Our old friend and former blogging colleague Brian Cronin over at Comics Should Be Good has been running John Seavey’s excellent storytelling engine posts, which you can typically find on Seavey’s blog Fraggmented. The most recent covers one of those “guilty pleasure” series I used to dig many years back, Dazzler:
If the storytelling engine for ‘Dazzler’ doesn’t automatically seem familiar to most comics fans in the 1980s (when the series came out) or in the present day, that’s probably forgivable. After all, super-hero comics pretty much dominated the market from the 1960s onwards, and they still dominate it today, at least in financial terms. Looking at ‘Dazzler’ through the lens of super-hero comics, it stands out as something quite new and different…arguably so much so that the writers of the series weren’t quite sure what to do with it.
Alison Blaire, the Dazzler (she dropped the ‘Disco’ part of the name after a very short while) was a mutant with the power to absorb sound and convert it to light. But unlike every other person in the Marvel Universe, gaining super-powers didn’t make Alison decide that she needed to save humanity, or conquer the world. All Dazzler wants is to make it big in the challenging world of rock music, and to her, having super-powers is more of a hindrance than a help. It’s hard to make gigs if you’re getting kidnapped by Galactus, fighting the Hulk, or foiling the plans of the evil Enchantress, but despite her best efforts to be an ordinary rock star, she keeps bumping into the Doctor Dooms of the world and has to do her best to stop them. It’s an idea pretty thoroughly unlike any other Marvel or DC were publishing at the time…
Reading his description almost makes me want to move Dazzler from the “guilty pleasures” category to the “Wow, that really was under appreciated” category.