A Look Back at Dazzler #4 (1981)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1980s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the year 1981 to examine the Marvel Comics universe through the exploits of Dazzler!

Last time around, Alison Blaire was preparing herself for a big event as Dazzler. The event was something needed to help her boost her career as an entertainer and the stakes were high as there were many important guests. The weird thing was that she instead got involved with one of the most fearsome super villains of Marvel – Dr. Doom!

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #4, published by Marvel Comics in 1981 with a story written by Tom DeFalco and drawn by the late Frank Springer. This was Springer’s Dazzler debut.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside a secret facility. Dr. Doom tells Dazzler that the Merlin Stone he just acquired mirrors her reflections as well as his own. The said stone has unique, mystical properties that Doom believes will help him achieve his dream of domination over mankind.

Dazzler, who is trapped inside a tube and is guarded by two of Dr. Doom’s guards, tries to recover after losing consciousness a short time back. Dr. Doom expresses his observation of her special ability to convert sound into light.

Dr. Doom turns his computer on energizing the tube that contains Dazzler. She suddenly turns into energy and disappears…

Quality

Dazzler in a new dimension.

The best way to describe this comic’s story…it is one wild ride that emphasizes a different kind of fantasy for readers. This is, of course, related to Dr. Doom’s immediate quest of finding another Merlin Stone within a different dimension which directly involved Dazzler against her will.

Dazzler here was in a very wild misadventure that goes way beyond the limits of New York City. Being in a completely new dimension, she finds herself literally lost in the sea of space and encounters creatures here and there. This misadventure, however, was not written to be mindless at all. In fact, as the tale in the new dimension goes on, Dazzler was presented to be more tactical, more analytical and do things to solve problems she encountered. She also gets to use her superpower in more creative ways.

The misadventure also has key moments that test Dazzler’s resolve on a personal level. As such, these moments added to her development which also raises the stakes as to what she could potentially do once she returns back to her life. Clearly, this is a story that carefully mixes spectacle and character development without losing track of the story.

On the art of the comic book, Frank Springer’s Dazzler debut is pretty solid. Not only does he capture the look of Dazzler herself, his creative visuals really brought the dimension into life filled with images of out space, fantasy monsters and more. Apart from drawing Dazzler and Dr. Doom, Springer’s art of the Fantastic Four is pretty good to look at.

Conclusion

A helpless Dazzler in the presence of Dr. Doom.

Dazzler #4 (1981) is a fun comic book to read and as a Dazzler story, it is a worthy continuation of the events that took place in issue #3. The concept about having Dazzler under the power of Dr. Doom was nicely executed which is a very hard feat to achieve since the said super villain was known to be a major force of opposition not only against the Fantastic Four but also against Spider-Man, the X-Men and more. Dazzler’s misadventure into the other dimension was wild and yet nicely structured which led to some nice character development of hers. This comic book had a strong series start for Frank Springer who went on to draw a great majority of the issues of the Dazzler monthly series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #4 (1981), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $28 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $60.

Overall, Dazzler #4 (1981) is recommended.

+++++

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