Classic X-Men #38

Issue Date: 
October 1989
Story Title: 
<BR>And Hellfire is their Name! (1st story)<BR>Strangers on a Lift (2nd story)

Second Story: Ann Nocenti (writer), Kyle Baker (penciler, inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The first story is a reprint of X-Men (1st series) #132.

Second Story:
At night, Alison Blaire enters a car park but she hears footsteps following her. Just as she enters the elevator, the man catches up with her and enters it as well. Alison begins to panic but he turns out to be the man operating the lift. Still, she feels rather uncomfortable, as he stands rather close and seems to stare at her. Suddenly, the power fails and, in the darkness, she can feel his breath on her neck. He fixes the elevator, which continues to ascend, though now he stands behind her, terrifying Alison even more. Reaching the top level, she gets out, but the man follows, claiming that he will walk her to her car, as it’s too dangerous alone in the dark. When a car approaches rather fast, he uses Alison’s momentary distraction to cuff her to a pole. Saying that it’s all some sort of joke, he leaves her alone to get the keys. Alison uses a laser beam to curt herself free and then, turning the tables, she also destroys a fuse box, trapping the man in darkness. She hurries to her car, turns on its radio and, now having enough sound to transform into light, she scares the hell out of the man. Turns out that he is a filmmaker, who just wanted to study fear for his next project. Well, Alison says, he must have gathered enough material by now.

Full Summary: 

This first story reprints X-Men (1st series) #132.

Second Story:
At night, in an almost empty parking level, the only thing heard is the click click of a woman’s high heels, though suddenly echoed by the shluff shluff of a man following her. They match step for step, until both of them reach a confined space. “What floor, Miss?” the man asks, and, thanking him, the woman, wearing a red dress and a matching jacket of the same color, thanks him. She is Alison Blaire, also known as the Dazzler. The man slowly closes the elevator door, it being a rather old model and the door being a fence of metal.

Alison thinks it weird that they aren’t moving and eyes the elder man suspiciously. Despite a sign reading “No smoking,” he has a lit cigar in his mouth. She wonders why he just stands there and whether he realizes that they aren’t moving, when suddenly she notes that he is standing closer to her than needed, as the elevator isn’t that confined. Suddenly, the man raises an arm towards her face, but then reaches next to her to operate the elevator’s lever. He does it rather slowly, the lever making some noise and, feeling rather unpleasant, Alison wonders if he really does have to lean so close to her and if he is trying to threaten or scare her.

The lift begins to move and Alison tells herself that she is just paranoid. Of course, he is just the elevator man. Then again, he is sort of quietly perverse. The elder man, slightly obese and one head taller than her, stares at Alison with interest. Though looking the other way, Alison feels him staring at her. She begins to wonder if he really is the elevator man and tells herself to stay calm. She manages to gather enough courage to turn her head and look at the uncanny man, but now it’s he who is looking away. Alison tells herself that she must be imagining things, or did he just turn away?

All of a sudden, the power fails, the lights go out and the elevator stops. Alison sums up the obvious “We’ve stopped,” and the man answers that he knows and that the lift must be broken. Alison once more thinks to herself to cool down and that this is just an ordinary situation. Surely, he’ll know how to fix the lift – but why is he so still? As the seconds pass by, Alison wonders what the man is doing, when she feels his breath on her neck. She cries out, asking him what he is doing, when the power returns. Indeed, the man is now standing behind her and his simple answer is, “I’m the elevator man. I’m running the lift.” Alison feels rather uncomfortable, but there isn’t much she can do.

Finally, they reach the top floor and the man tells everyone to get off. Alison wonders at this choice of words, as she was the only passenger, but she is happy to be finally out of the lift. The man says that it could be dangerous up there, alone in the dark, and that he will walk her to her car. Alison tells herself not to mind him, just to walk straight, get to her car and this being an ordinary car park nothing will happen. Without warning, one of the few cars parked there turns out its lights and starts driving towards her. Although Alison sees the car approaching her fast, the man tells her to look out and pushes her out of the way, despite her telling him to let go. He takes advantage of her being off-balance for a split second and cuffs her left hand to a pole.

Fear in her eyes, Alison asks him what he thinks he is doing and demands to be uncuffed, to which the man answers he is sorry, it’s just a little joke. Her tells her not to be scared but sometimes it gets boring around there. Her tells her there is no harm done and that he’ll unlock her. However, when reaching into his pocket, he doesn’t find the key, so he reasons he’ll go and get it. Be right back, he says, disappearing into the darkness.

Finally alone, Alison thinks to herself that he asked for it; she’s not some helpless bimbo he can torture; she’s the Dazzler. She cuts herself free with a focused laser blast, takes off her shoes and runs over to a fuse box, using her laser on it too. Dazzler wants to return the favor of the joke, as she can play games in the dark as well. She spots the obese man, confused in the darkness, just like she was in the elevator. But before she can face him, she needs a little music to give her power some juice to dazzle-blast him some of his own perverse medicine. Alison hurries over to her car and turns on the radio.

Transforming the sound into lightwaves, Alison glows brightly, scaring the man, who is now engulfed in white light. He asks whoever is there to stop and tries to get away, but the light sparks follow him wherever he turns. The man goes down to the ground, the bright spots hovering above him taking on different shapes and colors, spirals, flares, stars. Terrified, the man pleads for it to stop, as he is sick and can’t take any more of it. Alison approaches him, introducing herself as Dazzler and asks why he purposely tried to scare her half to death.

Kneeling before her, the man says that he is not what he seems to be. Running the elevator is only a part-time job, while actually is a filmmaker and obsessed with fear. As he noticed that the car park is a scary place at night, he used it to merely study fear up close and personal for his next project. Hiding his face in shame, the man says that he is sorry. Alison stops glowing, saying that he got his chance to study fear and asks him if he has enough material now. “Quite enough, miss,” he says, as Alison helps him get up.

Characters Involved: 

Second Story:
a filmmaker / elevator man

Story Notes: 

The elevator man resembles Alfred Hitchcock.

Written By: