Before we were so rudely interrupted (by Jeremy's primitive computer) I'd promised to give you my red carpet coverage from Dazzler's glitteringly horrendous concert at New York's Carnegie Hall, as seen in "Dazzler" #21 (November, 1982). And here it is!
Conveniently cropped out of the panel: the huge banner that reads "FREE HOTDOGS."
Say, who is that couple in the front with their backs turned? It can't be... is it? Holy crap, it's Ned Leeds and Betty Brant! C'mon, it has to be! Oh, I'm so proud of myself right now. I'm guessing Ned's right hand is locked in a death grip around Betty's left wrist, as he drags her deeper, deeper into the claustrophobic concert hall where she'll be forced sit perfectly still for two-and-a-half hours while she listens to the Dazzler's nasal screeching. And all the while she'll have a grotesque smile plastered on her mug, and occasionally she'll turn around to glance at Glory Grant in the seat behind her and she'll simper, "I think it's so very important to take an interest in your loved one's needs!" And Ned will squeeze her wrist even tighter because GODDAMMIT HE WAS LISTENING TO HIS MUSIC and Betty will dutifully shut most of her brain down once more.
The Fantastic Four was the first group of heroes to arrive, but they didn't wear or say anything interesting so I won't waste your time with that panel. I was afraid the night would be a total bust. But then this happened:
Oh my yes. Sure, she could hardly pry her way out of that sartorial abomination last time, but the She-Hulk somehow let the Wasp talk her into wearing it again! Then again, this may have been during She-Hulk's "pre-costume" period. Remember when she'd ditched the white rags she' always worn in her old book, and had taken to battling crime while attired as an aerobics instructor? With ankle warmers and everything? Now, that was a golden age! Meanwhile...
- Hawkeye's right arm has been horribly dislocated but that doesn't stop him from working the crowd! Sadly, nobody has any idea who he is.
- Captain America is wearing a trenchcoat so no one will figure out that he's willingly attending a Dazzler concert. Or maybe being frozen in a block of ice has given him Heat Wave's cold-phobia and the slightest draft sends him running for the coat closet. Okay, so I'm stumped. I could see him wanting to accessorize with a floor-length mink number (hey, it was 1982! Fur wasn't murder yet) but I just don't get the trench. Oh well. Just one more reason to hate him, I suppose.
- Iron Man really should get back on the treadmill or sumpin' because the man-boobs are getting entirely out of hand.
- Thor's wasted already. Of course, if I knew I was going to have to hear the Dazzler sing, I'd probably want to fortify my nerves with a little liquid courage as well.
- And the Wasp has chosen this occasion to wear one of her frumpiest costumes ever. But she threw an untied kimono over it and, if challenged, she would design an entire line of sportswear around the concept. Mind you, she's also blitzed out of her mind right now on pain pills, as the morning's dermabrasion session resulted in her nose being sandblasted right off her face.
"I'd heard so much about Dazzler's talents, I didn't want to miss the show." In other words, he'll be echolocating the hell out of her rack from just inside a janitor's closet. That billy club's getting a workout tonight! Also... earplugs? I have to admit that's a genius idea.
First panel: man, now there's a metaphor for a closeted/out relationship if ever I've seen one. "I told you, you can only call me 'Wondy" when we're at home!"
Second panel: package for Mister Quasar! And the Angel brought his "gramma." Dude, c'mon! Has it really come to that? You're a millionaire! Where'd all the money go? Gambling? Coke habit? Italian shoes? My mind is freaking out just trying to imagine the personal ad that led to this pairing. Giving commentary from behind a sawhorse is Namorita and Vance Astro! Or maybe it's the two kids from the Space Ghost cartoon. And I have to agree, Vance. One's grandmother is never worth wearing a costume for, or, y'know, a necktie.
Breathlessly, the caption boxes descend into online fanfic quality...
"Ali would've killed me!" ("Ali" being the slim young Morroccan poolboy at his country club. Ali couldn't afford a ticket but Ken promised to tell him, oh, just everything!)
If anybody ever wanted to know why the Dazzler comic never really caught on with any segment of the human population (aside from Jeremy), I'd like to present this guy as Exhibit A. For a while, he was the Dazzler's love interest. No, seriously. And that's the problem! Y'see, Dazzler's comic was, at its core, a superheroic mutation of "Millie The Model." Lancelot Steele = Clicker (the himbo), Cassandra = Chili Storm (the acid-tongued romantic rival), Vanessa = Toni Turner (the pretty friend), and Harry Osgood = Mr. Hanover (the well-meaning boss). So despite its X-pedigree, it seemed like it was targeted more at girly-girls than at tomboys. And yet Marvel handled the idea so clumsily! (Like usual.) I mean, I'm no expert, but I suspect that typical adolescent girls of 1982 didn't really go for guys with porn star mustaches, aviator-style glasses, and man-perms.
Tomorrow: inside the Dazzler concert! And before that, Jeremy will post his comments on last night's game, along with the debut of my little cartoon headshot of his balding noggin.