The issue carries some thoughts out of the recently completed “Necrosha” storyline and polishes up Dazzler’s skates. Jim McCann delivers a “Greatest Hits” comic album of Dazzler’s best material. The story seems familiar — protagonist is set against their relative/peer, but wishes to save their foe instead of defeating that foe — but the setting for this version of that familiar tale is Murderworld.
Arcade is set somewhere between Danny Bonaduce and Bruno Tonioli (who come to think of it might both simply be shards of a Dana Carvey routine) in this story, but it quickly becomes clear that Arcade is little more than a plot device, an accessory for McCann to tell the story he wants to tell — a confrontation between siblings. Honestly, is there any X-Men related character that doesn’t have an evil sibling/parent/clone running around?
Over the course of this special, Dazzler fights the Grapplers, Enchantress, Dr. Doom, and Klaw — a man made of living sound that Dazzler once “killed” before. All of these foes are set upon Alison Blaire by her half-sister, Lois London.
Art can really make or break a book like this, and in this case, the art team helps make this book interesting. The art between Andrasofszky and Perez is not played to distinction, but rather toned down so the two styles blend one to the next. Flipping back and forth and scrutinizing the art a little further, it struck me as being similar to the difference on “Uncanny X-Men” (and this is a long time ago) between Marc Silvestri and Alan Davis. Both artists are good at what they do, but their styles are so very different. Andrasofszky’s art is photo-influenced, placing emphasis on what is drawn onto the page. Perez’s work is more lively, more animated, but also more cartoon-inspired, allowing inference to take control of how the panels are depicted. Perez’s work is more suited to this story, in my opinion, but that may be influenced by the fact that Perez drew the tussle between Dazzler and Klaw.
Ciregia’s art in the second story appears to be heavily influenced by Cliff Chiang, but doesn’t carry the same weight as Chiang’s drawings. It’s lighter and more airy than the other two artists that drew the first story, but it, therefore, doesn’t seem quite as impactful. It is, however, well suited for the story which is a conversation between Dazzler and her mother.
The true story here is Dazzler figuring out what she wants, and what she needs to do for herself. I’m not completely sold on the need for a Dazzler series, nor do I think this story is strong enough to warrant anything further than a backup tale or additional one-shot, but given the potential for a character like Dazzler — she’s a widely known mutant who has had a successful entertainment-based career and needs to stage a comeback — I can see Marvel granting this character more story time.
As I said before, this is a greatest hits of sorts. Every greatest hits album is extended by a new track or two, and the new tracks offered here are worthy successors to the original. I suppose the next stop is a world tour, which would mean Dazzler would have to join the Avengers, right? I’d check the tour dates and if the concert came close enough and the tickets were cheap enough, I’d go. Of course, I’d want the t-shirt to have some groovy Ramon Perez art on it.