First appearance of Dazzler

Marvel Comics super heroine Dazzler (Alison Blair) is usually associated with the X-Men first appearing in Uncanny X-Men in 1980.

As a mutant with the ability to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams, Dazzler was originally developed as a cross-promotional, multi-media creation between Casablanca Records and Marvel Comics but the association was dropped in 1980.

Her career could be considered checkered. The character was originally commissioned as a disco singer, shifting to other musical categories including adult contemporary and rock. After starring in the Marvel Comic solo series Dazzler in the 1980’s for 42 issues and a four issue limited series called The Movie, she co-starred The Beast a four-issue limited series called Beauty and the Beast. Dazzle later joined the cast of the X-Men then briefly appeared with the spin-off group Excalibur before rejoining X-men.

After her return to X-men, the character went on to a notable run as an X-Men member before disappearing completely for much of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

When the New Excalibur was launched Dazzler returned to monthly publication as a prominent cast member for the first time in over fifteen years.

When Marvel canceled New Excalibur (sounds like the annual TV Fall lineup with either joy and disappointment for hard-working actors), Dazzler was brought back as a supporting character in Uncanny X-Men.

Although Marvel published a one-shot Dazzler special in 2010, the good came news for the character in the 2012 series, X-Extreme E-Men which features Dazzler as the leader of a dimension-hopping X-Men team.

The character has earned her place in comic history and perhaps inspired Canadian startup company, Thalmic Labs, to come up with a computer interface that allows the wearer to control computers and even drones with the wave of an arm.

The control is programmed in an armband that reads electrical activity in the forearm muscles as the user gestures. Gesture control is becoming more and more common thanks to the Kinect and cameras that track users and translate their body motion into a computer command.

6 Comments on Marvel Comics Dazzler character’s checkered career—her talent is now a reality

  1. Ari Rentier says:

    This is a very interesting article. I hope there will be more on the subject.

  2. Scott M. says:

    This is very good. Looking forward to seeing more of this type of blog. Comics are back!

  3. Tin Lizzie says:

    Love your write-up. Prompted me to look up the Canadian company Thalmic Labs. Looking forward to learning more.

  4. Sally A. says:

    I remember Dazzler! This is an interesting post. Those computer engineers are so smart these days. Nothing is impossible. Right!

  5. Tiger Lilly says:

    Loved this piece about Dazzler and the new technology. There is so much new technology with ideas that spawned from the superheroes.I love how you keep it simple. Did you know that Dallas Comic Con is this weekend?

  6. Sandy Arnone says:

    Thanks for all the great comments. Yes, Tiger Lilly I like to keep things simple. I did now about the Dallas Comic Con this year and would love to have been able to attend. You probably know that William Shatner is going to be there. It’s wonderful when stars appreciate their fans.

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