THE ANGEL AND THE OCTOPUS
the unauthorized story
It was the summer of 1982 and I was in the middle of a Tron frenzy. Jeff Bridges was never more alive than in his cinematic battles against SARK. But, Jim Shooter contacted me through the future to come back and give my thoughts on a struggling Direct Market title called “Dazzler”.
For the kids out there that don’t remember Marvel in the 1980s, it was a heavy place. Jim Shooter of the Giant Hill People had taken over as E-i-C in 1979. He was the funky brother who helped usher in Perez on the Avengers, The Dark Phoenix Saga and Frank Miller’s Daredevil run. But, he was also instrumental in developing Marvel titles that only went to the direct market.
The Direct Market is a term for those speciality comic shops that spelled the end for the retail and newsstand market’s ability to sell comics. A limited window this produced, as a lot of fans didn’t have comic shops in their hometowns. So, Dazzler and other books suffered.
That’s when they decided to spice things up. The Dazzler was going to get a hunky boyfriend in The Angel. The Angel was one of the original X-Men who didn’t serve much of a purpose after Wolverine conquered Marvel. The Angel could react to Dazzler’s fears of being persecuted as a mutant. He could also use his wings to shield her, as they flew through the air. If there was any real danger, The Angel could also curl into a ball and pray.
Lucky for him, Dazzler could convert sound into bright light. So, if a thug was about, he better be prone to seizures. Naturally, these superhero elements demanded that a major villain be included in this issue. So, they selected Dr. Octopus. Doc Ock is a classic Spidey villain from the dawn of the Marvel Age. What he had to do with Dazzler is trivial, but this was the same book that had a Dazzler vs. Galactus fight merely five issues prior.
The fight with Doc Ock didn’t last that long, but the aftereffects were felt for awhile. The issue ended with the now loving couple of The Angel and Dazzler kissing each other good night. Unbeknownst to the readers, a heavy fuck spread drawn by living legend Frank Springer was cut out of the book due to pressure from the Comics Code Authority of America.
The CCAA had been a thorn in my side since my planned Mary Jane solo story “The Black Cat Fucks Back!”. But, that’s a story for another time. Next time, I’ve got the premiere erotic fiction piece from Bill Randolph.