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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:
- Anti-Hero: Type I off-and-to
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Light'Em Up
- (Magic) Idol Singer : Well, she's Western AND a mutant, but she's pretty close.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 like, Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers as well as villains like 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.
- 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.
- What Could Have Been: Casablanca was going to produce a movie and album to coincide with the comic book. The movie was going to have Bo Derek in the title role and feature other Casablanca artists like Cher, KISS, Donna Summer and Robin Williams. The album and movie got canceled right before the first issue was published.