Dazzler #5

Issue Date: 
July 1981
Story Title: 
Tell Joey I Love Him!

Tom DeFalco (Writer), Frank Springer (Penciler), Richard Villamontel (Inker), Don Warfield (Colorist), Joe Rosen (Letter), Danny Fingeroth (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Ali awakens in the emergency room of Riverside Medical center after suffering a brief hallucination concerning the Enchantress, Doctor Doom, her father and Nightmare. In the room with her are the Human Torch, Doctor Jansen and nurse Collins. Doctor Jansen admits Ali to the hospital for overnight observation and more tests. Her roommate is an elderly woman named Mrs. Cartelli who moans all night about how she has to find and Joey and tell him she still loves him. The next day, Ali meets Doctor Jansen in a hospital hallway and he tells Ali that Mrs. Cartelli has lost her will to live. It seems her husband was killed twenty years ago in an assassination attempt on a gangster but Joey, her son, was spared. Even though Mrs. Cartelli refused financial help from the gangster her son grew up and accepted a place in the gangster’s organization. Ali is given her hospital bill and she decides to go see Harry Osgood about getting some work for pay.
Harry greets her enthusiastically and applauds the way she has gotten free publicity much to her embarrassment. However, he gives her an advance on her pay and sends her off to rehearsal for gigs he has signed her up for.
The next morning Ali contacts Avengers Mansion and talks to the Beast about getting information on the local gangsters in the hopes of finding Mrs. Carteli’s son. The information leads her to an office building containing the offices of Bo Barrigan. Mr. Cartelli has just gotten out of a meeting and is leaving the building when his secretary draws his attention to Alison in the waiting room. Ali hires a cab and follows him to the waterfront where she loses him. However, she does locate an abandoned looking warehouse with people inside and the Bo Barrigans cement company name on the building. She decides to pull back a loose board to investigate but is caught but is caught by the gangsters. She is questioned roughly by Bo Barrigan and decides to use her powers of light to help her escape. She finds herself fighting a stolen tank and has another super hero to help her. He is called the Blue Shield. The fight ends with Dazzler leading the tank outside and helping it go off a pier. The Blue Shield goes into the water to rescue Bo Barrigan. Seems he is really Mr. Cartelli who had been plotting revenge all along. However, Bo Barrigan is saved and handed over to the right authorities. Dazzler is finally ale to deliver the message she has promised to. Cartelli goes to see his mother dressed as the Blue Shield and is able to renew his relationship with her.

Full Summary: 

(Dazzler’s dream)

All Dazzler knows is that she wants to sing but they won’t let her. Doctor Doom and the Enchantress are to her right. On her left are Nightmare and a mysterious figure she does not recognize immediately. However, she fears it more than any of the others. Ali realizes that these frightening images are the delirious results of her recent injuries. Still, she feels her stomach knot up and her mind freeze, an effect of the real fear she feels emotionally. She knows instinctively that her end is near and there is little she can do about it. Doctor Doom demands that she defend herself. The Enchantress states that Dazzler is trembling and dare not use her power. Nightmare reminds them all that he rules this hallucination. According to him, Dazzler fears her own power. The very power she needs to use to escape from them.

Dazzler warns them not to come any closer. She hears thunder; either from an invisible drummer or her own heart beat. Dazzler uses the sound to feed her power; to surround herself with radiance. Suddenly, Dazzler realizes the villains have withdrawn. She finds herself alone with her soul, her life, her music. Physically she feels like a wreck.

Unexpectedly, a hand reaches for her out of the darkness and a familiar authoritative voice tells her: “I won’t permit it!” She realizes she has forgotten someone, a powerful someone. She begs for him to leave her alone. The voice of authority states he is taking away her microphone and she is definitely going to attend law school. Alison begins to beg her father to leave her alone.


Ali finds herself sitting up on a bed in an emergency room of the hospital with the “Please! I….” being spoken from her lips. She looks from the doctor to the nurse and asks, “Where am I?” The nurse addresses the doctor as Doctor Jansen and comments that the girl is clearly high on drugs. The Doctor replies “Nonsense”! and tells the nurse the girl is a victim of a severe trauma. He reminds nurse Collins to keep her speculations to herself. The blond haired young man at Ali’s side asks Ali if she remembers Johnny Storm, the Human Torch? Ali tells them that all she knows she is in a hospital emergency room but she still wants to know how she got there.

Johnny Storm tells her that she just fought Doctor Doom, one of the deadliest villains on earth. He claims that he found her lying unconscious and brought her here to the hospital. Suddenly, he presents Ali with a bouquet of flaming roses. The doctor yells at him to put the fire out immediately.

The doctor tells Ali that her injuries are not serious but he would like to keep her overnight for some tests. Ali agrees to stay and nurse Collins says she will get Ali admitted and her to a room. Johnny thinks to himself that the nurse’s friendly attitude does remind him a bit of Doctor Doom. The nurse returns with a wheelchair and tells Ali to climb in. Ali tells the nurse she would rather walk. The nurse sternly reminds her that walking is against hospital regulations. Reluctantly. Ali takes the offered seat.

As Ali is wheeled away, Johnny asks the doctor if she will really be ok. The doctor assures him that he will supervise this young woman’s care personally. Doctor Jansen thinks to himself that this is one young woman he would not mind spending more time with.

Down the hall they overhear the nurse tell Ali that her make-up must be removed before she scares the elderly patients. Johnny tells the Doctor that since she is in good hands he will be leaving. To the Doctor’s astonishment, Johnny burst into flames. Johnny sees the look on the Doctor’s face and assures him his reaction is normal. Johnny tells him that this will be something he can tell his grandchildren about. Then, the Human Torch goes to the nearest open window and takes flight. Doctor Jansen follows him to the window and watches him disappear in the distance. Doctor Jansen has seen pictures of the Human Torch before but still found himself unprepared for this close encounter.

Ali’s Hospital Room; Riverside Medical Center

The nurse knocks on the door of the bathroom to find out what is taking Ali so long to remove her makeup. Ali assures nurse Collins her makeup is off and she will be out in a few minutes. The nurse advises Ali that “good cosmetics should be used and not abused” or she could ruin her youthful complexion. As Ali exits the bathroom, the nurse lectures her on her silver jumpsuit. The nurse claims that Ali’s clothes are an invitation to trouble. Ali tells her that the jumpsuit is her stage costume and she is a singer. The nurse calls her “that kind of girl”. Ali wonders to herself why she is letting the nurse hassle her. Ali concludes that below the tough exterior the nurse really cares. Ali, herself, is way too tired to care. As nurse Collins turns out the light and leaves, she tells Ali to be very quiet because her roommate, Mrs. Cartelli, needs her rest.

A few minutes by herself in the dark has Alison thinking she should call her father. However, the thought is short lived as Ali reminds herself how much trouble he would give her over her career choice. Her contemplation is interrupted by moans coming from the next bed. Ali gets up to check on her roommate. She asks Mrs. Cartelli if she is in pain or needs a Doctor Mrs. Cartelli only mumbles in her sleep about how she must find Joey to tell him he will always be her Joey. She must tell Joey she loves him no matter who he has become. Alison sympathizes with Mrs. Cartelli silently and wishes she could really help her roommate. Alison settles herself back in bed for a restless nights sleep.

12 blocks North of the Hospital at a Manhattan Soda Shop Known as Arnie’s:

Disreputable men gather inside New York’s biggest numbers parlor. They have no idea they are in for a troubled night. Four men gather at the counter. One tells the others that they have had a slow week. He claims the split will be eighteen grand for them and forty-six grand for Bo. The man across the counter complains to his friends that they do all the work but Bo always gets the biggest share. Another man reminds them all that Bo Barrigan “owns” the numbers game in New York City and no-one can even operate without getting his blessing first. He tells them that if they even touch so much as a dime of Bo’s money, that person runs the risk of swimming in a cement mixer or worse.

Suddenly, a blue costumed, masked man bursts through the ceiling. He tells the four men that he doesn’t want the dimes; he wants all the money! One of the four gangsters identifies the hero as the Blue Shield. Another man reminds the rest that Bo wants this Blue Shield guy dead and encourages the others to open fire. In response, a gangster grabs his gun and begins firing. Much to the gangsters astonishment the bullets bounce off the Shield. One man yells that what he has heard about the Blue Shield is true. Another man notifies the other men that the Blue Shield is ripping the counter apart with his bare hands. Yet a different man encourages his friends to keep firing their guns at this super hero figure. The Blue Shield finally gets his hands on two of the men. One of the men pleads for his life by claiming to be a gambler and not a fighter. The other gangster claims he doesn’t even own a gun. The Blue Shield responds by throwing them both across the room into the far wall as he tells them that “scum” who take advantage of their fellow neighbors don’t deserve any mercy. The third gangster continues emptying round after round at the Blue Shield. The Shield tells him that his blue aura protects him from the flying bullets as he reaches for the gangster’s shirt. The gangster still doesn’t believe that anyone human could move that fast. He asks the Blue Shield what he wants with them? Then Blue Shield pulls him eye to eye and commands him to deliver a message to Barrigan. The disadvantaged gangster reluctantly agrees. The Blue Shield informs the gangster that he knows all about the prototype weapon Barrigan stole from the Army. The Blue Shield says this weapon will not stop him from getting Barrigan. He tells the gangster to tell Bo Barrigan “his number has finally come up” with the regards of the Blue Shield. The Blue Shield drops the gangster onto the floor and walks out through the front door of the now destroyed soda shop.

Riverside Medical Center-Early the Next Morning:

Alison meets Doctor Jansen in one of the many hospital corridors that lead to hospital billing. Doctor Jansen asks Ali why she doesn’t look happy even though her tests came out negative. She tells him to call her Ali or Alison and he tells her his name is Paul. Ali tells Paul that her roommate had a bad night and she did not get any sleep. Paul tells her that Mrs. Cartelli is not responding to treatment because she has lost the will to live. Ali tells him “that’s horrible!”. Paul tells Ali that twenty years ago her husband and son were witnesses to a hit and run accident. In reality, it was an assassination attempt on the notorious Bo Barrigan. Mr. Cartelli was shot and killed when he attempted to help the injured man but the shots missed Joey.

Bo Barrigan survived and felt responsible for Mr. Cartelli’s death. Bo Barrigan offered Mrs. Cartelli, the widow, financial support but she refused his money. As Joe grew up he began accepting Barrigans offers and in time he joined the organizations. Mrs. Cartelli never forgave her son and has been heartbroken ever since. This has adversely affected her health over time. Paul ends his story by inviting Ali to lunch at the deli across the street. Ali tells him she will take a rain check and they go their separate ways.

Ali is still feeling elated from Paul’s invitation when she reaches the billing department of the hospital. Her hospital bill quickly brings her down to earth. The total is $277.83. As Ali leaves the hospital she contemplates her financial situation. She is still two months behind on rent and she knows she needs money soon. She decides to go to her apartment.

Downtown Manhattan-Office of Harry S. Osgood:

Lancelot is posing in the lobby trying his best to impress Cassandra with his muscles. She tells him he rates a big fat zero as a field manager and even less as a person. Lance brushes the insults aside and asks her again if she is impressed with his physique. Ali walks in on this and Cassandra asks her if she has ever learned to knock on the door before entering a room. Lancing tells Ali she has some nerve showing her face around here after the vanishing act she pulled at the United Nations Fundraiser.

Osgood welcomes Ali’s presence with open arms and a warm greeting. Ali attempts to apologize to her manager for vanishing but Harry brushes aside her attempt by assuring her that true artists do not need to concern themselves with details. He tells Ali that he wants her to just “sing” and keep up her good job of getting free publicity. Harry shows her the paper as he tells her that her picture is on every paper in town. Ali stares at her photograph on the front page and whispers “Oh, No!”. Osgood tells her that the Human torch has already cleared her of any wrong doing. Since Ali is getting publicity Harry has been able to get her several assignments easily.

Ali stands in front of his desk astonished, and asks her manager for an advance on her pay. Osgood tells her that advances are against his usual policies but he will make an exception in her case. He cuts her a check and hands it to her. Ali inspects the figure, flashes him a winning smile, and tells him he is a “living doll”. Osgood agrees with the compliment and reminds her that she is already late for rehearsal.

Later That Afternoon:

The band plays and Alison does what she does best. Hours pass swiftly as the band and the singer revel in the rehearsal. However, it is only after the band leaves many hours later that Ali practices the light show that only she can do.

Alisons’ Apartment - 14 Hours After Leaving Osgoods Offices:

Ali wearily returns to her upper east side apartment. She is carrying two grocery bags and she is exhausted. She puts the groceries away, showers, and puts her hair in rollers. Then she takes time to relax on the couch in her robe and slippers. Ali realizes that even though her future looks bright she still feels depressed. She thinks about Mrs. Cartelli’s plight in the hospital. Alis own mother dies when she was born. Despite not being close to her father she loves and misses him. She picks up her fathers picture and stares into his eyes. Ali knows well what its like to be at odds with the family you love. She is beginning to think she can help Mrs. Cartelli after all.

Avengers Mansion - The Next Morning:

It is early in the morning as the phone begins to ring. The Beast swings through the mansion and cheerfully answers it.

Late Afternoon - Somewhere in New York City:

Ali is walking down the sidewalk dressed in a pink business suit. She is thankful that the Beast came through with some information on gangsters that she requested. She soon sees the offices of the East river Cement Company. According to the crime files, this is where Bo Barrigan and his men make their so-called “business” decisions.

Once inside the building Ali notes that Cartelli is listed on the building directory. She intends to tell him about his mother and them make her evening rehearsal on time.

In the Office of Bo Barrigan:

Bo is reading a business report to a meeting of men in suits and pointing at the charts displayed on the overhead projector. Bo congratulates all of them for increasing profits, especially Cartelli.
Cartelli brushes aside the compliment and asks Bo about the problem they were invited here to discuss. Barrigan tells them that the problem is the Blue Shield. Parlors are getting hit before the racqueteers even make their collection. It is happening so often Barrigan is wondering if the Blue Shield is a member of the council that is presently assembled. Another man at the table tells Bo to relax. Even though the Blue Shields aura makes him invulnerable, he feels that the gang will dispose of him sooner or later. Bo screams the word “sooner” and pounds both fists on the table.

Bo shows them a picture of a weapon he claims he “acquired” from the feds. He tells his assembled council the newspapers are calling it the “terror tank”. Bo states that this weapon will eliminate the Blue Shield. Bo adjourns the meeting to take some of the racqueteers to Bay Street to see the new weapon. Cartelli goes to Barrigan and states that he is anxious to see it as well. Barrigan tells him he can see it later as he is needed more at the office right now. After all, Joey Cartelli is the only one he trusts to run things while he is gone.
Cartelli agrees with a “Whatever you say Bo!” and the racqueteers leave him alone in the expansive office. Silently, Joey laughs at Barrigan for trusting him so completely. Joey would like nothing better to destroy both Bo and the racqueteering business.

As Mr. Cartelli grabs his coat and walks out the door his secretary points to Ali and tells him her business is urgent. As Cartelli walks by he states he doesn’t do the hiring for the modeling agency and he is too busy for “bimbos”. Cartelli is in the elevator and gone before Ali can even object to the name calling. She swears he has not seen the last of her.

Riverside Medical Center:

Nurse Collins informs Doctor Jansen that Mrs. Cartelli’s condition appears to be deteriorating. Doctor Jansen tells the nurse that medical science can only treat her physical symptoms, not heal a mothers broken heart.

New York City - the Waterfront:

Ali steps out of the cab, which has just taken her last dollar. She has lost Joey somewhere around here. She knows she is not likely to make a good impression on him now. She sees a warehouse bearing the same name as Barrigans cement company. She hopes to find Joey there. Even though the place is boarded up, she still hears voices inside. She decides to take a peak by slightly moving a loose board and peers into the darkness. To her surprise, she sees the hijacked super weapon. She remembers it from the newspaper Harry showed her. Alison realizes that this situation is way out of her league. She pushes the board back into place.

Without warning, a hand grabs Alison by the throat and another grabs her left arm. She is pulled backwards and looses her balance. She hears a gruff voice state that she isn’t the Avon lady. Ali silently tells herself that her luck is all bad. Another thug pushes Ali’s feet out from under her causing her to fall to the ground. The men carry her into the warehouse and toss her roughly onto the ground. The same gruff voice states “Bo, look what we found!” He accuses Ali of thinking she is one of Charlie’s Angels. She hears Bo say “I’ll deal with this one”.
He lifts her to her feet by her hair, tilts her head to look her directly in the eye, and threateningly waves his fist in her face. He demands to know how she found the warehouse. She tells him she is here because of a sick mother. Bo slaps her hard enough to knock her to the ground and tells her to “get real” because he means business.

As Ali digs through her purse she informs Bo that no one uses her as a punching bag. The men tell Bo that she is getting a radio from her purse. Ali turns it on and Devo’s “Whip It’ plays through the speakers.
One of the thugs says she is crazy. All of the gangsters laugh about being rock and rolled to death.

Alison calmly tells them to grab their partners, as she is about to “Go for it!”. Ali feels a little shaky from the blow that knocked her to the ground, but she can still easily transmute sound into light. The bright lights and color dazzle the men. They loose their balance and trip over one another as they try to keep the bright light from burning their eyes. Since they are blocking the exit, Alison dives behind the nearest stacks of boxes for cover. The men recover, grab their guns, and begin firing in her general direction. Ali tells them that they really know how to make a girl feel wanted. Ali removes her skates from her handbag and then attaches them to her boots. She realizes she can’t hide from the men much longer.

Alison suddenly jumps to the top of the crates. Her last thought “it’s Showtime”. The men remark to each other that it shouldn’t take all three of them to take care of her. Ali overhears their comment and tells them they will need an army to stop her.

Outside the Warehouse a familiar male figure is peeling off his business suit to reveal a blue costume underneath. He recognizes the girl in the warehouse as the same one from the office earlier. He does not want her to be killed so he must activate the power of the Blue Shield.

The Blue Shield makes his entrance by going through the wall of the warehouse. He orders Ali to leave the men to him. At first glance, she believes him to be a living powerhouse. Then she realizes she has actually heard of this particular super hero who seems to be on a “private crusade against organized crime.” The Blue Shield tells her to watch her tongue as it is her life that needs saving. She tells him she was doing just fine before he showed up. The Blue Shield tells her to stay out of the way so she won’t get hurt. Ali replies sarcastically “excuuuuse me!”. Silently she calls the Blue Shield a male chauvinist.

Barrigan commands his men to rush them. The Blue Shield tells them not to crowd, as there is plenty of action for everyone. Ali looks on thinking the Blue Shield fights like a man who gets off on violence. Ali watches the Blue Shield grab one man and prepares to hurl him to the far end of the warehouse. Ali wonders how she ever gets herself into situations like these. She would like to take a break instead she dazzles the rest of the men into unconsciousness before they can be hurt.

Barrigan realizes that his men, the deadliest guns in the city, are loosing the fight. He makes a run for the weapon so he can deal with this himself. Since he has previously familiarized himself with the controls he is able to quickly activate the machine.

Ali sees the machine move and realizes her powers are useless against it. The Blue Shield knows the final confrontation is between himself and Bo. He even feels he owes Bo a lot; regards him as a father figure. However, Barrigans kind did kill his father and he must avenge his fathers’ death. Ali shouts for the Blue Shield to be careful as she barely dodges flames thrown by the machine.

The Blue Shield tells the pretty girl to go. He tells her his aura is intensified bio-energy, which gives him ten times the strength of a normal man. He tells her that if he fails to stop the weapon then he knows she can’t. The Blue Shield springs toward his armored adversary.

Ali looks on in shock as the Blue Shield is bounced off and the machine is left intact. She knows the Blue Shields’ aura protected him from severe injury but he appears dazed. She yells to him that the turret is swinging toward him. Barrigan tells her the warning is much too late and wasted on a dead man. The Blue Shield is blown out of the warehouse and across the piers. Ali doubts the hero is still alive. She begins by dodging the weapons attack on her. She doesn’t think she can hurt the weapon but she knows she must try. She concentrates, absorbing every fragment of sound that she hears. She doubles her concentration and generates her most powerful burst of brilliance yet. She feels light coming from every pore in her body.

Inside the tank, Barrigan is spared the permanent loss of his vision. The electro-magnetic circuits fail to tolerate the blazing intensity.
Barrigan is showered with sparks as the video screen goes dark. Barrigan sits in shock in the dark staring at blank screens. He has no idea how the girl did it.

Ali is exhausted and she falls to her knees, directly in the path of the tank. She realizes the tank is moving straight toward her. Inside the tank, Barrigan has turned on the heat-seeking scanner. He uses Ali’s own body heat to find her. He tells her she has nowhere to run and should give up.

Dazzler races through the hole in wall left by the Blue Shields untimely exit. She races toward the end of the pier and knows she is running out of maneuvering room. The machine gains on her rapidly while firing live ammunition at her. Ali knows she can see and he can’t. Ali leaps to the side and grabs a piling to help her stop. As she watches the tank go over the edge of the pier, she wonders if its designer made it amphibious.

She hears footsteps running towards her and turns to see the Blue Shield. He asks her where Bo is? She tells him the tank went down and she points into the water. The Blue Shield yells, “No, it can’t end like this!” and dives into the water after the tank. The Blue Shield has worked for this moment of vengeance for years from within the organization. Now the moment has arrived and he feels like he is loosing a second father- a part of himself. Quickly he finds the tank and pries the hatch pen. He finds Barrigan barely alive.

On the dock a Few Minutes Later:

The Blue Shield tells Ali he has had enough of revenge for one day. As far as he is concerned the authorities can have Bo. He asks her what she is doing in the middle of all this. Ali tells him she was looking for Joseph Cartelli to tell him his mother is I the hospital. The Blue Shield tells her that Joe already knows and thinks his presence would cause her pain. Ali says the message she promised to deliver is “Tell Joey… I love him!” With that sentence Ali leaves the Blue Shield standing on the pier staring into the water.

Many Hours Later - Riverside Medical Center - Anita Cartelli’s Room:

A mysterious figure slips in the door unnoticed by the hospital staff.
Anita asks him who he is. He tells her that they once knew each other quiet well. She identifies him as the Blue Shield but does not understand why his voice sounds so familiar to her. He tells her that when he was a young boy he witnessed a murder of someone very special to him and he wanted revenge. She finally identifies him as her Joey. He tells her all the things he has been holding back over their years of separation. She asks if they can start over again and offers him a thin trembling hand. At This very moment, Ali opens the hospital room door but she senses she has picked the wrong moment for a visit and so she retreats quietly. She does not fail to see the light in Mrs. Cartelli’s eyes or the smile on her face.
Back in the hospital corridor, Ali sees Doctor Jansen and calls him by his first name. He is pleasantly surprised to see her as well. They decide to go get some lunch together. As they walk off down the hallway, nurse Collins sees them and thinks that he is too good for Ali. Nurse Collins decides she may have to intervene in this situation after all.

Characters Involved: 

The Human Torch
The Beast

Harry S. Osgood (Agent to the Stars)

Lancelot Steele - Osgood’s field representative

Cassandra - secretary to Harry S. Osgood
Doctor Paul Jansen - Ali’s emergency room doctor

Nurse Collins - Ali’s emergency room and hospital nurse

Mrs. Cartelli - Ali’s hospital roommate

Joey Cartelli - the Blue Shield first appearance
The Band - the band Osgood has set up for Ali to rehearse with

Disreputable Men that gather at Arnies
Bo Barrigan - ganster who controls the numbers game in New York City

Bo’s henchmen present at the board meeting and the waterfront

in Dazzler’s dream

Judge Carter Blaire
The Enchantress

Doctor Doom


Story Notes: 

See Dazzler #1 & 2 for the details on the fight with the Enchantress.

Alison and her Father had a difference of opinion in Dazzler #1.
Alison fought Doctor Doom and lost in Dazzler #3.
Dazzler fought Nightmare in Dazzler #4.
Ali disappeared at the United Nations Fund Raiser in Dazzler #3.

Charlies Angels was a popular TV show in the 1970’s about a team of female detectives. It was made into a movie in the 1990’s.
Devo were a punk rock band, big in the 1980’s. “Whip It” was one of their hits.

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