Friday, 20 January 2012
DAZ #7: "Fort Apache, The Hulk!"
(The calming powers of canines and cowardice.)
Outside the gig, all is understandably chaos. The band and the audience both have fled the building with all possible speed. Lance is made of sterner stuff, though, and vows to rescue Alison, a plan that lasts exactly as long as it takes for a piece of debris to almost crush him, after which he retreats. He's done all he can do.
Meanwhile, Dazzler herself is following the Hulk's trail of devastation, still hoping she can reason with him somehow. She finds him flinging pool tables around a student rec room, and starts preparing her lightshow.
Meanwhile, in a spacious Twin Towers office, a shadowy figure has recruited three supervillains, not by paying them, but by breaking them out of Ryker's Island. Presumably he didn't have the resources to get into any particularly high security areas, however, because all he managed to liberate were "the Enforcers": Montana, who is quite handy with a lasso; Ox, a standard super-strong type who I doubt could beat the Hulk at a game of "point at your own face"; and the fantastically-named Fancy Dan, who looks like a '40s spiv, and can't even get down from a handstand without spilling Ox's drink. Not, I would think, a trio to be particularly concerned about.
Still, I guess they'll have the element of surprise on their side. I was surprised when I learned of their mission, anyway. Shadowy McNoName has hired them to assassinate Harry S. Osgood, Dazzler's manager and... a multiple murderer?
Back at the college, Dazzler doesn't seem to able to do more than, ahem, dazzle the Hulk - he can't see well enough to beat her to death, but if anything he's causing more damage than ever now he's repeatedly being blinded. Alison catches a break when the military arrive; they don't do any better than her (even with their rather strange "grappler" tank, which reminds me of the gloriously mental array of specially-designed armoured vehicles the Americans deployed on the beaches of Europe on D-Day), but at least she gets her breath back, and Hulk has time to calm down a little and head for the science building "to think".
(The military bozos start off not believing in the Hulk as well, by the way. Which frankly seems like a step beyond ludicrous obtuseness and into full-blown dickiness. They're calling Thunderbird Ross and all their comrades out west liars?)
Alison sneaks into the building behind the Hulk, still determined to stop him from hurting anyone, but now that he's on his own, the Hulk seems calmer. He even frees the dogs that are being kept in cages for experimentation, which of course makes him immediately completely awesome. Dazzler makes the link between how she dealt with the Hulk and how the mob treated her after she stopped that mugging a few days earlier. It's not a perfect fit, of course - I don't remember Alison threatening to take apart anyone who got in her way - but it isn't a bad idea, and explains why that scene was in there in the first place (originally I'd just assumed DeFalco didn't have enough material for two full issues, and was offering his own take on the grand old tradition of mid-arc filler). And I suppose it's pretty hard to feel too good about sneaking up on something whilst it has its back turned, and is stroking a doggy.
The arrival of another squad of soldiers threatens to ruin everything; Dazzler gets rid of them with a burst of light, but the Hulk assumes she's back to cause more trouble. Perhaps taking inspiration from the canine spectators, Alison rolls over, admitting that she can't possibly beat the Hulk, and that he scares the crap out of her besides. Satisfied by her surrender, Hulk allows her to stay, and even lets her put on a soothing light show for him, which works so well that he reverts back to Bruce Banner. Feeling sorry for him, Dazzler smuggles him off campus with her band's gear, and gives him $200 as he hits the highway once more.
That was the only money Alison had, of course, though that doesn't occur to her until she returns home to an empty fridge. She phones Dr Paul, hoping perhaps he'll finally get around to buying him breakfast, but the prissy nurse Ms. Collins answers. Apparently her hatred of Dazzler stems from her own romantic interest in the good doctor, and she's running interference, telling Alison that Dr Paul is never free, and Dr Paul that Alison never calls.
There are bigger concerns at present, however. Whomever it was stalking around the building during rehearsals last issue, he shows up again during the fight with the Hulk, and now he's standing directly outside Alison's apartment, preparing to make contact, so that she can "be of use"...
Looking back at the last two issues, there's a glaring fault in the timeline as is: it's clearly term time for Gordon University. We therefore need to add in four weeks somewhere, in order to ensure this is taking place in early January, rather than early December (indeed, Dazzler's gig could well be part of a term-starting shindig). Looking back over the last six issues, I suspect the easiest option is to add ten days or so to each of the periods between DAZ #2 and DAZ #3, and DAZ #5 and DAZ #6. I'll post the updated - and now hopefully finalised - 1982 timeline later today. This also means that we're finally past UXM #143, chronologically speaking.
The issue itself starts immediately after the last one ended, and continues into the following morning.
Sunday 8th to Monday 9th of January, 1983.
X+4Y+274 to X+4Y+275.
American professional wrestler Chris Masters is born, who from my various brief discussions on the subject with those who know about such things, I believe is sort of a big deal.
"Hulk will let girl live! If girl doesn't call Hulk "gentle" again. Girl is stupid!"
Note to self, ladies; the only thing more embarrassing than catching a guy masturbating is catching him cuddling puppies and cooing lovingly.