Friday, 19 October 2012
DAZ #29: "Fame!"
("Light up the sky like a flame!")
OK, so this is a little different. First of all we've got Springer and Shooter sharing scripting duties. This issue is also a little shorter than usual, as well, so that it can end with three pages of slightly disturbing Dazzler "pin-ups". That's bad news for feminism, but good news for the poor schlub that has to summarise this issue: i.e. me.
So what have Frank & Jim managed to squeeze in? Well, Dazzler is having a whale of a time at her sort of stepdad's mansion. It's all lounging by the pool and dreaming of her name on the marquee for her right now. Lois is a little more torn about the whole thing, because she was actually around for Nick's "beat the shit out of my wife" phase, which is rather wrenching the olive from the martini, so to speak. This puts Alison in something of a bind, since right now she's pretty much entirely reliant on Nick to get her career going again, but fortunately for her, Lois is smart enough to realise that, and not push too hard for for advice on how to deal with a formerly abusive father.
(Of course, in an ideal world, I'd be insisting Dazzler refuse any offer of help from Nick after what he did to her mother and her sister. That said, I already have a job.)
Whilst we're on the subject of how Nick can help Dazzler; today is her meeting with Roman Nekoboh, the music business big-shot who can jump-start her career. Being the audience, however, we get to meet him first.
When we are introduced to him, it's pretty interesting. I could be wrong, but I think Roman's first few panels represent the longest continuous set of wordless comic panels so far in any X-book; nine of them taking up a full page's worth of space. Basically, Roman is very old and more than a little fat, and so it takes him a full page of panels to get into his disguise - contact lenses, girdle, false teeth and wig. Like William Shatner before a convention, or when he's telling people he wrote TekWar.
Alas, Roman has bigger problems than encroaching senility; his accountant has arrived to tell him he's flat broke. His music career is in tatters, his Hollywood portfolio a smoking ruin. His ex-wives all want their alimony, too. Faced with such dire financial circumstances, Roman agrees to have his butler light his cigarettes with matches rather than a Zippo. Because sacrifices must be made.
With financial business concluded, there's time for a little fencing practice (and associated angina), and then Roman has to run off to meet Dazzler, or as he calls her: "One I haven't married yet." Smooth.
Back with our heroine, and Alison is starting to get a good idea of the deal she's making here; Nick's determined to replace Osgood as her manager. Honestly, that's not necessarily the worst career move imaginable, but Dazzler wants it on her own terms, thanks very much. Further discussion on the topic will have to wait, though, because Roman has arrived to offer his "advice."
Except, obviously, the only advice he wants to dole out regards carnally satisfying the ancient and deluded. He seems to have his approach down pat - one assumes he's done this more than a few times already - the basic plan being to keep bowling Alison over until she leaves her clothes on the floor.
(Actually, he's pretty entertaining whilst he's trying this. "Enough talk about me, you ravishing creature! Let's talk about you! Tell me, how did you love my last album?" "Let's take my plane. This car is beginning to bore me! Does it bore you? It bores me!" It's almost charming, in a sweaty, unpleasant way, and as long as you avoid dwelling on the fact that any cocktail Dazzler chugs in Roman's jet will have far more drugs in than just alcohol.)
For her part, Alison doesn't really care how many swanky cars he buys fresh off the lot; she just wants to know if he has any career advice he can dispense in-between demonstrations of ludicrous opulence. Ever the optimist, she allows him to drive her to his private jet, certain that once he has her up in the air with no-one but his employees to talk to, he'll definitely stop the borderline sexual harassment and dole out the secrets of fame.
Needless to say, this is exactly what doesn't happen. Roman has decided Alison is to be his co-star in his next film, and is determined to start practising the love scenes as soon as possible. Dazzler is finally pissed off enough to fend him off, but this awkward scene is interrupted when an incoming fighter jet tries to shoot them down. Frankly, I suspect Alison considers this something of a relief, but even so, she'd rather not be spread across the landscape. Using the onboard stereo system (originally engaged by Roman to help in rocking her world), she generates enough power to take out the attacking plane, but Roman's pilot is shot during the battle, which means a rapid interaction with terra firma might be in the cards after all...
Dazzler mentions that her battle with Rogue was the day before. The story itself takes place over several hours.
Friday 29th of July, 1983.
"Let me look deep into those magnificent eyes and take your trembling hands in mine!"
Is there anyone this line could fail to work on? THE ANSWER IS NO!