Welcome one and all to another character spotlight! It occurred to me that I’ve never showcased one of my favorite female characters of all time! That must be rectified immediately! Let me tell you about a beautiful and powerful woman named Dazzler! Yes, Alison Blaire, the one and only disco queen of the Marvel Universe! This chick is pure energy, and has been used in several different ways over the years. We’ll try to cover a few of them, but for now let’s get to her origin, starting with her creators! Her first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #130 (1980), and she was created by the minds of Tom Defalco, Roger Stern, and John Romita Jr. (and possibly Louise Simonson as well).
As a young girl, Alison had a tough time. Her parents were divorced and her mother left her to live with her father. She became an incredible student, but yearned for a life in the spotlight. Then, one day at school, her powers manifested, and she blinded the entire school. She kept them hidden for years, but then once she was an adult she became an entertainer. She used her powers to “dazzle” the crowd. This didn’t go unnoticed, though, and Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club, along with Professor Xavier, both wanted to recruit her for their teams and cause. This led to a conflict during the Dark Phoenix Saga, where both teams attempted to use her powers for their own ends. The Hellfire Club was forceful and arrogant about it, and Xavier was obviously more kind in his approach. Dazzler then joined the X-Men.
Dazzler didn’t really become a full time member of the team until later, though (UXM #210), during the Mutant Massacre story line. She did, however, have her own title, where she had adventures with the X-Men (especially Beast), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Silver Surfer, the Hulk, the Avengers, and many more (a respectable run in that 1981 series of 42 issues). The creative teams varied, but the book was overall a decent publication. Bill Sienkiewicz did some outstanding covers to that series, as he did many during that decade.
The character kind of faded out for a while, making only sporadic appearances, and didn’t return to the X-titles fully until 2008 (UXM #502). She also had a crazy adventure with Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #108/109, and that is still one of my favorite issues with Dazzler as a main character (pics below). Overall, Dazzler is a tough sell sometimes because of her “disco” theme that most remember her by, but if you give her a chance, she’ll be one of your favorites.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list with some great covers of Dazzler as well! Enjoy!
The Dark Phoenix Saga – Tpb
Marvel Team-Up #108 & 109 (vol. 1, 1980)
Essential Dazzler vol. 1 & 2 – Tpb
Dazzler #1 (one-shot, 2010)