Issue(s): Dazzler #38
...and having her try out for membership in X-Men.
It's all a little too late to save the series, which will be cancelled with issue #42, but it was a nice attempt.
Goodwin is always a decent writer. I'd say his handle on Wolverine is a bit weak, but overall he does a good job with characterization and the action sequences.
Obviously i should be crediting Paul Chadwick as well. Chadwick won't do much more for Marvel outside this series. He's mainly known for the critical favorite, Concrete. I can't help think of that when i see his big bulky Colossus.
Cyclops had been observing Dazzler's try-out from behind the scenes, and he has to step in at the end to prevent Wolverine from berserker-raging against Ali.
Dazzler doesn't actually join the X-Men this issue, but i guess she proves herself worthy of the team, leaving open the possibility of actually joining for the future.
This issue also introduces bounty hunter O.Z. Chase and his dog Cerebus.
At the end of this issue, he's sent after Dazzler by a guy desperately in need of a dermatologist.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: As Benway notes in the comments, this makes a lot more sense after Dazzler's time with the New Mutants in Secret Wars II #1 and the New Mutants tie-in issues ending with New Mutants #31. Dazzler might have gone back to the X-Mansion with the Mutants after that, explaining why she's there for the flashbacks in this issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCerberus (Dog), Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Dust (Dazzler villain), Nightcrawler, O.Z. Chase, Rogue, Wolverine
The guy who hires O.Z. Chase is a villain named Dust and he appears in the final four issues of Dazzler.
Posted by: Michael | March 31, 2012 4:23 PM
Thanks Michael. The MCP doesn't list him, probably because he's got a limited number of appearances in a single series, but i've added him as a Character Appearing.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 31, 2012 4:36 PM
After Dazzler is cancelled, Paul Chadwick goes to Dark Horse and introduces "Concrete" in Dark Horse Presents #1, a character that goes on to widespread acclaim in the comics industry. He also introduces in that same book "Brighter", a character that falls down the comics sewer immediately.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 1, 2012 3:01 PM
Great new design for the character who'd been saddled with a horrible look since her first appearance.
Posted by: Paul | May 29, 2012 10:25 PM
At the time this was published, she hadn't had a look at all for a long time. She had been just meandering around in street clothes, dancing in a "Thriller" ripoff video, fighting a female roller-derby team while waiting tables at a lesbian club (in the process, giving a diminutive waitress a valuable lesson in self-worth), teaching aerobics, sleeping with Roman Nekobah...
In between the jettisoning of her New York supporting cast and Chadwick's nicely done salvage attempt, there was a run of DAZZLER that was just dire, in the midst of which it went bimonthly. It made the first couple years (in which she took on a major Marvel villain in every issue, while protesting that she wasn't a superhero) look like Proust.
Posted by: Todd | June 5, 2012 3:05 PM
Dazzler looks like Olivia newton John in the video "Let's Get Physical"
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 11:12 PM
I echo the Olivia Newton-John comment.
I never liked this costume. Took away from her unique look and persona.
Claremont would further ruin her by making her a generic background X-Man.
Posted by: Dar | April 15, 2015 11:13 PM
Considering you can somewhat see late-70s ONJ in early Dazzler (yeah she was supposed to be Bo Derek but seriously...), seeing her "evolve" into "Physical" Dazzler shouldn't have been a surprise.
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 16, 2015 10:54 AM
On the subject of continuity, Sam and Illiyana are introduced to Dazzler in New Mutants #29 (page 11) and this issue's flashback has Sam and Illyana hanging out with Dazzler. She then spends time at the X-mansion training, so this story has to take place after New Mutants #29-31. Xavier is recovered here, but he's also walking around in X-men #196, so that's no problem. Also, the New Mutants arc has Daz dealing with her self-doubt and lack of direction and this is her working to improve herself and fighting back, so it feels backwards having this before the Gladiators story. I'd say that it works best with Dazzler going back with Kitty after New Mutants #31 and asking to train with the X-men, being a trainee for a few weeks which include X-men 196 (Dazzler isn't mentioned there, but neither are the other trainees, the New Mutants) and then the main part of this issue taking place after that.
Posted by: Benway | March 3, 2016 4:22 PM
Benway, actually, the scene in New Mutants #29 may not be definitive. We see Lila Cheney introduce Alison Blaire to the New Mutants as one of her session singers, and then the next panel has a "later" caption where Alison Blaire admitting to Lila that, yes, she should have disclosed that she was Dazzler. So in between those two panels, the New Mutants could have said, "Oh yeah, we know Alison. She's Dazzler! She was just at the mansion for a training session recently!". :-)
That said, i agree with your broader reasoning. In terms of Dazzler's character development, and in terms of how she winds up present at the mansion for the flashback in this issue, it makes sense if she has the Gladiator encounter and then goes back to the X-mansion with the New Mutants. So i've moved this issue.
And that also affected the placement of Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection, since Dazzler is wearing her new costume in that story.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 4, 2016 8:21 AM
Paul Chadwick was initially asked to take over the art on New Mutants(presumably from Sienkiewicz) but declined.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 7, 2016 12:03 PM
In my X-Men-centric project, this issue reads better between UXM 196 & 197 because 196 constantly mentions the Beyonder, so I prefer to have it right after SWII #1 and NM #30-31.
You probably have a lot of dependencies which prevent you from changing its placement
Posted by: Bibs | September 5, 2017 5:01 AM
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