TITLE: Dazzler vol. 1, issue 1
YEAR: March 1991
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciler: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Louise Jones
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
In 1980, the comic book character Dazzler (Alison Blaire) first appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” issue #130.
Originally developed as a cross-promotional, multimedia creation between Marvel Comics and Casablanca Records, the character would be created by a committee of Marvel Staff, writer/editor Tom DeFalco and illustrator John Romita, Jr.
Created during the disco era and Dazzler is a disco singer, over the years, Marvel Comics would feature the singer move into rock and adult contemporary.
And despite being a mutant with the ability to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams, despite the X-Men trying to recruit her, one thing is more important for Alison and that is to become a singer.
Dazzler would be featured in the Marvel Graphic novel “Dazzler: The Movie” and the limited series “Beauty and the Beast”, in the ’90s, she would be featured on the X-Men and Excalibur.
Having been raised by parents who were hardcore into disco and held disco parties at the house, sure enough, as a boy, hot superheroine and disco music was no doubt going to attract my attention. And I was reading “Dazzler”.
And I have no shame in that, considering the concept maybe considered cheesy and lame but in the ’80s, Dazzler was an extension to the X-Men and that was good enough for me.
The first issue introduces us to Alison Blaire, who got into a bit of trouble and has a group of goons chasing after her. With her skates and miniature radio, she takes on these goons until they shoot her radio.
Fortunately, out of nowhere, she’s saved by Spider-Man and he gives her encouragement to keep shooting for her dream, despite not being successful as a singer.
We then learn of Alison’s reality, she’s dirty poor and behind on rent. She contemplates if she should join the X-Men and going so far to call up Storm, who tries to recruit her into the team once again, but she decides to stick out her dream.
She reminisces of the time she discovered her power and when her ability to create light effects and energy beams started to manifest when she was in high school and happened during a high school dance.
Her father wanted her to become a lawyer, but when she made the decision to forego college, despite doing well in school, she doesn’t have the support of her father (who is also a lawyer) and she’s pretty much striking it on her own.
When Beast (who is a member of the Avengers at the time), finds a newspaper article for her to go out on an audition, another evil sorceress, the Enchantress, is also trying out for the role. Pitting both Dazzler and the Enchantress against each other.
For the most part, the issue received a major push with Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers all being featured in this one issue alone. The writing by Tom DeFalco and the artwork of John Romita, Jr., made this issue so entertaining and they managed to create a strong story around a female who is not pursuing a job as a superhero but as a music start. It’s a different approach than what readers saw coming from Marvel Comics back then and so no doubt, Dazzler was a major character of the ’80s.
She has since went rock star by the ’90s but for those wanting to read an entertaining series featuring Alison Blaire as “The Dazzler”, then definitely check out this first issue!