The Marvel Heroine Dazzler’s Winning Qualities

by Benjamin Hall

Marvel Comics’ main continuity has a character named Alison Blaire a.k.a Dazzler. For those that don’t know her, she is a mutant and thus primarily associated with the X-Men. She debuted during the X-Men’s Dark Phoenix Saga, specifically Uncanny X-Men #130 (Sept. 1980). Dazzler became a breakout character with a 42 issue self-titled solo series that lasted from 1981 to 1986. More recently she was a star in the series A-Force about an all super women team. While her appearance and jobs have changed since then, she is still not seen as an important, powerful mutant, or having potential to be handled creatively, in a forward-thinking way by fans.

However, fans of superhero comics should consider re-evaluating Dazzler based on the following: the qualities her solo series displayed and the potential of her powers.

The first reason to view Dazzler as important is that her first series shows how hard it is to start a singing career. While this in itself is nothing major, one has to remember we had never seen superheroes really focus on getting a regular paycheck and try for their dreams at the time. Yes, Peter Parker/Spider-Man has struggled to pay the rent and has some focus on getting a paycheck, but he allows Spider-Man to rule his life. Thus, we never saw Parker try to improve his life. Yet Dazzler is trying to improve her life through her struggles for a dream job and her super adventures are at that time more inconvenience than anything. And, as far as I know, we never saw a focus on a female superhero’s struggles for a paycheck before the series Dazzler came around.

As for Dazzler’s powers, she mainly has displayed the ability to absorb sound and release it at will as forms of light (examples being laser beams and strobe light effects). However, in more recent works, like the 2017 collected edition A-Force Vol.2: Rage Against The Dying Of The Light, she has displayed heightened hearing.

While these special abilities are useful, they have never been pushed to their limit. By that, I mean Dazzler could theoretically get help from a telepathic to absorb sound from an area in order to locate people who might need help. This would be useful in dealing with the aftermath of natural and supernatural disasters. Also her heightened hearing would be good for certain jobs, like audio engineering or speech and language pathology. Lastly, she could probably go one on one with certain more powerful characters like Hulk villain The Abomination because there is sound everywhere on Earth.* Therefore she could get supercharged by the seismic sounds his feet make, then maybe blind him with a flash of light, and finally shoot him with a laser of equal or greater force.

In conclusion, I believe no one has put Dazzler through her paces power-wise, and she deserves respect for being a predecessor to characters like Jessica Jones.

* Note: Yes, Dazzler has fought more powerful characters including the Hulk, but never with a real plan involving her powers fully in place at the start or minus a struggle.

Benjamin Hall

Among Benjamin Hall's many credits he is the creator and writer of the comic Time Trio; a writer/editor of various works for Sequart Organization; Blogger for Rippersspot.blogspot.com; a columnist for Comicon. He holds a Bachelor's in film studies and a Master's Degree in Media Communications. He is also an Aspie.