Sunday, 13 May 2012

DAZ #22: "Sisterhood"

(Mothers, fathers, half-sisters, and lesbian foster parents)


Oh.  Apparently Angel still hasn't headed out of New York, even after realising trying to seduce someone by meddling with their family history is a stupid idea.  If he's got another trick up his sleeve to get Dazzler out of her skintight silver catsuit (a goal we share, though in my case it's so she can put something less ridiculous on), I don't know if I want to hear it.  Of course, we may never know, since apparently Angel has been marked for death.  The weapon to be used?  Trained killer eagles, obviously, because they're more expensive, harder to control and tougher to conceal than a gun.  Who wouldn't opt for assassination by accipitridae?

Maybe someone who's trying to kill a highly-trained acrobatic flier, I guess?  Angel's barely clocked the sinister death flock when he starts defensive manoeuvres, dodging and weaving so quickly he not only disorients the birds, but the panel order as well.  Now that's impressive.

Meanwhile, Dazzler is being driven to a recording studio by Lance.  Her first demo is gonna get cut today! But even whilst so excited about her blossoming career, Alison is still looking out for the little guy (so long as doing so doesn't require her to not get what she wants all the time).  On this occasion she sees a skater crossing the road, her ears too full of music from her walkman to notice the blaring horn an oncoming car.

Instantly, Dazzler snaps into action, turning the radio up for a quick boost and lasering the girl's Walkman. Now able to hear the horn, she has time to swerve and avoid being splattered.  This might be one of the most egregious examples of comic-book-time I've seen since the late '60s.  There's time for Alison to fiddle with the radio, aim, fire, the girl to hear the honking of the car and move out of the way, but there's no time for the car itself to break?  Really?  Ahm gonna go 'head call bullshit on that sucker.

Over at the Electronic Oz recording studio, Dazzler and band get down to business under the watchful eye of "genius producer" L. B. Holman.  The guys a perfectionist who pisses off the whole band in exceptionally short order, but I've read about Phil Spector; this guy's a pussycat.  Besides, they have plenty in the can by day's end, and it's time to break out the bubbly, though Alison's celebratory mood is slightly tarnished by the absence of Ken, who's buried in his fancy lawyerin' books.

Others are hard at work too.  Over Sutton Place way, Mystique, Destiny and Rogue are discussing their latest evil plan for evil: stealing anti-personnel hawks from the Pentagon (I swear I am not making this up) have apparently not done the job RE: doing the Angel in.  Mystique admits that she'd assumed this would happen (assumed? Couldn't Destiny have told her what was going to happen? Or at least that her idea was scrambled mental on dumbtoast?), but wanted Angel scared, for when they kill him as revenge against the X-Men.

Let's leave such villainous considerations, though, and return to Dazzler's increasingly complex family life.  It's a big couple of days for both of Alison's parents: Carter is sending his wife's mothballed effects to her apartment (letting go of his past like that makes him weep openly, though he may also be upset over having to wear such hideous neon pink trousers). Meanwhile, "Barbara London" is preparing a meal for her second daughter Lois.  Babs is finally going to spill the beans about Lois' kinda-famous half-sister.  She's kind of nervous about coming clean, so much so that she smashes a pair of spectacles, and then calls them a goblet (this issue is starting to look a little slapped-together, actually, but then that's perhaps not surprising coming straight after a double-sized book).  Apparently, the secrets in Barbara's past have always been a wall between her and Lois, but she refused to talk about it.

'm beginning to wonder if there is anything this woman hasn't managed to screw up regarding her family, actually. Her first marriage ended in tatters (though in fairness Carter deserves at least half the blame for that, and probably more), she abandoned her first child to go live with a drug-dealer, then had a second kid to try and cement that relationship, only to end up an abused addict, and when she finally decides to get her and Lois out of that horrorshow, she drives a wedge between the two of them by refusing to talk about what happened before all the cocaine-binges and beatings Lois had been forced to witness.

Outside a New York cinema, we find Alison once again determined to prove that jaw-dropping self-absorption is buried in her family's chromosomes, as she tears Ken a new one for the crime of not abandoning his clients whenever she needs him.  Actually, I think she has a reasonable case in general; just because your partner's job is important it shouldn't mean you can't expect them to make time for you (though right now the argument is about why Ken won't take her dancing immediately after he's taken her to the pictures).  It's Dazzler's approach that's the problem here, storming off to the nearest taxi and telling Ken she'll "maybe" call him.  Maybe if he won't leave people needing legal counsel because he loves her, Ken will abandon them because he doesn't want her to throw tantrums anymore, huh?

Back at her apartment, Alison has second thoughts, wondering if she really is too self-absorbed.  I heard a choir of angels when I read that line, I can tell you.  The answer, young Ms Blaire, is helllllll yeah.  Speaking of angels, rather than just ruminating over whether she's a piss-poor girlfriend, she starts to think about what she should be doing with her powers, and decides to go ask Warren for input.  Which might not be the smartest move, actually.  I'm sure he'll have something useful to say on the topic of superheroism, of course, but if you're worried about whether you're helplessly narcissistic, I don't see Angel being of much use on the subject.

For a moment, it doesn't look like it'll matter in any case; Angel's hotel room appears abandoned.  Actually, though, he's just hiding in the shadows, hoping to surprise whomever it was sent those trained murder-birds his way on page 1.  He's not in the best of ways, covered as he is with cuts and scratches (how good of him to wander around topless to allow Alison to gauge his precise level of damage), but since he's pushing the manly hero image, Dazzler decides she may as well keep him up all night bitching about her problems.  Good work curbing that self-obsessed streak, Ali!

It doesn't even work, really; by morning Dazzler's just as confused as ever.  Warren suggests they visit Xavier at his mansion, and see if he can help.  Alas, Rogue and her foster mothers have other ideas, and  our intrepid duo are quickly intercepted.  As "the sisterhood" explain their plans, we quickly learn two very unpleasant facts, first that Dazzler is about to experience great personal tragedy involving someone she loves, and second that if you punch Angel a few times he gets stupid enough to believe his Colorado-dwelling girlfriend has suddenly arrived to fight a powersucker, a precog, and a shapeshifter who's suddenly nowhere to be seen.  This is a damn harsh thing to say, but Angel deserved Mystique's knee in his testicles.

Whilst Warren attempts to recover from that lowest of all blows, Rogue offers Dazzler a place in their organisation.  A chance to be at the forefront of chick-crime.  Dazzler's reply is a laser to the face, but Rogue has no trouble tossing her away, or decking Angel as he attempts to escape.

The plan now is for Rogue to absorb Angel's memories, presumably to make taking out the rest of the X-Men more simple (though of course once she comes across his memory of being told they're all missing presumed dead, that would rather make the whole jig moot), but she refuses, fearful of growing a pair of wings and looking like a freak (presumably someone told her that her thick grey streaks are perfectly normal for a woman in her early twenties).  The girls fall back on Plan B - take Angel to their hideout and punch him in the gonads some more - but Alison comes to and launches a rescue attempt.  Rogue and Mystique are dazzled before they can respond, but Destiny's blind eyes are of course immune, so Alison relies on a knuckle sandwich to do the job.  Moments later, our heroes have stolen their opponents' helicopter, and made their escape.

We return once more to Alison's apartment, where she and Warren discuss their adventure and how likely the villainous trio are be planning revenge, but Dazzler has more immediate problems right now: her half-sister has just shown up...


There's no suggestion as to when this story takes place, though since Rogue mentions her fight with the X-Men in UXM #158 it must be at least early May.  There's also the fact that Warren talks about Xavier's mansion in the present tense.  That puts this story somewhere around the time Xavier formed the New Mutants (so even if Dazzler had made it to the mansion, she'd have been asking advice from a man taken over by a Brood embryo).

We'll therefore place this story about a week before MGN #4 begins.


Sunday 5th June, 1983.



Contemporary Events

Standout Line

"Maybe I am too self-centered, too narcissistic."

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