Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #260

Issue Date: 
April 1990
Story Title: 
Star 90!

Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (Penciler), Dan Green (Inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

After a crazed Eric Beale’s attempt on her life, Dazzler agrees to Fred Stanachek’s plan to promote Dazzler – the movie, to draw the killer out. She wonders though if this is truly what she wants out of life. Shortly before the premiere, in a careless moment, Ali is abducted and beaten unconscious. Later, almost powerless, she faces a drug-crazed Beale, intending to kill her. Using what’s left of her power to influence her mood, she actually calms and helps Beale and realizes that helping people is what she wants of life. Colossus gets in a fight with thugs wearing X-Men masks, who are chasing his mystery woman and, once again, the woman disappears. Banshee and Forge are on Kyrinos, intending to secretly fly to Cairo. After seeing a magazine with Dazzler on the cover, Banshee decides to look her up first. This turns out to be fortunate, as their plane is destroyed by Fenris.

Full Summary: 

A Mansion in the Hollywood Hills.

A mannequin dressed like Dazzler is hit pointblank by a bullet. “Bang, Dazzler… you’re dead!” a manic voice announces.

A middle-aged, somewhat overweight man with a crazed look in his eyes and a somewhat ridiculous commando outfit looks around, before shooting more mannequins, all made up to look like Dazzler at various stages in her life, all the while babbling and clearly strung out on cocaine. Throwing some shuriken, he announces that he wants to show the “mutie witch” that, if you leave Eric Beale, you pay the price.

Destroying more and more mannequins with a selection of weapons, he babbles that he wants to see her suffer the way he has. Cupping the chin on a mannequin, he asks why she couldn’t understand that they were made for one another. Her beauty, his bucks - the perfect combo. But she refused him… and destroyed him. He decapitates the mannequin and giggles madly. Now it’s time for payback.

In Malibu, not far away, Freddie Stanachek has shown Alison Blaire and Guido the only existing copy of Dazzler the Movie. Guido admits that, while Ali is no Meryl Streep, he would pay money to see the movie. A rare compliment. He only found the film, Freddie states humbly. Ali made it. Heading out to surf, Ali offhandedly remarks that was another woman in another life. What does Freddie want with her? Romance is on Freddie’s mind, but he only tells her that she is needed for marketing. To make the movie a success and be the star she deserves he needs her help. Dazzler swims out on her surfboard, remarking that all that’s past. Old news. Amnesiac as she is, she just doesn’t care. On the other hand, she wonders lazily, as she lies on her board, what else has she to do? She is unaware of Beale playing sniper nearby.

His first shot is meant to hit her head. But Ali gets up at that moment and the bullet misses. Guido notices the danger before Ali does, shouting at her, but, surfing on the waves, Ali doesn’t listen. Another shot this time destroys the surfboard. Beale decides to switch to full automatic, hoping that one of the bullets is bound to hit her. Having noticed the sniper, Ali lets loose a laser blast in his direction. They fire simultaneously. As Ali’s laser bolt is faster, it strikes Beale’s bullet even before it leaves the rifle barrel causing the weapon to explode.

Freddie runs into the water after Ali and drags the stunned woman ashore. The House deduces that the shooter’s escaped and Guido concludes that he’s probably still on her tail. Then they’d better make things easy for him, the better to flush him out n the open, Ali decides. She tells Freddie to make her a star.

Manhattan, the Soho loft of the amnesiac Colossus now calling himself Peter Nicholas. He can’t find any rest, pacing around and finally looks as the billboard advert opposite the apartment again. Whatever he draws, he keeps coming back to her… the mystery beauty on the billboard.

Down on the street, said woman is running for her life from a group of thugs. She tries her best to defend herself with a kick, but remains hopelessly ineffectual. The thugs grab her and threaten her to play nice or the only thing her face will be fit for is creature features.

Peter tears into them with a baseball bat, telling them to back off. He tells the woman to runs for the doorway behind her. He’ll hold them off. He gets a shock, as he looks at the faces of the masks the thugs wear, faces that seem familiar to him. The gang leader tells him he must be tired of his life to call out the X-Men.

One of the thugs behind Peter uses his surprise to beat him on the head. Rescue comes, as Jenny Ransome jumps down from the window, angrily shouting that the X-Men are her friends. Those thugs aren’t even close. The men strike at her, but can’t make a dent in her nigh-invulnerable skin. Scared, they run off and Jenny and Phil help Peter up. Peter looks for the girl to find that predictably she’s gone again.

Peter finds the Colossus mask at his feet and wonders if the attack was coincidence. Why choose the X-Men as role models? One band of outlaws copying another, Phil suggests, telling Peter that this mask is Colossus. He knows, Peter retorts, but he and his team are dead. He crushes the mask. They can’t help them anymore.

The next morning at Baron-Fox Studios, Ginjer Fox has a meeting with Fred Stanachek and Dazzler, or more to the point, her evil twin “Skippy,” as Alison insists. Ginjer states that “Skippy” is not at all what she expected. Instead of a brainless, bimbo type super-heroine, she finds Alison quite refreshingly normal. A person instead of a cliché, she means, Ali asks, Probably because she’s not herself.

Stanachek reminds her that Ginjer Baron runs the studio and Ali replies that she’s a human being, not a commodity. As Ginjer leads them through some studio settings, she points that in this town, people, their ideas and talents, are the commodities. If Ali doesn’t like the game, nobody is forcing her to play.

Behind a Western set, Eric Beale waits .He draws a gun and points it at Dazzler’s back.
Suddenly, he finds himself grabbed and his gun taken away by some studio assistants, who claim that he has the totally wrong costume. Do the people in casting have no brains at all? Quickly, they dress him in oversized cowboy clothing, as a Western extra. Before Beale can get his bearing, he gets beaten up as part of his scene.

A little ahead, Ginjer decides that Ali will have to be cast into an appropriate image to publicize the film. Is there any point in mentioning that she can’t be recorded or photographed, Ali sighs, only to be summarily ignored by the make-up crew.

Beale, now sporting a shiner, sits in the chair next to her, only to also become the victim of a make-over.

Alison is being made over in several styles, from girly Sandra Dee type, too elegant Grace Kelley. From MTV singer to leather dominatrix. Finally, they settle on a look Ginjer is pleased with – the exact same look Ali had at the beginning.

The make-up crew finishes with Beale, making him look lie a French comical villain. By that time, Dazzler has long left.

On the remote Greek island of Kyrinos, Banshee and Forge have begun their search for the X-Men. In a few more hours, they’ll be in Egypt, Sean announces. Forge questions him on his Interpol past and states that he heard that Sean was pretty good. He is alive, Sean replies curtly.

Forge notices an older snapshot of Sean and Moira that Sean is carrying around and points out that Moira seems to have changed a lot. One would hardly recognize her as he same woman. Sean agrees and states that people don’t change that much overnight. And, as far as Moira is concerned, she hasn’t changed, nor has anybody else on Muir Isle. Does he figure something is wrong, Forge asks. He doesn’t know, Sean admits, but he’d like to play it safe. That’s why they are heading for Cairo the long way around, using assets like their pilot, Cylla, whom Moira doesn’t know about.

They join Cylla, a young woman who tells them everything’s finished and they can start. She hands Sean an issue of ‘People’ to read en route. The magazine has Dazzler on the cover. This changes everything. Banshee tells Cylla that they won’t need her. They’ll make other arrangements. Cylla doesn’t care, as long as she’s paid and takes off.

Forge wants to know what’s going on and Banshee shows him the cover, which incidentally is a drawn picture, not a photo. This is their first solid lead, Sean decides. They should pick her up in Hollywood, and then move on to Cairo. Suddenly, both men look up in horror, as Cylla’s plane explodes in the sky.

On the quarterdeck of the yacht anchored in the cove below the headland stand the guilty parties, Andrea and Andreas Strucker aka Fenris. Andreas congratulates his sister on her shooting. They are Struckers, Andrea announces triumphantly. They do not miss. She shoots again at the airstrip to deal with any possible loose ends. In a celebrating mood, Andreas pours them both champagne, regretting the mutants’ execution couldn’t be up close and personal. What matters is that they are dead, Andrea tells him. Whoever the mysterious informant was who informed tem of Banshee’s plans, Fenris is in their debt.

Elsewhere on the island, Banshee flies himself and Forge to safety. As far as everyone is concerned, he announces, they just died with Cylla on their plane. For the moment, he’d like to keep it that way and hopes they reach Alison before the same thing happens to her.

The beach of Malibu:

Dolled up in a lovely gown and walking along the Malibu beach, Alison is in a pensive mood. She knows she should get a move on to get to the gala premiere but she doesn’t really care. Is this what life is about? Acquiring all the toys money can buy? She knows what people expect of her. But is this the real her? Plus, there’s no sign of her mystery assailant. Probably scared him off. That moment, Beale drives by her on a motorcycle, dressed as a cop, and beats her from behind with a stick. Ali sinks to the ground, unconscious.

Meanwhile, over in Westwood, is the premiere of Dazzler the movie. Among the star guests is Roman Nekobah, male lead of the movie and one-time lover of Dazzler, who has a good-natured talk with a disgruntled Jim Shooter. Ginjer Baron and Freddie Stanachek, on the other hand, are not in a good mood. There’s no sign of their star and it’s getting late.

Watching the scene on a huge TV screen, Beale leers that he bets Stanachek wonders why she let him down when he needed her most. That’s what the mutie witch does best, he laughs.
He is in the room with the destroyed Dazzler mannequins. Alison is on her knees, hands tied behind her back, a bag on her head and dressed in her old Dazzler costume along with skates. She’s still feeling hung over. Grabbing her by the hair, Beale rants at her. Dazzler has no idea who he is or why he hates her, but she doesn’t much care, as she lets loose with laser blasts from her eyes.

She tries to get up but falls on her behind because of her skates. At least she can see, though, having burned holes in her mask. What she sees, she doesn’t like at all: the room is full of mannequins and pictures of her. Beale gets up again lunging at her. He shouts that her powers won’t save her. He bled them off while she was in dreamland. They should be pretty near empty by now.

Ali finds he is right, as it takes all her concentration to manifest a stroboscopic dazzle-blast. She follows it up with a kick to his face, but he simply shrugs off the effect of any physical blows, as he draws his sword and steps closer. Ali desperately wonders what to do. Even if she can generate a laser, does she truly want to kill, but what’s the alternative?

She appeals to Beale, telling him he doesn’t want to do this. A tactic that doesn’t work. She understands that reasoning won’t work; he’s irrational and the chemicals from his drugs are hyping his emotional instability to the extreme. But if she bypasses those cognitive faculties and reaches into his back-brain using her light to alter his mood…?

She emits soothing colors, gentle tones, projecting calm and slowly. Impossibly, Beale calms down, overwhelmed by the beauty. He sinks down before her, crying and telling her he never imagined it possible to behold such glory. Only the first step down the road, she tells him. He has to go the rest on his own. But at least she helped him start. Is that her answer, she wonders. To use her powers to help others and make them feel better and give them joy?

Characters Involved: 

Banshee, Colossus, Dazzler, Forge (all X-Men)

Guido Carosella (Lila Cheney’s bodyguard)

Lila’s sentent house

Callisto / Colossus’ mystery woman

Phil Moreau and Jenny Ransome (fugitives from the Genoshan government)

Freddie Stanachek

Ginjer Baron

Roman Nekobah (Dazzler’s ex-lover and director of Dazzler – the movie)

Jim Shooter Cylla Markham (pilot)

Eric Beale


Andrea and Andreas Strucker (Fenris)

In Banshee’s photograph

Moira MacTaggert

Story Notes: 

Dazzler disappears from the X-books after this appearance, until being brought to Mojoworld around X-Men (2nd series) #5.

Jim Shooter’s guest appearance (though you can’t actually see his face, due to his height) is due to his being the writer of the Dazzler the Movie GN.

Issue Information: 
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