Recently acquiring and reading Marvel Comics Graphic Novel #12 (1984) left me pondering, in almost the same conventional manner as some fellow fanboys, how the character of Alison Blaire (that’s Dazzler, ya’ll) can conceivably be translated to a live-action medium. Initially, the character was conceived as something of a “disco-queen-super-heroine”, with the power to transmute sound into various forms of light (including laser blasts, solid holograms, hypnotic bursts of color, and so forth).
Her first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #130 (February 1980) gave her some background as a talented and aspiring singer from Long Island who just happens to be a mutant and a disco singer. The character was successful enough to have gained an eponymous solo series in March of 1981. From 1981 to 1985, the character was revamped into a reluctant super-heroine in an era of anti-mutant hysteria. Creative teams introduced her family background (she has a divorced father, a distant mother and an alliterative half-sister named Lois London), a flourishing music career (since disco was dead at this point, her character was now an adult-contemporary pop singer) and an upcoming movie.
At that time, when mutants disclosed their civilian identities, only a few were deemed socially acceptable: Warren Worthington, CEO and Chairman of the multi-conglomerate Worthington Enterprises, revealed himself as the mutant high-flying Angel; while mutants like the Beast, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were accepted no doubt in large part due to being members of the Avengers. For a known celebrity like the Dazzler, she ended up trashing her career by publicly revealing her mutant status. Since that time, she’s joined and re-joined the X-Men several times, re-started her music career and become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
If Marvel Studios (or Fox, since they have ‘mutant rights’) did a live-action Dazzler film, the character’s incarnation from any era in her publication history would suffice. From her disco beginnings to her modern present-day self, five actresses come to mind that would ‘shine’ as Alison Blaire. However, the one caveat I’d have is that they’d all have to be actresses who can sing:
Michelle Pfeiffer: She’d be a good present-day S.H.I.E.L.D.-affiliated Alison Blaire. She’s got the age and still looks good despite that. Plus, because of the age factor, she’d give Dazzler a certain world-weariness.
Heather Graham: Roller skates were a part of Dazzler’s costume paraphernalia at one point. Heather Graham played Rollergirl in Boogie Nights. I see Heather as Dazzler as she appeared in the latter half of her 1980’s series.
Kristen Bell: I included Ms. Bell because she’s a hot blonde actress with a singing voice. With her Dick Clark-esque perpetually youthful appearance, Kristen can play Ali during her teen years around the time her light-power manifested.
Amy Adams: Because of how she looked in the night club scenes in American Hustle, Amy Adams has the chops to play Dazzler during her disco-influenced inception.
Charlize Theron: A short-haired blonde, I see Charlize as Ali during her time with the X-Men….either during the Australian outback era or her sparse appearances in the early 1990’s.
Sy L. Shackleford is a jack-of-all-trades columnist for Action A Go Go. A UConn graduate with a degree in both psychology and communication sciences, he is a walking encyclopedic repository for all things Marvel Comics, hip-hop, et. al.