Saturday, 24 March 2012

DAZ #17: "The Angel And The Octopus!"

(Or: "Three Assholes Act Like Assholes")


Aw! Alison and Ken are getting all loved-up on the streets of New York.  That's so cute!  And dangerous! They're too busy making kissy-faces to take basic safety proportions, and as a result, their jumped by muggers.  Dazzler fights them off with her powers, but poor old Ken is far too shaken up to continue their date, and has to be bundled into a taxi.

Back home, Dazzler strips off - obviously - and once more does so whilst reminding us of what's been going on over the last few issues.  It's not exactly Game of Thrones style "sexposition", but it's most certainly at least a distant cousin.  She's also not sure about whether she's best off with a baseline human, who's so useless in a fight it forces her to break out her own super-powers.  On the other hand, as she notes, if she was with another super-human, she'd have to deal with all the baggage they'd bring with them.  It's interesting it doesn't occur to her to consider the other direction here: maybe Ken would rather have to be the one expected to face down street toughs if meant his girlfriend wouldn't end up disappearing from planes or being pulled in front of a judge on a murder rap.

Still, later that day (after being hired to lay down some backing vocals for what turns out to be a Bruce Harris record - that's going to be a shock for him when he checks out the sleeve notes), she's offered the chance to see how the other half lives.  Warren Worthington has tracked her down, and he's hoping for a date.

Clearly though he's left his brain and his charm in his other wing-harness.  Holding out glossy magazines with covers showing you hanging out with bikini-clad models is probably not a good way to commence your flirting.  Chasing a fleeing woman onto a bus and cornering her in the park is worse, even before you start taking your coat off  - "I have something to show you" (I suppose it makes sense that Warren would be so desperate that he not have to tell her his name that he'd risk being mistaken for a well-manicured flasher, but it's still not comfortable to watch).  Angel explains that he's having second thoughts about his current long-term relationship, and, having met Dazzler all of twice, he's decided she might be able to help "sort his life out."

To sum up, then, Warren has flown to New York carrying a magazine with himself on the cover, in order to show to a woman he barely knows, all so she'll let him ask her out on a date so he doesn't have to think about his current girlfriend for a while.

Wow.  I once watched met terrifyingly unpleasant mathematician at a conference at which, having been very publicly shot down in flames by his first choice of foreign girl, immediately tried it on with someone else, telling her "You are the most attractive woman remaining."  I think Warren's c has actually managed to make that guy's chat-up routine seem comparatively impressive.

Of course, Warren does have two major advantages: he's rich and pretty.  I once got into a long, involved and intense conversation with two of my friends (including the second recipient of the slimy Russian's attentions described above) about the validity of the statement "Their actions would have been really creepy if they hadn't been so gorgeous".  I mean, sure, one's response to an actual proposition depends on who's doing the asking, but stalking someone across half a country is fucked up no matter how good they look.

Alison gets this, I think, at least to some extent, though by telling Warren she's "flattered and touched" by his offer is somewhat too kind to the guy, I think.  Maybe if she'd been a little more forceful, he wouldn't have tailed her to her dinner date with Ken and bought the restaurant in an attempt to impress her.  This time she does pretty much tell him to go fuck himself, but she still can't stop thinking about him , and eventually throws Ken out of her apartment that night, both because she keeps almost calling him "Warren", and because she's pissed off that he's not acting jealous.  Which, by the way, screw you, lady.  The only possible problem with Ken's behaviour is that he might have been better calling the police on your lunatic stalker.  Let's all try to be adults here, shall we?

Once Ken has gone, Angel quite literally swoops in, knocking at Alison's window, because that's not creepy at all.  Alison finally relents, because women don't know their own minds, or something, and allows Angel to take her for a "spin".  She thinks he means by car, but instead he grabs her and takes flight.  The view's better, no doubt, but if she changes her mind, there's not much she can do.  If Angel had taken her out in his car, this would be like locking Dazzler inside.  Shit, as the kids say on the corners, be fucked up.

Rather disappointingly, Warren's routine works like a charm.  By the time he "Whole New World"s her to the top of the Empire State Building, Dazzler is enraptured, and it's kissy time.  Just one kiss, though, then Dazzler demands to be taken home, so she can try and figure out what the hell she's doing.

Ultimately, she comes up with the following plan: not tell Ken anything, and jump into Warren's car the next time he comes cruising by.  Nice.  Karma decides to take an interest in all this bullshit (possibly because Alison goes so far as to tell Warren she hopes their upcoming date will be exceptionally expensive, which drained what little sympathy for her I still had).  How do you punish someone for stepping out on their other half?  You throw an insane metal-tentacled super-villain at them!  That's how they roll in New York, my friends.  Oh yes.  Octavius has busted out from a prison truck - "the sweet air of freedom is once again mine to breathe!" - and only Angel and Dazzler can stop him!

Whatever else you want to say about Warren's behaviour this issue, he's still a hero.  He's tearing his clothes off to get to his costume the instant he's stopped the car.  Alison is rather less thrilled about the idea of chasing around a notorious murderer who can grope you to death at twenty paces, and says so.  Why, it's almost as though her fears over how a relationship with a superhero would pan out have come true!  Why, oh why, oh why didn't she just stick with her boyfriend and not tramp around with the rich sex pest?  Hindsight really is 20/20, isn't it?

In fairness, her foresight seems to have finally stepped up to the plate as well, actually, since moments later Doc Ock has come damn close to brutally killing them both (apparently he's a little less forgiving when being pursued, however pretty his shadows).  Working together, our heroes make a come-back and help the authorities re-capture him, but the damage is done.  Alison demands to be taken home, and then kicks Angel to the curb, citing her relationship with Ken, and almost being crushed to death.  She heads to the bathroom, instructing him to be gone by the time she returns.

Warren takes the hint, and slouches off, but not before he finds a letter lying around the flat.  It's from Jessica Drew, who's still searching for Alison's mother in San Francisco.  This gives Angel an idea: if he finds Dazzler's mother for her, he's bound to get a shag.  Quid pro freakin' quo, beetchez!

As Warren flies away, though, someone else is landing.  And if his choice of transport is considerably more orthodox, he himself is decidedly not.  The Absorbing Man is back in New York City, and he's looking for Dazzler...


This story takes place over four days.

Jessica's letter commits the cardinal sin of including an actual date: March 4th.  This means we'll have to rearrange the timings for DAZ #14 onwards.  That won't be difficult, actually, just vaguely annoying.  I'll assume that Spider-Woman's letter was written a week after she and Dazzler met, and that it took another week to arrive (she doesn't really strike me as the type to spring for first class mail), and I'll post the revised dates later today.

Alison notes that she's been wearing her mother's brooch for weeks.  She took said item from her father's house in DAZ #13, which we've placed in early February, so that works out.


Friday 11th to Monday 14th of March, 1983.


X+4Y+344 to X+4Y+347.

Contemporary Events

The brilliantly named First Hawke Ministry is sworn in in Australia, though of course it was only called such after the swearing in of the Second Hawke Ministry a little under two years later.

Standout Line

"You've made a shambles of my relationship with a perfectly nice guy."  Oh, lovely, Daz.  Cheat on your boyfriend and then blame the other guy.  To think that Dr Lovelyknees dumped you because you were so distant and unavailable, when he could have done it because you're a total bitch.

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