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Dazzler #9 (1981, November)

June 18, 2013

I just did a post for Beyond the Gamer about the titles I want to see in Marvel Now! Wave 2. Go check it out and let me know what titles you want to see. But for now, “The Sound and the Fury!”

The Sound and the Fury!

Quasar! I like Quasar.

Dazzler’s been abducted by a couple guys. She’s driven to the Cloisters, where she’s switched to a jet-copter. He flies towards a mountain, and into it. Once they reach their destination, a guy says they’re 7.2 seconds late. Gotta love the idiotic levels of precision in old comics. People back then were impossibly precise when it came to time frames. Every criminal heist was planned “to the microsecond,” calculations for how long something would take would go down to fractions of a second. It was so silly and ridiculous.

Anyway, she learns she’s at Project Pegasus, the energy research group. They want to study her powers. They threaten to leak to the press that she’s a mutant if she refuses, and also say they’ll pay her $8 a day. She’s left with choice but to go along with it. Then she’s introduced to Quasar, the sole sympathetic figure in the entire place. He gives her a tour, ending with the Compound where super-criminals with energy-based powers are held, including Klaw. He types out a message to her saying not to trust them, and that she’ll soon be a prisoner like the rest.

After that, she’s put through various tests to determine the extent of her powers. The answer is “pretty great.” Of course, while she’s out there, she keeps missing calls from Paul, Harry, her grandmother and the Human Torch. She’s told she has no limit to how much sound she can turn into light, and also that if a given sound is powerful enough, she can store it for later use. They want to run further tests, but she wants to leave. Unfortunately, the papers she signed mean she can’t leave until they’ve finished all their tests. She tries to sneak out, but Quasar stops her.

She later stops by Klaw’s cell again, before they begin some tests. He types out a message that she should leave, and that what they’re about to do to him is pretty bad. They poke him with some “sono-probes.” He barely feels them, but he writhes in agony. Dazzler tells the technicians to stop, but they say he’s just putting on a performance. She unleashes a quick dazzle-burst to stun the technicians. This causes their probes to rattle, which allows a little bit of sound into Klaw’s cell. Just enough for him to bust out.

The Pegasus guards, and even Quasar, pose no real threat to Klaw. Dazzler shows up to find Quasar unconscious, and she stands over him. Klaw blasts her, but she absorbs his sound blasts. And eventually, she absorbs him. So he’s dead, and she feels sick. She’s absorbed so much sound energy that she has a glow around her. She wants to release the energy, and blasts a hole in the wall, straight outside. The Pegasus people want to continue testing her, but she’s disgusted by them and thinks they’re worse than Klaw was.

Fingeroth goes out of his way to make the people at Project Pegasus look terrible. It ends up making the whole thing a little unbelievable. They look downright evil. I feel like Dazzler would’ve gotten treated better if it had been AIM testing her. That hurts the story a bit, I think. The fight with Klaw was really cool, though. Klaw himself was actually rather enjoyable throughout the issue. His dramatics when he’s being tested, or his line when Dazzler stands up to him: “Brave words. I shall remember them for at least a week.” That’s a great line. And then she kills him. Accidentally. That would actually be brought up again, in a rather important way, by having her actually stand trial for it, something that seldom happens in comics. Beyond the trial, though, it’s something she feels badly about for quite a while, which is a nice touch. Of course, first, she has to meet Galactus. Yes, Galactus. Yeah.

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