Monday, 13 February 2012
DAZ #11: "...Lest Ye Be Judged!"
(I guess those kangaroos aren't so bad after all.)
Now that Dazzler has implausibly managed to survive her trip inside a black hole, she finds she has a new problem. Galactus has charged her - as well as with massive levels of power - with forcing his errant herald Terrax back to the fold, but Terrax isn't particularly thrilled with the idea. More worryingly, he intends to make his stance completely clear by massacring Dazzler with a giant axe. Outside the event horizon, the R-II drone watches the resulting battle on the monitor. Nothing can escape a black hole except Terrax and a TV signal, apparently, except for Dazzler - so long as she's tied to a spaceship, obviously. Gods, but all of this is painfully stupid.
Anyway, "The Tamer" still has enough juice from his time as Galactus' Herald to be essentially invulnerable to Dazzler's attacks, and the only reason he doesn't kill her straight away is that he thinks she'll make a fitting queen when he leaves the black hole and heads for a new dimension in which to carve out his next empire
Realising the mission is in danger of coming to an abrupt, axe-heavy end, R-II goes to Galactus for help. The Destroyer of Worlds rebuffs his serf, however. Indeed, not only will he not help, he's taking his ship elsewhere, meaning Alison is boned even if she somehow defeats Terrax. As the spacecraft departs, however, someone (and I think we all know who) activates the mega sound system that supercharged Dazzler last issue, and begins beaming the resulting noise backward into the black hole. The resulting jolt to Daz's powers, combined with Terrax's exhaustion from trying to stay alive within a singularity, quickly hands her victory.
She's tempted to end things there, to leave Terrax to his fate and climb the beam of sound (ARRRRGH!) back to Galactus' ship. Fortunately, the pillar of sound (ARRRRGH! ARRRRGH!) is strong enough for her to drag Terrax up with her.
Galactus is none to pleased to learn his drone has acted on its own initiative, but R-II points out that Galactus had left on the devices keeping Dazzler alive in the black hole, which implied he isn't totally indifferent to Alison's fate. I'm not sure that's quite the right line, here. The right line is that leaving Dazzler unaided but keeping the machines running is just a pointless waste of power, meaning R-II should have either saved her, or killed her. The drone took the option that meant the mission wasn't automatically a failure, and which also meant not murdering someone - Galactus can take his pick over which of those arguments he finds more compelling.
This then leads into a brief but pretty interesting summation of Galactus' mental state. It's not that he has no emotions, so much as he's forced to repress them all, Vulcan-style, otherwise he'd never be able to do what he has to in order to stay alive. Which makes sense, in a rather brutal way; there's only so many sentient species one can wipe out before you stop caring or you throw yourself into a black hole (which used to be fatal, if you recall). What that means in practice, though, seems to be that Galactus will take any excuse to take the compassionate route under the disguise of logic. He allows R-II to continue sending energy to Dazzler. Moments later, Alison and Terrax burst from the singularity.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the disappearance of Alison Blaire is causing multiple problems. Judge Carter Blaire, her estranged father, has discovered his mother has lost contact with his daughter, and concluded that it's time for a reconciliation, now that no bugger actually knows where she is. Doctor Paul Sexytimes is headed to Daz's place too, determined to sit outside her apartment until she arrives to dump him properly (dude - have you no self-respect?) Finally, Alison's band mates and her management are headed over to see what's what, having lamentably learned that she was clearly the only person in the entire outfit with any actual talent.
Dazzler awakes back onboard Galactus' vessel, having been healed by R-II, so that she can attend the trial of Terrax, where "trial" in this case means "Galactus stares at you for a while and then does whatever the fuck he wants." Rather wonderfully, the lessons taught to Alison by her father kick in, and she decides this show trial is entirely not on. Entirely without suger-coating, she points out that Galactus knew Terrax was a turd when he hired him, and also that whilst there is no small number of people who could condemn Terrax for enslaving entire worlds, the guy who consumes whole planetary systems doesn't get to claim to be one of them. I really hadn't been too impressed by this rather shapeless and generic cosmic jaunt up to this point, but a brief burst of "Sexy Mutant Lawyer" has gone a long way to improving things. Galactus even agrees to give Terrax a second chance, though as the narration points out, that may have been his plan in any case. Heralds must be a bitch to find.
A few minutes later, and Dazzler is back home, returned by Galactus to stop her annoying him. Unfortunately, the trip leaves her befuddled and nearly unconscious, and coincides precisely with her building's super letting Carter Blaire, Dr Hotbuns, and 90% of her work colleagues in through her door. Given her current state, and her week-long disappearance, the unanimous verdict is "rock-star drugs binge", and the men leave, either disgusted (Carter), angry but concerned (the band, Harry and Lance) or plain old confused (Dr Firmpex).
'Lison! You got some 'splain' to do!
This story takes place over the course of several hours. There's no way to tell how long Dazzler was being tended to in R-II's healing chair, so we'll assume the action has spilled over into the following day.
Thursday 19th to Friday 20th of January, 1983.
X+4Y+284 to X+4Y+285.
David F. Lawler, not yet fifteen, enters his school in Missouri carrying two handguns, filled with ammunition he received as a Christmas present, and shoots two fellow pupils (killing one) before committing suicide.
"Hey -- take it easy, Pops. Be mellow."
"'Be mellow'! That's all you musicians do, isn't it, with all the drugs you take!" - Beefer and Carter.
It's interesting that in the 1980s there was a comic which, whilst not being pro-drugs, was willing to paint someone who is anti-drugs as a hysterical douchewad.