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Dazzler #38 (1985, July)

February 23, 2015

I’m visiting with a friend today. But first, by Archie Goodwin and Paul Chadwick, “Challenge.”

Challenge

Oh, look! A desperate attempt to get sales!

We start in a San Francisco bar, where a guy comes in with a big-ass dog. Everyone runs out, and one guy gets caught in a noose and pulled up to the roof. He’s been caught by bounty hunter O.Z. Chase, and his dog, Cerberus. Cerberus eats cigars. Chase calls for any more tips, and is told about a bounty in San Diego.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, Colossus is sitting on the beach listening to Dazzler’s album, and Wolverine tells him it’s time to go to work. Alison’s working out in a motel gym. The guy who runs the motel has hired her to do performances in the lounge, and he wants her to spend extra time with some of his friends. Especially the ones with Mob ties. She tells the guy off, and he tells his enforcer to “talk” to her. She hits the enforcer with a strobe light in the eyes.

Wolverine applauds her handling of the situation, then comes after her. She runs in order to get a chance to make a plan, and runs into Colossus. She blinds him and slips past, but Colossus quickly turns and smashes the ground to knock her off her feet. He charges her, and she manages to trip him into the pool, then she heads up to her room. Wolverine tells Colossus they’ve got her cornered, and she’s not good enough to escape.

Flashback! The X-Men are debating Dazzler. She wants some help training her powers. Wolverine thinks she should be turned away, but the others figure she deserves a chance. They decide to give her some Danger Room training, though Wolverine’s still not impressed. Eventually, Xavier decides she’s had enough training, and invites her to stay, but she declines. She does challenge Wolverine to a final test under real-life conditions.

Back in the present, Wolverine and Colossus smash into her motel room, and find her in her snazzy new costume. She blinds them, then slips away. They chase her to a pier, where she makes her final stand. Colossus rips up one of the pilings and throws it as a javelin, which Dazzler lasers in half. Then she jumps to a boat and zaps the pier behind Colossus and Wolverine, dumping Colossus in the water again. Wolverine makes it to the boat, but Dazzler swings back to the pier. Colossus pops up behind her and grabs her, and she blasts him with her eyes. She swims back to shore and climbs up, with Wolverine waiting for her. She starts unleashing all she has against him, but he keeps coming. Once he’s close enough, she turns the lightshow off and makes one thin laser, which slices through his costume. Wolverine stares, then goes after her again.

He’s stopped by an optic blast. Cyclops agreed to play referee. Wolverine still doesn’t seem to much like Dazzler, but he stops arguing.

In LA, Chase meets a guy about bringing in Dazzler on charges of jumping bail. As Chase leaves the office, the guy he was talking to starts decomposing.

This was pretty OK. The cover boasts a new direction, and it’s not lying. Unfortunately, that direction is primarily away from her attempt at starting a singing career, and into more superhero-oriented stuff, as shown by this issue mostly being an extended fight scene. However, this issue, at least, was actually done quite well for what it was. The fight was good, interesting, reasonably exciting. Dazzler shows some nice tactical thinking, and plenty of skill. She also has a fairly interesting voice throughout the issue. There’s no melodramatic dialogue. She comes across as very strong-willed and independent, which is a nice change from the way she spent most of the series being kind of an idiot and a ninny. She’s more interesting here than she’s been for a long time. Still, it is a shame that the “struggling musician” angle is pretty much dropped from here on out.

The art’s solid. It’s “house style,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Chadwick still does a solid job with everything. It’s not exceptional, but it does its job. No complaints there.

Song of the day: God On the Drums, Devil On the Bass by Katie Melua.

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From → 1980s, 1985, Dazzler

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