Dazzler: From real-life pop star to comic book heroine.
As was the way in the 70s and 80s the character of Dazzler started out as a treatment. By that I mean, a non-comic production company approached Marvel to flesh out the character for use in other media, a fictitious pop star, not unlike a modern-day Hannah Montana.
Marvel Comics did the same with franchises like the Transformers and G.I. Joe, among other toy-centric properties. The character was actually very close to being black, and based on Grace Jones, but would ultimately end up resembling Bo Derek (who would also be tapped to play the role). Eventually, the company that hired Marvel to develop the character would lose interest in the property due to behind the scenes drama.
With the character firmly in Marvel’s hands, Dazzler became Alison Blaire, a young woman from New York with the mutant power to convert sound into light for a varying amount of effects including; laser blasts, holograms, and potentially disorienting bursts of light.
However, before she became a superhero, she typically used her powers to unsuspectedly dazzle audiences at concerts and dances. Which is what happened when her powers initially catalyzed during a middle school dance. It wasn’t until later in life, while performing did she encounter the X-Men during a failed kidnapping by way of the Hellfire Club.
Dazzler helped the X-Men locate a missing member in Kitty Pryde following the event, but refused to join their ranks, preferring to continue to pursue her music career. Still hiding her mutant powers from the public Dazzler lent her talents to help when she could. She’d assist Spider-Man and battle A-list foes like Doctor Doom and Enchantress as well as small threats like Lightmaster.
After some time, Dazzler would out herself as a mutant. It destroyed her budding career as a pop-star.
Before ultimately agreeing to be an X-Man, she found herself temporarily endowed with the power cosmic by Galactus and was even offered a place among the Avengers.
A full-fledged X-Man, Dazzler both initiated her love-affair with Longshot and rivalry with Rogue, who also had a thing for the Mojo-world refugee at the time. Dazzler is part of the well-loved Outback team of X-Men which included herself, Wolverine, Storm, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Colossus, and Rogue (with Jubilee joining later).
She’d later enter the Siege Perilous with the rest of the X-Men and end up as an amnesiac. Luckily, she was found by her fellow mutants/friends/bandmates Lila Cheney and Guido (Strong Guy), but it’s Longshot that helps her regain her memory. The two then leave for Mojo-world where they fight as rebels to free the dimension.
When Dazzler eventually returned, she aided Jean Grey during the Magneto Wars and then temporarily joined Excalibur before she returned to the X-Men full-time and had begun to perform music again.
Dazzler was later whisked away from the main universe during the pages of X-Treme X-Men (vol 2.) into alternate universes. She spent the better part of the year alongside Sage and several alternate reality versions of X-Men they were familiar with.
After Dazzler and Sage returned to the main universe, she’d be approached by Maria Hill to join S.H.I.E.L.D. as their mutant expert liaison. Dazzler agreed but was soon after abducted by Mystique who then began to impersonate her for quite some time before finally being rescued by Magneto.
Traumatized by being held hostage and replaced by Mystique and disenfranchised with the X-Men for not noticing, Dazzler would later join the A-Force, an all-female team of mostly Avengers including; Captain Marvel, Medusa, She-Hulk, and Nico. With them, she’d go on several adventures which extended past Civil War II. She and Captain Marvel would disagree on the usage of the Inhuman Ulysses’ powers. He was able to foresee the future and Captain Marvel was using his visions to jail people before they committed a crime. While she disagreed with Captain Marvel she still decided to remain on the team until its end.
Off the Pages
In recent years Dazzler has seen an uptick in usage in the books, she hasn’t been getting a ton of usage. Outside of being commandeered by a sect of normies who fan-casted pop-singer Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga to take up movie role, the character is a Twitter darling and commission queen for artists.
However, in the late 80s and into the 90s, she was much more visible. Dazzler was tapped for use in the animated X-Men pilot, The Pryde of the X-Men, and soon after also utilized in the classic X-Men 6-player arcade cabinet game.
Later, she played the part of Cyclops’ “other woman” in X-Men: The Animated Series, during the show’s legendary arc, the Dark Phoenix Saga. She also played a small role in Wolverine and the X-Men animated series.
Dazzler is slated to be at least seen in the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie where she’d make an official live-action debut.
The character will also appear in the upcoming Hulu animated series, The Tigra & Dazzler Show, that will be executive produced and written by Chelsea Handler.
- During the Age of Apocalypse timeline, the X-Mansion as we knew it was in ruins and having never encountered the Shi’Ar, had little to none of the technology the X-Men are known for. This included the Danger Room for training, especially the more advanced AI-controlled hard light producing version. In came Dazzler and her ability to convert sound into light. She used her abilities to create interactive holograms for the team to train against, essentially becoming their Danger Room.
- Dazzler is officially on the short list of Marvel characters that have gotten the best of the immensely powerful Black Bolt. Naturally, his ability to unleash massive blasts of sound pressure from his mouth was turned against him. In the much-maligned Inhumans Vs. X-Men crossover, Emma Frost called upon Dazzler to neutralize the Inhuman king when he attempted to wield his mountain-shattering powers against them!
- Apparently, she and Longshot are the parents of Shatterstar! During their adventures in Mojo-World the two would conceive a child, but sadly suffered a miscarriage, or so they thought. In fact, she gave birth to a baby boy (Shatterstar), but their memories of the incident were wiped and replaced.
- Dazzler isn’t just a solo act. After her music career evaporated following her public outing as a mutant, Dazzler played keys for Lila Cheney’s group (a mutant herself with the power to create intergalactic portals).