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Dazzler #7 (1981, September)

June 3, 2013

Assuming I’m in the mood, I’ll do my Citadel DLC review tomorrow. I may try to do it again with my  Renegade Vanguard tonight. But for now, “Fort Apache, the Hulk!”

Fort Apache, the Hulk!

Yeah, hurl yourself against the big green rage monster. Brilliant strategy.

As everyone flees the theatre, Lance strides towards it, until a giant hunk of rock nearly flattens him. Inside, Dazzler is chasing after the Hulk. She finds him. Then we cut away to the Enforcers being hired by some guy to kill Harry Osgood. Duh duh duh! Back at the university, Dazzler’s light is blinding the Hulk, but he keeps swinging at her anyway. Then she tries to trick on the cover of using a building support to fling herself at the Hulk. Why? She’s seen what he can do. Why would she ever think that would work?

Then some soldiers show up. Led by a guy who’s a week away from retirement. We don’t see him die, but I’m forced to assume a chunk of debris crushes him. Hulk fights off the soldiers, then enters the Hall of Science. Dazzler follows him, wanting to make sure no one gets hurt. The Hulk sees some test animals in cages, and he starts setting them free. Dazzler sees it, and decides he’s not such a monster after all, that he’s really a nice, misunderstood big green rage person. Because this is about the only story anyone ever told with the Hulk back then. Some soldiers try to sneak in, and Dazzler blasts them away, but Hulk misunderstands and think she was attacking him again. He threatens to kill her, but she doesn’t resist. She actually apologizes. Then she uses a lightshow to relax him back into Bruce Banner. As she and Bruce run off, she’s still being observed by some creepy-looking fellow, who wants her for his “organization.” Which is probably just what he calls his penis.

Later, Bruce sneaks out of a trunk in the back of the band’s van and sneaks away. Dazzler finally returns home, and tries to call Paul, but his nurse tells her he’s in surgery. And outside, the creepy guy thinks about how he’ll need to contact Dazzler soon.

Honestly, this was dragged down by being the exact same Hulk story I’ve read dozens of times already. The Hulk was, quite possibly, the least interesting character of the ’70s and some of the ’80s. It was the same story every single issue. Well, that’s not true. He had a total of three stories. Either a supervillain attacks him, he gets abducted by aliens, or he’s a vehicle for “who’s the real monster?” stories. It never changed. It was frustratingly repetitive. It didn’t help that comics at the time pretty much required an action scene in almost every issue. The need to have the Hulk smash something meant that Banner got very little real development. And the Hulk’s simple-mindedness meant development was impossible for him. So for over a decade, it was a series where nothing ever changed. And that was reflected in any cameos he made, such as here. And it made for an extremely dull and predictable character. DeFalco followed the formula pretty faithfully, which, given how tired the formula was by this point, wasn’t a good thing.

The idea of Dazzler fighting the Hulk was amusing. But the idea of a Hulk story was less so, because as soon as he shows up, you know exactly how it’s going to go, and it’s going to be the same tired old song-and-dance that was done to death before the Dazzler was even created.

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