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Dazzler

X-Men Legends
by yo go re

And here you thought Lady Gaga was just cribbing her act from Madonna.

Dazzler converts sounds into light and energy, preferring the rhythm of music as her primary source of sonic strength.

Dazzler was created by committee, even more than most comicbook characters. She was meant to be a collaboration with a now-forgotten entity called Casablanca Records, under the name "Disco Queen." Basically, Casablanca wanted Marvel to create a singer, and then they'd find somebody to play her. She was going to debut in an animated movie, using a ton of celebrities they had under contract (Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Kiss, Cher, etc.), so there'd be a movie, a comic, and then an album, all out at the same time. Financial concerns kept that from happening, but a few years later, the idea for a movie was resurrected, this time live-action and starring Bo Derek (the initial design of the character, by John Romita Jr., saw her as a black woman).

In kayfabe, Alison Blaire's eye makeup was inspired by KISS, who at that point would have been her contemporaries but these days would mean she was some kind of campy throwback act, like the scourge of swing bands that roamed the land in the late '90s. That would also explain the Farrah hair, which is molded with her hoop earrings as part of it, a smart way of doing them.

Dazzler is made on the second medium female body, though with a whole host of new bits. Really, it's just her arms, thighs, and stomach that are shared. Her chest had to be new because of her big collar, and her shins had to be new because of her bellbottoms. Technically her costume is supposed to be silver, not white, but that's kind of a toss-up anyway. If they had gone with the correct color, then her silver bracelets, skates, and necklace wouldn't stand out as strongly. Well, the necklace might. It's hard to ignore a disco ball that nestles right between her breasts (though if this really supposed to be her from the '70s, they should be farther apart - it wasn't until later that fashion dictated bras push them together like this).

Unfortunately, while Alison does have her roller skates, they're a permanent part of the toy's feet. Remember when DC Direct made a New 52 roller derby-style Harley Quinn and she had removable skates? That should have happened here. Even in the comics they were removable - she attached them to her shoes with magnets! It's okay that the wheels don't roll, because that helps with stability, but they should be accessories, not bodyparts. Nice work sculpting the squares that were meant to represent tiny mirrors, though.

Her extras include a microphone, a strong contender for "most easily lost accessory" of the year, and a snap-on energy effect to suggest her light powers. It's molded in clear plastic, then given yellow, pink and teal apps to make it more colorful than any similar ones we've seen before. At one point in the comics, Chris Claremont planned to kill Dazzler off, foreshadowing this by having her basal luminescence upshifting along the spectrum; Marc Silvestri saved her, though, when he had the idea to give her a stalker. Claremont liked the idea well enough to make it a story arc, and suddenly he had something to do with her.

Dazzler includes the left arm of this series, Build-A-Figure, Warlock. No, not the Infinity Gauntlet one, the New Mutants one. It's big and detailed and has a tube on it. Exciting!

It would be more interesting to get Dazzler's later X-Men costume, but that's not nearly as iconic as this glam number. But while she does get a lot of new molds and at least one cool accessory, you can't help but feel that they could have done a little more with her. Like, she should really have a pointing hand rather than a splayed hand - both because she often uses her powers to finger-fire lasers, but also because she's a disco queen and the one disco move anybody knows is pointing at the sky.

-- 07/24/17


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