Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Timeline: 1983 Jul - Dec (Take 2)

1st     MGN #4: Renewal
2nd    MGN #4: Renewal
3rd    MGN #4: Renewal
4th    MGN #4: Renewal
5th    MGN #4: Renewal
6th    NMU #1: Initiation
6th    NMU #2: Sentinels
9th    NMU #3: Nightmare
9th    UXM #167: The Goldilocks Syndrome (Or: "Who's Been Sleeping in my Head?")
9th    MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
10th UXM #167: The Goldilocks Syndrome (Or: "Who's Been Sleeping in my Head?")
10th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
11th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
12th UXM Annual 6: Blood Feud!
12th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
13th UXM Annual 6: Blood Feud!
13th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills

14th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
15th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
16th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills
17th MGN #5: God Loves, Man Kills

17th UXM #168: Professor Xavier is a Jerk!
18th UXM #168: Professor Xavier is a Jerk!
19th UXM #168: Professor Xavier is a Jerk!
20th UXM #168: Professor Xavier is a Jerk!


3rd    UXM #169: Catacombs
3rd    UXM #170: Dancin' in the Dark

Timeline: 1983 Jan - Jun (Take 7)


6th DAZ 6: The Hulk can be Hazardous to Your Health!
7th DAZ 6: The Hulk can be Hazardous to Your Health!
8th DAZ 6: The Hulk can be Hazardous to Your Health!
8th DAZ 7: Fort Apache, the Hulk!
9th DAZ 7: Fort Apache, the Hulk!
11th DAZ 8: Hell... Hell is for Harry!
12th DAZ 8: Hell... Hell is for Harry!
12th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
13th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
14th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
15th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
16th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
17th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
18th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
19th DAZ 9: The Sound and the Fury!
19th DAZ 10: In the Darkness... a Light!
19th DAZ 11: ...Lest ye be Judged!
20th DAZ 11: ...Lest ye be Judged!
24th DAZ 12: Endless Hate
25th DAZ 12: Endless Hate


4th UXM 144: Even in Death...
5th UXM 144: Even in Death...
8th DAZ 13: Trial... and Terror!
9th DAZ 13: Trial... and Terror!
21st DAZ 14: ...Without Getting Killed or Caught!...
24th DAZ 15: Private Eyes
25th DAZ 15: Private Eyes
28th UXM 145: Kidnapped!
28th UXM 146: Murderworld!
28th DAZ 16: Black Magic Woman!


1st UXM 145: Kidnapped!
1st UXM 146: Murderworld!
1st UXM 147: Rogue Storm!
1st DAZ 16: Black Magic Woman!
2nd UXM 148: Cry, Mutant!
3rd UXM 148: Cry, Mutant!
4th UXM 148: Cry, Mutant!
5th UXM 148: Cry, Mutant!
6th UXM 148: Cry, Mutant!
8th UXM 149: And the Dead Shall Bury the Living!
8th UXM 150: I, Magneto!
9th WOL #1: Wolverine
10th WOL 1: Wolverine
11th WOL 1: Wolverine
12th WOL 1: Wolverine
13th WOL 2: Debts and Obligations
18th DAZ 17: The Angel and the Octopus!
19th DAZ 17: The Angel and the Octopus!
20th WOL 3: Loss
20th DAZ 17: The Angel and the Octopus!
21st DAZ 17: The Angel and the Octopus!
23rd WOL 4: Honor


1st DAZ 18: The Absorbing Man Wants you!
2nd DAZ 18: The Absorbing Man Wants you!
2nd DAZ 19: Creel... and Inhuman Treatment!
3rd DAZ 19: Creel... and Inhuman Treatment!
3rd DAZ 20: Out of the Past!
3rd DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
4th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
5th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
6th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
7th UXM Annual 5: Ou, La La -- Badoon!
7th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
8th UXM 151: X-Men Minus One!
8th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
9th UXM 151: X-Men Minus One!
9th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
10th UXM 151: X-Men Minus One!
10th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
11th UXM 151: X-Men Minus One!
11th UXM 152: The Hellfire Gambit!
11th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
12th UXM 152: The Hellfire Gambit!
12th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
13th UXM 153: Kitty's Fairy Tale
13th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
14th DAZ 21: Alison Blaire, This is Your Life!
26th UXM 154: Reunion
27th UXM 155: First Blood
27th UXM 156: Pursuit!
28th UXM 156: Pursuit!
28th UXM 157: Hide-'N'-Seek!


3rd UXM 158: The Life That Late I Led...
7th UXM 159: Night Screams!
8th UXM 159: Night Screams!
9th UXM 159: Night Screams!
10th UXM 159: Night Screams!
11th UXM 160: Chutes and Ladders!
15th UXM 161: Gold Rush!
16th UXM 161: Gold Rush!


5th DAZ 22: Sisterhood
6th UXM 162: Beyond the Farthest Star
6th DAZ 23: Fire in the Night!
7th UXM 162: Beyond the Farthest Star
7th DAZ 23: Fire in the Night!
8th UXM 163: Rescue Mission!
8th UXM 164: Binary Star!
8th DAZ 23: Fire in the Night!
9th UXM 164: Binary Star!
9th UXM 165:Transfigurations!
10th UXM 165: Transfigurations!
10th UXM 166: Live Free or Die!
11th UXM 166: Live Free or Die!
12th MGN 4: Renewal
12th DAZ 24: A Rogue in the House
13th MGN 4: Renewal
13th DAZ 24: A Rogue in the House
14th MGN 4: Renewal
14th DAZ 24: A Rogue in the House
15th MGN 4: Renewal
16th MGN 4: Renewal
17th MGN 4: Renewal
18th MGN 4: Renewal
19th MGN 4: Renewal
20th MGN 4: Renewal
21st MGN 4: Renewal
22nd MGN 4: Renewal
23rd MGN 4: Renewal
24th MGN 4: Renewal
25th MGN 4: Renewal
26th MGN 4: Renewal
27th MGN 4: Renewal
28th MGN 4: Renewal
29th MGN 4: Renewal
30th MGN 4: Renewal

Saturday, 23 June 2012

UXM #170: "Dancin' In The Dark"

(No weddings and no funeral.)


Reindeer Falls, Alaska.  Two lovers dance on their first date, late at night and alone but for each other.  It's been weeks since Scott Summers first met a woman who looks identical to his dead other half, and I guess he's made his mind up: re-runs will do when your favourite show's been cancelled.

Except of course, he's Cyclops, isn't he, which means that rather than actually deciding what he wants ahead of time, he interrupts the date for some bullshit mooching about not being sure whether he wants to screw his late fiance's doppelganger, or just make kissy faces whilst thinking his tortured thoughts.

He does get some points for actually telling Maddy what's going on, though - once upon a time he'd just have kept buttoned-up indefinitely until she either left him in disgust (the sensible approach), or just kept flinging herself at him until he manned the fuck up (Jean's usual response).  Madelyne is somewhat taken aback upon being shown a picture of Jean (hardly surprising), but they agree to keep seeing each other until Scott decides what exactly he wants.  What could possibly go wrong there?

Back beneath New York City, Callisto is just moments away from marrying Angel because, well, I'm still not entirely clear. I think she just really needs to get laid.  Interesting that she's prepared to kidnap, drug and basically cripple the object of her affections, but she has no intention of living in sin.  Weird the things we choose to care about, I guess, especially given the Morlocks have specifically rejected "surface" society; why get so tied up in its ceremonies?   Doesn't Caliban try this with Kitty in a few months, as well?

Anyway, whatever the reasons for this bizarre ceremony, the newly recovered X-Men decide they do know of any lawful reason, and they slip their bonds for round two against the sewer-dwellers.  The battle goes rather better for them this time, but once again defeat is their only friend; Nightcrawler grabs Callisto but Plague grabs Storm, and only one of them has the heart of a killer.  Outmanoeuvred by the underground mutants, our heroes yield.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in "The Alley" (an underground bomb shelter co-opted by Callisto), Caliban is caring for Kitty, who's still pretty knocked out by the virus Plague managed to clip her with last issue.  Sprite begs her companion to help her friends, but even when she promises to hate him forever he won't go up against Callisto.  Kitty demonstrates her dissatisfaction by passing out.

Another change of scene now, to the land of nod, where Mystique finds herself on the run from a pack of hounds leading a pack of arseholes (pretty much a standard hunt, in other words).  This is actually really interesting, because it's pretty much verbatim one of Jean's Mastermind-induced visions from just before she became the Dark Phoenix, right down to the name of Jean's horse and her desire for stabbing the peasants her dogs run down.  Mystique awakes from her dream before Jean can administer the cruelest cut, but even so; something screwy's goin' on.  Destiny's powers of precognition are being blocked, and Rogue has fled the coup entirely.

Back at the wedding, Callisto has apparently put the exchanging of vows on hold so she can spend time alternating between torturing the X-Men and asking them to sign up.  Not surprisingly, this rather slapdash approach hasn't done any good - even Stockholm Syndrome needs a bit more consistency than this - but it turns out not to matter, because Caliban has arrived with a feverish Kitty in his arms.

Callisto, of course, is all for letting "the brat" die (not that I disagree entirely, of course, but then I've known Katherine rather longer than Callisto), which Caliban announces is basically the word of God until someone challenges her to a duel.  Feeling the weight of her love for and obligation to Kitty, as well as the irresistible force of narrative flow, Storm offers to carve Callisto up in order to win the crown, despite being fully aware that only one woman is going to be walking away from this particular grudge match.

Unsurprisingly, that woman is Storm, despite her being ill as hell from Plague's touch and forbidden to use her mutant powers (she ends up trapping Callisto with her cloak and stabbing her in the heart, which is pretty cool).  The X-Men are pretty shocked to see Storm willing to kill, but that's their mistake: faced between breaking her oath to never take a life and her implicit promise to keep Kitty alive, I don't think the outcome was ever in doubt, though Callisto herself ultimately pulls through.  The newly-cowed Morlocks let the team leave unmolested.

There's one more change of locale as we return to where we began, in Reindeer Falls, where there's another revelation to deal with: Madelyne gets slapped down when she tries to swipe Scott's shades, and she's pretty damn keen to get an answer as to why.  Scott finally fesses up to the whole truth, and for the moment at least, it seems that their troubles are over. You don't need to have read any comic from 1986 onwards to know that that ain't gonna last...


It's apparently been weeks since Cyclops and Madelyne met at the end of UXM #168, so we'll rearrange things so that said issue took place a full fortnight earlier.  We also learn from Mystique's comments that this story takes place after DAZ #28, but we'd assumed that in any case.

This story itself takes place over the course of a few hours.


Wednesday 3rd of August, 1983.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 3.70 standard years.

(Colossus is 26 years old).

"I will bring this tunnel down upon
your misbegotten heads!"
Contemporary Events

Calvin Smith becomes the fastest man alive by beating the 100m record with a run of 9.93 seconds.  This record last for more than four years, until beaten by Ben Johnson, only a year before his Olympics disqualification.

Standout Line

"Looking forward to our wedding night? I certainly am!"

Difficult to think of anything to say here, really, other of course than "Eeeeeeeeeew!"

Friday, 8 June 2012

DAZ #24: "A Rogue In The House"

(Much ado about nothing.)


Rogue arrives at Dazzler's flat and smashes up the place as a message: the Sisterhood is coming.  After all that cathartic vandalism, though, Rogue figures she might as well take a breather, wait for Alison to show up, and then give her the message in person.  Only Dazzler's warning from a neighbour who saw Rogue acting suspicious saves our heroine from a damn good thrashing, and affords her time to phone her bodyguards: the Heroes for Hire.

Over at their place, Luke and Danny are clearly at a loose end, spending their time firing elastic bands at each other in-between kicking coffee mugs.  These people need gainful employment, and beating up a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants sounds like just a ticket.  They meet Dazzler outside her building, then head to her flat, bursting in and challenging Rogue.

Iron Fist doesn't want to hit a girl, though, which makes things a little tricky; he goes down pretty quickly.  Power Man is rather more pragmatic about the situation, but after trading bone-shattering punches with Rogue for a few moments, she tosses him through the wall, hoping he'll hit the street four stories below (at least, it looks like four, Springer seems to be having problems making his mind up between four and five, and Dazzler herself claims it's six a little later). Luke scrabbles desperately as he falls, slowing his descent, but he's still stunned when he hits the pavement, leaving Dazzler without back-up.  Alison concludes she'll have to sort Rogue out herself.

It takes Dazzler a little too long to get up to the battleground, though - if you ask me, attaching her skates whilst still on the ground floor was probably an unwise move in a building without a working elevator - and Rogue is leaving as Alison arrives.  This strikes our heroine as odd, of course - why wait for your murder victim and then flee after beating her bodyguards, but Rogue has a plan; she's read Dazzler's noticeboard and knows she'll be visiting half-sister Lois at State University in two days.  Why wade through an oncoming storm of police/Feds, when she can take Dazzler out across town soon enough?

Unaware that the creaking above her is some of Damocles' finest kitchenware, Alison scopes out the damage done to her apartment, and her friend.  Danny is in bad shape, though I'm finding it a little difficult to feel much sympathy: not wanting to hit women is one thing, but taking one woman's money to keep her alive against another woman, who you already know you won't punch despite your entire selling point being your "Iron Fists", is something else.  That shit is just false advertising.

Shaken though she is, Dazzler still has the rest of her life to be going on with: she records some vocals for her album, gets the number of the producer who's hassling her for a date, and then shamelessly heads over to Ken's so he can cook her dinner and "hold [her] and let [her] pretend everything's OK."  Might help to pretend you're not tramping yourself around half of NYC while you're at it, dear.  Ken rather drives home the point that he's too good for her by silently swearing he'll place himself between her and Rogue if needs be.  Angel, meanwhile, is flying around private sports halls so that the Sisterhood don't see him.  Maybe he and Dazzler deserve each other after all.

The next day, Dazzler takes a taxi to the Durbach dormitory to visit Lois, whilst Rogue, heavily disguised as "preppy" watches from close by.  Upon entering Lois' room, Alison finds her on the floor.  She's had another fainting fit (LATENT MUTANT!), but Rogue arrives before we can really get into that.  The villain demands to know where Angel is hiding, and isn't impressed by Dazzler's (entirely accurate) claims to ignorance (actually, shouldn't Angel have told her where he was, in case she, say, needed superheroic assistance when the Sisterhood came calling?  I really don't like Fingeroth's Angel; he's a dick).  Irritated, Rogue slaps Dazzler across the room, and grabs Lois, hoping some vicarious torture will get the job done.

Alison responds by throwing herself through the window.

The gamble pays off in one sense; she hits the ground running (well, skating), and Rogue leaves Lois to chase after her.  On the other hand, she's dropped her radio, which leaves her defenceless, especially since she's managed to skate her way into the library, where sound is at a minimum (though a top-heavy cleavage-spilling woman skating in terror from a flying supervillain might be enough to overpower the social contract on this issue).  Heading for the recordings room, Dazzler grabs the nearest player and jams its lead into the PA system.  "Ode to Joy" blasts out at tremendous volume, charging Dazzler up almost instantly, and she opens fire.

Rogue is too smart to fall for a dazzle burst twice, however, and she quickly grabs her foe, and drains her powers.  Only the sudden arrival of Power Man and Iron Fist (now over his distaste of handing out kung-fu sandwiches to the fairer sex) save Dazzler.  Luke and Danny are all for pummelling Rogue into unconsciousness before she can recover, but Alison opts to talk, pointing out that the X-Men are MIA in space, making Angel's intel on them a spectacular irrelevance.  Her pride hurt by her defeat at the hands of non-mutants, at the fact her plan turned out to be a waste of time, and her shame at having defied Mystique's orders in beginning all this pointless tussling, Rogue retreats, announcing that Dazzler and Angel are now safe from her attentions.

It looks more or less like a happy ending for all concerned.  Lois isn't really feeling the party spirit, though.  She and her half-sister might be safe from any more super-powered slaps for the forseeable future, but these fainting fits are getting worse and more frequent, and it seems undeniable that something is coming to a head...

This, by the way, is Danny Fingeroth's last issue in his continuous run (though he also wrote DAZ #26), having taken over from Tom DeFalco with issue #8.  Fingeroth's run was pretty uneven, though more in terms of tone than quality (which wasn't entirely consistent either, in fairness), but he did produce a lot of good stuff, mainly when he focused on Dazzler's career and social life, and presented it as kind of averagely complicated, difficult and rewarding, rather than the outrageous melodrama it lurched into towards the end.


Rogue's note gives the date of the rendezvous as being on Tuesday, the fifth of October.  I can't for the life of me work out what Fingeroth is thinking here.  I guess given the February cover date, he might have been writing this in October, but he gave the month in DAZ #18 as early April, and the story has continued more or less uninterrupted since, as Dazzler's family saga unfolded.  There's simply no way six months could have passed.  We're going to be vetoing this one, I'm afraid, though we can still put the re-match on a Tuesday.

Dazzler mentions that the arson attack on her building happened "the other day", suggesting less than a week has passed.  Combining this with what we can salvage from Rogue's note, we'll therefore set the beginning of this story four days after Flame's defeat last issue.

This issue itself takes place over three days.


Sunday 12th to Tuesday 14th June, 1983.


X+5Y+101 to X+5Y+103.

Contemporary Events

Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the Solar System.

Standout Line

"I feel terrible thinking this... but if I was a mutant, I'd sure rather be like Rogue than a patsy like Alison." - Lois.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

DAZ #23: "Fire In The Night!"

(Flame retarded.)


Dazzler awakes to the smell of burning.  Stepping over her sleeping half-sister, who's stayed the night after a late night/early morning of family bonding, she discovers the apartment building is on fire, and the alarm system has been sabotaged.  Alison quickly turns on the radio - waking Lois in the process - and, absorbing the music, begins strobing out of the window until some cops notice the display and come to investigate.  That's quite a nice use of her powers, actually, although the night-dress she's wearing is so scandalous I'm sure the police would have sauntered over in any case.

With the authorities warned (though they find the nearest police phone has also been sabotaged), Alison and Lois attempt escape.  If seeing her big sister flashing at the police (sorry; couldn't resist) wasn't clue enough, seeing Dazzler use her laser beam to cut a path to safety for an elderly neighbour leaves Lois in no doubt: Alison is a mutant.  Whether this would have been a problem under normal circumstances, we don't know, but Lois is sufficiently impressed with Dazzler's heroics for it not to bother her. 

Alison has other things on her mind than social acceptance, though (not that it stops her getting somewhat over-defensive about her nature, but I suppose that's understandable).  Not only has her loudmouthed landlord arrived to essentially tell everyone present he wished they'd all burned, she saw someone skulking in the shadows just after she discovered the fire, and she suspects foul play, possibly at the hands of the Sisterhood.

This might be true, though if it is, they're outsourcing their dirty work right now; the setter of the fire is a red-costumed man.  Given the cover to this story, I'm going to go ahead and assume his name is Flame!  Flame! is none too happy that "some woman" has ruined his plans, which rather suggests he's not involved with Rogue and co.  That said, he's concluded Dazzler must die for her interference, so his affiliations probably aren't that important right now (indeed, the very next scene rules out the Sisterhood's involvement; Mystique just doesn't consider Dazzler enough of a threat to bother with).

The following day, Dazzler has herself another TV appearance, and so another round of rehearsals.  Not long into the proceedings, though, Alison calls a halt.  She has a business meeting to take care of, with Power Man and Iron Fist.  Our heroine is sufficiently spooked over the fire the day before that she's willing to put the Heroes for Hire on retainer (using Osgood's money, naturally - though she does get a discount for being a "friend to the industry").

Despite it being based upon a false premise, this is clearly a prudent precaution, and a timely one as well, for no sooner have Luke and Danny accepted the job than the smell of smoke fills the air.  Our boy Flame! is spectacularly unlucky; every time he sets a fire he turns out to have unaccounted superheroes gumming up the works.  Alternatively, he might just be deeply stupid, a diagnosis which would account for why a man hired to sneak around burning things would wear a bright red costume covered with flame patterns.  Either way, Luke holds up the buckling ceiling whilst Danny punches a way clear for everyone, and the TV studio is emptied without injury.

Whilst we await Flame!'s next attack, our heroes attempt to squeeze in some leisure time.  Lois goes shopping with her mother, only to faint in a rather suspicious way.  LATENT MUTANT! is now flashing over her head, for anyone paying attention.  Angel, meanwhile, is in a skeezy coffee shop, nursing an espresso and trying not to freak about three women possibly wanting to attack him. Some X-Man; he's so petrified he can hardly work the jukebox.  Or the cash machine.  Or the science station on the Enterprise-A.  I'm not really sure what's going on, if I'm honest.  Danny and Luke, for their part, start trying to piece together what exactly is actually going on, and quickly come to the fairly obvious conclusion: why would the Sisterhood hire someone to do their dirty work for them, and why would they pick such a proven numpty for the gig?

Our heroine, meanwhile, is over at lover Ken's, but finds she has no appetite, and no desire to risk his life in another arson attack.  Offering him a goodbye hug (man, Ken is really not doing well in this relationship; he's basically three parts chef to two parts puppy dog, Alison heads over to Crowley's, her landlord, hoping he has a hidey-hole somewhere she can rent for presumably exorbitant prices.

Except: TWIST! When she gets there, she finds the guy talking with Flame!, demanding to know why he's gone off-mission trying to kill Alison, instead of just burning down the apartment building to allow Crowley to pocket the insurance money. Flame! catches Dazzler snooping, and resolves to kill her, despite Crowley's objection, labelling his erstwhile employer a hypocrite and a coward.

Flame! drives our heroine on his muffled motorbike to a warehouse he's been paid to burn down that evening, planning to leave her inside to, well, DIAF.  Whilst he starts dousing the place with gasoline, however, the tied-up Dazzler manages to roll her way over to his bike, kick-start it, and knock away the muffler, all with her legs.  The resultant noise allows her to charge up sufficiently to obliterate her bonds, and she has her magnetic skates on (once again underneath high heels, which I continue to maintain is ridiculous even in this context).  Hearing the noise, Flame! returns, and it becomes a battle between his fireballs and flamethrowers (that costume may be gaudy, but it's certainly got some nice features) and Alison's lasers and dazzle blasts.

Flame streams have to be aimed, and lightshows don't, so Dazzler quickly wins the energy-off.  Even Flame! producing a flame-sword (!) doesn't help him, as Dazzler out-duels him with a laser blade (!!?WTF!?!). It may be somewhat closer to a literal Pyrrhic victory than she might like, however; the battle has left the building already aflame.  Fortunately, Power Man and Iron Fist arrive on the scene, having figured Crowley was their prime suspect and put the screws on him.  They save Dazzler from the conflagration, and point out that she's now safe from harm.

Alison, however, is far from convinced.  And on this occasion, her intuition isn't failing her.  Against Mystique's wishes, Rogue is preparing to go, er, rogue, and take out Dazzler alone...


This issue begins the morning after last issue ended with Lois' arrival, and takes place over three days.  Warren mentions that Professor Xavier is too dispirited to be much use to him right now, referring to the apparent deaths of the X-Men, but we already dealt with this when considering DAZ #22.


Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th June, 1983.


X+5Y+95 to X+5Y+97.

Contemporary Events

Li Xiannian becomes President of the People's Republic of China.

Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives win re-election in a landslide.

Standout Line

"You're a mutant, aren't you -- like the X-Men or something?"
"Yes, Lois, I am.  Now are you going to call me a freak?"

List of people who desperately need to get over themselves: Alison Blaire.