Dazzler #6

Issue Date: 
August 1981
Story Title: 
The Hulk May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Tom Defalco (Story), Danny Fingeroth (Script), Frank Springer (Pencils), Quickdraw Studios & Armando Gil (Inks), Joe Rosen (Letters), Don Warfield (Colors), Fingeroth and Shooter (Editors)

Brief Description: 

Harry Osgood gets Dazzler and her band a gig at Gordon University, though there is a catch. The band they are replacing is a Country and Western act and now they have to become Country themselves. That night, Alison witnesses some thugs accosting an elderly couple in the subway system. She uses her light powers to stop the thugs but, rather than being grateful, the man turns on her because she is a mutant and leads a crowd to try to get her arrested. Alison makes her escape and, arriving back home, finds Dr. Paul Jansen waiting for her. They plan to make an evening together, but Paul is paged by the hospital and has to return to work. As Paul leaves, Alison is watched by an unseen individual, who has been tailing her all day. The next day, at the college, Alison and the band setup for the show. Also on campus is Bruce Banner, attempting to get a job as a janitor at the college, in hopes of gaining entrance into the hall of science. When he is turned down, he takes Lance’s offer to help carry in equipment. As Dazzler begins her show, wooing the crowd, Banner manages to break into the hall of science but is seen on camera. When the guards try to grab him, however, the stress causes him to transform into the Hulk. After a fight with the guards, Hulk falls down an elevator shaft and walks under the complex until he hears the music from Dazzler’s concert. Hulk then crashes into the show from beneath the stage where Dazzler is playing, causing panic from the audience who begin to flee. Dazzler attemps to keep the Hulk occupied while the crowd escapes, blinding him with her light and even leading him into electrical equipment where he is electrocuted. Having had enough, the Hulk leaves the now empty auditorium and, after some thought about responsibility; Dazzler makes the decision to go after him.

Full Summary: 

In a state of the art rehearsal studio in Midtown Manhattan, Alison Blaire – the Dazzler – and her band are rehearsing… and playing their hearts out. Into the groove of the music, Alison thinks to herself about how nice it is to let her power loose some while singing, since the guys in the band think it’s only a gimmick to get her in the mood.

Suddenly, the song is cut short by their field rep, Lance Steele, who yells, “No! No! Cut! That Stinks!” Lance continues to berate the band on the state of their act. Hunch, the bass player, tells Lance that they don’t tell him how to set up amplifiers and he shouldn’t tell them how to play. Marx, the guitarist chips in that their sound is just beginning to come together, especially since they’ve only played together twice. Lance accuses Marx of making excuses and then adds that he knows what the people like… and “that ain’t it!” Dazzler asks Lance if he ever tires of hearing himself talk. Nearby, Beefer, the drummer, silently worries to himself that, if they keep bickering with Lance, they may have to work through lunch. Deciding that this is a horrible thought, Beefer tries to restore order and start up on a Beatles’ Medley.

However, Beefer’s attempt to keep lunch on schedule is quickly cut short as Harry Osgood, agent to the stars, and his secretary, Cassandra, burst through the door. “Greetings, oh you mused kissed titanic talents! It is I your guiding light and presenter of your paychecks, Harry S. Osgood, come to bring you good tidings.” Beefer thinks to himself that “with old flannel-mouth on the scene,” they’ll never get to eat!”

Speaking to Harry, Alison begins to complain about Lance’s interruptions, saying, “The rehearsal was going fine until the Clive Barnes of Canarsie here decided to stick in his two cents worth.” Lance banters back for Alison to mind her manners, since a real lady is now in the room, referring to Cassandra. Lance then attempts to impress Cassandra by lifting “an extremely heavy speaker” so she can have a seat, however Cassandra blows him off, saying she prefers a chair that doesn’t talk back, instead pulling over a director’s seat.

As Beefer finally starts lunch, munching on a sandwich, Harry launches into another alliteration-filled monologue. “Now you may ask, what news does this humble servant of the musically multi-talented and choreographically creative bring?” This continues until Alison finally asks Harry what he wants to actually tell them. Harry informs Alison and the band that another of his acts was supposed to perform a show but came down with the flu – and they are going to replace her as the headliner at Gordon University tomorrow night! Alison is excited but then reservedly asks if they will actually get paid this time. Harry assures her they will but then informs them that the act they are replacing is a Country-Western act and that is what the crowd is expecting. Alison exclaims that she has never sung Country music before but Harry just tells her to improvise. She tries to plead to Harry but he and Cassandra are already heading for the door.

Suddenly, Dazzler thinks she sees someone watching them from the engineering booth but Lance tells her she’s seeing things. He assures her that he locked the booth and it’s empty. Lance then tells the band to start playing again and learn some Country music fast. While Alison is still preoccupied with the figure in the booth, Beefer begins to sulk, because now he knows he will not get to finish his sandwich.

Later that night after rehearsal:

Alison is on her way to the subway and doesn’t notice a man dogging her every step. As she enters the subway station, she notices that there are very few people around and figures that she missed her train. Suddenly, a lady named Priscilla gets her attention to ask if she knows where the uptown train stops. After Alison tells the couple they can catch it there, the woman’s rather pudgy husband, Arthur, becomes upset and tells her that he knew exactly where they were. The two start bickering about his sense of directions until Arthur notices three rough looking men coming down the stairs. The men call themselves Satan’s Creeps and proclaim that the fun is about to begin.

Ratso, the leader of the group, shoves an elderly man down while his buddies encourage him. The old man pleads for them not to hurt him but Ratso just sarcastically says they are collecting for a scholarship fund. “How about a contribution, like everything you go.” Priscilla tells Arthur that maybe they should do something, but Arthur, clearly terrified, tells her to mind her own business, because the men are dangerous. When the thugs become upset that the elderly man only has two dollars on him, Alison steps forward and tells them to leave the man alone. Ratso turns his attention to Alison and goes for her handbag, though moving quickly she gives him the handbag by swinging it into his face. Seeing this, the other creeps start laughing at how “a broad” just creamed him, which infuriates Ratso. Alison, however, starts to worry that she bit off more than she could chew.

All three thugs start to come at Alison and Ratso pulls a knife out at her, threatening to cut her. Silently, she thinks about how she doesn’t have her skates, so she will have to rely on her light powers. However, there isn’t enough sound around her to absorb. The creeps keep coming closer and antagonize her by asking “Whatsamatter, Baby? Cat got your tongue?” Suddenly Alison sees a light in the subway tunnel. However, the train is still too far away to generate noise in the station. Alison tries to buy time by backing up as far as she can until the train arrives but worries that soon she’ll run out of room. The train seems to be creeping along and all Alison can muster up is a faint glow as Ratso puts the knife up to her throat.

Nearby, Priscilla begs Arthur to help before they kill Alison but he is still too afraid about getting killed himself. As the train moves closer, Ratso tells Alison not to move if she values her life. Just in time, the train grows closer, getting louder and louder until Alison finally decides that now is the moment to “Go for it!” Alison releases a massive light blast that floors all three creeps.

The crowd getting off the subway train is baffled by the brilliant light. Some are blinded by the blast and a general panic starts to grow. Arthur exclaims to them that he saw the whole thing. “It was that freak over there - that monster over there!” he yells, pointing at a surprised Alison. She asks what he is talking about. She just saved their lives! Arthur ignores her and says she must be one of those awful mutants. He grabs her by the arm saying, “I’ll hold her! Somebody call the cops!” Alison becomes angry and comments that he is brave now against her, but not while the creeps were awake. She then elbows him hard in the gut, causing him to let go. Alison grabs her handbag and runs from the subway station. The crowd runs after her, calling her a “freak” and a “mutie.” Alison is glad they are still dazed from her dazzle blast or else she would never escape. She calls for a cab and manages to get away unscathed.

A short time later after a taxi ride home:

Alison wonders how people can be so blindly prejudiced. Don’t they realize that there are good and bad mutants? She sees a man standing in front of her door and becomes scared that someone from the subway station followed her home. However, when she gets to the door, she is relieved to see that Dr. Paul Jansen is waiting for her. She tells Paul that this is a surprise and Paul tells her that, if she doesn’t want to be surprised, she should never have given the hospital her address. Alison doesn’t reply but instead abruptly kisses Paul for the first time. Both think that there has never been a kiss so perfect. Paul tells her that he has the night off and wants to celebrate and pulls out a bottle of champagne. Alison says that sounds great and lets him into her less than spacious apartment.

Paul tells her to break out the glasses for a toast but Alison tells him that all she has is paper cups. Unfortunately, Paul’s beeper interrupts the celebrations and Paul makes a call to the hospital. After getting off the phone, he tells a defected looking Alison that there is a crisis at the hospital and he has to get back to work, but they have the rest of the weekend. Sadly, Alison tells him they don’t, because of her gig at Gordon University. Paul leaves in a hurry and Alison broods that “it’s really been one of those days.” Meanwhile, a mysterious bald man watches Alison’s window from the street below.

The next afternoon at the peaceful, wooded campus of Gordon University:

Dazzler, Lance and the band arrive dressed in Country-Western garb. Immediately, Beefer asks where the cafeteria is. In response, Hunch asks, “Who cares about the cafeteria? Look at all these college girls.” To the two, Lance tells them to keep their minds on the music and leave the ogling to him. Lance leaves to find some poverty stricken students to help unload the equipment – cheap!

Elsewhere on the campus:

Bruce Banner stands outside the Hall of Science. He thinks to himself about the supposed top-secret genetic research conducted in the hall. He thinks that, if he can just get a look at that research, he may be able to find something to rid himself of the Hulk. He admits it is a slim chance but he is used to clutching at straws. He plans to get a job as a janitor and sneak into the computer rooms at night.

At the University employment office:

When the woman looking over Banner’s application asks for his social security card, Banner says that he lost it but remembers the number by heart. He thinks to himself that most places just take him at his word and, by the time they find the number is a fake, he is already gone. The woman, however, tells him that it is university policy that she must see his card. If he were somebody respectable, like a scientist, she might be able to bend the rules but not now.

The stress from this situation causes Banner to worry about turning into the Hulk and he leaves immediately. While running out of the employment office, Banner nearly runs into Lance. Still worried about the Hulk, Banner takes a tranquilizer to stop the transformation. Having overheard the conversation in the employment office, Lance gets an idea. He offers Banner ten dollars to help unload and set up for the show. Banner agrees to do it because it will give him an excuse to hang around the campus until night comes. Unknown to him, Lance thinks it is perfect as well, because ten dollars is half the pay and he can pocket the rest.

Later that night:

A large group of students crowd together, eagerly waiting to get into the concert. Among the crowd is the same bald man who has been following Dazzler and he makes his way into the crowded auditorium. The fans of the cancelled Country act, combined with Dazzler’s own fans, sell out the auditorium. Bruce Banner looks out at the crowd, wishing he could be so happy and carefree. He starts to leave so he can get to his real work. However, on his way out, Dazzler whizzes by him on her skates. Dazzler tells him he should stick around backstage and watch the show. Banner declines by saying he has another appointment. Catching his mood, Dazzler remarks to herself that Bruce is carrying a large burden and wishes there were some way she could help. Nearby, Lance tells everyone to get to their places and remember to “think Western.”

Three minutes later:

Dazzler bursts onto the stage wearing a cowboy hat and greets the crowd with her best attempt at Country. “Howdy partners and welcome to the show! Ah hope you-all are ready for a rootin’ tootin’ evenin’! I know I am! Now here’s a tune that wowed ‘em at the Grand Ol’ Opry…” The audience notices and appreciates the light show that follows Dazzler wherever she goes onstage, however they do not realize that she is creating the lights herself. Soon, the crowd is on its feet, cheering. Dazzler is thrilled, soaking in the magic that exists between performer and audience.

Elsewhere on campus:

Bruce Banner is in a tree, attempting to get into a window in the Hall of Science. He thinks to himself that, as long as he manages not to break his neck or slice his hand on a shard of glass, he’ll be fine. Banner makes it into the window without setting off any alarms. He doesn’t think this is surprising, since it is a school he is breaking into, not a military complex. Unknown to him, however, he is being watched from a security monitor. The two men watching the screen recognize Banner as the drifter who has been hanging around the college. One of the men makes a call to security and alerts them of the break-in.

Now inside, Banner makes it to the computer center and starts to go in. At that moment, someone yells for him to freeze where he is. Banner turns to see three uniformed security guards running toward him. Banner panics and runs from the guards, the stress of the situation causing him to start transforming into the Hulk. Fumbling with the bottle of tranquilizers, Banner runs straight into another team of guards. He collides with one of them, dropping the tranquilizers in the process. Unfortunately, before Banner can reach the pills, his transformation to the Hulk is complete.

Towering over them, the Hulk yells that he wants the “little men” to leave him alone and knocks the three guards away from him. As soon as they recover, the guards run away, leaving him alone to ponder where he is. Hulk exclaims, “Hulk does not know. Hulk only knows that he wants… OUT!” He crashes through a wall, only to fall down an elevator shaft. As he freefalls, Hulk mistakenly assumes the men had set a trap for him. When he lands at the bottom of the shaft, Hulk finds himself behind the barred doors to the elevator and immediately assumes the bars are meant to be a cage to keep him locked up. He yells to no one in particular, “Now men seek to trap Hulk behind bars. They are stupid! Don’t they know cage cannot hold Hulk?” He proceeds effortlessly to rip apart the doors and runs through the underground catacombs which link the campus. Hulk yells that he will find the men who trapped him and make them pay!

Sometime later on the stage of the auditorium:

Dazzler encourages the crowd to cheer for the band members, skating around backstage so Marx, Hunch and Beefer can get some limelight. However, she then hears a pounding noise getting louder. Suddenly, Hulk bursts through the stage from below, scattering the band and all the equipment. Hulk roars that he is tired of running around in the underground maze and knew the music must mean a way out. Dazzler is scared stiff and thinks to herself that she didn’t even believe the Hulk was real. The crowd hesitates at first, but quickly realizes this is not part of the show. They begin to panic and head for the exits.

Hulk sees the cowboy hats and says, “You wear hats like lawmen with guns who track Hulk in desert! You must be Hulk’s enemies!” Dazzler tries to tell Hulk they aren’t enemies but only musicians. The other band members, however, can’t manage to say anything but incoherent stuttering.

Dazzler decides to try to keep Hulk busy while everyone else escapes. She turns on the radio in her bag and shoots a dazzle blast at the Hulk. The shot knocks Hulk back into the wall and he says, “Silver Lady throws light at Hulk! Makes Hulk dizzy!” Dazzler notices that the students are trying to leave but it was so packed that it will take a while – and Hulk is already recovering. As he proclaims that he cannot be hurt by light, Hulk rips a piece of the brick wall apart and uses it as a shield against Dazzler’s light as he charges her. Dazzler realizes that she can’t penetrate the shield without using up too much energy, so she stops glowing to conserve power.

As the Hulk raises the piece of wall above his head to throw it at her, Dazzler quickly manages to use her light powers in a manner she has only attempted a few times, creating a vague holographic image of a tank. Hulk remarks that the tank doesn’t look real but he will destroy it anyway. Hulk throws the piece of wall at the hologram and nearly hits Dazzler. As she dives out of the way of the flying chunk of wall, Alison thinks to herself that, if she ever attempts this stunt again, she should remember to get out of the line of fire.

As the tank fades away, Hulk realizes she has tricked him again and charges at Dazzler again, angrier than ever. She tells him that she knows how strong he is now and this time she won’t hold back. She releases an intense amount of light, blinding him. However, Hulk just keeps heading toward the light, swinging madly as he does so. Dazzler pleads with the Hulk to stop fighting and let her help him. To this, Hulk says that she claims to want to help but keeps hurting his head. Hulk keeps charging and Dazzler is force to retreat backward and continue pouring on the light.

Hulk finally manages to corner Dazzler and takes a swing at her, which she barely manages to duck. Hulk’s fist connects instead with the panel that houses the auditorium’s power console. Hulk screams in pain and yells “Silver Lady tricked Hulk! Hurts him with lightning machine…” Thousands of volts electricity surge through the Hulk’s body, stunning him. Finally, the system shorts out with a sickening crackle and the limp body of the Hulk slumps to the floor. Dazzler is horrified because she thinks that she has inadvertently killed him and rushes over to the Hulk, asking if he is okay. However, when the Hulk starts to come to, he shrugs and this is enough to send Dazzler flying across the stage.

Returned to his senses, Hulk wonders aloud how he got on the floor. He then gets up and thrashes about, yelling, “Hulk is sick of being tricked and trapped… Sick of being Hounded!” He charges into the auditorium seats and begins to smash everything in sight. Watching him go, Dazzler thinks that, if she hadn’t occupied his time, hundreds of people would have been killed – but maybe he wouldn’t have been mad enough to rampage if she hadn’t attacked him.

As Hulk smashes through a wall and runs outside of the auditorium, Dazzler wrestles with herself over if she should go after him. She thinks to herself that he has forgotten her, as no more than a minor nuisance. She realizes that she is not in his league and, besides, she is just a singer, not a superhero. However, she concludes that doing nothing would be the same as condemning untold numbers to death and she refuses to let that happen. In perhaps the bravest moment of her life, Dazzler skates after the Hulk, as the man who has been secretly watching her stands in the shadows of the auditorium.

Characters Involved: 


Bruce Banner/The Hulk

Harry S. Osgood

Lancelot Steele, Cassandra

Hunch, Marx, Beefer (Dazzler’s Band)

Dr. Paul Jansen

Mysterious Man following Dazzler

Arthur & Priscilla (Couple in Subway Station)

Satan’s Creeps (Thugs in Subway Station)

Crowd of Angry People in the Subway Station

Various workers at Gordon University

Gordon University Security Guards

Crowd of Fans in the Auditorium

Story Notes: 

Alison wonders if they will get paid for their performance because the last show Harry lined up for them was a charity performance. [Dazzler #3]

Dazzler sarcastically refers to Lance as the “Clive Barnes of Canarsie.” Clive Barnes is the chief Dance, Drama, and Opera critic for the New York Post. Canarsie is a neighborhood in Eastern Brooklyn.

Alison met Dr. Paul Jansen in Dazzler #5, when she was hospitalized after a battle with Doctor Doom.

The Grand Ole Opry is a weekly Saturday night country music radio program broadcast live on WSM radio in Nashville, Tennessee. First broadcast in 1925, it had been on the air for 56 years as of this issue’s publication and is actually still on air today, making it the oldest continuous radio program in the United States.

The identity of the mysterious man following Dazzler is eventually revealed in Dazzler #8-9.

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