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Dazzler #22 (1982, December)

October 5, 2013

So we end out 1982 with Dazzler, which is kind of a shame, but oh well. The story is called “The Sisterhood.”

The Sisterhood

That is an incredibly unappealing Rogue.

We start with Angel being attacked by hawks. He uses some fancy flying to make them take themselves out, while he wonders who sent them after him.

Meanwhile, Dazzler’s on the way to a studio with Lance to cut a demo. They wind up in a traffic jam, but luckily a cop comes by who’s a major fan, and he gets her to the studio. The producer comes in and puts them through their paces to record the album. It’s worth noting that Fingeroth clearly doesn’t know how an album is recorded. He has the full band playing together in the studio. That’s not how it works. It’s done one instrument at a time. A drum track, a bass track, a guitar track, a vocal track – all recorded separately, and then combined. Oh well.

We then cut to Mystique, Destiny and Rogue. Mystique is saying the “experimental anti-personnel hawks” she stole from the Pentagon failed to take down Angel. I would point out how ridiculous it is for the Pentagon to have “experimental anti-personnel hawks,” except that it wouldn’t be the craziest thing the Pentagon has tried in real life. Anyway, Mystique wants Angel scared for when the three of them go after him, so he can lead them to the X-Men so they can have revenge and junk.

Then we cut to Dazzler’s dad, who’s packing up some boxes of his ex-wife’s stuff to send to her. Meanwhile, Dazzler’s mother is excited to get a visit from her other daughter, Lois. She’s going to tell Lois that Dazzler’s her half-sister. The doorbell rings, and she accidentally knocks over a “goblet” that looks a lot like a pair of glasses. I’m pretty sure they fess up to that mistake in another issue.

Dazzler has a little tiff with Ken, and goes to talk to Angel, who initially attacks her because he’s still a little freaked-out over the hawks, even though, as a superhero, he really should be more used to being attacked. But why should Fingeroth start writing him in a way that makes sense now, after months of writing him as a creepy stalker. They talk for a while, and Angel suggests she get some advice from Xavier.

As they fly towards the school, they’re ambushed by the Sisterhood in a helicopter. They all land, and Destiny says she senses a tragedy in Dazzler’s future with someone she loves. The Sisterhood beats up Angel a bit, until Dazzler helps out. Rogue takes out her and Angel, but refuses to absorb Angel’s memories because she’s not sure how absorbing his powers would affect her. The trio decide to just leave with him and get the information they want from him another way, but Dazzler shows up again, full of power. She takes out the Sisterhood and wakes up Angel so they can steal the helicopter.

Back at Angel’s hotel, they talk about what happened. Angel plans on going into hiding, and suggests Dazzler hire the Heroes for Hire as protection. Then there’s a knock on the door. It’s Lois, who introduces herself as Dazzler’s sister.

I suppose this is better than the last few issues. Dazzler’s singing career advances a little more, even if the recording process is fudged a bit. Angel is every bit as worthless as we’ve come to expect. He does OK against a handful of birds – a major improvement from when three crows managed to capture him – but once the Sisterhood finds him, he’s useless. Granted, Rogue’s a powerhouse, but still. Angel’s an idiot. Also, he knows the Sisterhood is coming after him to get his knowledge of the X-Men, so why would he go into hiding? Why wouldn’t he go to the X-Men (sure, they were in space, but he presumably didn’t know that)? Also, what kind of superhero is he, to go into hiding because he’s scared? Too bad he didn’t stay in hiding. He joins the Defenders in a few months, instead. Regardless, aside from a couple brief scenes in upcoming issues, this is pretty much his exit from Dazzler. And good riddance. No one else may have objected to him being a dickish stalker who was incapable of understanding “no means no,” but he was. Though I guess “no means no” didn’t actually exist at that point, from what I can see. Either way, he was a dick. He knew she was in a relationship, and she said several times that she wasn’t interested in him, but he kept trying to impress her. The fact that it worked made Dazzler look worse, too. So I’m glad he more-or-less drops out of the book after this issue.

Anyway. The fight with the Sisterhood is OK. And we get the introduction of a very different complication into Dazzler’s life, with Lois showing up at the end. Unfortunately, this complication ends up leading the book in a weird direction for a little while, which leads to other stuff and the book just takes a bit of a nosedive that it never really recovers from. It doesn’t help that, beginning with #25, the series just starts going through writer after writer after writer, with none sticking around for more than 3 or 4 issues in a row. To give you an indication of how bad it was, here’s a list of the writer they have starting with #25: Steven Grant, then a final issue by Danny Fingeroth, then we get Frank Springer, Jim Shooter, Ken McDonald, Mike Carlin, Linda Grant, Bob DeNatale, and then Archie Goodwin takes over from #38 until it ends with #42. That’s nine writers over the course of 17 issues. (That’s not counting the Dazzler: The Movie graphic  novel, or the Beauty and the Beast mini by Ann Nocenti and Don Perlin.) We do get some gorgeous Bill Seinkewicz covers, though, starting with #27. Those covers are often the best part of the book. Which is sad.

So yeah. It’s pretty much all downhill from here.

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  1. Dazzler #23 (1983, January) | xmenxpert

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