Dazzler #29

Issue Date: 
November 1983
Story Title: 

Frank Springer and Jim Shooter (writers), Frank Springer (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Ralph Macchio (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Dazzler wakes up from her dreams of super-stardom and discusses life with Lois London. Nick Brown, meanwhile, arranges a photo shoot for Dazzler’s new album art as well as a meeting with mega-star Roman Nekoboh. Afterward the photo shoot, Dazzler meets the manic Mr. Nekoboh, a man who appears young and rich but is truthfully old, bald, paunchy—and broke. Roman takes her for a high-speed drive followed by a trip on his personal airplane, during which he repeatedly harasses her sexually. During the sight-seeing flight, the plane comes under fire from a mysterious fighter jet. Although Dazzler destroys the enemy plane using her light powers, Roman’s pilot Hack passes out from injuries sustained in the attack—leaving the flight unmanned.

Full Summary: 

Vibrant images of fame fill Dazzler’s head: her name topping the headline story of Variety magazine, her likeness adorning the cover of national magazines like Time, People, and Life, her performance picture on the cover of her very own Greatest Hits record, and the word “DAZZLER” spelled out in lights on a theater marquis. In her manager’s office, Harry S. Osgood irons out the details of a performance contract for his starlet, the Dazzler. She is to receive half a million dollars a week, plus work and travel expenses. Further, Osgood insists Dazzler get to take the night of the tenth off, as she intends to perform for a March of Dimes benefit that evening. Osgood is delighted to learn the party on the phone already knows of this performance—and wants to make a donation! He smiles while his secretary Cassandra files his nails with an emery board. Dazzler, wearing a silky black dress and beautiful fur coat, smiles at her success.

Sometime later, Dazzler orders her driver to drop her off at home so she can pack for her world tour. She instructs him and her entire staff to take a vacation in Bermuda while she is gone—all on her dime, of course! Alison, reveling in her success, later stars opposite Robert Redford in a film called Passionate Pines. She has to insist on paying for luxury fur coats from merchants who want her to wear their product for free. She even stars in a commercial for the International Express Card, declaring that even she, the most famous woman in the world, never leaves home without it!

“Alison!” someone yells, rousing Dazzler from her pool-side slumber. It is her half-sister, Lois London. “Are you going to lie there all day doing nothing?” Alison’s dream fades to reality. Opening her eyes, she insists she’s exactly not doing nothing; she was dreaming. Lois walks over and sits by her sister, dangling her feet in the pool. Everything feels like a dream lately, Lois says. At times, she wonders if it might even be a nightmare. Dazzler insists today has not been so bad.

Tilting her head back, Alison looks up at the sun and has a thought. “Lois, do you know that I can stare right at the sun without it hurting my eyes? It was only a year ago that I noticed that ordinary humans couldn’t do that!” This makes sense, Lois says, considering Dazzler’s immunity to her own light power. However, she resents that her sister seems to enjoy having her mutant abilities. Lois, after all, hates her own power—and hates being different. “Lois, everybody is different! No two people are exactly the same!” Alison declares. “I think you just have to be what you are and do the best you can!”

This does nothing to comfort Lois. She cannot stop thinking about that night back in New York, when she killed a derelict man with her mere touch. Days later, that same touch killed an innocent cat in Pittsburgh. Lois considers her powers a curse! To the best of her ability, Dazzler concurs. After all, if it were not for her own mutant powers, she would not have gotten in even a fraction of the trouble she’s experienced recently, including having the maniacal mutant Rogue out for her blood. On the other hand, without her light powers, Dazzler would not have been able to defeat Rogue either—something she accomplished just yesterday. “It isn’t easy,” she tells Lois, “but you’ve got to learn to live with being a mutant!”

Lois takes these words to heart. Perhaps she will be okay after all. Admittedly, staying at the residence of her estranged father, Nick Brown, makes her a little nervous. She can barely even fathom that Nick is her father! Alison empathizes. Lois has not seen her father since she was a toddler, after all. Nick is practically a stranger to her. Lois tells Alison she and Nick have talked a bit since settling in, and that Nick claims to have missed her all these years, even apologizing for his actions in the past. Lois cannot help but trust him; he sounds so nice and sincere. She has a hard time in her mind associating Nick with the horrible man from her childhood memories. She remembers how he used to book her mother in sleazy nightclubs, where she would sing in hopes of someday getting her big break. She remembers how Nick would get drunk and occasionally even hit Katherine. She remembers the fateful winter day—Christmas, in fact—on which she and her mother fled Nick Brown forever.

Tears form in Lois’s eyes. Until two days ago, she had not seen her father since that Christmas morning from her childhood. Nick claims he cleaned up, quit drinking, and became respectable. He now represents major singing talents like Roman Nekoboh. However, the pain from the past is too powerful for Lois to ignore. She turns to Alison and cries in her arms. She cannot bring herself to accept Nick Brown as her father after everything that happened! Worse, she even feels afraid of him!

Dazzler admits she has similar reservations. Sure, Nick has treated her well. He even arranged for her to meet Roman Nekoboh, a connection that will surely help her career! Something worries her, however, which she chalks up to not knowing yet if she can fully trust Nick. On the other hand, what could Nick—or Mr. Nekoboh, for that matter—possibly want from her?

At that moment, in an enormous mansion not too far away from Nick’s place, Roman Nekoboh’s butler knocks on his master’s door. He informs Roman that his business manager is already waiting downstairs for their noon appointment. Grumbling and groggy, Roman drags himself out of his king-sized bed. A balding, paunchy, withered old man, he forces himself to stand up and get moving. He puts on his eyeglasses, which make his face resemble a mole’s. He then takes a shower, puts in his dentures, straps on a girdle to conceal his gut, shaves, and puts in his contact lenses. After donning his purple crushed-velvet suit, Roman gently slips on his jet-black wig. He sizes himself up in the mirror once he completes this daily transformation—and likes what he sees. “Roman, baby, you’re dynamite!” he tells his reflection. “God’s gift to women! Irresistible in the extreme!”

Roman bounds down the stairs, emanating youthful vitality. He greets his straight-laced manager Benson by jokingly asking if he got drunk the night before and revealed all his financial secrets. Benson smiles, but assures Roman he came on serious business. Roman continues joking. He asks Benson if he got in trouble again with some young girl. Not to worry; he promises to hold off the girl’s father while Benson runs for the border! He offers him a drink to forget his sordid past, but then retracts the offer, instead preferring to get drunk while Benson stays sober. That way, Benson won’t seem so dull! Again, Benson assures Roman he came to talk about matters of great importance.

Benson informs his client that he has a very serious deficit, as well as a cash-flow problem. Roman merely smiles and asks his butler, Ziggy, for a cigarette and a martini. Benson demands he pay attention. His records have stopped selling, he has backed four movie flops in a row, his TV royalties have ceased, and his former wives want alimony. Basically, Roman Nekoboh is broke—yet he still pays someone to light his cigarettes! Benson throws his arms up in frustration. Surprisingly, Roman tells Benson he is right. To amend the situation, he proposes that he now have Ziggy light his cigarettes with matches instead of a lighter!

Ignoring this latest comment, Benson informs his client he had better put out some hot records—and fast. Roman treats this suggestion with condescension. Music isn’t the future of entertainment; swashbuckling pirate films starring Roman Nekoboh are! To demonstrate, he wields an imaginary cutlass and fences with several imaginary foes. “Ten against one, eh? Just the odds I like!” Roman says. He lunges forward with his imaginary blade outstretched. “I leap the castle wall! Swim the vast moat! And confronting the last of the infidels who stand between me and the fair Guinnivere—I thrust home! Thrust!” Roman parries, sidesteps, strikes, and lunges forward in an animated display. When he finishes, he leans against the wall and clutches his heart, gasping to catch his breath.

Benson asks if he feels okay. “Never better,” Roman tells him. He limps over to the drink table and grabs his glass. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, Benson, I’m on my way to meet my movie co-star! And get this, Benson,” Roman says, picking up a magazine with Dazzler’s face on its cover, “…she’s one I haven’t married… yet! That should narrow down your speculation!” As Roman leaves, he lets Benson know that if he wishes to return to his office in a hurry, he can take his private chopper! Benson throws up his arms in disbelief.

Shortly thereafter, Dazzler, wearing a blue, one-piece bikini, poses in front of a desert backdrop depicting the pyramids of Egypt. She smiles for the camera. Her photographer Jimmy snaps his final shots and assures Alison the photos are great. Alison hopes so; her career may depend on these pictures. Jimmy tells her that as soon as the shots for the posters and album covers are ready, he will send them to Alison and Nick for approval. Alison asks if he meant to say Harry, referring to her manager, Harry S. Osgood. “Well, you can show him too, if you want,” Jimmy says, “but Nick Brown is the guy who’s going to make you a star, sweetie!” Jimmy reminds her that it was Nick who set up this photo shoot, and arranged for her to meet Roman Nekoboh. That meeting, Jimmy says, is quite the opportunity—and that if Dazzler were smart, she would take his advice and drop Harry S. Osgood.

Meanwhile, on the street below, a limousine pulls up to the front door of the record company building and is met with a dense crowd of onlookers waiting to steal a glimpse of its occupant, Roman Nekoboh. Roman steps out and walks through the barricaded crowd to the front door, escorted, of course, by two burly bodyguards. When he opens the lobby doors, the first thing he sees is the beautiful Alison Blaire. She’s just as breathtaking as Nick Brown said—which is a good thing for Nick’s sake, he jokes. Alison, flattered and star-struck, thanks Roman for his kind words. He tells her not to move. He lurches forward and gently takes her hands in his. “Say not another word,” Roman says. “Let me look deep into those magnificent eyes and take your trembling hands in mine! We must forever preserve this—this, our first moment together on this planet!”

Alison stutters; she has no idea how to respond. Continuing, Roman suggests they ditch his two bodyguards and sneak out the back, far away from his adoring fans out front who long to tear the clothes from his bronze, rippling body. Meekly, Alison agrees. Roman smiles and says he knows of a thousand places they can go to be alone; they have a lot to talk about, he says. “About my career?” Alison asks, adding she would appreciate any advice he has for her.

A few moments later, in an alleyway outside, Roman asks Alison to wait a minute while he puts on his sunglasses. It must be difficult for him to walk the streets, she says; he must be the most recognizable celebrity in the country! Roman assures her he can avoid the mobs… when he wants to. After all, he’s been doing it for a long time! He omits saying exactly how long.

Changing the subject, he says they should drive to their destination instead of walking. Alison asks if his car is nearby. “You might say that,” he says, putting his arm around her waist. They walk into a car dealership, at which point the salesman greets them and asks if they need assistance. Roman, eyeing a futuristic convertible sports car, asks if it’s gassed up and ready to go. The stunned salesman asks him to clarify. Roman reasserts himself: he wants the car, and he wants it right now. The flustered salesman informs him that this particular vehicle is Limited Edition, fuel-injected, turbo-charged Ferrante X-12 with double-overhead cams, racing suspensions and self-emptying ashtrays. It boasts a price tag of $79,990. “Give me the keys! I’ll take it!” Roman squeals. The salesman can hardly believe it, but after Roman removes his sunglasses and reveals his identity, the salesman eagerly complies. He puts it on Mr. Nekoboh’s bill.

After he and Alison hop in the pricey car, Roman drives it straight out the dealership’s front door—much to the shock of everyone else in the store. Even though he has done this plenty of times before, Roman still loves the feeling. Dazzler asks what he means; does he pull this stunt often? Sure, Roman says. He explains how, as a kid, he always fantasized about strolling into an automobile showroom, pointing at the car he wanted, and driving out with it! Now, as an adult, he buys all his cars this way.

Changing the subject, Roman decides to ask Alison something about herself: how much did she love his last album? In response, Alison asks if he shouldn’t slow down a bit. Driving on the winding highway roads overlooking the ocean at this speed honestly worries her. Nonsense, Roman tells her; he lives at one speed and one speed only. In fact, he admits the car is already beginning to bore him. Does it bore Alison as much as it bores him? He suggests they take his plane instead. However, he assures Alison that it is the car, and not her company, he finds boring. He compliments her silken hair, her azure eyes, and her voluptuous figure, all of which is perfect for her big-screen debut at his side! Alison gasps at this comment; she knew nothing of an acting gig! Roman laughs at her naivety. Of course he wants her on the big screen, he says.

Now, as they tear through the streets of Hollywood, Roman once again changes the subject by asking Alison if she wants to see him take corner on just two wheels. Alison pleads with him to slow down. He finally complies with her request—once they reach his private airplane.

As he pulls the car to a stop, he asks his flight attendant, Hack, if he has the martinis ready. Hack answers affirmatively, and Roman and Alison board the plane. “Hack, bow low to the next love goddess of the silver screen—Alison Blaire!” Roman announces as he enters the plane with his companion. He then introduces Alison to the blond-haired man in a baseball cap and college sweater. “Ali, this juvenile delinquent is Harvey ‘Hack’ Hathaway, adolescent of the airways!” Alison and Hack smile and wave at each other. Roman orders Hack to stop gaping, put on some appropriately romantic jazz music, and take them for three loops around the desert—promising a thousand-dollar bonus if Hack makes the trip last forever.

Roman offers Alison a martini. She asks for a club soda with a twist instead. “That’s it, Ali! Go on and live!” Roman jokes. Alison admits she is having a good time. Even legends have their moments, Roman says as he lifts his glass for a toast. He tells Alison she will look positively lovely at his side in Cinemascope, Technicolor and Dolby Sound, and suggests they start discussing their love scenes together. Averting her gaze, Alison looks out the window and comments on the color of the sunlight-bathed mountains. Roman claims he had them painted that way for Alison that very morning. As she deflects this most recent, overly flirty compliment, Roman leans in a bit too close for her comfort. She resists. He tells her to just melt in his arms and relax; she can consider this her screen test. Alison keeps rebuffing his advances, but Roman continues with the invasive theatrics. Finally, Alison tells him to cut it out; she means it!

Nearby, a fighter jet tailing Roman Nekoboh’s airplane reports back to its commander. The pilot has visual contact with the target Learjet and will close in for confirmation. Base tells him to proceed.

Inside Roman’s plane, the frightened Alison Blaire looks out the window and sees the fighter jet closing the distance. Roman brushes off the threat, claiming his adoring public follows him everywhere.

The fighter jet makes a couple of quick loops around Nekoboh’s plane. Hack grows frightened; the other pilot must be either drunk or crazy! To Hack’s dismay, the fighter jet suddenly faces his plane and fires a round of bullets at its hull. Hack activates some evasive maneuvers. After warning Alison and Roman to grab hold of something, he pulls the plane upward, flipping it over completely. The sudden movement knocks Alison and Roman around the cabin, and while Alison deftly rolls with the movements, Roman hits his head and falls unconscious. Alison checks on him then asks Hack what happened. He admits that what he is about to say sounds like it came from the script for a TV show—but someone is firing at them!

Who? And why? Is it Roman they’re after, Alison asks herself, or me? She peeks out the window and gets a look at the enemy plane. Realizing they have no place to run or hide, she decides to fight. She turns up the cabin’s stereo as loud as it can go. It’s enough sound to get started, but once she blasts open the window, the rushing wind and engine noise will provide her with more than enough sound energy to complete her task.

Meanwhile, in the cockpit, Hack asks why Alison turned up the music. She doesn’t answer. He assumes Roman just happened to choose a crazy woman for his current fling. Suddenly, the fighter jet pulls alongside—again.

After receiving permission to shoot, the enemy plane opens fire once more on Nekoboh’s plane. This time, however, Dazzler is ready. Her body aglow, she fires her own weapon—a high-intensity beam of light energy—back at the enemy plane, creating a hole in her own plane in the process. The awesome sound pouring in through the hole sends a tidal wave of seething power surging through the body of Alison Blaire. It wells up within her, barely contained as she takes aim. Then, with a bolt of searing brilliance—a hammering spike of naked force—Dazzler strikes back!

Her beam hits the enemy plane, ripping its exterior to shreds. Unfortunately, Dazzler hit him a little harder than she intended, and watches in horror as the flaming, crumbled jet veers into the mountainside. Thankfully, the pilot ejects in time and parachutes to safety. The relieved Alison Blaire walks to the cockpit to report the good news to Hack. To her dismay, she finds Hack slumped over the controls, clearly unconscious. She pulls him back and sees he has been shot. “He’s hurt bad… and I can’t fly a plane!” Alison gasps. She looks out over the rocky horizon and comes up with a plan: maybe she’ll just turn the stereo up so it drowns out the sound of the inevitable plane crash.

Characters Involved: 


Lois London

Roman Nekoboh

Benson (Roman’s accountant)

Jimmy (photographer)

Harvey “Hack” Hathaway (Roman’s pilot)

Ziggy (Roman’s butler)

In illustrative flashback image:


Katherine Blaire, Nick Brown (Lois’s parents)

Derelict man

In dream only:

Harry S. Osgood

Robert Redford (actor)

Cassandra Ferlenghetti (Osgood’s assistant)

Limousine driver

Fur coat salesman

Story Notes: 

Although the word “fame” certainly stands on its own, in fitting with the music-themed titles of this series, it most likely refers to the 1975 David Bowie song of the same name.

This issue contains a series of one-page pin-ups of Dazzler penciled by Butch Guice and inked by Vince Colletta.

First appearance of Roman Nekoboh.

Lois London killed a derelict man, then a cat, in Dazzler #26.

Dazzler fought and defeated the vengeful Rogue last issue.

The production credits for Passionate Pines, the imaginary movie that Dazzler stars in opposite Hollywood-heartthrob Robert Redford, are identical to the production credits for this issue: Jim Shooter, Ralph Macchio, Vince Colletta, Frank Springer, Janice Chiang, Andy Yanchus and Bob Harras.

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