Dazzler #32

Issue Date: 
June 1984
Story Title: 
Moon Lighting

Mike Carlin (co-plotter, scripter), Mark Bright (penciler), Vince Collette (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Ralph Macchio (editor), Jim Shooter (co-plotter, editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Medusa and Lockjaw of the Inhumans interrupt Dazzler’s aerobics class to solicit her help in dealing with a problem in the Blue Area of the Moon. After some hesitation, Dazzler agrees to travel with them to help, if only because she owes them a favor. Once there, she sees the problem: a mysterious dark cloud that moves ever closer toward the Inhuman city of Attilan. Dazzler channels Black Bolt’s incredible emitted sound energy and illuminates the dark cloud, allowing Quicksilver to speed in and capture its two culprits, Blackout and Moonstone. With the threat to the Inhumans neutralized, Lockjaw teleports Dazzler back home, just in time for her to power through another day of strenuous work.

Full Summary: 

The Los Angeles Health and Racquet Club…

To the music of Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical”, Alison Blaire leads her packed aerobics class. The results disappoint her. The class puffs and grunts its way through the workout, which Dazzler doesn’t understand; they have been doing this same workout every day for three weeks in a row! If the class hasn’t gotten in better shape in that time, Alison considers it a fault to her abilities as an instructor.

The sudden appearance of a red-haired woman and an enormous dog in the center of the room interrupts Alison mid-sentence. Screaming, the terrified class participants run for their lives, but Dazzler tries to calm them down. These intruders are her friends, she says, gesturing toward Medusa and Lockjaw of the Inhumans. The class clears out anyway. Dazzler approaches Medusa in a huff and asks her to look at what she has done. What will Alison possibly tell her boss—that she had to cut her class short because a couple of Inhumans teleported from the moon into the middle of the aerobics room? Medusa apologizes, but assures Dazzler that she would only resort to these means in a matter of utmost importance.
Alison folds her arms; they need her help? Medusa explains they have a problem in Attilan, their city on the moon, that could benefit from Dazzler’s light-manipulating powers. Incredulous, Dazzler says she cannot just travel to the moon on a whim! If she went on every emergency that came up, she could never support herself. “I’m sorry, Medusa,” Alison says. “I am the Dazzler. I have been gifted with certain mutant powers… but I’m also Alison Blaire, and it’s time I started choosing Alison over the Dazzler!”

Medusa gives her a stern look, followed by a pause. She reiterates that she would not seek Dazzler’s help were it not a situation of grave import. Besides, the Inhumans answered Alison’s desperate call for help against the Absorbing Man when no one else would. Was that cry for help not from the Dazzler? Did not Black Bolt himself, the monarch of the Inhumans, come instantly to Dazzler’s side against the man whom she had turned into giant light-monster with her own touch? Was it not only with Black Bolt’s devastating sound input that Dazzler was able to direct enough light into the Absorbing Man’s body so as to short-circuit him? Or, has Alison forgotten all of this?

Alison, her eyes closed pensively, admits she has not forgotten. However, she cannot just leave her job right now. “This saddens me, Alison. Very well, we shall go,” Medusa says as she and Lockjaw turn toward the door, “…and again, I regret out unfortunate entrance—and unfortunately I also regret our exit.”

After they leave, Alison slumps against the studio’s mirrored wall and composes her thoughts. She now understands she will never be free of the superhero business, even though she merely wants to live a normal life—or a reasonable facsimile thereof. On the other hand, she does owe the Inhumans a favor. Leaving the job she just found for an indefinite period of time certainly would not be a good career move, though. Things are going so well with her class… Alison suddenly slaps her forehead. Her class! She completely forgot about them. She goes running down the hallway and thankfully finds them all in the locker room. After she convinces the terrified exercise enthusiasts that the intruders were merely performer friends of hers who specialize in dramatic entrances, Alison asks them to come back and finish the rest of the class. Reluctantly, they agree.

A short while later, after Alison wraps up the intensive workout class, she sends her students on their way—and thanks them for having the courage to return. Janet, a dark-haired participant in the class, approaches Alison afterward and jokes about the soreness of her thighs. “That’s good, Janet. No gain without pain,” Alison says. She asks Janet how fares her dancing career. In response, Janet asks if she feels like listening over a cup of coffee. Alison accepts. She could use the relaxation, especially after the occurrence with her friends earlier.

Later, Alison and Janet grab a cup of coffee at a diner. Alison explains to Janet how much Roman Nekoboh has helped her since she arrived in Los Angeles. She still doesn't know how she can repay him. "Riiiight," Janet says, adding that she hopes to meet her own Roman Nekoboh someday so she can get a regular dancing gig. Alison tells her she has no reason to worry; she's good, and will find work soon enough. Although Janet supposes Alison is right, she just cannot wait for things to start happening for her.

Alison pays for the coffee—she is the one with the job, after all—and says goodbye to Janet. Once she steps outside, however, something seizes her attention. Down the street, she catches a glimpse of Medusa's unmistakable red hair slinking around the corner, accompanied by the enormous dog Lockjaw. Alison quickly parts ways with Janet and runs back over to her Inhuman stalkers. Janet grumbles as she leaves; Alison may be sweet, but she's also awfully weird.

Dazzler confronts Medusa and Lockjaw. She cannot believe they followed her! Medusa insists that is not the case. Lockjaw, she explains, needs time to recover from each teleportation, especially one covering as great of a distance as from the Earth to the moon. Before Medusa can finish her sentence, Dazzler interrupts her—and admits she is convinced! She will help the Inhumans after all. However, she needs to return by seven A.M. the next day to teach her class. "Excellent!" Medusa says. "Lockjaw, time is of the essence!" When Alison asks if she will for sure be back in time for her class, Medusa gives her the word of the royal family of Attilan. Regardless, Dazzler presumes she is going to hate herself in the morning.

A shimmering light spreads from Lockjaw's antennae around the trio. There is a silent burst and suddenly, the trio no longer breathes Los Angeles's congested air. Instead they inhale the artificially generated oxygen of Attilan, the Inhumans' home in the blue area of Earth's moon. Upon seeing Attilan for the first time in her life, Alison Blaire can think of just one adjective: dazzling. Medusa tells her they must hurry; Black Bolt awaits.

As they make their way to the monarch's chamber, Dazzler asks Medusa to explain the situation. It began nine days ago, Medusa explains, on what humans call the dark side of the moon—a term Medusa deems a misnomer. Anyway, large black patches seemed to appear out of nowhere, then began drifting slowly toward Attilan. The Inhumans sent Quicksilver to investigate. Even his superspeed proved worthless in thwarting the black clouds, as he could see nothing within them.

Dazzler finally understands why they need her help. With her mutant powers, she can literally shed some light on whatever is causing this problem! Precisely, Medusa tells her. If the Inhumans can determine the source of the darkness, perhaps they can do something to stop it. After Dazzler changes into presentable attire, Medusa brings her to the royal chamber to meet with Black Bolt, behind whom stands Gorgon, Triton and Karnak. "Hi. Nice to, um, see you again, Mister Bolt," Dazzler says as she approaches his throne. The presence of the other Inhumans catches her off guard; compared to these guys, Medusa and Black Bolt seem like regular folks! Her horror dissipates when she catches a glimpse of a rather handsome Inhuman male. Seeing Quicksilver and his beautiful wife Crystal coddling their baby Luna makes Dazzler feel even further at ease.

"And now we mush confront the menace beyond!" Medusa says, pointing toward the encroaching blackness. First, on behalf of Black Bolt, she wants to thank Dazzler for traveling such a great distance to aid the Inhumans. No problem, Dazzler tells them. Besides, if she had not come, and something awful had happened to these people, she could not have lived with herself. The presence of the cute Inhuman guy makes her feel even better about coming. Now, she only hopes she can actually help against the black cloud—whatever it is.

Across the vast surface of the moon, deep within the ominous cloud of pure darkness, two figures stand completely concealed by the nebulous shroud. "Closer," the female figure says. "We must get closer." Her companion, Blackout, insists he is doing his best. Keeping the black cloud around himself and Moonstone isn't exactly easy! Besides, he does not even know why he still wants to help her. When they took on the Avengers at Project: Pegasus a few months ago, they didn't fare very well. The Avengers had them running like scared rabbits—not exactly the start of a beautiful relationship, in Blackout's opinion. Moonstone begrudgingly admits that although retreat was not part of her original plan, she did manage to free Blackout, didn't she? True, he says, but look where she brought him: the moon! Admittedly, he believed hanging out on the dark side of the moon might be cool... until he learned that it is not truly dark, but turned away from the sun. Now, he even has to supply the air he and Moonstone breathe.

Moonstone groans. Can't he get it through his skull? They had to come to the moon! She needs access to its Blue Area; her powers originate from certain stones found there. If she can acquire more of these stones, she can improve her already formidable abilities, thus allowing them to finally get revenge on the Avengers! And by then, my need for you, buffoon, will have passed, Moonstone thinks to herself. The only kink she did not foresee was the bizarre race of humanoids that has chosen to colonize the Blue Area of the Moon. Their presence now forces Moonstone and Blackout to conceal themselves. Moonstone now looks toward the spire of Attilan and sees several of the Inhumans keeping watch over the black cloud. They cannot possibly fathom what is happening, she says. Blackout adds that he cannot possibly see what Moonstone is talking about, as he can barely even stay conscious under this immense strain.

Meanwhile, Dazzler stares out into the approaching abyss and contemplates the absurdity of her current situation. Here she is, standing on the moon, and yet she's never even been to the Statue of Liberty! Right now, all she wants is to get home in time to make it to work.

From within the pulsating black mass, Blackout manages to open his eyes enough to get a look at the forlorn Dazzler in the distance. He immediately falls in love with the gorgeous starlet. Unfortunately for him, this lapse in concentration causes his inky black camouflage to recede for a moment. Moonstone slaps him. What does he think he's doing? Blackout asks her to lay off; he can rebuild their cloak. After he puts it back up to full power—and asks Moonstone if she's satisfied—Blackout contemplates his eventual betrayal of her. She may think she is smart, but after this escapade, she won't have Blackout to boss around any longer, he thinks.

On the spire, Medusa asks Dazzler to ready herself. Dazzler gives Black Bolt the signal to start. While he prepares to open his mouth, Medusa averts her eyes and covers her ears. Black Bolt then speaks. It is Black Bolt's curse that the vibrations produced by his vocal chords shatter any object within their range. But with Alison Blaire to absorb and convert the destructive sounds into potent light, there is no devastation in Attilan this day—only the night-rending power of the Dazzler! Her mega-powered beam of light cuts across the moon and penetrates the previously impermeable black cloud.

Inside, Moonstone averts her eyes, while Blackout reels from the blinding attack. She orders him to strengthen the field; without it, they cannot breathe! He tries, but finds he cannot overcome whatever force created that blast.

The Inhumans catch sight of these two figures inside the mysterious cloud. Quicksilver asks Black Bolt and Dazzler to create a prolonged beam of light so he can speed in and seize the ones responsible for the dark mass. Agreeing to the plan, Dazzler gives Black Bolt the signal to unleash another barrage of sound, which she channels through her body and transduces into a blinding display of polychromatic light. Quicksilver then darts toward the shrouded figures.

Even with the light blinding her, Moonstone sees Quicksilver coming. Additionally, she notices he has his eyes closed, which puts him at a disadvantage, as her visor allows her to see—albeit minimally. Nevertheless, this advantage allows her to repel Quicksilver with a moon-powered blast to the chest. He soars backward and crashes into the walls of Attilan. With him neutralized, Moonstone now turns her attention toward the rest of the Inhumans watching from the spire. She hopes to take care of these freaks quickly!

Her high-powered attack obliterates the top of the spire. As the rubble goes raining down, the Inhumans cower. Dazzler manages to protect them by vaporizing the debris with her lasers. However, this draws her attention away from the black cloud. Within the cloud, Blackout finally succumbs to the enormous strain of maintaining their shroud. He quivers and collapses. Without the artificial air supply he provides, the situation becomes desperate for he and Moonstone. She begs him to keep going, but an additional attack by Dazzler drives Moonstone completely over the edge. "That does it," she shouts. "Now I'm peeved!"

With that, Moonstone releases a blinding surge of light, illuminating the heavens. Coupled with the searing brightness of Dazzler's continued offensive, Earth's moon seems to blaze like a miniature sun! The astral light show is like nothing ever witnessed by human—or Inhuman—eyes.

In mid-Manhattan, in the Baxter Building, the curious display from the satellite catches the learned eye of the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards. He gasps at the sight of the red, flashing ALERT sign and the corresponding image of the kaleidoscope of lights emanating from the moon's Blue Area. He immediately connects it with the Inhumans. Rushing over to his computer station, he contacts Attilan. Crystal answers the call. He asks what is happening on the moon, and if the Inhumans need the assistance of the Fantastic Four. Crystal tells him not to worry about it yet—but adds the situation could turn either way. The Fantastic Four will stand by, should they need their help, Mr. Fantastic says. Crystal thanks him.

In Attilan, the struggle shifts back and forth between Dazzler and Moonstone. Each side alternates between having the advantage: first darkness, then light, then back to darkness. Eventually, Dazzler turns the tide in her favor with one final push from Black Bolt, which she converts into an explosive strobe. Blackout collapses, leaving Moonstone stranded. With the darkness gone, Quicksilver rushes in, snatches the unconscious Blackout, and darts away before Moonstone can stop him. She haphazardly fires at the fast-moving target, but misses each shot. Finally, she accepts defeat. The good guys will beat her again. Moonstone falls to her knees and awaits her inevitable capture. Before she suffocates in the vacuum of the moon's surface, Quicksilver retrieves her and carries her back to Attilan.

The struggle's outcome is relayed to Earth, and shortly thereafter, the defeated pair is placed under temporary Inhuman supervision. Finally, the people of Attilan can rejoice—their city is truly secure! They hoist Dazzler, their heroine of the day, up on their shoulders. When she gets down, the handsome Inhuman man she saw earlier approaches and gives her an intimate hug. She was great, he says. "All in a day's work... um...er," she hesitates, not knowing the man's name. He smiles and introduces himself as Banth.

While Dazzler certainly acknowledges the fulfillment she received from this diversion, she remembers it is just that: a diversion. She left her life and her friends on another world. As much as she enjoys the Inhumans, she belongs back on Earth. She informs Black Bolt and Medusa she must return home. Surely she feels weary, Medusa says, offering Dazzler the opportunity to rest first. Dazzler admits she is tired, and that she will rest—but in the comfort of her own home.

Before they send her home, however, the Inhumans check in with Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Medusa gives him the names of their culprits—Moonstone and Blackout—at which point he reveals he knows of them from the Avengers. These two recently broke out of Project: Pegasus in the Catskill Mountains. Reed suggests Lockjaw bring them there on his way to dropping off Dazzler. Right before she leaves, Dazzler reiterates to the Inhumans that she was glad to help. "There's nothing worse than not knowing what you're up against or why," she says. Blackout, standing behind her in handcuffs, wholeheartedly agrees to this statement. After saying goodbye to Banth one last time, Lockjaw teleports Alison and the gang back to Earth.

After a decidedly hasty stop-over at Project: Pegasus, Lockjaw and Alison Blaire blink into her Los Angeles apartment. "...place like home... there's no place like home," Dazzler says as she materializes in her apartment. "I've always loved that movie." She pats Lockjaw on the head, compliments him on the smooth trip home, and offers him a nightcap before he goes. The gigantic dog simply disappears without the slightest goodbye. "A simple 'no' would have done," Alison says disapprovingly. Completely exhausted, she changes out of her Inhuman clothes and into her pajamas, and lumbers over to her bed. Her head hits the pillow at 8:44. Her bed never felt so good. Unfortunately for her, her alarm goes off at 8:45. Alison smothers her head with her pillow.

Twenty-four minutes later, after showering, dressing, and putting on her makeup, Alison Blaire arrives at the Los Angeles Health and Racquet Club. As soon as she walks in the door, Mr. Witwicky scolds her for being late—as well as for looking awful. Has she been getting enough sleep? Before she can respond, he jumps in with a lecture about the image the club must maintain. Alison had better not be moonlighting, he warns. Alison simply walks away. "I'm sorry I was late, Mr. Witwicky," she says. "...guess I was just lost in another world."

Characters Involved: 

Dazzler/Alison Blaire

Banth, Black Bolt, Crystal, Gorgon, Karnak, Lockjaw, Luna, Medusa, Quicksilver, Triton (Inhumans)



Mr. Witwicky

Janet McEntee

in flashback only:

The Absorbing Man

Captain Marvel II, Starfox (Avengers)

Story Notes: 

Dazzler summoned the help of Black Bolt of Inhumans to defeat the Absorbing Man in Dazzler #19.

Shortly after taking up the mantle and powers of Moonstone, Dr. Karla Sofen was invited by Egghead to join the new Masters of Evil in Avengers (1st series) #222. The Avengers defeated them and imprisoned Moonstone at Project: Pegasus in Avengers (1st series) #230.

Blackout, once an ordinary man named Marcus Daniels but now infused with the power of the Darkforce, first appeared in Nova (1st series) #19. In that same issue, he was defeated banished to the Darkforce Dimension, the entrance to which was sealed by a stabilizer box and taken to Project: Pegasus. The lose proximity of Captain Marvel II in Avengers (1st series) #236 accidently opened the box, however, releasing Blackout from captivity.

Blackout freed Moonstone from her containment chamber in Project: Pegasus—along with Rhino and Electro—and tried to flee. Both Electro and Rhino fell to the Avengers, but Blackout and Moonstone managed to escape in Avengers (1st series) #236-237. In Avengers (1st series) #238, Moonstone and Blackout laid low at Egghead’s old hideout, where Moonstone drugged and questioned Blackout to get answers about his powers. Unfortunately for them, the Avengers quickly arrived, and although Blackout tried to keep them at bay with his powers, the sedatives in his bloodstream messed him up and he accidently transported both himself and Moonstone to the Darkforce Dimension. This issue is their first appearance since that event.

The line Dazzler repeats while returning to Earth—“there’s no place like home”—comes from The Wizard of Oz.

Although Dazzler initially says her aerobics class starts at 7:00 AM, she sets her alarm clock for 8:45 AM the next morning.

Two offhand comments in this issue provoke rather passionate follow-up letters from fact-checking fans, both of which appear in Dazzler #34.

The first comes from Marc Gerin-Lajoie, who writes, “Comics are primarily intended as entertainment. They are not expected to be deep founts of wisdom. Even so, one doesn’t exactly look at them to perpetuate undesirable and potentially hazardous myths. Yet, this is exactly what DAZZLER #32 did. When Dazzler said, ‘No gain without pain,’ she proved herself to be a very poor aerobics instructor indeed. Too many people take this phrase literally and do themselves physical damage as a result. A massage therapist has to learn a fair bit about sports and exercise-related injuries. One of the main points which our instructors kept bringing up was: If it hurts either you’re doing something wrong or there’s something wrong with your client! In either case, stop what you’re doing and proceed a lot more carefully, or have the ‘hurt’ looked at by a professional. It is a myth that it has to hurt to be beneficial. Being a singing star / world-saver isn’t an easy task. You have to be fit. So, OK, have Ali work out. But there’s a right and a safe way, and there’s the fool’s way. Let’s hope Dazz will moderate to the former.”

The second comes from Robin Kincaid, who says, “On page eight of DAZZLER #32 you indicated understanding of a common misconception that has long been a pet peeve of mine when you had Medusa say that the so-called ‘dark side’ of the moon is ‘not dark at all.’ That’s absolutely true, at least half the time. Most people think the ‘dark side’ is dark all the time, but it isn’t. Bravo, I thought. Then, on page 11, Blackout says, ‘It ain’t really dark—only turned away from the sun’ Boo! On the far side of the moon—not the dark side—it is light just as often as it is on the near side. Each side in turn is turned toward, then away from the sun as the moon rotates. The far side of the moon is permanently turned away from the Earth, not the sun. If isn’t even dark—we just can’t see it (except, of course, from satellites orbiting the moon). Explanation to save your credibility? Simple. Blackout is a stupid, ignorant jerk—and Moonstone couldn’t care less what he thinks. As for Medusa, she meant, of course, that it’s not always dark—or that it’s dark no more often than it is on the near side.”

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