Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sign of the Times

I like to flip through my Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe every now and again. This Marvel Essential is a black and white trade paperback collecting the 15-issue encyclopedic limited series from 1983 and ‘84. Although not printed in color, it’s still fun to revisit the characters of my youth in the incarnations I first met them. Recently, I was perusing the book and stopped on the entry for Dazzler. Dazzler, Alison Blaire, is an aspiring singer with the mutant ability to transform sound into light. While the development of the character is fascinating (originally conceived as a cross-promotional and multi-media tie-in between Marvel Comics and Casablanca Records intended to have a real-life counterpart), I was struck by her weapons description in this volume of the Handbook:
Weapons: The Dazzler carries a customized radio/cassette tape-player powered by two 9-volt batteries, with auto-reverse, the Dolby B noise-reduction system, and an over-sized 4-inch speaker with an exceptionally heavy voice-coil. The tapes she carries are edited to provide continuous music. The Dazzler also occasionally wears a woman’s size eight pair of roller skates which magnetically adhere to her boots.
Villains beware!

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