Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Women in Comic Books Who are more Than Skin Deep: # 7
Name: Isabel “Dizzy” Cordova.
Creator: Brian Azzarello
Appearance: 100 Bullets.
Occupation: Ex-Con, Conspiracy Enforcer.
Quote: “You understand after Hector and Santiago were killed I saw…No I felt different about things. Those bullets tore me apart too.”
Brian Azarello’s 100 Bullets is masterpiece of comic book noir. The series opens with a gun being held on Isabella “Dizzy” Cordova’s head and ends with her firing the last shot of the series. In a hundred issues she rises from ex-con, to the top enforcer for the secret conspiracy that is the real masters of America. 100 Bullets is an ensemble piece with up to a dozen characters vying for the position of main character in any particular arc, but despite that Dizzy is the heart and soul of the series.
She was an ex-gnger, whose husband and child were killed when she was in prison. At first she believed this was because God was punishing her for her sinful life. But a man calling himself Agent Graves, gave her a case witch contained irrefutable evidence that her husband and child were purposely killed by corrupt cops, also inside it was a gun and one hundred bullets, that he claimed if ever used would be completely untraceable and if police ever recovered the gun or bullets they would be give orders to drop the case immediately.
She discovers that Agent Grave’s is fighting a secret war with the thirteen families that truly rule America, The Trust. He was at one time the head of their secret policing unit called the Minutemen, but the conspiracy turned on their one time guardians, and The Trust thought that they had eliminated them. After she got her vengeance, Graves recruited Dizzy to be one of a new generation of minutemen. The first two recruits of the next generation of Minutemen were a black man and a Latino woman, both of who would have been not offered positions in the past, to the all white and male organization.
Dizzy is trained as a conspiracy enforcer by Joseph Sheppard an ex-minuteman and Trust warlord. They become close and develop a lasting friend ship. When Dizzy returns to her old home turf her friends mistakenly think he is her lover and sugar daddy. (They are not he is gay) But he fulfills a mentor and father figure role that she never had.
Their close relationship makes it all the more tragic when she accidently hears a codeword that activates her subliminally planted combat skills and she kills Sheppard. Despite a life of tragedy, Dizzy never completely gives in to despair, and is a beacon of hope and integrity to the few characters in the story who do not evolve in to selfish psychopaths.
The fact that she doesn’t become tainted is why the Trust makes her the new Agent (leader) of the reformed Minutemen. As the families of the Trust fall upon each other she delivers the final blow to the one who had been manipulating the story from the beginning.
In 100 Bullets names are highly symbolic. Charters go by the name of Phillip Graves, Victor Ray and Will Slaughter. Dizzy’s name is symbolic to not because she is addle brained but because she is always spinning form the treachery of The Trust and their apparently shifting loyalties.
Because she rose from beyond her beginning and became the conspiracy’s top enforcer and never sold her soul and because she holds her own in an ensemble cast full of interesting characters Dizzy Cordova deserves to be known as a comic book women who is more than skin deep.