Wednesday, 19 September 2012

DAZ #28: "Vendetta!"


(I'm not leaving on a jet plane.)

Comments

(Ooh! 300th post! Break out the cakes!)

Somewhere in New York, Rogue is training for a mission.  Actually, by training, I mean she's punching through brick pillars with Dazzler's face on them.  And by mission, I mean punching through a skull with Dazzler's face on it.

Obviously, this is interesting, since by this point Rogue has already been with the X-Men for at least two issues.  I guess Springer didn't get the memo, and/or this was written before the bimonthly schedule was settled upon, and this was supposed to have an August cover date.

Either way, Mystique and Destiny are rather unimpressed by Rogue's obsession - murder without profit being something they are firmly against.  You know how it is with super-powered criminal kids, though.  Can't tell them anything.

Meanwhile, in California, the various twists and turns of last issue are finally being straightened out.  The man in the double bed - who Dazzler and her half-sister Lois were blackmailed into trying to murder, only to be surprised inside the house by their blackmailer, who know wants to do the deed himself - is Lois' father.  He hired the blackmailer to find Lois, which he did, just in time to see her accidentally kill a hobo in DAZ #26. That's when he came up with the idea of blackmailing her into murdering his rich client, intending to do the deed himself and frame her if she chickened out.

That's actually not at all bad, if a little convoluted.  It certainly makes more sense than I figured it was going to. In any case, further bloodshed is avoided when Ken (referred to in a narrative box as Dazzler's "old flame", ouch!) arrives with the cops. Angel contacted him just before leaving to help out Alison (just as well, since all he managed was to get shot like a goon). A few hours later, and Angel is safe in hospital; the blackmailer, Napier, behind bars; and everyone else inside the luxurious limousine of Lois' father.

Having already saved them, Ken has more up his sleeve: the pictures Napier took when viewed in their entirety clearly show the bum Lois killed had attacked her, and the coroner's report has attributed his death to a heart attack.  Lois is in the clear!  Unless, of course, the United States justice system is rapidly gaining a reputation for transparently unfair treatment of mutant citizens, which Ken seems to have forgotten.  If only Ken Barnett could spend more time talking with Ken Barnett about these things.  I don't know why they never get to see each other; their schedules always match up.

It has long been held that good things come in threes (presumably by those who've never heard Bananarama), and so it is this time, as the car's radio begins to play a song Dazzler recognises as one of hers.  Whilst she's been on the run, her single has been climbing the charts.  And if that weren't enough, Lois' father, Brown, is in the music business, and "owns" the "biggest singing star of [their] age!".  He'll even introduce them!  Everything's coming up Milhouse Alison!  Only an attack from Rogue could ruin this moment!

An attack from Rogue ruins this moment. She's had Alison tailed since she left NYC, and this time, she's out for nothing more than blood, and she starts off by wrecking the limo so Dazzler can't absorb any sounds from the horn.  You'd have thought the noise generated by smashing up a car would work just as well, but there you go.  Alison makes a break for it instead.

So begins a game of cat and mouse.  Only the cat can fly.  Though the mouse can drive, as well, which proves handy when Dazzler comes across Brown's garage, and steals a Packard V-12 (that's what the text box tells me, at least; it could be a fucking ice-cream truck for all I know).  Using the horn to charge herself up, Alison is able to keep Rogue at a distance, but she needs something with more juice if she's going to put her pursuer down more permanently.

Fortunately, Brown owns an airfield.  And what's the easiest thing in the world to start up?  That's right; a jet engine!  Dazzler manages to clamber into a mysteriously unlocked cockpit, use her exactly zero skill with piloting to ignite the engine (though only after pressing the button that makes the SPAK! noise so familiar to frequent fliers), keep the plane together and stationary despite it's exhaust spewing out fire, and use the energy to charge herself back to full.  Once again, comics choose not so much to ignore physics as actively spit upon it.


At least this blasphemy against basic science has the desired narrative effect, and Alison is able to process enough power to knock even Rogue out, right in the path of the strangely impotent jet engines!  They still apparently have enough juice to suck a young woman to a rather unpleasant end, though, but Dazzler bundles the supervillainess out of harm's way.  The battle won, she gets back in the Packard, and - feeling uncharacteristically optimistic - heads back to her half sister, her "old flame", and her potentially dodgy link to the next stage in her suddenly burgeoning career.

Clues

This story takes place from late night to late morning. 

Rogue's presence here provides us with problems, as mentioned above.  By now, she's already with the X-Men.  This is easily resolved however by placing DAZ #26 earlier in the time-line; there's no direct link between that issue and its predecessor that we need to worry about. We'll put it back far enough for there to be a week between this story and Rogue seeking sanctuary.

Date

Wednesday 27th to Thursday 28th of July, 1983.

X-Date

X+5Y+100 to X+5Y+101.

Contemporary Events

Doctor Ken Masugi, of the Claremont Institute in California, testifies before the Congressional Committee charged with deciding on how to redress the interment of Japanese families by the US during World War II. 

Perhaps surprisingly, Masugi is critical of the committee for going too far in sympathising with those who share his Japanese descent, arguing that neither reparations nor a formal apology were necessary (both ultimately came to pass five years later). And definitely surprisingly, some bright spark figured the best person to chair the committee was Strom Thurmond, a man who's name is synonymous with racism, and about whom pretty much the best thing could be said is that he died markedly less of an arsehole then one could have guessed from his early campaigns.

Standout Line

"I owe you an apology, Mr. Barnett, that guy does have wings!"

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