Billed as the first disco-themed superhero, Dazzler was originally created as a cross-promotional stunt, by Marvel Comics
and Casablanca Records. The latter had previously found a niche when Marvel made a comic book about KISS
, one of the most popular artists on Casablanca's label. 'The character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men
#130 (February, 1980). She gained her own magazine in 1981.
The comic followed the adventures of Alison Blaire, a mutant who had the power to turn absorbed sound into bursts of light, and her life as a singer and superhero. She wore KISS-esque makeup (how obvious
), snap-on roller skates
and reflective bling, including a disco ball necklace. The character was introduced in 1980, which did not help her popularity much
. Despite this, the Dazzler book ran for about five years and 42 issues (March, 1981-March, 1986). Originally, the comic was aimed toward young females, the plots were a combination of Soap Opera-esque
drama and the typical Superhero storylines (a format that would later be adapted by the later animated series/toy line Jem)
The musically-inclined Alison Blaire is introduced as a young mutant who has no desire to be a hero or villain, but just wants to use her powers to entertain and further her Idol Singer
career. Although initially popular, after coming out as a mutant to help quell anti-mutant sentiment, the public rejects her. After a short stint as a back-up keyboard player, she joined the X-Men
and developed a romance with Longshot. After a long time in limbo, she resurfaced as a successful techno-trance musician and rejoined the X-Men.
Tropes associated with Dazzler and her comic include:
- Absolute Cleavage: Her original costume had a slit that depending on the artist could stretch as low as her navel.
- Action Girl
- Barrier Warrior: Thanks to Hard Light force fields. Another one of her powers that's largely forgotten about.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Is often underestimated, in- and out-of-universe, due to her history as a blatant Fad Super and her preoccupation with her singing career. Despite this, she's proven she can more than pull her weight whenever she's on the X-Men.
- Darker and Edgier: Following Mystique keeping Dazzler comatose so she could impersonate her, as well as for the sake of harvesting Dazzler's blood to create Mutant Growth Hormone (which can revive the X-Gene for a short period), Dazzler will be receiving a new look to reflect her pissed off attitude. The key word is "Black."
- Elemental Powers: Sound into light.
- Emotion Control: Can generate lightshows that stimulate specific emotional moods. Usually she can use this to calm a crowd; however, under the influence of Malice, she also spread feelings of aggression and hostility at one of her concerts.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: A visual trademark of her powers.
- Fad Super: Her original incarnation was textbook example of this trope. Luckily, when she joined the X-Men, she ditched her Outdated Outfit. Although it's worth noting that she's now an electronic dance musician during that genre's current boom.
- Film Felons: She was recruited to dance in a music video that is a thinly veiled Thriller reference, and the director tries to cause her "accidental" death to further hype a curse on the production.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Her primary form of attack.
- Friend to All Living Things: Sometimes
- Hard Light: She can make this too, though it's more difficult for her than her normal-strength light shows.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Would really rather focus on her career than be a superhero. Unfortunately, she keeps being dragged back into the world-saving biz.
- Instrument of Murder: Johnny Guitar and Doctor Sax.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: It had been implied that she was Shatterstar's mother (with Longshot as the father). But this was later forgotten, only for it to be revealed that she did give birth to Shatterstar, and as part of a Stable Time Loop he, as an adult, wiped her memory of giving birth before taking his infant self to be raised in the future. She still has no idea that he is her son.
- Light 'em Up
- (Magic) Idol Singer : Well, she's Western AND a mutant, but she's pretty close.
- Man of Kryptonite: As she can absorb any sound and convert it into light energy, she is the bane of any being with sonic attacks.
- Master of Illusion: With enough concentration and sonic energy, she can create three-dimensional holograms. This power is largely forgotten, though, in favor of her flashier powers.
- Most Common Superpower: in early issues, at least, she was occasionally drawn very top-heavy for a roller-skater.
- The Movie: Almost. A Dazzler movie was planned but scrapped after the script was made by Jim Shooter. Parts of the script were leaked online and it would have been, mostly because it was made in four days, the most coke-fueled, cameo-heavy, disaster ever.
- Outdated Outfit: Not the one pictured above, but the page image for Fad Super. it doesn't help that she was created to cash in on the disco craze.
- Even worse — by the time she was finally introduced, the "Disco Sucks" backlash had already come, making her immediately an Unintentional Period Piece. One can only think that there was more than a little Take That to Disco and having a disco tie-in character forced upon Claremont and Byrne when they introduced her in a "disco" that owed more to Moral Guardians' worst nightmares of CBGB's in New York and The Masque in Los Angeles than Studio 54.
- The Power of Rock: What? Did you really expect her music not to evolve with the times?
- Given her "sound into light" powers, she can make this literal.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The last issue's cover featured the caption "Because YOU demanded it" making it the end.
- The Rock Star: Executive Meddling forced her to start off as a Disco Dan (at the exact time when disco was dying out, no less!), but as time went on, became more of an '80s pop sensation, in the style of Cyndi Lauper or Sheena Easton. In the early-to-mid 90s she was all but ignored, then brought back in the late 90s as a Disco revival act, before becoming a lounge act in the early '00s and finally, a circuit club star in the modern story arc.
- Slice of Life: Her original genre.
- Special Guest: In many of the early issues, popular established Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, the X-Men and The Avengers as well as such villains as Dr. Doom. Also, her first appearance was as a guest star in X-Men.
- Spiritual Successor: the "pop singer with a secret identity" plot would later find itself as the basis of two popular TV series aimed at young girls, Jem and Hannah Montana.
- In-universe arguably DJ/Mark Sheppard from New X-Men, who could directly convert different types of music into various effects: Dance music allows him to manipulate light, Gospel lets him fly, while Rock and Roll gives him energy blasts.
- Super-Cute Super-Powers: There is "Dazzler: Disco Queen" whose mutant power is effectively to make shiny bright sparkling lights in time to music. In reality, her ability is turning sound into light which has staggering implications, but for the most part it's used for her disco image.
- Took a Level in Badass: She joined the X-Men thanks to being forced by circumstance, but over the course of her run with the team, she focused mainly on becoming a more capable combatant. And it showed; by the time she left the team, she was considered one of its most potentially powerful members.
- When people realized just how powerful her abilities really are, she became more badass as well. The more sound or light there is, the more energy she can charge and release, meaning enough light can make her sound powers Black Bolt-level, and enough sound can make her light powers Wave Motion Gun-level. She's fine-tuned her light powers enough to make holograms, and the Hard Light ability means while it's extremely difficult for her, she can be the poor man's Green Lantern. At one point Galactus had her absorb the sound of an exploding solar system so she would be charged enough to retrieve something out of a black hole for him. She also gets immunity to sound or light attacks as a bonus; bad news for your average Frickin' Laser Beams-wielding opponent.