Bargain Comic Reviews

New Reviews of Old Comics

Amazing Spider-Man #203 (Apr. 1980)

Purchase price: $1

It’s hard to pass up an old issue of Amazing Spider-Man when you find it in the bargain bin, even more so when Dazzler is on the cover.  As one of the many comic fans who had mutant-fever back in the 80s I read a lot of Dazzler issues (okay, I bought and read all 40 or so issues), but it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen her in a comic, so this was actually kind of cool for me.  Other than a gimmick to have her as some disco queen I never really got the whole power to control light thing, but I liked the character anyway.

“Bewitched, Bothered and Be-Dazzled!” written by Marv Wolfman with Keith Pollard on pencils, has our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swinging through some dilapidated section of New York when a hot chick comes skating by chased by a ball of light.  He’s been reading the super-hero industry trade magazines so Spidey rightly recognizes the skater as Dazzler, but also thinks the ball of light is Will-O-the-Wisp, which is wrong.  Since they’re on the same team, Web-Head tries to help Dazzler, but she uses her light powers to beat him back.  After recovering from the deceptive beat down Peter and his buddies Harry Osborn and Flash take in the new Star Trek movie (yes, that’s how old this comic is).  It is here where Spider-Man finds out the super-baddie for this issue is Lazarus, not Will-O-the-Wisp, (whoever that is) and he’s out for Dazzler.  Her mutant light powers affected him while he was stuck in a light dimension, and now he wants all of her power to make him stronger.  Spider-Man disagrees with this plan so a fight scene ensues until Spider-Man shocks Dazzler out of her possessed state.  The story ends with Dazzler asking Spider-Man “How can I ever repay you?”  to which Spidey replies “Don’t worry, beautiful, I have a strong hunch we’ll figure out something.”   What the heck kind of ending is that for a comic?I can just hear the cheesy porn starting up in the background.  If that weren’t the last panel, the next would have been Dazzler doing her best “Roller Girl” impression (those who have seen Boogie Nights know what I’m talking about).

Pretty typical issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and I’ve very rarely been let down by this title.  Granted some are better than others, but a true dud is rare indeed.  Marv Wolfman almost always puts out a good read.  Apart from the bizarre looking Lazarus in page panel six, Keith Pollard’s art was pretty good as well.  It’s hard to find something wrong with an old Spider-Man comic and I’m always happy to add another to my collection.

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