Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chronological X-Men - Welcome To Hollyweird (Part 50) Review

Hollywood Mutant Style! (Okay there wasn't an actual name to this storyline so I made up one because part 50 seemed a little bland - although 50 reviews.. can you believe I've stuck with it this far? - The only other name I could come up with other than 'Welcome To Hollyweird' was 'To the Moon Ali-son' to spoof The Honeymooners 'to the moon Alice' line but Alison only spent half of one issue on the moon so it wouldn't have made too much sense.)

Dazzler #29 – Fame!
Dazzler #30 – The Debt!

It had been so long since I had read an issue of Dazzler that I had almost forgotten what was going on. When last we left Alison, she and her half sister Lois had beaten the crap out of Rogue and met Lois’ father Nick Brown. With this issue we get the first appearances of Roman Nekoboh, Harvey ‘Hack’ Hathaway, and we get a bunch of cameos by Marvel Comics editors, assistant editors and staff - this was due to part of the story taking place during the ‘assistant editor’s month. I was confused because of certain events here. Alison has a huge selling single (and one would assume record) yet she’s broke when only a few issues ago she had enough money to hire bodyguards and private investigators. She’s all about her music, and now suddenly she’s willing to try anything in Hollywood. Somehow Roman who was never an agent is suddenly trying to act as her agent. Lois who was trying to rebuild her life now suddenly seems even more weak and fragile than she was before and starts desperately clinging to her father Nick. Alison who should actually hate Nick – he got her mother hooked on drugs, he caused her mother to cheat on Alison’s father and run out on her, she later finds out that Nick used to beat her and Lois’ mother- seems to be willing to give him a chance until he offers her drugs and admits to practically pimping her out to Roman. Lois who remembers her father’s drinking, and beating of her mother and how Barbara/Katherine had to take the young Lois and flee in the middle of the night hears what Nick wants to do with Alison yet Lois wants to stay with her father. I do find this rather odd because this is the last time we see Lois for roughly 20 years. It just seems too abrupt of a cut off without a strong enough payoff. The military men shooting down the plane Alison is on is interesting – they’re doing this to see if she is a mutant so it’s not Project Pegasus since they know she’s a mutant. Were they sent by the US government to confirm that she is a mutant so they can force her hand with the recent law passed to identify mutants?

Dazzler #31 – Tidal Wave!

Well we get the first (and only) appearance of Stuntman Bill Remington also his mother Kate. Alison gets a new day job as a dance/aerobic instructor and she takes an apartment because she still needs a place to live. I’m not sure I like this new direction of Alison just abandoning her music in order to become an actress. I knew we would loose a lot of characters when she moved from New York to LA but Harry cutting her off as his client seemed rather abrupt, plus we lose Lance and Cassandra and all of Alison’s band in the process. Plus in the move to LA we also lose Nick and Lois, so really the only regular cast member in this book right now is Roman who will strt acting as Alison’s agent but he doesn’t even appear in this issue. The main plot of Alison falling for the Stuntman who risks his life to make money in order to take care of his mother and get a better life for himself only for it to turn out that he thinks he’d rather die than lose everything again but then suddenly sees the light and decides to be a good person and continue to rebuild his life and not take risks is BEYOND cliché which is saying a lot because this book thrives on clichés.

Dazzler #32 – Moon Lighting

Alison makes a new friend in Janet McEntee, a member of the class Alison teaches – which wasn’t an easy thing to do considering Lockjaw and Medusa of the Inumans teleport into the middle of the class while Alison is teaching it. With this story we get the all too standard plot of Alison wanting a normal life, not wanting anything to do with super heroics only to find out that she actually does kind of enjoy playing the hero, or at least is too kind hearted of a person to let anyone suffer. There’s nothing wrong with the plot, but it seems to be almost always the focal point of her character and after numerous guest spots in books and Uncanny X-Men, not to mention 32 issues of her own I’m kind of over it. And by kind of I mean completely over the whole thing. There were a few mistakes in the book which kind of annoyed me, Alison’s class starts at 7am yet she sets her alarm for 8:45, and there’s the mention of the dark side of the moon. Medusa says that the dark side of the moon actually is ‘not dark at all,’ when in reality it’s dark half of the time. Still the Inumans plot was strong enough to make it one of the better Dazzler stories out of the ones I’ve recently read, even with the two mistakes.

Dazzler #33 – CHILLER!

Okay, this one will be hard to stretch out considering the entire issue is basically a spoof/homage of Michael Jackson’s music video ‘Thriller.’ We do see a bit more of Alison’s friendship with Janet and we learn that Alison is terribly afraid of being buried alive but other than that we don’t get anything new or anything that continues an overall storyline. Roman is still possessive of Alison and wants to be with her and is using his influence to do that – so that’s not new. Alison doing what she thinks is best and then in the end everything somehow magically lucks out – that’s not new. Nope, same old, same old. There were two mistakes, which I found odd considering in the last issue there were two mistakes as well. First off we have the marquis stating that the film Vincent Price is staring in is called ‘Maniac,’ Vincent Price was never in a movie with that title. The other mistake also revolves around the movie name, it’s supposed to be ‘Maniac’ yet when Dazzler meets the director she says the name of his film is ‘Bloody Mary.’

Dazzler #34 – Where Have All the Models Gone?

Okay first she was a singer, then she did odd jobs, then she tried to be in movies, then she was a dance teacher, and then she was in music videos this week – err, I mean ‘this issue’ Alison decides to be a model. Janet ends up having to drop out of Alison’s class because she’s been discovered as a model and needs a more professional teacher (or some random nonsensical reason) so that leads to Alison ending up deciding that she’ll try to be a model too. The whole plot revolves around models who suddenly vanish into thin air and it ends up being a revenge plot by a currently not so famous designer who is trying to get back on top. I actually would have liked this story more if Alison learned of the missing models, Janet books a job and then vanishes prompting Alison to go undercover to try to find her missing friend. That would have worked out much better for me than Alison waking up and just deciding to change her career again. I know in the past I griped about Alison and her ‘whoa is me, I just want to sing’ mentality but I’d rather read that again than continue on in this new direction the book is taking.

Dazzler #29 – Fame!: D
Dazzler #30 – The Debt!: D
Dazzler #31 – Tidal Wave!: C
Dazzler #32 – Moon Lighting: B
Dazzler #33 – CHILLER!: C
Dazzler #34 – Where Have All the Models Gone?: C

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