Issue(s): Dazzler #26, Dazzler #27, Dazzler #28
...and Go For It-ing a robbery while performing...
...her sister Lois is wandering the streets. She's attacked by a homeless guy that calls himself "Slimey", and it triggers her mutant power and she kills him.
When Lois tells Allison what happened, Allie gives Weird Al Yankovic a call, but he is useless.
Thanks to her own anti-mutant experiences, she decides to take her sister on the run. I think now would have been a great time to reach out to the X-Men, but what do i know?
Meanwhile, Peter Gyrich takes special interest in the death of a homeless person and decides to activate (bom bom BOM!) the Mutant Hunters!
Much of the issue is devoted to seeing Allie and Lois set themselves up in a seedy rundown apartment...
...but when Lois kills the manager's cat...
...they have to get back on the road. Luckily, they're gone by the time the Mutant Hunters, who turn out to just be two guys in orange jumpsuits, show up.
As noted in the comments below, issue #26 is the last by Danny Fingeroth. #27 opens with Dazzler asleep on a bus, experiencing a flashback of her entire series to date (i'm not listing them all in the References section) and then imagining that Rogue is attacking her.
About half the issue is devoted to the dream sequence and then, when Allison and Lois have moved into their latest hotel room, they receive some photos of Lois killing Slimey. The blackmailer wants them to go to a mansion and kill someone. Dazzler manages to get a message to Angel (through his beeper), and he shows up at the mansion. But he gets shot...
...and it's up to Dazzler to take out the blackmailer.
The guy that the blackmailer wanted murdered turns out to be Nick Brown, Lois' father and the guy that dated Dazzler's mom and got her into drugs. Brown's butler was the blackmailer; he was originally tasked with locating Lois but when he found her murdering a hobo he thought he'd take advantage of the situation. Kenneth "Weird Al" Barnett shows up to let everyone know that Lois isn't even in trouble because it was ruled that Slimey died of a heart attack. Nick Brown hears that Dazzler is a singer and offers to introduce her to Roman Nekobah, "the biggest singing star of our age". Brown says he "own[s] him".
Dazzler defeats her by absorbing the sound of a private jet plane.
Rogue is shown to be completely obsessed and unstable. I guess it works as leading up to the realization that she needs help from Professor Xavier. But considering that this issue was actually published after the issue where she turns to Professor X, things could have been set up better here.
Alison is definitely self-absorbed. While her sister is talking about her strange mutant-like abilities that possibly caused her to kill someone, she interrupts because one of her band's songs comes on the radio.
Most likely this is bad writing and not deliberate characterization, but she doesn't come off looking very good.
As Todd notes, issue #28 ends with a promise of a brand-new villainess, but that doesn't happen. I think it's the last of the Mutant Hunters, too.
Beginning with #27, Bill Sienkiewicz starts doing covers. They are kind of weird and sometimes (like the cover for issue #27) have nothing to do with the story.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Needs to take place before Uncanny X-Men #169-170, because Rogue's vendetta against Dazzler is mentioned there with reference to this issue. Also because Angel becomes injured in those issues and so needs to take place after the fight here.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Beefer, Cassandra Ferlenghetti, Dazzler, Destiny, Harry Osgood, Henry Peter Gyrich, Hunch, Kenneth Barnett, Lance Steele, Marx, Mortis, Mystique, Nick Brown, Rogue
You have Frank Springer listed as writer; I think it was still Danny Fingeroth.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 6:48 PM
This website has Frank Springer listed as writer:
Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2011 6:54 PM
I have to wonder if maybe a mistake was made in the splash page credits(anyone have a repro?) as Frank Springer had been a comic artist since at least 1962, and he'd never had a writer credit anywhere else for anything.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 6:57 PM
The same website I linked to also has him credited as the writer for Dazzler 27 and 29, so I don't think it was a mistake.
Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2011 7:06 PM
UHBMCC lists Frank Springer as writer for Dazzler #27-29 as well. Jim Shooter is co-writer for issue #29.
I put up the credit page for this issue. You'll see it says "Script, Pencils" for Springer. #27 says "Writer & Pencils" and #29 lists both Springer and Shooter as "Writers" and then a separate credit for Springer for Penciler.
Mark is right that these are the only issues where Frank Springer has any kind of writing credit, at least at Marvel according to UHBMCC.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 18, 2011 10:43 PM
Is Danny Fingeroth credited for any issues after #26? I now suspect that Fingeroth wrote/plotted at least #27-#28, but may have had credit removed for office political reasons(which certainly wasn't unknown back then).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 23, 2011 4:32 PM
The website I liked to goes up to issue 35 and doesn't have him credited for any issues after 26.
Posted by: Michael | September 23, 2011 7:40 PM
Post #3 of 3 in my Dazzler reminiscence: I think this is the one that teases for the next issue "FAME! And a brand-new villainness!" and then the next issue has no brand-new villainness. I mean, not by any stretch of the imagination. There isn't even a new woman who acts unkindly. There isn't even much of a story. But there is a great Sienkiewicz record-album cover.
The run of issues from the late 20s through the mid 30s was so weird and aimless. And they were crabbily defiant about it, when challenged. In one issue, there's a letter published from a guy complaining about the "Allison fights a roller derby" issue and the editorial response is "Different comics for different folks."
All of that said, it was kind of cool seeing her so decisively thrash Rogue (who, in a much later Claremont X-MEN, soft-sells it by claiming Dazzler "fought [her] to a standstill, more than once").
Posted by: Todd | June 5, 2012 3:30 PM
The Comics Journal did report that Fingeroth was "off" the book with #26, but no reasons were provided and no new scripter named. I strongly suspect Shooter took over but may have been prevented from getting credit for some arcane reason.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 8:05 PM
I think the "self-absorbed" Allison-cutting-off-Lois is a misunderstanding. I believe that panel of Lois recounting the incident was supposed to be read as a thought balloon. Thus, Alison isn't cutting her off, she's just unknowingly interrupting her train of thought.
Posted by: Dan H. | October 4, 2014 8:05 PM
I see Rogue is pioneering the 'boobs and butt' pose in almost every panel. I bet you all thought Jim Lee invented it, didn't ya?
Posted by: ChrisW | April 18, 2015 5:36 PM
I wish there was some consistency with how Gyrich is written. In the beginning, he was just an over-zealous bureaucrat who wanted the Avengers to do things efficiently and by the book (and preferably under government control). But many later writers just write him as a mutant-obsessed nut job. And then sometimes he's taken more back to his earlier roots (see, for example, the late 80's X-Men story with Dazzler and Wolverine).
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 9, 2015 9:04 AM
I would love to know the office politics that affected this storyline. Fingeroth sets up a pretty strong situation:- Lois struggling to control her murderous powers, Dazzler blindly supporting her, the Mutant Hunters in relentless pursuit. It was all leading to what promised to be a real tear-jerker.
Then Fingeroth is gone. Springer takes over the writing duties (for the only time in his career). Lois's murder is brushed aside and the story is dropped. Weird.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | April 8, 2018 10:14 AM
GCD gives Jim Shooter a secondary script credit for #29. C. Tomlinson, L.T. U.S.A.F. (Ret.), is given co-credit for writing #28 as a "technical advisor."
Frank Springer had a number of co-plotting credits for Marvel and several foreign publishers, most of which appear to be for Marvel reprints (duplicate references to the same reprinted stories). He also had one co-writing credit for DC in 1968, along with the infamous E. Nelson Bridwell, on a single page text article, and 2 listed writing credits for National Lampoon.
These stories come close to obtaining the coveted "so-bad-it's-good" status in my eyes. Great to see "classic" middle-aged Rogue being a total asshole again for one last fling before Claremont turned her into a child.
Posted by: Holt | July 6, 2018 2:50 AM
@Holt- Rouge was always supposed to be a child. In this story, Destiny comments on how young she is. Unfortunately, nobody told the artists.
Posted by: Michael | July 6, 2018 8:49 AM
@Michael, I've heard that, but they surely could've fooled me ha. They were consistent about it. Michael Gustovich set the pace in Marvel Super Heroes #11. Michael Golden's Rogue lacked only a cigarette hanging from her lips in Avengers Annual #10. She looks like someone who's worn out from a fairly long life of too many martinis. Sal Buscema drew her faithfully to that model in Rom: Spaceknight #30-32. With Dave Cockrum in Uncanny X-Men #158, it's kinda vague, and I could maybe see it either way. Maybe Claremont had words with him about her age. And then we have Frank Springer here.
I think it's partly the short hair. For the continuity implants, she seems to have grown it out a bit, and gone with the dry look for awhile, in Classic X-Men #44 (which reprints Uncanny X-Men #138), and in Marvel Fanfare #60. Then I guess she must have cut it again and given herself another home perm just in time for the Avengers Annual, where she seems to have suddenly aged again by about 20 or so years.
The Rogue that joined the X-Men wasn't a bad character, but by the time she came around, I was already accustomed to the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants version. Another change was from leather to lace. In real life, people can sometimes do that, but it's hard to get used to it. It's just one of those retcons that doesn't really work for me. I thought I knew her!;D
Posted by: Holt | July 6, 2018 4:59 PM
Well, she was being heavily influenced by Carol Danvers personality by the time she joined the X-Men...
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | July 6, 2018 7:28 PM
But in Marvel Super Heroes 11, Carol says Rogue is barely more than a child. And in Rom 32 Mystique says Rogue is "still a child". She was consistently scripted as young.
Posted by: Michael | July 6, 2018 8:09 PM
She wasn't really middle-aged, she was just drawn that way!:)
In real time I'm pretty sure I read Avengers Annual #10 first, and probably not very carefully. It left a strong impression. Was her redemption worth what happened to Danvers? Hard to justify that. She was not a nice person. And I only just now realized that Marvel Super Heroes #11 was written in 1992. But your point about Rom #32 still stands. However I didn't catch it at the time, because I've probably never actually read it.
Posted by: Holt | July 6, 2018 10:24 PM
So I'm re-reading Avengers Annual #10, written by Claremont, more carefully this time. For starters, on page 4 Professor X calls Kitty Pryde a child, saying "Thank you, child."
On page 11, Spider-Woman thinks of Rogue as a "woman" in two instances. On page 12, Thor grabs Rogue from behind, saying, "Hold, woman!" Page 13, Hawkeye calls her "a woman," and Vision calls her "the mystery woman." Page 26, Iron Man refers to "the lady's capabilities" in reference to Rogue. Nowhere is she referred to as a girl or a child, and she's consistently drawn to look older than Kitty Pryde, Jessica Drew, Carol Danvers, Wanda Maximoff, Janet Pym, Mystique, and Destiny.
Doesn't prove anything, but I'm still thinking she was originally intended to be at least over 21, and Claremont later changed his mind. Wouldn't be the only time he ever changed his mind. Marvel's writers openly and unashamedly admit that they just make most of it up as they go along. With all the comics Claremont's written through the years, he might have easily misremembered some of the circumstances afterwards. Memory is mostly reconstructive.
Posted by: Holt | July 8, 2018 3:55 AM
As I mentioned above, in Marvel Super Heroes 11, Carol says Rogue is barely more than a child. The first half of Marvel Super Heroes 11- up to when Carol confronts the Brotherhood- was written by Claremont and intended to appear in Ms. Marvel 25. Moreover, the entire plot revolves around Mystique protecting Rogue because she's like a daughter to her. That issue is evidence Claremont intended Rogue to be a child.
Posted by: Michael | July 8, 2018 8:51 AM
I'm not saying that the retcon doesn't work, I'm only saying that I think Claremont's original intention was for Rogue to be an adult. Marvel Super-Heroes #11, published in 1992, was part of a long-term revision of Rogue's character from villain to hero. Avenger's Annual #10, published in 1981, was Rogue's first published appearance, so it goes back to Claremont's original intentions for her, as a villain. In Uncanny X-Men #169-171, published in 1983, she started her journey from villainy to heroism. Somewhere between 1981 and 1983, I believe he decided to make her younger as well, as part of that revision.
Marvel Super Heroes #11 resurrected old unpublished material that was intended for Ms. Marvel #25, but it was revised as necessary to fit into the revised 1992 continuity. In the unrevised Marvel universe I read about between 1981 and 1983, Rogue was a villain, and an adult. In the revised Marvel universe after 1983, she got more heroic, and younger.
Maybe her journey youthwards started in Rom #30-32 (1982), which I didn't read at the time, with some discussion between Claremont and Mantlo. Maybe it started with Rogue's appearance in Uncanny #158, also in 1982, but if so, I didn't notice it at the time. Or maybe it started here in Dazzler. But all the stories in Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Fanfare, X-Men Classics backup stories, etc., were published afterwards and long after the retcon.
Posted by: Holt | July 8, 2018 10:37 AM
Brian Cronin addressed the issue of what Rogue's age was originally intended to be in the Comic Book Legends Revealed series.
Chris Claremont and Michael Golden say she was always intended to be a teen.
Posted by: Rick | July 8, 2018 7:54 PM
This article doesn't address why there were so many Claremont-scripted references to Rogue as a "woman" or "lady" in Avengers Annual #10. Michael Golden doesn't actually say she was intended to be a teen in the Clarion Register article which cbr.com linked as evidence. What it says is:
"Claremont's only advice to Golden was that the musician and actress Grace Jones should inspire Rogue, and that she should have white streaks in her hair."
Grace Jones was born in 1948, so she would have been about 33 when Avengers Annual was written in 1981.
Posted by: Holt | July 9, 2018 6:53 AM
Certainly Claremont did change his ideas over time. It's kind of interesting if Rogue started off as meant to be like Grace Jones, but when Anna Paquin gets cast as Rogue, Claremont seemed to think she perfectly captured the scene he & Paul Smith had done of a shy, vulnerable Rogue joining the team. (I think Grace was rarely seen as shy.)
Since Golden didn't know who Grace Jones was, did Claremont perhaps intend Rogue to be black, or just a white version of Grace Jones? The quote doesn't seem to specify. Possibly the about-to-debut mohawk Storm replaced Rogue as Claremont's Grace Jones-inspired character, though the mohawk look was supposedly a joke from Paul Smith that Claremont ended up liking.
Still, even if Rogue wasn't intended as a child in Avengers Annual #10, this was changed by no later than her Rom appearance where Rom, Destiny & Mystique all refer to her as a child on separate occasions.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 9, 2018 11:06 AM
John Romita, Jr. originally intended Dazzler herself to resemble Grace Jones. I wonder if Claremont picked up his advice from JJR, or if the Bullpen was just full of Grace Jones fans. Pull up to my bumper, baby, in your long black limousine...
Posted by: Andrew | July 9, 2018 3:51 PM
I like classic Rogue even better now, knowing she was meant to resemble the amazing Ms. Jones. Another difference which I thought stood out in the annual was that she seemed to enjoy using her energy-leeching powers quite a lot. Kissing unwilling guys seemed really fun for her too. Quite a contrast from the shyer, more inhibited Anna Paquin version, who is still, in fairness, a very interesting character.
Since Destiny, Mystique, and Rom were all supposed to be over 100 years old, it makes sense to me that all us ephemerals might seem like children to them. Still I think you're probably right about the Rom stories (which I still haven't read), and I'm guessing Claremont might've started revising her character specs just as soon as he saw the readers take a liking to her. Older people don't often join the X-Men, so maybe he just wanted her younger so she could be part of the team. Just guessing.
Posted by: Holt | July 9, 2018 8:51 PM
Holt, the problem is that the captions describe Rogue as the "youngest of the Brotherhood"- that is, younger than Pyro or Avalanche. I never saw Pyro and Avalanche as that old.
Posted by: Michael | July 9, 2018 11:04 PM
"Destiny, Mystique, and Rom were all supposed to be over 100 years old"
Mystique referred to Rogue as her protege in Avengers Annual #10, & the Rom issues definitely show Rogue as a "child" & they came out some months before these issues, but maybe everyone wasn't aware of that yet & the style of the short hair gave the impression of an older woman, it grows pretty quick once she joins the X-Men.
I haven't gone back & read all these early Rogue appearances but I'm not sure when it's clearly established that she has no control over her ability to touch others - she does wear gloves from the start, which suggests that's already in place, but in her first X-Men appearance, Wolverine punches her in the face with no transference from the flesh-to-flesh contact. Not sure whether that's an art error or if they hadn't specified out how her powers worked yet. Avengers Annual #10 seems to be mostly concerned with how she's been trained not to hold the touch too long or it will become permanent like with Ms Marvel, but I don't recall it yet being established that she couldn't turn the power off at all. Is that first made clear when she joins the X-Men and needs to become sympathetic? As a Grace Jones-y villain she does enjoy kissing the unwilling heroes, when she becomes a hero she does still do that on occasion, though less sadistic & more flirty.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | July 9, 2018 11:31 PM
Well that's about all I've got on this subject. I'm probably wrong but that was just the impression I had at the time. I wasn't reading these things so carefully or completely as I do now, and I'm still pretty casual in my reading to be honest. Too bad IMO that they didn't do more with the Grace Jones mystique (if I can use that word lol) because she really had style. That might be why I preferred the earlier version of Rogue.
I'd have been more Dazzled by the Dazzler if she'd been more closely modeled after Jones, that's for sure.;) Hi Ali! xxxooo
Posted by: Holt | July 10, 2018 7:47 AM
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