"U.S.Avengers": A Guide to Marvel's New Patriotic Superhero Team
Nick Fury was and always will be the face of S.H.I.E.L.D., but writer Brian Michael Bendis just revealed a new and surprising member to Marvel’s spy outfit: Dazzler. As revealed in today’s Uncanny X-Men #6, Dazzler has been recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. by Maria Hill in an attempt to counter-balance Cyclops rebellious talk of a mutant revolution.
“That’s why she’s a perfect candidate. She’s on nobody’s side,” Bendis told IGN. “She is looking at this with eyes wide open. Even though her relationship with Cyclops has been very good in the past she doesn’t know how she feels about what he has turned into. Dazzler’s previous relationship [with] Scott Summers is part of the reason Maria Hill recruited her.”
It’s not the fact that she’s a mutant that makes her a surprising choice; fellow X-Men alums Kitty Pryde and Danielle Moonstar have been agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at one point or another. What’s surprising is the prominent position the former pop star has moved into. Most recently seen in the pages of X-Treme X-Men bouncing around to alternate realities, the singer-turned-X-Man Alison Blaire has never been that much of a major player in Marvel Comics — but for a time, she was planned to be.
Introduced in 1980’s Uncanny X-Men #130, Dazzler came about when the record label for the band KISS partnered with Marvel to create a transmedia tie-in where the publisher would create a fictional superheroine/singer that the record label would then cast with a real singer, who would go on to star in a Dazzler movie. Decades before Gorillaz, this unique partnership failed to reach those haughty ambitions and instead worked just to introduced a disco diva named Dazzler into the Marvel Universe.
Dazzler went on to star in her own monthly series that balanced her real-world problems, like her career and love life, with superhero guest stars like Power Man and Iron Fist, the Hulk, Spider-Man and Angel (one of her love interests), as well as battles against Klaw, Dr. Doom and Galactus. After her series ended, she eventually joined the X-Men — becoming an official member right after the Mutant Massacre storyline — but was never much of a pillar to the team the way others introduced around the same time, like Kitty Pryde, were.
Storyline-wise, this is interesting; seeing this pop act go all super-soldier on us has some interesting potential, especially in the hands of Bendis. Also, you have to factor in that when X-Men: Schism took place, Dazzler openly sided with Cyclops over Wolverine, but now sits on the opposing team against Cyclops.