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Dazzler #42 (1986, March)

June 18, 2015

The long nightmare is over. We finally come to the end of Dazzler’s comic. By Goodwin and Chadwick, “Curtain!”

Curtain

“Because you demanded it” – Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?

Arthur Smith, the guy we saw in a prison last issue, is being interrogated by police. He heard voices in his head, and sneaked out of the prison to follow them, because he knew they planned harm. He decided there was only one way to save her, and the cop interrogating tells a reporter the guy killed Dazzler.

Cut back. Beast is sneaking into Camp Silence. He smashed in and started shouting for Dazzler to make some noise and let him know where she was. The ranch is empty. Chase and his dog have reached the same conclusion. A couple of the stupid biker douches come out of the cellar.

Dazzler is floating in a white void. Silence turns on a radio to wake her up, and lets her know they’ve moved to Tulsa. Beast and Chase beat up the two bikers. Dazzler’s taken to see her mom, who’s sick from injections of the psi-enhancement drug Silence and Dust created. Silence tells Dazzler to go perform, but Dazzler tells her off and talks to her mom. Dazzler tells Silence that she was to cure her mother immediately, and Silence responds by having one of her followers blast Dazzler. Then Silence does some more recapping of the last couple issues. Dazzler’s taken downstairs to bathe Silence’s followers in light.

Smith was in the audience, and he figured out that Silence was the one who wanted to hurt Dazzler. We get Smith’s story – he’d seen her perform during a brief time when he wasn’t in a correctional facility and fell in love with her, and when he was sent to prison for car theft, he found himself passing unnoticed by the other inmates. He started hearing whispers, and sneaked out of prison and stole a van, which had a gun in it.

Back to the present. Dazzler passes out. Chase and Beast are on their way to Tulsa. Silence orders a doubling of the guard, because she expects Dazzler’s friends to make an attempt to save her. She left the biker losers behind to direct them for that reason.

Later on, everyone is gathered for another performance from Dazzler. Her mom is put in the audience, too. Dazzler focuses her light specifically on her mother, and Silence’s people rush her. Beast and Chase have arrived, and Chase creates a diversion by driving his truck straight into the front doors. And now it’s a big battle. Silence grabs Dazzler, and starts hitting her with the void. Dazzler hits back by releasing all the sound stored in her body, as sound. Silence is killed. Her followers are released from her control. Most fled, but some stayed, and one threatened Dazzler’s mom. Dust, in a follower’s body. Dazzler dives at him, and then blasts him with light.

Then Smith fires his gun, and kills Dazzler. The building starts to collapse, and everyone escaped, leaving Smith sitting beside Dazzler’s body.

A little later, he meets with Beast, Chase and Dazzler, who’s still alive. His power lets him make people see what he wants them to see, so he made everyone see Dazzler as the one he shot, not Dust’s host body. Dazzler thanks him for his help, and he heads back to prison, where he feels more comfortable anyway. Chase heads off with Dazzler’s mom, and Beast invites Dazzler to join X-Factor. Possibly a joking reference to the earlier idea of having Dazzler as the Token Chick in X-Factor, before Jean Grey was decided on.

This finale is as bland and stupid as the whole series was. I almost don’t even want to review it, because there’s just so little worth saying. The “fake murder” thing is actually vaguely interesting. Not a bad angle. But the rest just sucks. Silence is a pretty generic villain. Her cult is equally dull. It’s worth noting that not a single one of her followers ever shows up again – no one has ever given enough of a damn to actually reference any of this. Even writers who love scouring continuity for story ideas don’t care about this story. Even Chase basically disappears – he gets one more appearance, right after the Fall of the Mutants story, and then vanished forever, because he’s another dull, generic character.

The dialogue is weak. The art is bland. The comic isn’t even bad enough to be interesting that way. It’s all just a chore to read through, and even more of one to then talk about. The only response I want to give is a shrug.

Good riddance to the Dazzler series.

That said . . . I still want a new Dazzler solo series. She is a cool, interesting character, and the singer angle has a lot of potential. I’ve talked about my idea before, but here it is again: Dazzler tries to get her career going again. To do this, she goes on tour. She goes to different cities, and has different experiences. In some cities, she gets involved in some sort of superhero situation. In other cities, she gets involved in more mundane problems. Give it a nice variety. And she has fun either way. Some of her shows have guest musicians from the Marvel Universe, and those issues have her team up with the guest star to solve whatever the problem of the month is. All fairly standard so far, sure, but that’s why you need the right creative team. You need a creative team with a love of music, who can give the comic almost a musical feel. Jamie McKelvie would be my top choice for artist – especially because he has the best eye for fashion in comics, so Dazzler could have an awesome new outfit every issue. Stacey Lee would be another great option. The book’s general tone would be light. Some drama, but mostly a lot of fun.

That’s what a Dazzler book should be. Not a straight-up superhero thing (or a reluctant superhero thing), not romantic drama, not legal drama, not family drama – just something upbeat, cheerful and fun.

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From → 1980s, 1986, Dazzler

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