Dazzler #1

Issue Date: 
March 1981
Story Title: 
So Bright This Star

Tom DeFalco (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciler), Alfredo Alcala (Inker), Glynis Wein (colorist), Joe Rosen (letterer), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

A young women in a silver jumpsuit and rhinestone shoes is accosted by thugs in an alleyway of Manhattan. She is revealed as Alison Blaire, the Dazzler, whose mutant power enables her to transmute sound to light energy. She uses her ability to hold the thugs off and Spiderman assists her. She finally gets to her apartment and relives memories of her childhood. She is broke and thinking of giving up singing. She knows she will have to move, as she is two months behind on rent. She doesn’t want to return home of even accept the invitation of the X-Men to join their group. She is in the middle of packing a suitcase when the Beast suddenly appears at the window of her apartment with news of a club seeking a singer to replace their singer who is ill. Alison decides to audition and goes to the club. Unfortunately the Enchantress has auditioned for the same part. The club owner makes a difficult decision and decides to give Alison the gig but the Enchantress is angered and swears to return to enact vengeance on both of them.

Full Summary: 

City of Manhattan, Back Alley:

A limousine screeches to a halt and four thugs get out. This is a bright moon lit night so it is possible to make out three guns carried by three of then men. A young women with long strawberry-blond hair is seen running from the men. She is wearing a silver pantsuit that is short sleeved and shining silver shoes. Her necklace and purse shine as bright as the shoes as if they are all made of rhinestones. The woman realizes she has run down a dead end and turns to face her pursuers. The men call to her and claim they just want to invite her to a party and have no wish to hurt her.

The woman tells them that if that is the case she needs to check her make-up as she sits down on a garbage can lid and reaches into her bag. She takes out some magnetized roller skate wheels, snaps them onto the bottom of each boot and a radio. After all, you can’t have a party without music. As the music plays spheres of colorful bright light are seen to dance in the air next to the young woman’s body. The spheres become so bright that the thugs are literally blinded by the light. It can be seen very clearly that the woman is a mutant with the capability to convert sound into light.

Spiderman can be seen swinging through the city in the moonlight. He is thinking out loud what a quiet night it has been and how he will have no pictures for the newspaper should this trend continue when he sees a beautiful display of color from an alleyway.
He decides to investigate this unusual occurrence.
Meanwhile the young woman is doing a wonderful job of beating the blinded crooks with garbage can lids. However, one of the thugs is able to fire several rounds from his weapon. One of the bullets ricochets and strikes the radio plunging the ally into silence and darkness once more. One of thugs tells the victim they were hired to spook her but now they are going to win this fight. In the background, the guy who stayed with the car calls his buddies off. The thugs notice too late as Spiderman enters the fray. Spiderman introduces the women to the thugs as Dazzler while the thugs race for the limo. As the limo is driving off Spiderman attaches a web to it and pulls it back. Eventually, the limo is caught and the crooks are left to dangle in a spider web net under a lamppost. The limo is seen resting front bumper in air and back bumper on ground of the same lamppost.

Dazzler explains to Spiderman that the owner of the posh disco she sang for that night hired the hit men so he would not have to pay her. Spiderman encourages her give it some time, as she is very talented at singing. Spiderman takes to the air via web swinging and leaves Dazzler to finish her skate home.

Dazzlers Apartment:

Dazzler becomes Alison Blaire with designs on a hot shower. Unfortunately, she discovers the hot water is not working but decides not to complain, as she is two months behind on rent. She goes to the fridge to check for food and finds half a cantaloupe and a box of crackers. Alison takes the box of crackers over to a table and looks at a picture of her dad, Judge Carter Blaire, while she eats. She remembers how strict her dad was and how much he wanted her to go to law school and follow in his footsteps. She believes that her dad never understood what music meant to her. She has never told her dad of her mutant powers. She feels depressed and scared and grabs the phone for one final call. She knows that if she is ever truly desperate there is one place she will fit in.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the Danger Room:

Storm, Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler are gathered for a practice session. Angel is not present and one of his team members questions his absence. Storm reminds her teammates that Angel has gone to New York City for business. Colossus adds that it is possibly social business with one of his many girlfriends.

Danger Room Control Booth:

Kitty Pryde grouses about not being allowed to participate in a full combat workout because she is not fully trained in the use of her phasing powers as of yet. All she really wants is to prove herself, and to the team, that despite her young age she can function as a full X-Man.

Danger Room:

The Danger Room is alive with the fire of stun beams. Storm creates a wind to carry her above the range of fire. Colossus is working with a hydraulic press that “doubles its pressure every twenty seconds”. The goal is for him keep the press at bay while getting out from underneath it to avoid being crushed. Nearby, Wolverine takes out flying disks by cutting them in two with his claws. Nightcrawler teleports all over the room to avoid attacking laser beams. Thus the team is engaged when the phone begins to ring. Kitty shuts down the training session from the control booth so her teammates can answer the phone. Nightcrawler is closest to the phone followed by Wolverine, Colossus and finally Storm. Colossus makes a mad dive for the phone, believing the caller to be one of his female interests (specifically Elizabeth), and Nightcrawler teleports out of the way. Wolverine ends up on the bottom of the pile with Colossus on top followed by Nightcrawler. Kitty Pryde phases through the wall to announce that the phone is for Storm and overhears Colossus mumbling about Elizabeth. Storm picks up the phone and discovers Alison on the other end. Storm inquires of Alison has decided to give up singing and join the X-Men.

Dazzlers Apartment:

Alison suddenly realizes that she is not ready to give up her lifelong dream. She tells Storm that she called to catch up on their activities. Storm says that they are in the middle of a practice session and is willing to switch phones to talk but Alison decides not to wait and tells Storm that she will call back later. Alison puts on a Billy Joel album and stares out the window. Her mutant abilities awaken and she glows with untapped power. Memories of her childhood overtake her as she gazes out at the city streets below.

Alison Blaire’s Memories:

Alison remembers being in Jr. High and practicing for the talent contest until her dad comes into her room and turns off the stereo. He reminds her that her studies must come first if she wants to get into a good law school later on in life. He also tells the young teenager that her headaches she has been complaining of are probably caused by the loud music she listens to. Alison goes to her Grandmother for comfort. Her Grandmother tells her that her father does love her but has been unable to express his feelings since the death of her mother. Grandma swears she can make things ok with her father and tells the teenager to go to the dance and have fun.

The Jr. High Dance:

Alison is encouraged by her friends to participate in the talent show. They all believe she can win. One of the guys watching her dance admires the sparkle that gathers about the teenager. When the live band calls for intermission the talent show begins. When Alison is called to take the microphone and sing she does so with every fiber of her being. It is at this point in her life that her mutant abilities manifest and the room shimmers with the sparkling light only she can produce from her talent. Her friends are pleasantly surprised and some of them notice the surprise etched on Alison’s face. It is also at this exact moment a local gang calling themselves the Blazing Lords barges into the party. Their leader smacks a teacher in the face as the gang barges in. He orders his gang to cripple the teenagers fleeing from the scene and the ones who stand around in shock he orders destroyed. Bull, the leader of the Blazing Lords tells then other gang members that the chick on the stage is his and he takes baseball bat in hand and heads in Alisons direction.
Alison hears what he says and sees him coming in her direction to carry out his threat. The fear is clearly present on Alisons place and her mutant powers are unconsciously activated. The mutant reacts fiercely letting loose all the converted sound stored within her body as she unknowingly blinds everyone in the room. The unintentional light show also knocks everyone who sees it unconscious. The police and emergency medical teams are soon summoned to the scene. Luckily for Alison, the police blame a “freak power overload” for the fantastic light display and the blinding of every one at the dance. An EMT (emergency medical technician) tells the policeman that the blinding is only temporary and everyone should make a full recovery in time.

Alison sits in the back of a crowded ambulance with the knowledge of the truth belonging to her alone. She feels isolated and apart from the teenagers around her. For this night, the direction of her life has changed forever just as her definition of self has been irrevocably altered. However, Alison makes the decision to try to please her father and she studies hard in the upcoming years. She also joins a few bands and gains more control over her amazing powers. By the time she is a high school graduate she is accepted into a prestigious law school. However, after graduation she tells her father and her Grandmother she will not be attending the law school but following her dream of music instead. Her Grandmother puts an arm around Alison in understanding as her father walks off giving neither his blessing nor his forgiveness. Since then, Alison has developed her face make-up, costume and custom-made skates to turn her into a character she calls Dazzler. This brings us to present day, when the adult Alison sits in her bathrobe on her couch, two months behind in rent, and wonders where she will go from this particular point in her life.

The present, eternal Asgard:

In Asgard, home of the eternal Norse Gods, a young god seeks to enter the castle and gaze upon a Goddess. He successfully overcomes the guards to the stair leading to the entrance to the castle and walks the long corridor, which leads him to the shining presence of the Enchantress. The warrior is instantly entranced with her beauty and expresses his wish to stay and worship her for all eternity. It is apparent from her facial expression that she has heard these words before and is bored with the concept. However, she grants the warrior’s wish by turning him into a tree to stay by her side and eternally worship her as the seasons change. The Enchantress spends a while laughing at her own joke and then signals her retinue that she must go to the Fountain of Forever as she has beheld a portent that the cosmic axis is about to shift. The Goddess claims that when the shift occurs there will be a rift in the fabric of reality releasing enough dark energy for her to take over the entire universe. The Enchantress steps up to the Fountain of Forever and commands its awesome power. The Enchantress gazes into the waters of the fountain only to behold a disco on Midgard (Asgardian term for earth). The Goddess knows that she is not alone in her search for supremacy and so she plans to wear a disguise to visit this important site where she will become the mistress of the universe.

The Avengers Mansion:

The Beast is hanging from a light in the kitchen reading a paper. The Beast offers to help Jarvis with the dishes but Jarvis tells him to go ahead and finish reading his paper. Hank is speaking of tickets that Captain America has a game and wondering where they can go partying afterward when he gasps and races off down the hallway with the paper in hand leaving a stunned Jarvis in the kitchen. The Beast fails to notice a full-grown Wasp heading toward him. Wasp notices Hank and immediately shrinks to wasp-size to avoid being trampled. The Beast apologizes to her on his mad rush down the hall but she decides to sting him anyway to teach him a lesson in manners. The Wasp tells him that she is incensed that he almost ruined her new costume. Meanwhile, Captain America and Iron Man are in a nearby room moving obsolete equipment when they here the commotion in the hallway. Hawkeye has heard it to and the three Avengers approach Wasp and Beast at the same time. The Wasp complains that the Beast tried to swat her with his paper and the Beast apologizes to the group for getting carried away. He explains that he has discovered an opportunity for another mutant that he has been dying to meet and the races wildly off on his self-imposed mission.

Dazzlers Apartment:

Alison is packing up her apartment when a figure suddenly appears at her window. She recognizes the figure as the Beast and invites him in. The Beast apologizes for the lack of formal introduction and quickly shows Alison the paper. The headlines tell the story of a singer a local club that has been mysteriously stricken with illness. Since the club is a popular one, and the singer is expected to be ill for quite some time, auditions are being held to obtain a replacement.

Club Numero Uno!:

Stevie Wildfire, the owner of the club, is watching the auditions while others in his employ clean the club and ready it for the coming crowd. He is thinking to himself that even though he appreciates the free publicity the headline has not brought him any true talent to replace the sick singer. The Enchantress suddenly appears behind him and haughtily requests an audition. Stevie is about to make a snide comment as he turns and lays eyes on her. It is plain to see that he has fallen under her spell as she approaches the mike to audition. The Enchantress is well into her audition when Dazzler arrives on the scene in silver jumpsuit and with blue stage make-up around her eyes. Alison approaches Stevie to make her request only to be told that the Enchantress already has the job.

Dazzler insists on auditioning and Stevie gives in telling her that she is only wasting her time and his. Dazzler approaches the mike and begins her song. The Dazzler begins her lightshow and lets go full force her emotions in song. When she is finished the room is deadly quiet. Stevie realizes that he has an impossible choice placed before him. The Enchantress definitely has the looks but Dazzler has the voice to make it a reality. He decides to give the gig to Dazzler. The decision is not what the Enchantress was expecting and she is deeply angered. With a wave of her hand the Enchantress makes her own exit through the wall and leaves the scene. Stevie is shocked about the wall. The Enchantress vows a return to exact vengeance upon both Dazzler and Stevie.

Characters Involved: 

Dazzler (Alison Blaire)

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Beast, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, the Wasp (Avengers)

Jarvis (the Avengers’ butler)
Stevie Wildfire (Born Guido Gaudioso), club staff, other auditioning singers (Club Numero Uno! Staff)

The Enchantress
Five hired Hitmen

In Flashback

Alison Blaire
Judge Carter Blaire (father), Alison Blaire’s Grandmother
Alison Blaire’s JR. High Classmates

Jr. High Teachers

Ambulance personnel and policemen

The Blazing Lords

Bull, Gang Leader of the Blazing Lords

in picture
Alison’s mother

Story Notes: 

Dazzler first met Spiderman in Amazing Spiderman #203.
Dazzler received an offer to join the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #130.

Issue Information: 

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