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Marvel Graphic Novel #14: Dazzler: The Movie
It is my hope that this post will allow me to continue and extend such conversations. With that in mind, I want to revisit Marvel Graphic Novel Dazzler: The Movie October , a comic that depicts narratives of sexual abuse and assault that have been commonly heard in the MeToo moment—especially as the entertainment industry reels from revelations about American film producer Harvey Weinstein. More importantly, however, reading this graphic novel serves as a reminder of what happens when problematic narratives do not get critiqued, but normalized—a practice that has an established history at Marvel under the editorship of Jim Shooter, who has a troubled past when it comes to responsible representation in his own work see, for example, his infamous depiction of gay characters in The Hulk. Presented in remarkably explicit ways in , this story about Dazzler aka Alison Blaire and the behaviors of Eric Beale and Roman Nekoboh serve as an important fictional prehistory to the MeToo movement and stories about media figures such as Harvey Weinstein. That being said, Dazzler: The Movie is more than just an early depiction of stories about abusive men in power.
Of all the Marvel characters you could pick to make it big in Hollywood, Dazzler, the roller-skating mutant disco diva , probably isn't all that high on the list. And yet, according to legendary editor Jim Shooter , there isn't just a time when that was a pretty likely possibility, it's also the entire reason she was created. Shooter has posted the entire history of the Dazzler Movie That Never Was on his blog, including the page treatment featuring Spider-Man, the Avengers and a handful celebrity guest stars that he wrote in four days. And having read it, I have come to the conclusion that it's one of the craziest things I've ever read. That's how crazy it is. The guest stars, as Shooter explains, were mandated by the record label that Marvel was working with to create a character that would be "portrayed" by a studio musician on albums.
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The decision to launch the line was made in late , after strong sales reports for the summer. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter envisioned the "books as being in the format of European albums, with cardboard covers, full-color, slick pages. His expertise in writing author contracts, which was greater than Shooter's, was a key reason. The Death of Captain Marvel , the first book in the line, was published in January Overstreet continued counting beyond the original "official" numbering, following a Marvel-published list of graphic novels.
Dazzler Alison Blaire is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics , usually associated with the X-Men. She first appeared in Uncanny X-Men February 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 until the tie-ins were dropped in Despite the fact that Dazzler was originally commissioned as a disco singer, the character shifted to other musical genres, including rock and adult contemporary. She starred in a self-titled solo series in the early s which lasted forty-two issues, a Marvel Graphic Novel titled Dazzler: The Movie , a four-issue limited series co-starring The Beast titled Beauty and the Beast , and later joined the cast of the X-Men. She was briefly a member of the spin-off group Excalibur but has since re-joined the X-Men.