A Look Back at Dazzler #26 (1983)

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 1983 to examine the Marvel Comics universe through the exploits of Dazzler!

In my previous retro comic book review, I found Dazzler #25 lacking on superhero entertainment value and the new antagonist introduced was not so interesting. Not even its strong character-driven tale could lift up its fun factor. By the time that comic book was published, Alison Blaire/Dazzler already has a half-sister named Lois. In this new review of the 26th issue of the Dazzler regular series, something about Lois is about to be revealed and we will find out if it could make the issue more entertaining than issue #25.

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #26, published by Marvel Comics in 1983 with a story written by Danny Fingeroth and drawn by the late Frank Springer.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Alison Blaire performing live in front of a large audience as Dazzler during a concert. As she performs, three armed men gang up on the event manager just several feet away and out of the view of the crowd. The three demand the release of the box office receipts.

Dazzler notices the commotion and very carefully analyzes what action to take without negatively affecting the show and the audience. She tells the band to play louder music to ensure she would have enough sound to convert into light. Suddenly she springs into action, lights herself up and hits the three armed men as well as the manager. The commotion ends with Dazzler announcing a short intermission to the audience.

Soon after behind the scenes, after meeting several people, Dazzler is approached by Lois who tells her that she does not feel so well. Lois says she’s so afraid, another one of those faintaing spells might be coming on…

Quality

Lois London realizes she is in trouble.

While Lois only occupied a minor space on this comic book’s cover, the story’s biggest feature is its revelation about Dazzler’s half-sister Lois which is something that you readers should find out. While Lois appeared in prior issues, it is in this particular story where she got a huge amount of the spotlight and Danny Fingeroth efficiently wrote her as the other major character.

As this tale is the major turn of events in the life of Lois, this opened a new opportunity for the creative team of Fingeroth and Springer to send the narrative of the Dazzler series to a new direction complete with a new way to develop Alison Blaire’s personality (and her struggle on keeping her mutant status a secret in the middle of a society that despise mutants). This story also recalled the events in which Alison was despised for her mutant status and later became the vilified suspect of a trial related to the death of Klaw. The moral lessons of those old events seamlessly connected with Alison’s effort on helping her half-sister. As such, Danny Fingeroth’s writing here is very solid and he really did his research not only on past Dazzler stories but also on the X-Men as the tale had its subtle connections to certain characters who are more identified with the X-Men series of the time.  

If there is anything weak about this Dazzler tale, it is the clear lack of superhero spectacle. This is one meaty and dramatic tale about Dazzler and Lois laced with heavy drama, suspense and mystery. The only superhero spectacle you will see here is in the early part of the story.

Conclusion

Dazzler rushes into action!

While it is flawed, Dazzler #26 (1983) is still a slight improvement over issue #25. This is one character-driven tale heavy on drama, suspense and mystery while ending up light on spectacle. The most notable thing about this comic book is the new direction on telling Dazzler’s story while establishing Lois as the other major character for readers to follow. To say the least, the sudden revelation of the secret of Lois is engaging enough to read and it will remind you about certain elements emphasized in X-Men comic books of the time.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #26 (1983), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $57 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $113.

Overall, Dazzler #26 (1983) is satisfactory.

+++++

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