Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)


Writer: Archie Goodwin
Pencils: Paul Chadwick

Y'know, I could have sworn that I had the above issue, but upon checking my collection, I discovered that apparently I was wrong.

Perhaps I made that mistake because of how strongly I recall searching shops for it as a teenager. "Dazzler issue forty" was a crossover with the nine-issue Secret Wars II comic, and as such ran-on from the end of issue #4 of that series.

What I do recall very clearly is how badly this piece of cross-marketing backfired, for the elusive Dazzler #40 marks the point at which I began to stop reading Marvel Comics.

Y'see, as is still my wont, I was determined to read the whole saga in chronological order, so when it crossed-over into a title that wasn't generally available in the UK, I hit a bit of a wall.

Despite fruitless expeditions to specialist comic-shops up in London, I just could not lay my hands on a copy. My quest for completeness was spookily mirroring the Beyonder's quest for the same thing. As a result, I kept on buying Marvel Comics, but read much less of them, saving the rest of the Beyonder's tale to enjoy after I had eventually located and read that particular wandering chapter of it.

Inevitably, over time, my keenness for this activity would wane. Truly, that issue was my collection's Kryptonite.*

However, the best part of a year later, the issue did see the light of day in my house when it got reprinted in Marvel UK's Secret Wars II #58 imprint.


Hurrrm. Marvel UK version. It's mostly here.

In addition to the new cover-art, page one seems isolated, page two seems missing, and the title of the strip has been changed to just "Stan Lee Presents: Secret Wars II". The original title 'Travelers' does get namechecked in both the editorial and the previous week's 'Next Issue' box, although now with an extra L for Anglicisation. (I'm trusting the original's spelling at comics.org on this one)

For all those minor nitpicks though, I'm grateful. This is a good episode that features the Beyonder prominently (always a plus in a Secret Wars II crossover) and delves into a slight addiction that he develops to his search for satisfaction. The odds against the Beyonder and Dazzler just keep on escalating, until she realises that this is because he keeps subconsciously making them go up.

Given how often Dazzler has so far appeared in the Secret Wars II storyline (in Secret Wars II #1, The New Mutants #30, Secret Wars II #4 and now this) it's a shame that there hasn't been more continuity to her character. Right now she is the female lead, yet each time she's featured, it seems to be in something of a vacuum from her previous appearances.

I guess what she really seems to need in these issues is a more definite identity.


* Yes I know that's DC, don't write in.

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