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…

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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.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at Dazzler #25 (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!

Today I have a review about the 25th issue of the Dazzler monthly series and it sure has this really strange looking cover with the protagonist in the foreground and a man in the background complete with a torn-page look. By the time this comic book was released, Dazzler had been through lots of misadventures, crazy superhero stuff as well as countless bouts of drama that impacted her and her existing family members. Could the creators come up with something to keep the series fresh and still engaging?

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #25, published by Marvel Comics in 1983 with a story written by Steve Grant and drawn by Marc Bright.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Alison Blaire working in front of a photographer during a photo session in the office of her manager Harry. It turns out, the photo session is a disaster for both of them. Shortly after, Alison changes her clothes and the field manager Lance arrives outside the door carrying a package for her sent by someone.

The package contained roses which delight Alison. She then reads a message that included with the roses…a message from a certain admirer. As the stakes of her entertainment career are higher than before, Alison gets advised to be extra careful with the kind of people she gets involve with.

From a distance, someone is closely watching Alison interacting with Harry and Lance using binoculars…

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Alison in her effort to save her father.

With a new creative team doing the works, this comic book’s story was indeed an effort to shake things up for the Dazzler monthly series. It’s a tale about Dazzler encountering a fan who is more dangerous and more capable than he seems. The way the story was presented, this one was pretty light on superhero elements as the team of Steve Grant and Marc Bright decided to take a more grounded approach on telling the newest happenings in Alison Blaire’s life. In some ways, this story really felt like it was isolated from the rest of the Marvel Comics universe of the time.

While the previous issues say Alison having breakthroughs with her mother and father, as well as spending quality time with her half-sister Lois, this comic book was more about the entertainer handling herself as she encounters a very determined man who is obsessed with her. The way things were presented here, the story is pretty much character-driven but light on superhero spectacle. Lastly, I want to say that this comic book tackled the themes of personal obsession, fan madness and inner rage which were all emphasized through the new character/antagonist here.

Conclusion

Alison in trouble.

Dazzler #25 (1983) does not have much to entertain readers who enjoy super heroics. If superhero fun is what you are after, you are better off reading issue #24. This comic book’s biggest selling point is its character-driven story which I am confident will engage strongly with die-hard Dazzler fans. The new character/antagonist introduced in this comic book is not really that strong enough to be a worthy counterpart with Dazzler, but his sheer determination and personal obsession with the entertainer are worth a look.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #25 (1983), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $56 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $113.

Overall, Dazzler #25 (1983) is satisfactory.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at Dazzler #24 (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!

As seen in the cover of the next Dazzler comic book I reviewed, the lady has Power Man and Iron Fist with her. In short, there is a crossover within Marvel Comics’ universe just waiting to be unveiled. Who exactly will Dazzler, Power Man and Iron Fist be facing? What kind of situation are they entering into?

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #24, 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 Rogue (of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) breaking through the front door of the apartment of Alison Blaire who remains her target. She realizes that Dazzler is absent which is inconvenient as she believes that the singer is key in her quest to find Angel and the rest of the X-Men. Rogue makes a mess of Alison’s things in the apartment and decides to wait for her to return.

A short time later, Alison is approached by her friend Frank on her way home. He tells her that someone broke into her apartment and made a mess inside. Realizing that the trespasser is none other than Rogue (note: they encountered each other in Dazzler #22) and that she alone does not have much of a chance in fighting her, she calls Power Man and Iron Fist for their professional help…

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Alison Blaire desperately getting away from Rogue.

To begin with, this is one action-packed tale of Dazzler that still manages to emphasize the development of the protagonist and her newly formed bond with her half-sister Lois (who appeared a short time before this comic book was released). As a crossover set within the Marvel Comics universe, Danny Fingeroth’s story makes mention of the X-Men as Rogue continues her quest on getting Dazzler to get to Angel in order to find Charles Xavier’s team which is all part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutant’s lust for revenge. Along the way, readers will get to see Rogue take on Power Man and Iron Fist (note: these two met with Dazzler in Dazzler #23) which was fun to see.

More on Dazzler herself, the stakes are raised again as she not only has to survive encountering Rogue but also of the fact that the powerful Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member becomes aware of Lois. I should state that there are two encounters between Dazzler and Rogue here, and each one was entertaining to read.

Conclusion

Alison Blaire plus Power Man and Iron Fist.

Dazzler #24 (1983) is a Marvel crossover tale which the creators made to add some action-packed variety while telling the story of Dazzler. That being said, the dramatic character development that this comic book series was notable for was lightened a bit to make way for the superhero spectacle. Not only does this comic book provide readers additional insight into the duo of Power Man and Iron Fist, it also showed some development about the conflict between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Ultimately, this is one old and fun comic book to have.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #24 (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 #24 (1983) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Top Secret! Blu-ray coming out on May 17, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are sick and tired of the modern-day comedy films and wokeness-filled garbage of Commie-filled Hollywood (AKA Commiewood), then something fun and entertaining from the past should interest you as the Blu-ray disc of the 1984 comedy Top Secret! will be released on May 17, 2022! In addition to that, pre-orders are already being accepted online!

For the newcomers reading this, Top Secret! was written and directed by the trio of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker. These are the same three guys responsible for the classic comedy Airplane! (note: you can order the Blu-ray disc here).

Top Secret! stars a very young Val Kilmer along with Lucy Gutteridge, Jeremy Kemp, Christopher Villiers and the late Peter Cushing. Top Secret! is a parody of spy movies of World War II and the Cold War, laced with creative references of Elvis Presley musicals. Below is the official description from the Blu-ray.com article…

Popular and dashing American singer Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer) travels to East Germany to perform in a music festival. When he loses his heart to the gorgeous Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge), he finds himself caught up in an underground resistance movement. Rivers joins forces with Agent Cedric (Omar Sharif) and Flammond to attempt the rescue of her father, Dr. Paul (Michael Gough), from the Germans, who have captured the scientist in hopes of coercing him into building a new naval mine. 

Personally, I’m glad that Top Secret! will be released on Blu-ray as I enjoyed watching that movie. I’m not a fan of Val Kilmer nor of any of the other actors, but I am an admirer of the comedy style of Jim Abrahams and the two Zuckers. This is comedy that is old and effectively amusing in my view.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Top Secret!-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

A Look Back at Dazzler #22 (1982)

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 1980s to examine the Marvel Comics universe through the exploits of Dazzler!

In my retro review of Dazzler #21 (1982), I observed that the story had no good-versus-evil conflict at all as it was purely character-driven and focused a lot on the personal development of Alison Blaire/Dazzler. More notably, the story shed light on both Alison’s father (a judge) and mother (who left the judge) and how the past affected the protagonist. Very clearly, Dazzler’s development really went deep since her first-ever appearance in an X-Men comic book. Speaking of the X-Men, I must say that one of the team’s notable members had an early (not the first) appearance in the next Dazzler issue I just reviewed. That character is none other than Rogue and she looks nothing like the way Jim Lee modernized her in the 1990s.

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #22, published by Marvel Comics in 1982 with a story written by Danny Fingeroth and drawn by the late Frank Springer.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the air high above the streets of New York City. Warren Worthington III/Angel’s flight gets disrupted as a group of hawks suddenly attack him from all sides. With quick thinking, he uses different methods to gradually lure each hawk and trick them into bumping into something to end their pursuit.

Meanwhile, as Alison Blaire rides the car driven by her field manager Lance going to the studio, she saves a roller-skating lady from colliding with a car using clever methods. At the studio, Alison prepares herself for a recording session under the watch of the perfectionist music producer L.B. Holman…

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The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique.

As expected, the story in this comic book showed natural progression on developing the protagonist as well as her parents while also reviving the superhero trope of good-versus-evil which was clearly done for entertainment value. While the cover art had Rogue hitting Dazzler, the good-versus-evil conflict within is actually bigger than that as the story involves not only Rogue but also notable X-Men villainess Mystique plus Destiny.

As this was in the early 1980s, Rogue was not a member of the X-Men at the time and was still new (her first-ever appearance was in Avengers Annual #10 in 1981). Regarding Mystique, her appearance in this comic book was not merely just an appearance but rather an extension of the exploits of her group called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and it has been her desire to get back at the X-Men over what happened in Uncanny X-Men #142 (part 2 of the Days of Future Past storyline). As such, having Dazzler encounter the evil group in the presence of the X-Men’s Angel was a very strategic move by Danny Fingeroth as it emphasized the crossover aspect within the Marvel Comics universe of the time complete with pretty good dialogue and details emphasized.

This also helps remind readers of Dazzler’s previous involvement with the X-Men and cleverly gave them the idea of what would things be like if the protagonist someday really joined the team of mutants.

On character development, dramatizing Alison’s mother and father shows progress from what happened near the end of the previous issue which is a nice touch. Even Alison’s boyfriend Ken got his own share of the spotlight. What is most notable when it comes to characterization in this comic book is the smooth and fine chemistry between Alison and Warren Worthington. The two made convincing friends and how their respective circumstances brought them together here was well executed by the creators.

Conclusion

Discreetly, Alison Blaire uses her power to help someone.

Dazzler #22 (1982) is enjoyable and has that fine balance between characterization, plotting and spectacle. The good-versus-evil conflict here should really catch the attention of readers, especially those who are deeply interested with the X-Men-related characters and groups of the early 1980s. There is also enough superhero action to keep readers entertained and clearly this was done to make up for the lack of action in the very dramatic issue #21.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #22 (1982), 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 #22 (1982) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at Dazzler #21 (1982)

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 1982 to examine the Marvel Comics universe through the exploits of Dazzler!

While my most recent retro review of Dazzler was the 4th issue of its monthly series, I have decided to jump straight to issue #21 for this new retro review. By the time Dazzler #21 got published, the unusual superhero went through a lot and illustrator Frank Springer became fully established as the monthly series’ definitive artist.

With those details laid down, here is a look back Dazzler #21, published by Marvel Comics in 1982 with a story written by Danny Fingeroth and drawn by the late Frank Springer.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Alison Blaire/Dazzler being carried above the buildings of New York City by Angel (Warren Worthington) of the X-Men. At this point in time, Alison’s father judge Carter Blaire snapped under the weight of turmoil related to the death of his wife and his daughter’s rebelliousness. As Dazzler, Alison had gone through intense encounters with the likes of the Incredible Hulk, She-Hulk, a top-secret syndicate that made her a test subject and even Galactus.

Recently, Bella – Alison’s grandmother – could not cope with her son’s breakdown and reached out to Warren Worthington to help her reach Alison. Since after being found, Alison had been traveling with Angel by air.

Along the way, Spider-Man sees them and recognizes Alison as Dazzler. He swings to try to get their attention but was ignored as they were so focused on their objective. A short time later, Angel and Alison arrive at judge Blaire’s home. Her grandmother greets them and tells her she hopes that she can get through to judge Blaire.

The doctor, however, advised against that tactic and states that Alison’s intervention may worsen her father’s condition as much of it was centered on her…

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Alison Blaire and her friend Vanessa try out new clothes.

I’ll go straight to the point about what the story of this double-sized comic book is about without spoiling it. It is a pretty dramatic look at the protagonist in her civilian form as Alison Blaire. You will get to see her as Dazzler in this comic book but if you are looking for a lot of superhero moments of her or if you are looking for Dazzler in a conflict with evil elements, you won’t find it here.

More on the plot, this comic book explores deeply the emotional and personal dimensions of Alison and along the way, stories about her own past as well as the respect past events of both her father and mother got dramatized. The story tackles themes like independence, maturity, marriage, personal development, family ties and personal conflicts of interest. The good thing here is that the script by Danny Fingeroth is very well-written and it seems he did his research on constructing a personal story about Alison Blaire that is very grounded in reality. That being said, the superhero elements have been pushed aside most of the time and the ironic thing is the fact that the other Marvel superheroes – Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Avengers and more – appeared here as if to remind readers this is still a superhero tale.

Very clearly, this story was written for the very dedicated or even the die-hard Dazzler fans in mind. When it comes to the fun factor, the results could be mixed depending on what readers want to see in this comic book. For me personally, it is a pretty engaging story to read and at the same time it is fun enough as well.

Conclusion

Alison tries to help her troubled father.

Dazzler #21 (1982) could be barely received or strongly received or even rejected even though it has a very rich and dramatic script. The clear lack of the superhero presentation of Dazzler in favor of heavy drama and in-depth characterization may not win the approval of readers/collectors who love superhero stuff but it will resonate with the readers who really love the character and had immersed themselves into her life. As far as characterization goes, this comic book marks a significant turning point of Dazzler herself and in its story, she really developed a lot since making her first-ever appearance in Uncanny X-Men #130. If you are a Dazzler purist who does not mind the lack of superhero spectacle, this one could engage you.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Dazzler #21 (1982), 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 #21 (1982) is recommended.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

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…

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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.

+++++

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Better than Streaming: Alligator 4K Blu-ray coming out on February 22, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are fond of old-school creature features, suspense and horror for your home viewing, then you might be interested to know that the 1980 film Alligator will be released in 4K Blu-ray format on February 22, 2022 according to a Blu-ray.com update. Alligator 4K Blu-ray is an upcoming release prepared by Scream Factory and interested costumers can order it right now online.

To put things in perspective, posted below are key details from the Blu-ray.com article about Alligator 4K Blu-ray combo. Some parts in boldface…

The 4K Blu-ray cover.

DISC ONE: 4K BLU-RAY – THEATRICAL VERSION

  • EXCLUSIVE NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
  • Audio Commentary With Director Lewis Teague And Actor Robert Forster
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

DISC TWO: BLU-RAY – THEATRICAL VERSION

  • EXCLUSIVE NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
  • NEW Everybody In The Pool – An Interview With Actress Robin Riker
  • NEW Wild In The Streets – An Interview With Director Lewis Teague
  • NEW It Walks Among Us – An Interview With Screenwriter John Sayles
  • NEW Luck Of The Gator – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artist Robert Short
  • NEW Gator Guts, The Great River, And Bob – An Interview With Production Assistant, Now Famous Actor/Director/Producer, Bryan Cranston
  • NEW Newspaper Ad Still Gallery By Drive-In Asylum
  • Audio Commentary With Director Lewis Teague And Actor Robert Forster
  • Alligator Author – An Interview With Screenwriter John Sayles
  • Additional Scenes From The TV Version
  • Promotional Materials
    • NEW Teaser Trailer (New 2K Scan)
    • NEW Theatrical Trailer (NEW 2K Scan)
    • NEW TV Spots (NEW 2K Scan)
    • Trailers From Hell – Filmmaker Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body) On ALLIGATOR
    • ALLIGATOR Game Television Commercial
  • Still Gallery (Movie Stills, Movie Posters, Lobby Cards, And Behind-The-Scenes Photos)
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature

DISC THREE: BLU-RAY – EXTENDED TELEVISION VERSION

  • NEW 4K RESTORATION FROM THE OCN WITH ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE FROM AN INTERPOSITIVE
  • The extended television version is presented in high-definition for the first time ever.

Posted below are the other details from Alligator’s own page at Blu-ray.com…

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio – English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Three-disc set (1 BD-100, 2 BD-50)

Packaging – Slipbox, Reversible cover

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A

The movie poster from 1980.

Personally, I saw Alligator on home video way back in the 1980s and sometimes on cable TV afterwards. In American pop culture, the Lewis Teague-directed movie was one of several creature feature movies that got released as part of a wave of imitators who were inspired by the massive success of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Alligator had a mixed-to-positive reception from the movie critics in 1980 and its ticket sales were almost four times its production budget.

How this old movie will look like in 4K interests me, and the 4K visuals have been confirmed to be native 4K. As typical with other Scream Factory releases, Alligator will come with lots of extra stuff that fans and movie buffs will eventually enjoy. Watch out for this 4K Blu-ray release on February 22, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Alligator-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

A Look Back at V: The Final Battle (1984)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching V: The Final Battle 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.

With a very engaging story, memorable characters, intriguing concepts and innovative marketing, the $13 million production V: The Original Miniseries (simply called V back then) became a major TV hit in America over two nights in May, 1983. I personally loved watching the said mini-series back in the 1980s and I still love replaying it in this age of high-definition and Blu-ray discs. For me, at least, it is a timeless classic and it carries several lessons about the fragility of society, the rise of fascism, the spread of evil in many forms and the human desire for freedom from oppression.

Given its success and the way creator Kenneth Johnson ended the 1983 sci-fi mini-series, a sequel was inevitable. In fact, two sequels to V: The Original Miniseries were approved in the form of another mini-series (note: I acquired the Blu-ray release in 2021) and a regular TV series. Beyond the small screen, the V franchise entered literature as DC Comics published a V comic book series (read my retro review of V #1 by clicking here) related to the TV series.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at V: The Final Battle, starring Faye Grant, Marc Singer, Jane Badler and Michael Ironside under the direction of Richard T. Heffron. This 3-episode mini-series, which involved a lot of screenwriters, was broadcast on TV in America in May 1984.

The cover and the title that did not live up to its purpose.

Early story

The story begins with Mike Donovan (Marc Singer) having a nightmare of him and his son Sean (who was abducted during the events of V: The Original Miniseries) in a desperate escape attempt while inside one of the motherships of the Visitors. He wakes up in the presence of Julie Parrish (Faye Grant) and realizes they have a dangerous mission to execute at a local facility used by the red-uniformed Visitors. It turns out, the Resistance movement led by Julie has been losing ground to the alien humanoids and Mike has been helping them out while prioritizing the state of his son who has been in captivity in one of the mother ships.

During the night, a truck carrying many local civilians inside its trailer arrives at a local factory controlled by the Visitors with officer Steven (Andrew Pine) watching over. After the civilians got directed to enter the factory, it turns out they got processed and came out in the form of food cocoons. The sight shocks Julie watching from a distance with her armed teammates waiting on stand-by.

Easily the most engaging shot in this sequel. A clear reminder about the fascist takeover by the aliens from outer space.

After causing damage on the nearest fence, the Resistance begins their attempt to raid the facility and free their fellow cocooned people but the tide turned against them. It turns out, the Visitors’ troops are wearing stronger armor and bright lights were installed on the top of the facility to forcing Julie, Marc and the rest of their team to retreat. They lost some members along the way. During a closed-door meeting with the Resistance stakeholders, Mike Donovan says a key event is needed to make a significant gain against the Visitors.

Over at the mothership hovering over Los Angeles and in the presence of Diana (Jane Badler), the leader John (Richard Herd) tells Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan) that a major medical announcement will be held in the form of an organized special event very soon and that she will be part of the presentation for the global TV audience…

Quality

Marc Singer as Mike Donovan with Michael Durrel and Michael Wright as Robert Maxwell and Elias Taylor near him.

I’ll star first with the presentation here. This sequel mini-series was composed of three episodes totaling over 270 minutes. In what looks like to be attempts to ensure more spectacles for the viewers’ enjoyment, each episode of V: The Final Battle has a battle near the end and the creative team succeeded in not only providing on-screen action but also scored well in making the spectacle more varied while still making sense within the main narrative. For the most part, this sequel is indeed a natural progression of what was established in V: The Original Miniseries and that is something to admire given the fact that V creator Kenneth Johnson left this production early.

On the storytelling, V: The Final Battle expands a bit on the Visitors’ dictatorship of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas while the Resistance led by Julie Parrish and supported by close companions Robert Maxwell (Michael Durrell), Elias Taylor (Michael Wright) and Caleb Taylor (Jason Bernard) are shown to be struggling on taking down the alien humanoids even though they secured noticeably more weapons and equipment. The storytelling and the dramatization about the Resistance changes dramatically with the addition of Ham Tyler (Michael Ironside) and partner Chris Farber (Mickey Jones) in the 2nd episode and from that point on, you get to see a human opposition that becomes more flexible with their operations.

Michael Ironside as Ham Tyler is the most significant new addition to the cast.

As mentioned earlier, Kenneth Johnson’s involvement in this sequel was minimal and it is seen on the presentation. The symbolism Johnson implemented in the original mini-series that established parallels between 1980s America to the Nazi occupation of Europe did not continue here which results a more straightforward presentation of details, character moments and story progression. There was also a noticeable lack of suspense when it comes to executing big scenes with big reveals. The pacing, like in the 1983 mini-series, moves smoothly at a moderate pace throughout and there were no boring moments at all.

The quality of script is still good. For the most part, the writers managed to capture the essence of the established characters from the original mini-series as they told the further developments of this sequel. For example, Caleb and Elias’ father-and-son moments quickly remind me of what I saw in V: The Original Miniseries. Robert Maxwell’s struggle to help his troubled daughter Robin (Blair Tefkin) while assisting Julie and the Resistance is a very natural progression of what was shown in 1983. The friendship between good natured alien Willie (Robert Englund) and Harmony (Diane Cary) got developed a lot more than expected eventually adding to one particular side of the conflict. The local collaborators Daniel Bernstein (David Packer) and Eleanor Dupres (Neva Patterson) developed further with their treason towards their fellow humans as they enjoyed further the power they gained from the Visitors. These two characters will surely get on the nerves of viewers rooting for the Resistance.

Denise Galik as Maggie is a fine new addition to the cast.
David Packer returns as Daniel Bernstein.
Sarah Douglas as Pamela, a superior of Diana’s.

When it comes to new additions to the cast, Ham Tyler and Chris Farber are not the only new players to add depth to this sequel. There is also Maggie (Denise Galik) who is an attractive, brave and strategic Resistance member whose contribution makes an impact. On the downside, there is also Andrew Doyle (Thomas Hill) who is bad choice the creative team came up with as the on-screen representative of faith when he in fact represents religion, idolatry, rituals and distortion. On the side of the Visitors is Pamela (Sarah Douglas) who is a higher-ranking officer than Diana and even John. Pamela is the more militaristic type of leader who is more focused on achieving goals while keeping things in order.

If there is anything flawed about the characterization, it is the romantic relationship of Julie Parrish and Mike Donovan which starts in the first episode. Considering how dramatic the performances of Faye Grant and Marc Singer were in this sequel, Julie and Mike still don’t make a believable pair of lovers in my view. While this romantic relationship opens up new dimensions within Julie and Mike and offer viewers something new to focus, it brings down the former’s value as Resistance leader somewhat while also setting aside the hinted personal connection between her and Elias in the 2nd episode of the 1983 mini-series.

Faye Grant as Julie Parrish in the conversion process scene watched closely by Jane Badler’s Diana.

More on Faye Grant, her performance here is more varied. Not only does she play the brave and struggling leader who is talented in fighting, science and medical practice, she also portrayed Julie as an even more vulnerable character this time around. Her act as the traumatized Julie during the conversion process (read: mental and psychological torture using a more detailed form of virtual reality or nightmare generation) scenes under the watch of Diana is very dramatic and compelling to watch. Just seeing Julie in the conversion process will make grip you with despair and you will eventually feel sorry for her. I should state that the nightmare scenes of Julie were presented with a clear touch of horror.

Marc Singer as Mike Donovan is no longer the reluctant action hero but rather a driven man with a mission to get his missing son back while maintaining a secret connection with Martin (Frank Ashmore) of the Fifth Column (secret dissenters among the Visitors) hoping to achieve breakthroughs for the Resistance and their friends among the dissenting aliens. Singer did the best he could with the script provided to him and he remain likable all throughout. Other than the unbelievable romance with Julie as well as his past encounters with Ham Tyler, there is not much new to expect from the way Mike Donovan was written here. What I should point out, however, is that Mike Donovan’s support for the unholy act of abortion (along with the so-called right to abort) is very wrongful, highly immoral and makes the hero having a sinister presence within him even though he is a father searching for his son.

Jane Badler’s performance as Diana deserves admiration here. Not only did she successfully recapture the charismatic and sinister nature of her character in the 1983 mini-series, Badler was very convincing in showing the more desperate side of Diana, especially when it comes to power struggle within the ranks of the Visitors. You can clearly see the desperation and struggle as soon as Pamela appeared. This sequel also showed a lot more of Diana when it comes to personally supervising her conversion process which is much more elaborate here (note: the conversion process in the 1983 mini-series was limited to the showing of a chair with torture devices). Being the very symbol of charisma and evil in the V franchise, Diana’s place in pop culture is solid and her real-world comparative counterparts would be none other than Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris.

Jane Badler as the ever charismatic yet very wicked Diana.

As mentioned earlier, Michael Ironside’s Ham Tyler is the most significant addition to the cast and the script. Ironside had that excellent mix of toughness, cruelty and sarcasm portrayed in here and at the same time Ham Tyler brought out very interesting and intriguing interactions with the more established Julie and Mike. As seen in entertainment history, Ironside went on to climb up the ranks in Hollywood with Total Recall (1990), Starship Troopers (1997) and in the Splinter Cell video game franchise. Ironside’s Ham is easily the fourth major character of the V franchise of the 1980s.

Going into the spectacle part of this sequel, the action is more varied as mentioned earlier and the 3-episode structure was a factor. You will see lots of shooting with the use of guns and laser blasters here and there, and with the in-story locations and props as key factors, there are action sequences that are uniquely done. There is a lot to enjoy for any V fan and casual viewers watching this sequel.

As for the special effects part of the spectacle, this one is a mixed bag similar to what was presented in the 1983 mini-series. To put things in perspective, the use of in-camera effects, practical effects and optical effects for TV back in the 1980s was ambitious. That being said, certain effect shots here did not age well such as the miniature shots looking fake (because the camera used did not have a special lens to capture visuals that would have made the miniatures look believable). I should also state that there were certain effects shots that were recycled and reused in key sequences in this sequel which remains embarrassing to see. What is even more embarrassing to see here is the very poor-quality monster effects used during the nightmare scenes (conversion process) of Julie and, more notably, the presentation of Robin’s other child. The monster effects are so fake, they are laughable to watch.  

On the bright side of the special effects, the quality of the laser blasts remains good to watch right down to the precise timing with the explosions that were simulated on-set and in-camera.

Conclusion

The Visitors and Resistance key characters in the sequel.

While it has its strengths and weaknesses, V: The Final Battle is still engaging and enjoyable to watch, and at the same time it is a worthy addition for your Blu-ray collection when it comes to HD viewing (note: this is the sequel with the best visuals yet albeit with black borders on the sides). Even though creator Kenneth Johnson was not too involved on the production side, the creative team managed to deliver a long story that proved to be a natural progression of the original mini-series while providing more spectacle (especially action), developing the established characters and resolving key plot threads that started in 1983.

The lack of Kenneth Johnson’s personal touch on the presentation was noticeable and somewhat brought this sequel down a bit in terms of style. What brought V: The Final Battle’s quality down were the overall cheaper looking visual effects, the Julie-Mike love relationship and the climax of the final episode which seemed executed with desperation on the part of the creative team (note: giving a little new character instant purpose). In fairness, this sequel still succeeded in showing what fascism in America (or California specifically which is now dominated by Commies) would look like and it built up on its predecessor’s themes such as the deception of power and the collaboration with foreign enemies. This mini-series even added themes of teenage pregnancy and abortion (note: someone from the creative team wanted to promote the wrongful Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973) to its narrative.

Does V: The Final Battle live up to its title? Absolutely not because a regular TV series that deteriorated in quality followed. In retrospect, it’s clear that this sequel marked the beginning of the decline of the V franchise in pop culture. What more, V: The Final Battle was never counted as canon in Kenneth Johnson’s 2008 novel (and sequel to the 1983 mini-series) V: The Second Generation. On its own, V: The Final Battle still has more positive stuff than negative ones and in my experience, it remains enjoyable and compelling to watch from start to finish. Compared to V: The Original Miniseries, I can say this sequel falls short. It is good, not great.

Overall, V: The Final Battle (1984) is recommended. That being said, let this 1984 mini-series remind you that there is so much evil in the real world in the forms of Iran, the terrorists of Palestine, the social justice warriors (SJWs), the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and liberal media to name some. Always keep in mind to avoid becoming evil no matter how tempting power in this divided world becomes to you. You also do not want to let the evil ones take over your government and have authority over you, your family members and your community. Push back against evil and stand up strong by faithfully taking sides with the one true Savior whose name is Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

Better than Streaming: Dune (2021) 4K Blu-ray coming out on January 11, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! The 2021 movie Dune (directed by staunch cinema defender Denis Villeneuve)can be viewed in the comfort of home in a much better version than HBO Max/HBO Go on January 11, 2022 as its 4K Blu-ray combo (4K Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray and digital code) will be released on that very day! There will also be a Best Buy-exclusive steel book version released as well.

The good news this early is that Dune (2021) 4K Blu-ray will come with native 4K visuals! While its price and the official start of pre-ordering the product have yet to be announced as of this writing, you can find its Amazon listing by clicking here. If you really are interested in the movie’s 4K Blu-ray combo, I encourage you to keep revisiting the Amazon listing for updates.

To put things in perspective, posted below are key details from the Blu-ray.com article about Dune (2021) 4K Blu-ray combo. Some parts in boldface…

The front cover.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
  • Featurettes:
    • The Royal Houses
    • Filmbooks: House Atreides
    • Filmbooks: House Harkonnen
    • Filmbooks: The Spice Melangelnside Dune – The Training Room
    • Inside Dune: The Space Harvester
    • Inside Dune: The Sardaukar Battle
    • Building the Ancient Future
    • My Desert, My Dune
    • Constructing the Orniyhropters
    • Designing the Sandworm
    • Beware the Baron
    • Wardrobe From Another World
    • A New Soundscape
  • 4K Blu-ray subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Parisian French, German, German SDH, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Greek, Korean, and Hindi
  • Blu-ray subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Portuguese-Brazilian, Bulgarian, Czech Republic, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, and Hindi
The rear cover.

Posted below are the other details from Dune’s (2021) own page at Blu-ray.com…

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.78:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.43:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Note: All Dolby Atmos tracks have a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) core

SubtitlesEnglish SDH, French, Spanish

Discs4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)

Digital – Digital 4K, Movies Anywhere

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing

Playback4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A

While Dune (2021) has been playing in the local cinemas here in my native Philippines for weeks now, I’m still waiting for the film to be screened on an IMAX cinema operated by SM Cinema (which itself started to gradually reopen). I am aware that the film is being shown on another cinema with IMAX with Laser technology but that cinema’s price is simply too expensive for me. Dune (2021) was filmed with Arri Alexa LF IMAX and Arri Alexa Mini LF IMAX cameras and that alone convinces me to watch it on an IMAX screen. In relation to SM Cinema’s reopening, the nearest IMAX cinema should reopen on November 30.

While I am not a fan of the Dune literary series as well as the failed 1984 movie, this year’s cinematic version looks grand under the passionate direction of Villeneuve and it has an ambitious cast that includes Aquaman Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and Rebecca Ferguson to name a few. Given the fact that the movie was released on HBO Max, it looks highly unlikely it will achieve a tremendous ticket sales success just as more cinemas are reopening worldwide as more people got vaccinated for COVID-19. When I say tremendous ticket sales, I’m talking about grossing $750 million worldwide. As of this writing, Dune (2021) grossed $365.5 million worldwide while theater-exclusive movies No Time to Die and F9: The Fast Saga have grossed over $700 million worldwide each. Very clearly, the HBO Max-theaters hybrid release of Warner Bros. is a big mistake. Remember, what people pay for on streaming goes to the service, not the movie.

Now that Dune (2021) 4K Blu-ray combo is set for a January 11, 2022 release, does this latest development spark your interest? I myself am eager to see how the IMAX-recorded footage will turn out in 4K Blu-ray visuals.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are some Dune-related videos for your viewing pleasure. Also included are a few videos about the 1984 Dune movie.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576