Dazzler #4

Issue Date: 
June 1981
Story Title: 
Here Nightmares Abide!

Tom DeFalco (Shining Script), Frank Springer (Eye Popping pencil), D. Bulanadi & A. Gil (Illuminating Inks), R. Slifer (Climactic Colors), Joe Rosen (Luminescent Lettering), Danny Fingeroth (Electrifying Editing), Jim Shooter (Shimmering Supervising)

Brief Description: 

Dr. Doom has kidnapped Dazzler to one of his secret hideaways.
Once she has regained consciousness, he tells her he needs her to go to another dimension and get the second Merlin stone he has discovered. Doom uses a converted machine to send her on her way.
Meanwhile, Dazzler is in the parallel dimension fighting for her very life. Alison utilizes her radio which picks up nothing but static. However, she can still convert even this sound to light energy.

Dazzler is confronted by the ruler of this dimension who calls himself Nightshade. He refuses to hand over the Merlin stone and Dazzler is once again pressed into action. After she turns on her dazzling array of power, Nightshade suddenly decides that the Merlin stone is a gaudy bauble and not worth all this effort to keep in his possession. He gives the jewel to Dazzler.
Dazzler returns to Doom’s hideaway with the stone. Doom thanks her by allowing her to live to serve him further. Mistakenly, he turns his back to her. She realizes her radio is playing music now and musters up enough energy to create a laser. The laser ricochets around the room damaging equipment and robotrons alike. Doom finally wins by knocking her unconscious by partially collapsing the ceiling. Meanwhile at the United Nations building, Mr. Osgood is looking for Dazzler with no results. Johnny Storm shows up to help the police look for the missing Dazzler. Chief O’Malley tells him that only one jewel is missing and it’s not exceptionally valuable. Dr. Arturo Frazen is also located by the police, but the Chief orders him returned to his own embassy.
Johnny Storm figures out she may have been taken by Dr. Doom and he returns to the Baxter building to alert the rest of the Fantastic Four. However, Doom notices the arrival of Johnny Storm. Since he has no wish to fight any member of the Fantastic Four at this time Doom flees his hideaway and leaves Dazzler lying on the floor. Johnny rushes to Dazzlers side, picks her up off the floor, and cries over her unconscious form.
Alison’s family learns of her disappearance. Her Grandmother is upset, and her father locks himself away in his study and is shocked at his inability to cry for his lost daughter.

Full Summary: 

One of Dr. Dooms Many Secret Laboratories somewhere in the Marvel Universe:

Dr. Doom shows Dazzler the Merlin stone and tells her that its value is not in the stone’s beauty, but lies with the mystical powers of the stone. He tells her she should feel honored the stone reflects her image as well as his own. Doom further tells her that she does not have to remain silent and fain helplessness. He knows better and has experienced her mutant charm firsthand.

Alison is held upright in a force field tube device. As she regains consciousness enough to know what Doom is saying, the only thing she can think of is how she would like to vocalize a snappy comeback of her own. Alison has a hard time believing that she is really the prisoner of the famed villain Dr. Doom. All she had ever wanted to do was become a singer, not a super heroine. She wonders where she went wrong.

Slowly she remembers the fight with Doom. The memories surface hazily and she slowly comprehends that she lost the fight. Suddenly Alison realizes that the protective lenses in Dooms mask are the reason for her defeat.

Doom notices her tense body language and figures out that she is thinking of escaping. He casually lifts an electro-magnetic transfusion modulator from a nearby work bench and tosses the device in the direction of the make-shift prison cell. The device creates a loud explosion as it comes into contact with the plexi-glass of Alison’s prison. Doom then informs her that should she find a way to shatter her reinforced prison, the robotrons would deal with her as efficiently as they produced the display.
He inquires if she has any questions. Alison asks him where she is and why she was kidnapped.
Doom calls her requests pathetic but states he will answer them anyway. He tells her she is still in Manhattan in one of his many secret laboratories. He reminds her that the Merlin stone is one of a set of gems that have the power to make the owner invincible once they are brought together. He claims that the jewels have been lost for centuries - drifting through time and space. He made a wonderful discovery while studying how science and sorcery interface. He has now discovered a second Merlin Stone in a universe parallel to ours.
Suddenly, Alison notices that Doom is focusing his complete attention on a weird looking keyboard. Doom tells that her it was easy for him to convert this useless machinery into a multi-dimensional transference center. He tells her that the second stone must be obtained at any cost. However, he is needed by the world so he cannot subject himself to the perils of crossing the dimensional barrier. He tells Alison he has chosen to honor her with that task.
Alison protests by telling him she was born in the suburbs and gets lost in Brooklyn! She tells him other dimensions are just way out of her league! Alison’s futile protests fall onto deaf ears. Doom tells her that she should find this experience either extremely enlightening or somewhat fatal.
With that statement, Doom activates the final sequence of the device. Bright glowing energy surrounds Alison’s glass prison and eventually touches her inside. Then finally, devours the unwilling occupant of the glass prison. Dr. Doom stands alone in the laboratory with his robots and his technology. Talking aloud to himself, he openly states his doubt regarding her survival. He tells himself that does not matter, as he can always find another to send on this dangerous mission.

Across Town, United Nations Building:

Dazzler’s agent, Mr. Osgood, is questioning the police about the disappearance of his singer. He is backed up by Lance Steele, his field representative. The policeman tells Mr. Osgood he does not know and promises Chief O’Malley will investigate every possible connection between the missing singer and the stolen crown jewels.

Inside the Exhibitions Room the Human Torch is already checking for clues. A woman walks into the room and introduces herself as Leola O’Malley. Johnny Storm tells her that he really came here to watch the concert, but Dazzler has vanished and he wants to know why. She asks him if he knows how Dazzler fits into the robbery. Curiously however, a new inventory verifies there is only one gem missing. Johnny Storm tells her its odd that only one gem is missing when there are so many precious ones available.

Two policemen approach Chief O’Malley; between them they are carrying the bewildered Latvian ambassador, Dr. Arturo Frazen. The policemen asks their chief what they should do with him.
Chief O’Malley tells them to return him to the embassy and let his own people deal with him. As Dr. Frazen is led away, he comments off handedly that he could have had the jewels if not for doom. Johnny Storm overhears this comment and realizes that if Dazzler has been kidnapped by Dr. Doom then she could be in real trouble.

Gardendale, Long Island:

In the middle of the night, the phone rings. The family is notified of Alison’s disappearance. Bella Blaire is devastated, Alison is her only grandchild but she has been like a mother to Alison. However, she pushes aside her own feelings to try to help her son. When she reaches the study doors and turns the knob, she finds that her son has already locked herself inside.

Judge Carter Blaire sits alone in his study plagued by terrors few men know. He lost his wife under painful and mysterious circumstances and now he has lost his daughter the same way. He realizes that they were never close. He wanted her to pursue a law career but she wanted to sing. He discovers that he has no tears to shed for his missing child, and that troubles him most of all.

In a Dark Dimension:

Alison opens her eyes to a psychedelic parade of colors. She knows she is falling and spots a road beneath her. She knows she must somehow land on it. Dazzler twists and turns in free fall and angles herself to a perfect landing on the slim pink ribbon of road in space. She realizes all her hours of gym and skating practice to develop athletic prowess for the stage have just paid off. The road goes on as far as she can see. Its surface feels rough and uneven but she is able to skate upon it. She has little time to wonder where she is or what she is supposed to do next as the dark around her erupts with gnashing talons and clutching claws. She attempts to flee, but her speed is not enough to keep her from the green translucent beasts.

Dazzler quickly frees her radio from her pocket handbag to utilize as a source or energy for her mutant ability. However, when she turns it on all she hears is static. She suddenly wonders what she was thinking as the beasts overcome her. Dazzler screams loud enough to be heard clear across the dimension.

One of Dr. Dooms Many Secret Laboratories:

Dr. Doom sits in his lab silently observing the fate of his unwilling pawn. He has observed her every action since she entered the dark dimension. He thinks silently to himself that he has chosen a pawn that is unable to defend herself. Dr. Doom did not really expect Dazzler to get the jewel, only to force the one who rules the dark domain to reveal more of himself. Dr. Doom needs more knowledge of this being in order to devise strategies to defeat him. Doom feels that once he has the second stone in his possession the rest will not be hard to find. Doom feels that civilization is on the verge of collapse and he is the only one capable of leading it safely through the troubled days ahead. Doom believes this endeavor has meant with failure. This means he has only suffered a set back, but mankind has lost far more.

In a Dark Dimension:

A mass of green quivery flesh marks the space last occupied by Dazzler. As Dr. Doom turns his attention elsewhere, this shape starts to quiver and shake. Suddenly, the green blob screams and rends itself into many individual shapes as the creatures of the dark dimension flee before Dazzlers brilliant light. She realizes that in her panic she is using the sounds of the dark dimension, including the beasts screams, against the creatures of the dark dimension. Alison is exhausted by her efforts. Too late, she regrets not joining the X-men and learning how to use her mutant abilities properly. Dazzler sinks exhaustedly to the road and into oblivion.

Alison awakens to voices calling her from above. Upon opening her eyes she sees her father’s face. She hears once again all the things he said to her over the years. Suddenly, she realizes that this is her worst childhood nightmare come true. She also realizes that she is an adult now and capable of facing her fears. Dazzler assaults the lifeless images with her brilliant light blasts and they melt away. She is angry that someone has used her fathers’ criticisms against her like this. She also realizes that she is on the correct road to the Merlin Stone or someone would not be trying so hard to stop her. Dazzler knows that she must find a way to stop Doom once she returns to her home dimension with the stone.

Baxter Building, Home of the Fantastic Four:

The Human Torch leaves the United Nations and flies quickly home. He arrives and breathlessly informs his teammates of what has happened.
Sue thinks that he does not have enough proof that Dr. Doom is involved but Mr. Fantastic and the Thing agree. As Mr. Fantastic institutes maximum-security procedures, Johnny takes off through the open window. He yells, “I am going to find Dazzler” as an afterthought. The Thing assures Mr. Fantastic that Johnny can take care of himself, but Dazzler is another question.

In a Dark Dimension:

Dazzler suddenly encounters large bolts of black light that pass very close. Perhaps to close for comfort. Stepping from the mists directly in front of her, she sees a dark version of herself. Dazzler has only seconds to realize that this dark version is very evil. Emotionally, Dazzler is frustrated by these stupid mind games.
As the two begin to battle it is plain to see that they are evenly matched. The dark Dazzler tells Ali she is a fool to fight because the dark beams being produced do have the power to destroy anything in their path. However, somehow, Ali’s dazzle blast is able to deflect the dark beams. As the two begin to battle it is plain to see that they are evenly matched. Ali decides to tell her dark self that she is weakening in an attempt to distract her concentration. As the dark creature screams that she is assured of victory, Ali realizes that the sound is increasing the strength of her blasts. Suddenly, Ali breaks through the dark dazzlers defensive shields and the creature screams in its final death throes.
Ali realizes that although the creature was never truly alive, the death scream will haunt her nightmares forever. Alison hears a voice in the distance shout “enough!” She looks up to see a dark unicorn with a dark rider on its back. The rider tells her that the previous apparitions have served their purpose by crushing her spirit. Now she will definitely pay for entering the dimension of dreams. The dark rider introduces himself as Nightmare, the ruler of this realm. Nightmare tells her that he knows she has come for the Merlin stone. Ali explains that she had no choice in the matter. Nightmare tells her that her soul will be forfeit and conjures up the Tentacles of Tomarrey to drag her off to the depths of this world. Nightmare states that her scream will mingle with the screams of others until time, itself, no longer exist.
Dazzler tells Nightmare that she is definitely single and would gladly join a choir if she planned on singing in harmony with anyone. The, Ali attacks the creature whose tentacles are wrapped around her body and blinds it. Nightmare watches in shock, he expected her to be at the point of exhaustion and instead she is still going. Dazzler tells the dark rider she is tired of all the games between him and Doom. Dazzler utilizes the background noise of the dimension to power her next blast. The black unicorn is startles and unseats its eerie rider.

Nightmare creates multiple images of himself to allow the real one to get to safety. Dazzler stays focused on the real image and hits it with consecutive bright bursts of energy. The creature yells to Dazzler that she is blinding him, searing his soul with her bright light. Nightmare agrees to give her the Merlin stone if she will just stop and leave his realm forever. He claims the Merlin stone is only a pretty bauble to him. As he rides off he reminds her that her dreams still belong to Nightmare. Suddenly she feels like her stomach is being twisted inside out, and she realizes that Doom is bringing her home.

One of Dr. Dooms Many Secret Laboratories:

Dazzler arrives unceremoniously, falling through the air to the floor. The fall jars the gem from her grasp. Doom apologizes for not making her landing more comfortable as he picks up the long awaited gem. Doom emphasizes to himself that he is the only one who can use the power of the Merlin stone wisely.
He tells Dazzler that the robotrons will not hurt her if she does not attempt to stand and praises her for a job well done. Dazzler thinks to herself that Doom is extremely arrogant and is making a mistake as he turns his back to her. The robotrons move to stand at opposite sides of Dazzler. As Dazzler sits between them, she realizes that the radio in her handbag she forgot to turn off in the dark dimension is now playing a radio station in the current reality. It takes her only seconds to formulate a daring plan.
Balls of glowing light emerge from her hands. As the energy builds, she aims and sends the light bursts up directly between the robotrons. This causes her robotic guards to react by shooting at each other. Dazzler rises to her feet and forms her light energy into its most concentrated form: a laser. She ricochets the laser beam around the room till it strikes the Merlin Stones with deadly accuracy. Before Doom can react to save his precious gems, they are reduced to dust right before his eyes.
Doom stares in angry silence at his ruined plans. Then he speaks in a measured tone to tell Dazzler that she has no idea of the magnitude of what she has accomplished here today. She confirms this belief for him and says that she only understands that he has placed her life in jeopardy in order to obtain the gems he needed to carry out his plans for world domination.

Doom agrees and tells her she was a tool and nothing more. A tool he should have eliminated as soon as its usefulness had passed. Dazzler, sensing an attack, allows her body to absorb its full measure of energy and begin to glow with a spectacular light. She knows she needs to reach peak intensity if she is to survive the coming battle. Doom can’t believe that she really plans to attack him. Doom tells her that this will add to his pleasure when he finally crushes her out of existence. Dazzler unleashes one of the most brilliant blasts of her career. Doom staggers with the intensity of the light blast but he does not fall to the ground. Doom raises his left arm and points his left hand at the ceiling. He unleashes an energy blast of his own as he tells her she will pay for her insolence. Dazzler looks at the ceiling above her and realizes Doom has struck it dead on causing it to collapse on top of her. She is knocked into oblivion by the falling debris.

Doom stands over the unmoving Dazzler and tells her she is not worth the effort it takes to end her existence. Suddenly, Doom stares at the monitor and sees the Human Torch streaking toward the building. He has no idea how he has been discovered but he does know he is not ready to fight the any member of the Fantastic Four at the moment. He tells Dazzler he will let her live a while longer and then quickly makes his escape from the supposedly secret laboratory.
Upon entering the laboratory, Johnny Storm extinguishes his flame and gathers the unconscious Dazzler into his arms. He notices her labored breathing and realizes that she has taken a horrible beating at the hands of Doom. He believes she may be at deaths door, and cries over her unconscious form as he seeks to get help for her.

Characters Involved: 

Dazzler (Alison Blaire)
Judge Carter Blaire (Alison Blaire’s Father)

Bella Blaire (Alison Blaire’s Grandmother)
Mr. Fantastic, The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman, The Thing (The Fantastic Four)

Harry S. Osgood (Agent to the Stars)

Lancelot Steele- Osgood’s field representative

Police at the concert for security

Chief Leola O’Malley-police security chief

Dr. Arturo Frazen—Latveria’s current Ambassador to the United Nations

Dr. Doom: Former leader of Latavaria

Dr. Doom’s robotic lab servants
Green beasts of the dark dimension.

Story Notes: 

See Dazzler #1 & 2 for the details on the fight with the Enchantress.
For more info on Prince Zorba’s revolt and the battle between Doom and the Fantastic Four, see Fantastic Four(1st series) #200.
Alison and her Father had a difference of opinion about her career choices in Dazzler #1.
Dr. Doom sent the Fantastic Four back in time in Fantastic Four (1st series)#5. Doom wanted them to secure the gems for him way back then.

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