My failure fills me with guilt, self-loathing, and, um, inconfidence; I have let you down, let down the public, let down my Uncle Zeb who appeared for almost two full panels in my origin. Spending too much time with All My Close Acquaintances Who Also Happen To Be Villainous Marvel-readers (that is, the other panelists on the Big Monkey Comics Podcast), has clouded my judgment and weakened my resolve to use Greatly Responsibly the Great Power of the Absorbascon (*snort*). But now...
SOFTIE NO MORE!
And to be completely unfair in my attacks, let's re-commence with ... DAZZLER.
Now, some will charge that choosing a character rooted in the disco fad to represent the foibles of the House of Ideas is inappropriate. I say the opposite. DC has usually striven to be timeless (allowing for changes in technology, most DC stories are as a readable in one era as they are in the next). Marvel, on the hand, has striven to be (if you'll pardon the pun) timely. That approach has its advantages ("We're the hep publishers of the now, O Devoted Ones!") and its disadvantages (e.g. Buford Hollis). He who publishes by the sword is lampooned by the sword.
Besides, I actually love Dazzler herself, a rollerskating disco singer with fabulous lightshow powers. It's an amusing and challenging premise, and DC has done more with less (Tenzil Kem is pretty darned well known, after all).
Don't get me wrong; I am well aware that there are bad DC comics. What do you think I grew up reading? But there's more bad in one bad page of a Marvel comic than in all of Bob Haney's run on Brave & the Bold. What's more, it's the way in which Marvel comics, like Dazzler, are bad that dangs them to heck, and we'll be discussing that later. But for today, let's start out with just
from Dazzler (specifically, Dazzler #21, a Special Double-Size Issue that "revealed ... the shameful secret of Dazzler's past!").
Dazzler Fact: Dazzler's power of ground-flying is rooted in her pelvis! --Scintillatin' Scipio.
Is her back-up band the Beach Boys? I like to imagine she's opening with "The Monkey's Uncle"; after all, it is Carnegie Hall!
You may well be wondering, "Was Dazzler dead? Did Superboy Prime punch the walls of Earth 616 to bring her back?" No, silly; this isn't DC, the House of Recycled Ideas; this is Marvel, where dead means emotionally dead. In the previous panel, you see, she survives a confrontation with her Daddy Issues, whose caption reads "For a moment, the Dazzler had died. But now... " Gosh! Metaphorical death of a costumed identity due to personal conflict with family members! In a MARVEL comic? Who'da thunk it?
Asgardians: Please Remove Your Hats!
Like all consummate show-women, Dazzler wears facepaint, a miniature disco ball pendant, and mirrored rollerskates. High-heeled mirrored rollerskates. Actually, I'm not sure that's Dazzler they're seeing; could be a Frank Stella exhibit.
Dazzler Fact: As her friends have long known, Dazzler's powers render her temporarily flatuent!--Gas-Passin' Garling.
Her "friends", by the way, include every single frickin' Marvel character who has ever lived with the possible exception of Namor who probably wanted to attend but got turned away for being underdressed. Imagine if the entire cast of JLU showed up for Jaime Reyes' graduation ceremony; this is worse than that. Dazzler's real name is "Alison", but it should be "Mary Sue", because she is the apex of the Mary Sue artform.
Dazzler is the Wolverine of Disco.
And what she does isn't pretty. Personally, I'm guessing it's the drummer.
Dazzler Fact: Under the right conditions, Dazzler can convert a musical climax into a visible orgasm!--G-Spot Garling.