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Dazzler #17 (1982, July)

August 13, 2013

And now, two people get to look kinda sleazy! Good work, Fingeroth and Springer!

The Angel and the Octopus!

Both of those people were already in relationships.

Dazzler and Ken are making out on the street at 3am, and get hassled by some thugs, until Dazzler knocks them out with her light. She sends Ken home, then thinks about how shaken up she was by the experience, and how different things would be with a superhero boyfriend who could handle muggers with ease. The next day, she goes to see her manager, who gets her a job doing background vocals for someone else’s record. She goes down there, and meets another back-up singer, Vanessa. She finds out that the album she’s doing the background for is by Bruce Harris.

Meanwhile, Dazzler’s father is going totally frigging insane.

Later, Dazzler leaves the studio, and a guy starts hitting on her. A rich guy. She tries to get away from him, but he follows her, because women love a guy who thinks “fleeing in terror” means “maybe.” Anyway, he catches up and pulls out his wings, and she catches on that he’s Angel.  He tells her that after getting injured in a fight with Ghost Rider, he started reevaluating his life, including his relationship with Candy Southern. We’re not told if he actually told Candy about any of this. I’m assuming he didn’t. Anyway, Dazzler turns him down.

The next day, she’s out for lunch with Ken, and Angel shows up as her waiter. Turns out he just bought the restaurant. Because that’s something rich people can do on a whim. No need for lots of paperwork or anything like that. Just, “Hey, here’s a million bucks, this place is mine now.” Considering how often rich people bought random places in comics back in the day, it’s a wonder they ever had any money left. Of course, that’s assuming they didn’t already own wherever they went – another horribly overused cliche from back then. “Don’t worry, I think I might own this place.” Of course you do, because nothing in comics is ever owned by anyone who isn’t rich.

Sorry. Got on a bit of a rant there. Anyway, she blows up at Warren, and goes back to her place with Ken. Ken doesn’t show any jealousy, which bothers her. Because women are insane. So now I’m going to go on another rant. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t get jealous. Do you know why I don’t get jealous? Because if I’m dating someone, I trust them. If she tells me she doesn’t like a guy who was hitting on her, I’ll believe them. I suppose some people would think that makes me an idiot. I’d like to think it makes me a normal, reasonable person.

She asks Ken to leave, and then Angel knocks on her window, because now he’s a stalker. Seriously, this is not acceptable behaviour! Naturally, instead of threatening to call the cops on him for harassing her, Dazzler decides to go out with him, and he starts flying her around the city, until they kiss. Even though she’s already got a boyfriend. And we don’t actually know if he’s broken up with his girlfriend. They’re both a couple of cheating bastards.

A couple nights later, after a performance on a terrible local late night show, Angel picks her up in his car for a date. They come across an armoured car, which Dr. Octopus breaks out of, because this is a comic book and it needs a fight for some reason. Angel grabs Dazzler and gives chase, but she says she wants no part in it. Then Octopus almost smacks Angel with a smokestack. Unfortunately, Angel managed to dodge. Octopus grabs Dazzler, who blinds him with a lightburst. Now that Octopus has been put at a severe disadvantage, Angel figures he might be able to put down the pudgy nerd. He’s wrong, of course, because Angel is completely useless. If we’ve learned one thing from my nearly 300 posts on this blog, let it be that Angel is useless. Octopus knocks him out and off the building they’re fighting on. Angel manages to save himself, but in the meantime, Dazzler’s on her own. She manages to blind him again, leaving him open for Warren to finish him off with a punch. Octopus topples to the ground, and the cops gas him.

Angel takes Dazzler home, and she asks him to leave her alone. It’s as clear a statement as can be. It’s “No.” And naturally Angel, being a gentleman, respects her wishes, and realizes that he hasn’t been fair to Candy, either, and takes it as a growing I’m just kidding, of course he doesn’t do any of that. He sees a letter Jessica Drew sent about finding Dazzler’s mother and decides to investigate on his own in order to impress Dazzler. Because Angel is not only useless, but he’s also a total creep. And to make it even worse: Dazzler reflects that she probably hasn’t seen the last of him – “Thank heaven.” No! No, Dazzler! That’s just . . . no!

This issue outright infuriates me. Dazzler and Angel both comes across as bad people. Angel, of course, looks sick in the head. He’s turned into a stalker and a creep. And Dazzler looks like an idiot for actually letting that work on her, and a creep for making out with Angel when she’s already seeing Ken. I may not think her romance with Ken works well, but it’s still wrong of her to do what she’s doing. Seriously, if someone did a story like this these days, they’d be hanged. Angel would be the villain of the story, and Dazzler would be mocked as a dull-witted, naive, stupid woman who’s too easily impressed.

On a minor note, Frank Springer makes a cameo in this issue, as a bus passenger who gives Angel 75 cents for bus fare.

Dazzler also makes a cameo in Avengers #221 (with Wolverine appearing on the cover), plotted by Jim Shooter, scripted by David Michelinie, pencilled by Bob Hall. The Avengers are trying to come up with a couple new recruits. Wasp invites a bunch of female heroes to a brunch – Invisible Girl, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, Dazzler and She-Huk. Dazzler and Spider-Woman snark a bit at each other. The brunch is interrupted by the Mechano-Marauder – Fabian Stankowicz. He grabs Dazzler, until she forces him to let her go with a light-burst. Then she turns down Wasp’s offer. So does Invisible Girl. Then Spider-Woman and Black Widow topple Fabian and take off. Fabian Stankowicz was one of the all-time great running gags. And on another note, most of the people on the cover actually have been Avengers. Power Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Daredevil, Ant-Man, Hulk, Dr. Strange and Spider-Woman have all been members in the past decade. Invisible Girl and She-Hulk both served. Black Bolt is part of the Illuminati in New Avengers; close enough. I think that just leaves Dazzler, Silver Surfer and Rom as never having joined. I think Marvel can’t use Rom in his armour (and they’ve killed him off anyway), so he won’t be joining. So Dazzler and SIlver Surfer both need to join at some point. Actually, truth be told, I wouldn’t mind seeing Dazzler as an Avenger. I think that could be fun.

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