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Dazzler #30 (1984, January)

August 7, 2014

Success: Stories came in the mail today. I’ll try to read it when I can. But for today, by Ken McDonald and Frank Springer, “The Debt!”

The Debt!

Actually kind of a subpar Sienkewicz cover. Like even he was just phoning it in by this point.

Alison’s freaking out a bit about being in a plane with a dying pilot. She tries to wake up Roman Nekoboh, but he can’t fly a plane, and he’s still an asshole who keeps trying to hit on Alison. He does mention a couple parachutes, so she straps one on him and throws him out. Ah, if only it hadn’t opened. She straps the second parachute onto the unconscious pilot, then holds on to him as they fall. She also makes sure to shine like a beacon to get some attention, so the pilot can get a doctor fast. As an aside, Alison’s stunt is apparently impossible. You can’t hold on to someone when their parachute pops open.

Alison’s taken to the hospital, where Roman’s just fine, surrounded by excited staff. He asks the cops to take her home, where Nick Brown says it’s a great story. He thinks she should’ve stayed in the hospital in order to get some press. She argues with Nick, saying she’s already got Harry Osgood as her agent, but he says she needs someone better. Lois comes in, and says that while what Nick’s saying is rough, show business is rough. Alison’s surprised and disappointed, and Lois claims to be weak and needs someone to cling to. She’s chosen her father. Alison decides she can’t stay there any more, and walks out. This is the last we see of Lois until X-Necrosha, when she came back as a villain. That was in 2009. So she went 25 years without a single appearance. Of course, I don’t think any of the rest of Dazzler’s supporting cast actually ever appeared again after her series ended.

As she walks in the rain, a guy offers her a lift. His name is Ralph. He’s on his way to a comics convention. When they get to San Diego, Ralph gives her some money, over her protests.

Cut to the Sierra Nevada mountains. The pilot of the plane Alison shot down is brought back to the secret base he works in. His superiors think Alison’s dangerous, and are disappointed in the pilot for failing to kill her. The general in charge leaves for a meeting at the Pentagon, and leaves his assistant, Crespi, in charge. Then Crespi comes up with a plan to kill Alison.

Cut to New York, where Assistant Editor Bob Harras is waiting for Ralph to call. Bob’s afraid to do anything without Ralph’s approval. Ann Nocenti tells him to get it together and do what he wants.

And now, back to Alison, waking up in a YWCA. It goes better than when Bruce Banner tried to stay at a YMCA. No near-rapes for her! She calls Harry for a cash advance. Ralph arrives at Comic-Con, having overslept, and gets swarmed with fans. He worries about his books. Back in New York, Bob’s gone mad with power. Alison goes into Comic-Con, followed by some military boys. They set up some weird device, which starts causing Alison’s mutant power to overloading. One of the soldiers is also affected, and turns into a big purple lizard monster. It knocks out the soldiers, and Alison destroys the machine, and the monster attacks her. She manages to defeat it by making the building collapse on it. Then she saves Ralph from being hit by a falling pillar, pays him back the money he loaned her, and leaves. Ralph takes the opportunity to call Bob, which knocks him out of his power trip.

And Alison decides to get on a bus for LA.

This is pretty fun. It’s a part of the Assistant Editor’s Month, of course. Those comics were all a lot of fun. I like the way it’s actually infused into the story in this issue. It makes for a fun read. The story itself is still pretty weak. So is the fight. But the stuff with SDCC is all so silly and ridiculous and over-the-top that you can’t help but enjoy yourself. I also like the general’s assistant being named Crespi – I would assume a reference to Dan Crespi, who spent a long time at Marvel in a few roles. And, of course, the assistant going mad with power also went along with the month’s theme. The art remains lame, though. Springer was just such a conventional artist. His work just didn’t stand out at all.

My next post will be about the remainder of the Assistant Editor’s Month stories. But I’ve actually got another X-Men appearance to mention first. Moon Knight #35, by Tony Isabella and Kevin Nowlan. Moon Knight tries to stop a break-in by the Fly, but winds up getting hurt, receiving serious spinal damage. In Paris, a Russian dancer gets killed by a woman who can control the wind. When Moon Knight, as Steven Grant, goes to visit another Russian dancer, he sees the guy get killed by the same woman. Before killing him, she says she’s a mutant. When her mutation activated, it made her seven feet tall, in addition to controlling the wind. The guy dances as he dies, which inspires Moon Knight to overcome his spinal damage and walk again. He goes to Xavier’s School, and asks him about Bora, the murdering woman. He asks how her power works, and Xavier guesses it’s psionic. After Moon Knight leaves, Colossus and Nightcrawler say they should deal with Bora, but Xavier wants to let Moon Knight try. However, the X-Men will be there, just in case. Moon Knight’s pilot, Jean-Paul, also flirts with Storm. At the ballet, the Fantastic Four are also there, at the request of Moon Knight. When Bora attacks, the X-Men and Fantastic Four protect the audience while Moon Knight fights her. He set up some things to distract her and screw up her control of the winds. Even so, the winds are pretty powerful. Before she can kill Moon Knight, Nightcrawler teleports in to distract her for just a moment, which allows Moon Knight to knock her out. It’s a good issue. The X-Men cameo is nice, and well-handled. They all get to do something, even if it’s not much. It’s a good story, with some pretty good art.

Song of the day: You’ve Got the Love by Florence + the Machine.

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