(Oh mother, where art thou?)
Hmm. Could Dazzler have been suffering a dip in ratings at this point? There are certainly some signs to corroborate the theory. Like Dazzler wandering around in her skimpy nightie. Or Spider Woman wandering around in her underwear. Or Dazzler taking a shower whilst adopting the tried and tested Hollywood Women's Shower pose, in which the arms are placed just so so as to allow the maximum amount of side boob to be revealed without showing anything that would give the FCC (or in this case, the CCA) fits.
(That cover is hardly helping, either? If there are two things guaranteed to do you no good in the middle of a battle for your life, it's squeezing your tits together and opening your legs as wide as possible. Unless you're fighting Herman Cain, I guess, in which case it's at least helpful as a distraction, like when birds end up facing this:
|I am so very proud that I pasted this in without vomiting blood in terror.|
Dazzler and the gang are in San Francisco, having driven up from LA, for the next stage of Bruce Harris' tour. This time round, they're playing the Cow Palace, an indoor arena seating around 17,000 people. One can forgive Alison her resultant stage-fright, though in the event she plays another blinder (no pun intended), a state of affairs which Harris has neither failed to notice nor failed to fail to appreciate.
The next day, Alison awakes in her hotel room to a phone call from Ken the lawyer. She's beginning to fall for him, which causes her to think about the various men in her life, and how they've disappointed her, whether it be Paul breaking up with her in a crowded restaurant, or her father refusing reconciliation once he noticed her dead mother's brooch which she had appropriated.
And, in another twist of Cosmic Comic Coincidence, there's a truck just outside Dazzler's hotel room proudly displaying the same shape as that brooch. Seeing this, Alison begins to wonder if her missing mother is here in the city, and searches for her name in the phone book. There's only one matching entry, and Dazzler excitedly rings the number. Disappointment strikes, however, when "Katherine Blaire" turns out to be a school kid, deep in her maths homework. Exasperated, Alison admits to herself that she doesn't know where to turn.
Let's just pause a moment to consider the stupidity on display here. Alison has abandoned the search because the only household in the city with her mother's name contains at least one person with her mother's name that isn't her mother. Someone too young to have their own directory entry. So what's more likely? That San Francisco has become so hippy-dippy liberal that minors deserve their own place in the phonebooks? Or that the young girl who answered the phone was actually Katherine fucking Jr?
God. To think Carter Blaire thought his daughter could be a lawyer.
Discouraged by this ineffable riddle (just try and eff it!), Alison decides to strip off her skimpy nightie, and go have a shower (apparently she's a subscriber to the Hollywood Shower method, which requires any woman hold her arms at the exact angle necessary to reveal the maximum amount of side-boob whilst keeping the really racy stuff covered). After that, she decides to phone her friend Jessica Drew, PI, and get her on the case.
Jessica, though, is dealing with her own problems (including but not limited to keeping her own clothes on). She has a lot of other irons in the fire (not that a single phone call would take her too long) but she reluctantly agrees to take the case in exchange for a hundred dollars (and how much would a single phone call cost, huh?). Rather miffed at Jessica's laissez faire attitude to investigating, but far more enthusiastic approach to taking money from her friends, Alison decides to keep digging herself, and eventually both women are pointed in the same direction: the Transamerican building.
Dazzler gets there first, but all she finds is a sealed entrance, and an open trapdoor. The first is impregnable, the latter swallows her up. Jessica is hard on her heels and, hearing the scream as Alison falls, quickly changes into her Spider-Woman garb and follows her into the pit. Dazzler proves to be unhurt, just pissy, and after claiming to be merely an associate of Jessica's, Spider-Woman is ready to provide an extensive lecture on the importance of letting professionals deal with these cases (when they're finished complaining that they're not sure they can do it, but demanding money anyway). Tragically, she's interrupted by an attack by vicious dogs, who may be trained guardians, or might just be household pets sick driven to violence by her talking smack.
Jessica deals with the hounds without too much trouble, but that's only the beginning of their woes. Next up, high-pressure hoses start up, threatening to flood the room and drown our heroines. With that conquered, it's a troop of robots coming out of a knock-out gas fog. Apparently something really weird is going on beneath Transamerica. Even with that dealt with, there's still the small matter of moving walls to survive. Spider-Woman's venom blasts aren't powerful enough to do the job, and Dazzler's radio was submerged in water and then crushed by a robot, so there's only one option. Jessica will have to sing until Alison has enough charge to laser their way to safety (apparently Dazzler can't charge herself with any sound she produces herself, which I suppose makes sense in terms of Newtonian physics, or at least it would if Newton weren't already left crying into his apple pie by all the bullshit science these books pedal).
Once Jessica and Alison have escaped this final trap, they find themselves facing an extensive filing system, and locate what they need - a roll of film - inside a box bearing the sigil from the brooch of Dazzler's mother. High-tailing it through the ventilation system, the duo are soon back in the open air, and head back to Jessica's place to watch the film...
And it was all a waste of time! Cosmic Comic Coincidence really was coincidence; Alison and Jessica had stumbled upon a SHIELD operation entitled "winged heart", which had nothing to do with Dazzler's family at all. Jessica is understandably annoyed, but Alison doesn't particularly care. All this escapade has done is remind her of the importance of finally tracking down her mother.
Regarding the drive to SF, if we assume Harris played for two nights in LA and took Sunday off, that puts us three days on from the last adventure. This story then unfolds from afternoon to night on the following day.
Dazzler mentions "recently" meeting Jessica in UXM #148. By our timeline, she's talking about something that happened about a week earlier, between DAZ #13 and #14.
Monday 12th to Tuesday 13th of March, 1983.
X+4Y+336 to X+4Y+337.
Motown celebrates its 25th anniversary with the TV special Motown 25.
First Jackson moonwalk on film, by the way.
At the Cow Palace in our own reality, Bruce Harris' slot was instead taken up by Jimmy Page.
"#Don't you know, you fool, there's no chance to win# -- Oh! You... you did it."
Jessica finds a cappella kareoke is more moreish than one might think.