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Dazzler #26 (1983, May)

June 23, 2014

Ms. Marvel #5 comes out on Wednesday. Woot! Looking forward to that. But for today, by Danny Fingeroth and Frank Springer, “Against the Wind.”

Against the Wind

The startling twist is – she’s actually a man! That’s actually not true. But can you imagine if it was?

Dazzler’s doing a show, and three goons just off-stage are threatening the club manager to give them the profits. Dazzler sees it going on, and then charges off-stage with her trademark battle cry: “And go for it!” I always love in comics when people complete a thought out loud, and even include “and” out loud. I can only imagine how confused everyone else is when someone’s like, “and I’ll do it!” Anyway, she takes out the goons, then tells the audience there’s been a technical problem and there will be a short intermission. She has a nice, heart-warming scene with all her friends, then Lois says she’s not feeling well. Dazzler goes back out to perform, and Lois goes for a walk. While she’s walking along, some bum grabs her and asks for a kiss. Her hand glows, and he dies.

Later, at home, Alison is worried about Lois never having come back to the theatre. Lois comes in crying, and tells Alison about killing the hobo. Lois is a mutant after all! To the shock of no one. Alison isn’t sure Lois could get a fair trial. She calls Ken, who says he’s not sure a mutant could get a fair trial, either. Alison considers what to do while Lois eats a sandwich. “I sure am hungry. This peanut-butter and jelly sandwich is just what I need!” A few minutes earlier, she was freaking out. Now she’s enjoying a nice PB&J sandwich. Such a weird, weird panel. Alison decides they’re going on the run.

The next morning, in Washington, Henry Gyrich is worked up about the hobo’s death for no good reason at all. He insists it was a mutant, and mutants are bad, blah blah. A bum died in New York City. How did that make even the local news, let alone making it to DC? I mean, how many bums die in New York in a year? I can’t imagine the number’s all that low. Anyway, Gyrich is crazy, nothing new there. He was always a bit of a straw man character, even if people tended to forget that he often had some pretty valid points.

Alison and Lois are on a bus, because instead of calling the X-Men, or the Avengers, or the Fantastic Four, or any of the other superheroes she knows, Alison decided to head west. She talks to Lois about the dangers of responsibilities of being a mutant, and Lois talks about hiding forever. They get off the bus in Pittsburgh, and rent a room in a dive hotel. They go out to see a movie – and find a Nicholas Ray double bill – but Alison gets recognized, so they rush back to the hotel, and Alison slips out again. She gets a wig and some make-up and some new clothes, then goes into a diner bathroom. At the hotel, a cat sneaks in, and when Lois pets it, it scratches her, and in response, she kills it. She seems to have some anger issues, given the way she reacts. She was playing with the cat, using her hand, and when it scratched her, she got angry. It’s not like it was trying to hurt her. And then she just kills it. Lois is a bitch. I hate her. Hurting a kitty like that.

Alison gets back in a disguise that fools the manager, and finds Lois freaked out about the dead cat. Alison decides they should sneak out. In the morning, the room is attacked by mutant hunters. Alison and Lois are on another bus heading west again.

This issue marks a major shift in the book. While this storyline only lasts a few issues, it results in a change of scenery. It’s also going to lead to a change in Dazzler’s career. More on that when I get to that stuff, though. The issue itself remains bland. The writing is hokey, the art is middling, the story isn’t particularly interesting. There’s just not much to care about, really. This is Fingeroth’s final issue on the book. He will not be missed, frankly. His run was distinctly mediocre. His writing was melodramatic even for the time, and his characterization was always bland and uninteresting. He also dwelt way too much on the superheroics, and not enough on Alison’s career and personal life. However, I will acknowledge his great contribution of Johnny Guitar and Dr. Sax. Those guys were awesome.

Springer stays on the book a while longer, becoming the writer, as well as penciler. His art wasn’t anything special, really. Utterly forgettable.

As an aside, the same month’s Defenders #119 had a cover that homaged the very famous cover to X-Men #100. Just thought I’d mention it. Iron Man #170 had Rhodey put on the armour for the first time, which is memorable enough to mention, I figure.

And today’s awesome song: I’m Here Forever by Boys Boys Boys!

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