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Dazzler #33 (1984, August)

September 25, 2014

Time for another post. Today, by Michael Carlin and Mark Bright, “Chiller!”

Chiller!

Ah, there’s a good Sienkewicz cover.

Alison and her friend, Janet, are at a horror movie, and Alison leaves. It seems odd to me that Alison would actually be scared by a movie. She’s been to Nightmare’s realm. Galactus sent her into a Black Hole. She’s cheated death dozens of times by this point. And yet a movie scares her? Anyway, she runs home, and gets a call from Roman Nekoboh. He invites her to a big party.

At the party, some guy wanders over to hit on her, but Roman pulls her away and says he doesn’t want her talking to the guy. Later on, the director of the movie she’d been watching talks to her, and she admits to leaving before it was over. He says he wants to use her for a music video he’s directing for Teddy Lingard. Roman tells her he’s not happy with the idea, because the director, Bob Benson, has a reputation for putting his talent at risk. There’s an explosion from outside, and everyone rushes out to find Benson’s car in flames. Ali finds him in the bushes. He’s OK.

The next day, after her aerobics class, she calls Benson about the job offer. He heads over for an audition, and gets hired before she even dances. She gets suspicious. The next day, she goes in for the first day of shooting, and gets some zombie make-up put on. Then she and a dozen other zombies start on the choreography until Teddy Lingard shows up. Teddy Langard is Michael Jackson. It’s clearly meant to be Michael Jackson. Alison heads to the bathroom, and overhears Benson calling the news, saying something terrible has happened.

They go the set, and the dancers are put in graves to crawl out of. They start rolling, with Michael Teddy dancing past the graves, and then the dancers crawl out. Except for Alison. There’s no air hose on her grave, and Benson gets upset, especially when a news crew arrives. That’s when Alison comes out, shambling like a zombie and blaming Benson. He admits that he’s rigged all the “accidents” that happen around him, in order to get publicity.

This was . . . actually pretty good. I like it. It’s very much a “showbiz” issue, and that works well for it. The fact that it’s a blatant knock-off of “Thriller” is a bit stupid, but whatever. It is kinda neat that the opening of the issue – Dazzler walking out of a horror movie (one that stars Vincent Price, no less) is also taken from the Thriller video. I do like the general plot of the issue, and I like the lack of an actual supervillain. Focusing on the entertainment industry was a good way to go, though sadly, that direction doesn’t last much longer. But it’s a nice niche for Dazzler. It’s a little disappointing that her music career is basically over at this point – she doesn’t even think about it in this issue.

The art’s OK. Nothing special. Pretty standard mid-’80s comic book art. It’s honestly not interesting enough to talk about.

Also in August 1984: Secret Wars #4, by Jim Shooter and Bob Layton. The X-Men’s role in the story is to fly to Magneto’s base.  Magneto uses his magnetic powers to create a comb for the Wasp. When the X-Men show up suggesting an alliance, he agrees, but she refuses. She compares him to Hitler then fights him and the X-Men and manages to escape. This marks the second issue in a row where the X-Men got their asses handed to them by a single hero. Meanwhile, the Hulk holds up a mountain. Yeah, it’s that issue. The X-Men getting their asses kicked was a bit irritating.

Also that month, the Fantastic Four Annual started with X-Men #137, with the Kree and Skrull observers fighting each other.

Song of the day: The Songs That We Sing by Charlotte Gainsbourg.

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