Reviews (Marvel)

Review: Dazzler #1                               

(Cover by Bob Larkin)
Published and © by Marvel, Mar. 1981
[Buy from Mile High]

“So Bright This Star”

Synopsis: Disco singer Alison Blaire teams with superheroes, tries to find a job and wins a sing off against the Enchantress.

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Alfredo Alcala

Review: Dazzler #1 is not an awful comic. It’s not good, by any means, but not nearly as bad as its reputation would suggest. Conceived by committee as a movie tie-in (see Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed for details) , the character is more marketing creation than act of inspiration. And it shows, as this debut issue lacks any real spark. Tom DeFalco’s prose is over the top and his dialogue can be painful. The relatively early John Romita Jr. art shows potential, but lacks the unique style he would later develop (and Alfredo Alcala’s rather bland inks don’t help, either).

Grade: C

Second opinions: “The story itself isn’t that bad …” — Tom McLean, Bags and Boards. … “ … a total turkey …” — The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition).

Cool factor: Umm … the cover is awfully nice? And there’s a nice scene establishing just how evil the Enchantress can be.

Not-so-cool factor: Too many guest stars (Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers). That painful sing off against the Enchantress. Mirrored, high-heeled boots with magnetically attached roller skates. And the fact that Pink Floyd and Billy Joel are the two musical acts mentioned in this disco-themed comic.

Notable: According to Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics, Dazzler #1 was the first regular series from Marvel to debut exclusively through the direct market, selling an impressive 428,000 copies.

Character quotable: “But chasing a dream can be so lonely … so terribly, terribly lonely.” — Allison “Dazzler” Blaire, apparently oblivious to the gazillion guest stars running around this issue.

Collected in:
Essential Dazzler Vol. 1 [Buy from Mile High]
Women of Marvel Vol. 1 TPB [Buy from Mile High]

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5 comments to Review: Dazzler #1                               

  • Jim Kingman

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever read that Alfredo Alcala had “bland” inks. His work at DC, especially full pencils and inks on some creepy mystery line tales, was always quite exceptional. But this was Dazzler, after all! I’ve never read Dazzler #1. Now I’m tempted.

  • I would have liked to have seen some of the internal art in this review.

  • Edo Bosnar

    I admit to actually buying the first 2 (or maybe 3) issues of Dazzler, more out of curiosity than anything else. I have to say, I think the art was the only thing I liked about the first two issues.
    As I recall, the second issue had even more guest stars, like most of the Marvel Universe heroes having a big brawl in a disco. Described like that, it actually sounds like the story would be pretty awesome, but it really wasn’t…

  • Felicity:

    Thanks for stopping by Comics Bronze Age. You’re right, interior art would certainly have been useful here, as it probably would be with a lot of the reviews (especially of issues where the interior and cover are by different artists). It’s a matter of finding time to do more scanning. Maybe in the future.


  • Edo:

    It’ll be awhile before I get to reviewing #2. When it comes to Dazzler, it’s important to pace one’s self!


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