.

Written By: