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Dazzler #6 (1981, August)

May 28, 2013

I think the worst thing ever created is ads with automatic sound. Anyway, today’s story is “The Hulk May Be Hazardous To Your Health!”

The Hulk May Be Hazardous To Your Health!

This Bob Layton cover isn’t his best work.

It starts with a rehearsal, which Lance says is terrible. Then Harry comes in. The fat drummer thinks about eating, because fat people only ever think about food. Osgood tells them they’ve got a gig at a university, but they need to learn some country music. That night, in a subway station, Dazzler and the couple other people there are hassled by trio of thugs who call themselves Satan’s Creeps. Sigh. She jumps to the defence of an old man, and the thugs advance on her. Luckily, a train arrives in time to power her up so she can dazzle them. When the people get off, they wonder what the burst of light was, and one of the people who was at the station says it was Dazzler. He grabs her, saying she must be a mutant freak, and she flees. When she gets home, she runs into Paul, and they have their first kiss, and it’s perfect, whatever, this guy’s still got less personality than a sheet of blank paper. He’s immediately called in to the hospital. Also, someone’s stalking her.

The next day, they get to the university. Bruce Banner’s also there, wanting a chance to get into the Hall of Science, to look at their top secret genetic research he’s heard rumours about. Lance offers him $10 to help unload, and to help load up after the show. Dazzler’s show is a success off the bat. Meanwhile, Bruce tries to sneak into the Hall of Science, but he’s seen, and chased by security, until he turns into the Hulk.

He ends up smashing into the auditorium. Dazzler tries to keep him distracted while everyone escapes. She creates an illusory tank, which is a new trick for her. She then lures him into smashing a power console, hitting him with huge amounts of electricity. It temporarily dazes him. For all of a few seconds. Then he smashes his way out of the auditorium. She follows after him. Watched by the guy who’s been stalking her.

As usual, the character work remains inferior to the action. DeFalco just isn’t doing anything special with her. She’s a reluctant superhero in the occasional vein of Spider-Man (whenever he’s in his more “this doesn’t have anything to do with me” moods), but isn’t as well-developed. She makes generic jokes, has a generic relationship with a generic boyfriend . . . there’s just absolutely nothing particularly special or memorable about her. It feels like DeFalco said, “She wants to be a singer, she’s forced to be a superhero, boom, that’s all that’s needed.” Compare it to what Claremont was doing on Spider-Woman at the time, where she was a fully-fleshed, well-developed character. She was strong, curious, aggressive, protective . . . she had a personality beyond what she did. DeFalco hasn’t given Dazzler a personality beyond what she does.

One Comment
  1. If it’s the same DeFalco, then he’s also been writing Superboy for DC. He wrote two issues of Nightwing since the relaunch, and they were terrible. Can’t say I’m surprised that he has a lack of character focus here as well.

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