Dazzler #28

Issue Date: 
September 1983
Story Title: 

Frank Springer (writer and penciler), Vince Coletta (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Ralph Macchio (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief), C. Tomlinson, L.T. U.S.A.F. (technical advisor), Bill Sienkiewicz (cover)

Brief Description: 

Dazzler and Lois London realize they were hired to assassinate Nick Brown—Lois’s biological father. The police arrive with Ken Barnett and arrest the man who blackmailed them. On their way home from the police station in Nick’s limousine, Ken tells Lois she will likely be acquitted for the murder, Dazzler hears one of her new songs on the radio, and Nick invites the girls to stay at his place for as long as they want, even offering to help Dazzler promote herself in Los Angeles. When they arrive home, however, a vengeful Rogue attacks the limo and vows to destroy Dazzler. Dazzler runs for her life. She borrows one of Nick’s cars, drives it to his private airfield, and with a bit of luck, manages to start one of his jets and use its sound energy to devastate Rogue. Her attack almost gets Rogue killed, but Dazzler saves her life and takes her unconscious body to the police, finally putting an end to her reign of terror.

Full Summary: 

In the sub-basement gymnasium of a fashionable Sutton Place townhouse in New York City, a familiar costumed figure works up a sweat. She is Rogue, of the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants, an organization dedicated to the establishment of mutant supremacy on Earth. But this day, her concern is not the goals of any group; rather, she is obsessed with a personal vendetta.

With a super-powered punch, Rogue obliterates a dangling concrete block painted with the likeness of Dazzler. Next, she presses a semi-truck axle with just one hand. She follows up this exercise with some practice hurling knives at a target painted with Dazzler’s face. After this, she engages in a series of reverse squats in opposition to an enormous spring.

Destiny and Mystique, Rogue’s teammates and mentors, interrupt her workout to express some concerns. Why is she pushing herself so hard? Rogue wonders why they even have to ask; can’t Destiny see the future? Unfortunately, Destiny detects such hatred in Rogue’s mind that it blocks her access to visions of the future. Since the mutant precog has no idea where Rogue’s determination will lead her, Rogue tells her to think back a bit. Perhaps she might recall that there is a woman out there somewhere whom has defeated Rogue each time they have tangled. Rogue has done everything in her power to defeat this foe—including once throwing her off the edge of a cliff—but nothing has worked! Like a bad penny, she keeps coming back, and Rogue can’t figure out how she does it. “All she’s got’s a bunch’a hokey light powers,” Rogue says, clenching her fist. “But ah’m Rogue! Ah got the power’a Ms. Marvel herself!” She vows to find Alison Blaire—the Dazzler—and smash her once and for all!

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Alison Blaire and her half-sister Lois London just received the shock of their lives. They were blackmailed into assassinating and robbing a wealthy man in L.A., and while they never intended to follow through, they had to at least feign compliance. However, they never expected to actually know their target. Alison and Lois stare at the gray-haired man in the bed, recognizing him in different ways: Lois from her childhood, and Alison from the picture in her mother’s locket. It is Nick Brown—Lois’s father!

While Lois reaches out and takes her estranged father’s hand, Alison helps Warren off the ground, explaining to him what exactly happened. Someone blackmailed her and Lois, so she summoned Warren, the only man she trusts in L.A., to help. Unfortunately, he surprised the wrong man and got himself shot.

Napier, the gunman explains his actions. A couple of months ago, Mr. Brown sent him to find his long-lost daughter, Lois. An experienced private detective, he had no trouble finding the girl. However, that night outside of Carnegie Hall, when he witnessed Lois struggling with a derelict man, changed everything. Before he knew it, the derelict was dead, and Lois, a fugitive. The private eye captured the entire thing on his camera. At that point, he decided to turn the job into something far more nefarious.

“And that’s when you figured you could do better in blackmail than detective work—and eliminate your boss in the process!” an enraged Dazzler interrupts. She finishes the rest of the story: he followed them to California, gave them prints of the photos, and sent her to kill Lois’s father instead of reuniting the two! Even if the sisters failed, Napier had a backup plan. He would have killed Mr. Brown on his own, stolen his money and framed the sisters, whom he knew were on the run from the law and at the crime scene! Alison grabs him by the shoulders and hoists him off the ground.

Suddenly, three more men appear in the doorway: two officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, and Ken Barnett, Dazzler’s former lawyer. The cops tell everyone present they can hear the rest of the story downtown. While everyone in the room seems surprised to see the police, Alison gasps at the presence of Ken, her once-and-possibly-current boyfriend!

A few hours later, after their limousine pulls away from the police station, Alison asks Ken to explain exactly how he got involved in this mess. He explains that immediately after Angel received Alison’s frightened phone message, he called Ken, whom he knew was in Los Angeles on a business trip. Angel then followed Alison and Lois to Mr. Brown’s manor. When things started looking suspicious, Warren called Ken, and Ken, the police. Alison now asks about Lois’s predicament back home in New York. Ken reveals that Napier had more photographs of the incident than he showed Alison and Lois. The rest of the photos conclusively show that Lois was acting in self-defense. Additionally, the homeless man’s official cause of death was a heart attack! Ken is confident these findings will result in an acquittal if ever brought before a judge. Ecstatic, Alison thanks Ken for the wonderful news by throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him on the cheek. Ken smirks like a love-struck schoolboy.

Lois, meanwhile, can’t seem to share her sister’s elation. She knows what she did to the homeless man; she knows it was her fault he died. She saw the aura of energy crackling out of her hand—an aura that, evidently, does not show up in photographs. Although the derelict did attack her, and although she acted in self-defense, Lois still committed murder. She wonders how she will ever live with this guilt.

Ken notices Alison acting strange and asks if something is wrong. She’s fine; she just hears a familiar song playing on the radio. She instantly recognizes the song as the record she cut before leaving New York! Turn it up, she asks the driver! “…and that was a brand-new single—waxed by our newest singing sensation, Alison Blaire,” the radio host says. “It’s climbing the charts and headed for Hits-burgh! Next on the Moon Beam we have some solid gold from the groove yard—but first…”

Alison cannot believe it; her record made it on the air! At this point, Lois explains to her father that Alison is a singer. Nick already figured that out, of course. Leaning closer to Alison, he asks if she would like to meet some show-business contacts while on the West Coast. He can introduce her to Roman Nekoboh, he says. Alison gasps; does he mean the Roman Nekoboh, the biggest singing sensation of their age? How does Nick know him? Nick explains that he doesn’t just know Roman—he owns him! Nick then instructs his driver, Harrison, to radio ahead and let his butler know there will be four people at lunch today. He invites Alison and Lois to stay at his home for as long as they want. He tells Lois he wants to get to know her most of all, and hopefully, make amends for the ugly things he did to her and her mother in the past.

The limousine drives through the wrought-iron gates of Nick Brown’s estate. Unbeknownst to its passengers, a familiar, green-hooded figure perches atop the stone wall, eagerly anticipating its arrival. When it passes, Rogue leaps off the wall and onto the roof of the vehicle. From there, she jumps in front of the limo, plants her feet, and forces it to stop. “Ta-da! Nice ta see y’all!” she announces. She rips Dazzler out of the limousine. Dazzler can’t go anywhere without her knowing, she says—not even to Los Angeles. However, she tells her not to worry; she didn’t come this time to use her to get to Angel or the X-Men. No, she simply came to beat the tar out of Alison, once and for all.

After Rogue tosses Dazzler to the ground, she begins pounding on all of the limousine doors, denting them so much that the rest of the passengers cannot escape. “Ah wasn’t gonna bother with yuh again, babe, but it just kept eatin’ away at me—the way yuh whupped me with yuh fancy light tricks,” Rogue says, adding how Alison’s two bodyguards, Power Man and Iron Fist, only fueled her humiliation. Now, it’s just Rogue and Dazzler; her “heroes for hire” are nowhere in sight. To tip the odds even further in her favor, Rogue rips open the limo’s hood and tears out its horn. She doesn’t intend to let Dazzler defeat her with something as provincial as a car horn!

While Rogue continues tearing the vehicle to shreds, Dazzler decides to make her escape, hoping to lure Rogue away from her friends and family. Rogue merely watches her run. She enjoys seeing her prey hightail it like a jackrabbit, she laughs! As Dazzler darts across Nick Brown’s vast estate, she cannot help but notice its elaborate layout; Nick must be loaded. What legal job could possibly bring in so much money, though? She recalls her mother saying that Nick was always somewhat of a shady character—and that Nick said he owned Roman Nekoboh. While Dazzler initially took this comment as a joke, she now wonders whether Nick meant it literally.

Alison’s escape route brings her to the front of Nick’s triple garage, inside of which she sees three parked cars. This gives her an idea. She darts into the garage, hoping to make use of one of the vehicles, but finds the only one with keys in the ignition is basically a relic: a Packard V-12. Dazzler hops in anyway; after all, beggars can’t be choosers. Thankfully, the car starts when she turns the ignition. As the airborne Rogue bears down on her, Dazzler begins blaring on the horn. “Come and get it, Rogue!” she shouts.

As she tears down the driveway, she blasts Rogue in mid-air with a beam of bright light. The overconfident Rogue fails to elude the attack. However, much to Dazzler’s chagrin, it barely slows her down. Rogue soars to the back of the car, plants her feet on the ground, and grabs onto the bumper as Dazzler tries to drive away. Dazzler hits the gas. The bumper comes off in Rogue’s hands, causing her to tumble backward. While the car’s guts certainly surprise Alison, she doubts it is fast enough to outrun Rogue. She hopes a few more blasts from the horn might do the trick.

Rogue catches up with the runaway vehicle and grabs onto the passenger-side door. Dazzler fires at her, but Rogue ducks down under the door while keeping her feet on the running board—just out of Dazzler’s line of sight. It’s like a cat-and-mouse game to her, Dazzler thinks to herself. Realizing Rogue will rip the jalopy apart in no time, Alison decides to employ some drastic methods. She begins swerving the vehicle back and forth, hoping to shake Rogue off its side, or at the very least, disorient her. Rogue laughs at this pitiful attempt.

Desperate, Alison decides to try a dangerous maneuver before Rogue rips the car door off like a piece of cardboard. With Rogue still hanging from the side of the car, she drives toward a large oak tree on Nick’s property, hoping to graze its side without actually hitting it. Rogue realizes what she’s doing a moment too late. As the car passes by the tree, Rogue is ripped off the side—along with one of the Packard’s ornamental tires. Unfazed, Rogue picks herself up off the ground amidst the scraps of twisted metal. She has played with her target for far too long. Now, she intends to get serious.

Dazzler, meanwhile, realizes Rogue will probably kill her for the stunt she just pulled. She needs to get off of Nick’s estate and find help as soon as possible. Unfortunately, she has trouble finding her way out of the enormous grounds. She finally comes to a chain-link fence and realizes she has reached a border of the property. After making a quick, three-point turn to orient the car in the right direction, she speeds toward the fence with her foot pressed down on the accelerator and busts through, seemingly to freedom. However, she finds herself on yet another portion of Nick Brown’s estate: his private airfield.

Predictably, Rogue catches up with Dazzler while the singer speeds down the airstrip. Dazzler tries to focus only on outrunning Rogue, but can’t help but notice her quickly approaching figure in the rearview mirror. She realizes reaching one of the unmanned airplanes might be her only chance at survival. Dazzler presses down on the accelerator, pushing the car up to 100 miles per hour, before finally slamming on the brakes and leaning on the horn. During her lateral drift, Dazzler absorbs all the sound energy she can—both from the screeching brakes and the blaring horn—and hits Rogue with a high-powered blast of light. This time, her attack puts the villainess out… for now.

Realizing her skillful maneuver will only buy her a few moments, Dazzler scrambles up the side of one of the private jets, opens the cockpit windshield, and climbs inside to access the controls, neglecting to actually consider how foreign the controls of an airplane are. Nevertheless, she attempts to make sense of all the unfamiliar gadgets and dials. Rogue, meanwhile, picks herself up off the ground and bares her teeth at Dazzler, now angrier than ever.

Dazzler keeps fiddling with the jet’s controls. She hits a promising switch, and to her delight, the engines begin to whirr. Rogue scoffs at this pitiful attempt to get away. “Ah don’t know where yuh think yuh goin’ honey, but unless yuh know how to fly one ‘a them birdies—yuh stayin’ parked,” she says. When she sees the turbine begin to spin, however, Rogue realizes she made a grave miscalculation. Dazzler isn’t trying to fly the plane at all; she just wants to start it!

The plane roars to life. Rogue hastily flies up to the cockpit window and tries to open the canopy. Before she can get inside, however, Dazzler absorbs the thunderous sound energy coming from the engine and rechannels it into a truly blinding flare of light. Its almost-physical force knocks Rogue backward, despite her immense durability. As the villainess falls off the wing, Dazzler, glowing like a star, vows to make Rogue pay for how she tormented her, and humiliated the ones she loves. Rogue’s insane grudge has caused her countless nights of terrified restlessness and given her nightmares she will never forget. It all ends now! “How does it feel, Rogue?” Dazzler asks as she bombards the stunned villainess with a steady stream of radiant energy. “How does it feel to take punishment instead of give it?”

Rogue refuses to admit defeat. While she struggles to her feet, she tells Dazzler she just got lucky and took her by surprise. She still intends to get Dazzler back; after all, she took a vow. “Then get up and show me,” Dazzler says. “I’m waiting. I’m not afraid of you anymore, Rogue.” Good thing, Rogue tells her; that should make it much easier to take her by surprise! She lunges at Dazzler’s midsection and forces her to the ground, but Dazzler skillfully recovers. She rolls with the blow, grabs hold of Rogue, and flips her over with her legs. She then stands up and pelts her staggered assailant with yet another stream of jet-powered light energy. “End of the line, lady!” Dazzler says. “I’m putting you under—now!”

Dazzler hits Rogue with pulse after pulse of potent incandescence, staggering the malevolent mutant’s mind. A barely conscious Rogue stumbles backward, inadvertently stepping right in the way of the jet’s air-intake. Dazzler screams in horror; she doesn’t want Rogue to die! With only seconds to act, she leaps forward and pushes Rogue out of the way of the air-intake. No matter how much grief Rogue has caused her, Dazzler could not in good conscience let her die. Doing so would make her no better than Rogue.

Alison shuts down the jet and drags the unconscious Rogue back to the car. She simply cannot wait to see the look on everyone’s face when she turns Rogue over to the authorities. For some reason, she cannot believe this ordeal has finally ended. Rogue has made her life miserable for so long, but now, she’s defeated her on her own, and convincingly at that. She just can’t seem to figure out why she now feels weak and exhausted instead of elated. I guess that’s why I’m not really a super-heroine, she thinks. I’m just plain old Alison Blaire at heart. But that’s fine with me. As she drives the beat-up buggy back toward her frightened friends, Alison ponders what the future has in store. She has a sister to help, a career to pursue, and a record to promote. If the money starts rolling in, she may even ask Nick Brown if she can buy the car she damaged. It would be quite a treat for the girl who has everything.

Characters Involved: 


Lois London


Destiny, Mystique, Rogue (Sisterhood of Mutants)

Ken Barnett

Nick Brown

Napier (crooked private detective)

Police officers

Story Notes: 

Rogue first squared off against Dazzler in Dazzler #22, at one point even throwing the singer over the edge of a waterfall. Rogue struck once more in #24.

Rogue permanently absorbed Ms. Marvel’s super-powers in Avengers Annual #10.

Lois London accidentally killed an attacker in Dazzler #26.

The “heroes for hire” to whom Rogue refers are Power Man and Iron Fist. Dazzler hired them as personal bodyguards after the first Sisterhood attack in Dazzler #22, and they successfully saved her from Rogue two issues later, in Dazzler #24.

Dazzler recognizes Nick Brown from her mother’s locket, which she accidentally opened in Dazzler #20.

Rogue turns over a new leaf after this issue. Off-panel, she returns to the East Coast to be with Mystique, but when she next appears in Uncanny X-Men #170, she is on the way to the Xavier Institute for help. However, her grudge with Dazzler is not forgotten, and re-emerges when Dazzler joins the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #214.

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