In association with the X-Men Comics group on Facebook, we are proud to present… X v X Round 2: Dazzler versus Jubilee! What forces could cause X-Man to be pitted against X-Man? Read on and see! This section written by Robert Struble.
. ~ .
“Hey, check it out!”
Paul stopped what he was doing and looked in his friend’s direction. “What is it, Manny?”
Manny gestured towards the dark ally. “Look ‘it that!”
Paul noticed what Manny was pointing at. A slender woman, no more than 30 years old, blonde, was lying unconscious, between trash bags. “What a looker,” he commented. She was dressed in skin-tight spandex, a rather colorful outfit. “Maybe she came from dancing or somethin’ like that?”
“Naw. No way does anybody wear that out in public. She looks familiar, though. Amanda or Allison or something like that. Starts with an “A”. Used to be a singer.”
Before Paul could think of anything, the woman woke up, screaming. She raised her hand and the alley exploded with intense light. Paul and Manny flew back in a panic, both partially blinded, seeing spots. “Jeezus, Manny, run! It’s a mutie!” Stumbling, they both took off down the alley, into the street, and fled into the bright lights of a nighttime New York City.
Turns out, “starts with an ‘A’” was pretty close. Allison Blaire, a.k.a. Dazzler, rubbed her head, trying to get her bearings. She felt bad about scaring the two men, but she had deeper concerns. She had last been at a S.H.I.E.L.D base and had been in a suit. Now, she was in her costume and nowhere near S.H.I.E.L.D. It looked like New York City, but she hadn’t spent too much time here. She stood up, brushing off a few bits of debris. Slowly, she made her way out of the alley and saw that she had been correct. She was definitely in New York City, a block away from Times Square. She recognized the giant screen where the New Years ball drops every year.
Dazzler couldn’t understand how she got to be here. Last she remembered, she had been miles away. She looked around, enjoying the noise. Her powers are sound based and the constant intensity all around was like a supercharge, making her feel better. She was walking amongst the crowds when she heard a high pitched voice that seemed to carry over all others.
“Helloooooo!” it shouted.
Dazzler looked around, but couldn’t find the source. Even more interestingly, nobody else seemed to notice.
“Look up!” it laughed.
Dazzler glanced up, but she was the only one. There, on the giant screen, was a disgusting blob of a creature, one that Dazzler knew all too well from her earlier life.
“Mojo!” she shouted. This drew a few odd looks from the passerbys, but even when they looked at where she looked, nobody seemed concerned that the screen had been co-opted by the self-proclaimed media mogul of the multiverse.
“Oh, don’t bother, my dear” Mojo snickered, in the same screeching laugh he always had. “Nobody else can see me. Nobody else can hear me! Hee hee, ho ho!”
Dazzler whispered, trying to avoid drawing looks. “What do you want?”
Mojo snickered. “In a few minutes, you will encounter another of your vaunted X-Men. No, don’t bother asking who,” as Dazzler started to open her mouth. “You’ll know when you see her. I want one thing from you: to defeat her in a most spectacular fashion!”
Dazzler started looking around. Who did Mojo refer to? He indicated a woman but even if there were only a handful of woman related to the X-Men, he could very well just be throwing her off by disguising the gender. There were literally thousands of people around. She wasn’t sure if she would spot anybody in this crowd. “Why?”
“Why?” This got a massive chortle. “Why do you think? Because, just think of the ratings! X-Men versus X-Men! It’s worked before, it will work again! Every time you misfits fight each other and I get it on camera, my ratings go through the roof! And guess what…it’s sweeps week!” He laughed again and this continued for a good minute. Dazzler didn’t think he was going to stop.
“No,” she growled, hoping to intimidate, but knowing full well that Mojo had the upper hand. “Why do you think I’ll play along?”
Mojo laughed. “My associate has ensured that you will behave!”
Associate? Dazzler tried to think. Mojo usually worked alone or through subordinates, but never with a partner. “What assoc…” but before she could complete the sentence, Mojo was gone. The laughing was still in here ear for a good five minutes after. She looked around, now on guard. She didn’t know who would show up. She felt certain that whoever it was would sooner work with her than against her.
“DAZZLER!” someone screamed.
Dazzler spun around. This time, the people around her also heard and many turned and backed away. There, in the bright lights of Times Square stood Jubilation Lee, tears running down her face.
“Jubilation, what…” Then Dazzler noticed something: Jubilation was no longer pale and was wearing a yellow jacket, the kind she wore when she first joined the X-Men. She ditched it years ago and she no longer appeared to be suffering from vampirism. “Jubilee, listen, we have to…”
“Not listening to you, you disco-reject bitch!” Jubilee screamed back. She was hoarse from crying and filled with rage, not a familiar feeling, but one that was totally appropriate. “It’s bad enough you joined the enemy when you hooked up with Shield, but to do their dirty work against your own kind?!”
Dazzler tried to remain calm, but it was obvious someone had set her up. Mojo’s associate, no doubt. Dazzler felt a moment of panic creep in, but she had been at this for years. She immediately calmed herself down. “Jubilee, listen to me. I don’t know what you think I’ve done, but it’s not true. I’ve always been on our side.”
Jubilee shook her head, her fingertips sparkling. “Don’t lie to me. You know damn well what you did. I saw you murder Logan in cold blood. Drove a light lance right through his head.”
And at last Dazzler understood. The one person in all the world that could whip Jubilee into this rage was the one man she had followed for years, a man who had been like a father to her: Wolverine. Someone had made Jubilee think that Dazzler had murdered this man. Never mind that Wolverine was famed for being unkillable. Dazzler was sure that Jubilee wouldn’t have questioned that in her grief. “Jubilee, please listen. It wasn’t me. I haven’t…”
“I’m done talking!” Jubilee shouted and she raised her arms and the air exploded all around.
. ~ .
Elsewhere, a young man laughed as he watched the scene unfold on monitors. Dazzler knew him, but Jubilee did not. Jubilee had never before encountered his lifelike models of the X-Men. As the two “heroes” squared off, Arcade laughed at the simplicity of it all.