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Dazzler #8 (1981, October)

June 13, 2013

I’m typing this with a cat in my lap. I don’t mind. I like my cat. Anyway, “Hell . . . Hell Is For Harry!”

Hell . . . Hell Is For Harry!


Harry and Lance are watching a video of Dazzler, and aren’t happy. Meanwhile, Dazzler screws up a dinner for herself and Paul. Before he can take her out, she gets a call from Harry telling her to come into the office. She’s also still being stalked. When she goes in to see Harry, he demands to know how she does her lightshow. She refuses to tell them, and Harry says if she won’t tell him, she can find a new manager. She storms out, and wonders if she can trust Harry with her secret.

Later, Lance is watching another act rehearse, and the Enforcers bust in, demanding to know where Harry is. They bust up the rehearsal studio, then tell Lance to tell Harry that Techmaster sends his regards. I actually like the Enforcers. They’re such total losers. Anyway, they go back to Techmaster, who has metal hands and a messed-up face, which he holds Harry responsible for.

Harry goes to Dazzler’s place to hide, and there, he explains the situation. Turns out Techmaster was an electronics expert named Billy Bitzer, who called himself Techmaster, and was renowned for his “magic hands” and handsome face. At a New Year’s Eve party Harry was throwing, Techmaster wanted to create artificial lightning bolts inside the disco. Harry said no, but Techmaster did it anyway. (The headliner for the disco, as an aside, was Donna Gaynor. Very clever, Danny Fingeroth.) The lightning went out of control, injuring Techmaster, and starting a fire that killed or injured a bunch more people.

That’s when the Enforcers bust in and grab him. Dazzler decides to follow them (though not in costume). She goes to where the disco used to be, and it’s now a supermarket. She’s caught pretty much immediately, and brought into a back room with Harry. She sees a box controlling the store’s muzak, and turns it on to power herself up. She blinds the Enforcers, then slips on her skates to try to escape. The place is filled with thugs, and she uses her powers and athletics to take them all down. I still say “Go for it!” is a stupid and terrible battlecry. “Imperius Rex!” “It’s clobberin’ time!” “Spoon!” Those are the great battlecries.

That’s when the Enforcers catch her. She hurts Ox with a laser, but then Fancy Dan beats her up. The Ox picks her up, planning on punching her. But she pulls herself together enough to blind them all again. She takes down Fancy Dan and Montana, then throws a can of peas through the grocery store window, activating the alarm. Then she breaks Ox’s brain.

At the police station, Harry tells the cops the crooks must have fought among themselves and accidentally tripped the alarm. The next morning, Harry thanks her for saving his life. Dazzler asks him to keep her powers a secret, and though he thinks being a mutant might be good publicity, she thinks it would be bad. He agrees. Then Lance comes in, having just gotten Dazzler’s message about Harry being captured. She leaves, and is forcibly introduced to the man who’s been following her, Mr. Meeker.

I love the Enforcers. I’m not ashamed to admit it. They are among the dumbest villains ever, and I love them for it. I want to see more of them. I want Spider-Ock to comes across them, and feel embarrassed about having to fight them. So I enjoyed seeing them in this issue. The fact that they were as incompetent as they’ve ever been was appreciated. I don’t think writers ever even tried to make them seem like legitimate threats. They can beat up normal people pretty well, but as soon as they come up against someone with powers, they’re doomed. Even more than most antagonists. Of course, Alison is still bland, with her supporting cast much more interesting than she is. Except for Paul, who’s basically just Dr. McHandsome. He’s got no personality.

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