INEXPLICABLE SWEETHEART OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
WHY DO ALL MY SINGING ENGAGEMENTS END UP FREE-FOR-ALLS???
I’M A SINGER NOT A SUPERHERO
SOUND TO LIGHT CONVERSION
|DAZZLING LIGHT D8||ILLUSION D4|
SFX: Sound Absorption. On a successful reaction against Sonic or other sound based attacks, convert you opponent’s effect die into a Sound To Light Conversion stunt or step up a Sound To Light Conversion power by +1 for your next action. Spend 1 PP to use this stunt if your opponent’s action succeeds.
SFX: Area Attack. Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Push. Step up or double any Sound To Light Conversion power for one action. Then increase Physical Stress by 1 step.
Limit: Mutant. Earn 1 PP when affected by mutant-specific Milestones and tech.
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any Sound To Light Conversion power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a transition scene.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown Roller Skates and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. doom pool to recover.
|ACROBATIC EXPERT D8||CRIME EXPERT D8||PERFORMANCE EXPERT D8|
|1 XP when you mention you are a singer or your poverty.|
|3 XP when you further your career (perform to an audience, rehearse, etc) or get further in debt.|
|10 XP when you get paid for performing or miss a performance to fight crime.|
I’M A FREAK…THE MONSTER!
|1 XP when you express fear of your own powers or someone uses anti-mutant slurs against you.|
|3 XP when you reveal your true nature to someone you care about or you deny that you are a mutant.|
|10 XP when you inflict Physical Trauma on another or when take Emotional Trauma from a successful reaction against your Sound To Light Conversion.|
A full history of Dazzler can be found here.
This write-up uses the first 7 issues of the Dazzler comic (plus ‘The Uncanny X-Men’ issue 130’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ issue 203). The character has an interesting background intended to be tie-in with a Dazzler film possibly staring Bo Derek and capitalising on the disco craze.
The amount of cross-title promotion and appearances from the big names of the Marvel Universe is amusing, with just about ever major hero fawning over her. It seems like most of the X-Men, Avengers and Fantastic Four can take time out of their busy schedule to personally fly her to meet a talent agent and bully him into letting her audition.
The Inexplicable Sweetheart Of The Marvel Universe distinction reflects this, allowing Dazzler to get help and support from major figures in the superhero community. Even Dr Doom seems quite taken by her in ‘Dazzler’ issue 3.
Dazzler doesn’t want to be a superhero, yet trouble has a habit of finding her. Whether it is Enchantress unleashing mythical monsters, a jewellery heist at the UN or the Hulk interrupting a concert at a university student centre Dazzler finds herself having to use her powers to save others.
The Why Do All My Singing Engagements End Up Free-For-Alls??? distinction not only reflects her experience with chaotic fights but Dazzler’s generally unlucky nature.
Linked to this is the ‘I’m a Singer Not A Superhero’ distinction. Used positively it can be used when Dazzler is performing and used negatively when her inexperience hampers her.
I decided to keep things simple with regards to Dazzler’s powers. Her Dazzling Light can be used to blind (physical stress), daze (mental stress) or calm (emotional stress). It requires sound to function, with rhythmic sounds being the easiest to control (such as music). Dazzler carries around a radio so she always has a source of music (if she can turn it on) but any sound, including that of an approaching train, can be turned into a weapon.
At this stage she can create very weak illusions, which even the Hulk can see through, but they can act as a distraction. In ‘Dazzler’ issue 5 she successfully uses this power to trick two of Dr Doom’s robots into shooting each other.
There are instances in which she can push her powers, which leads her to being physically exhausted hence the Push SFX and Exhausted limit.
Her other minor power-set is her custom roller-skates. While not much of a power they do give Dazzler an extra level of agility and let her dodge attacks or charge into opponents.
I used Dazzler’s skill with her roller skates to justify her Acrobatics Specialty. Her backstory indicates that she trained to become a lawyer before deciding to become a singer (much to the disapproval of her father), therefore she has the Crime Specialty. Finally the new Performance Specialty can be used when Dazzler is using her powers to entertain, mesmerise or calm an audience.
Her Milestones represent the two big themes in these early issues. Despite being taken on by talent agent Harry Osgood Alison struggles to put food on her table or pay the rent. She should constantly be torn between helping others or pursuing her career.
Her mutant powers, while providing her with a gimmick for her act, are also a source of anguish. Not only do they prevent her from being normal but when she was teenager she temporarily blinded her classmates. Using her gifts not only places others in danger but threatens to expose her mutant nature.
When she is on stage most just assume that what they are seeing is a light show. When in public the use of her powers can lead her to be called a mutie, freak or monster, even by those she has just rescued.
If you want to focus on her strained relationship with her father Judge Carter Blaire may wish to replace one of these milestones with one concerning Dazzler need for her father’s approval versus her desire to be a singer.
Dazzler is a very 1980s character, perfect for exploring the music scene at the time. Based in New York it is the perfect excuse to have appearances from musicians and other celebrities of the time.
She can mix with many other heroes, already having a connection with the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. Anyone might catch her concerts or reveal themselves as a fan.
If you use Dazzler as an NPC this established link can be used to pull other heroes into adventures. Her reluctance to be a superhero could be used to explain why she is coming to others for help or bringing their attention to a problem that needs resolving.
Due to her power set Dazzler works well with other light-based characters, such as Light Master or Dagger and the anti-thesis of those that control dark, such as Cloak, Blackheart and Blackout.
While dated there is a lot to recommend in these early adventures of Dazzler. Issue 1 has a good origin story contained within, as Alison remembers how she used her powers at a high school dance to stop an invading gang only to blind every student in the room, bringing to mind the film ‘Carrie’ and establishing her central conflict.
Issue 2 not only includes a massive fight with big name characters but a very amusing scene in which many of the heroes rush into the toilets to change into their costumes. Not finding a free stall Peter Parker has to change in the cramped ceiling space.
The two part story that runs through issue 3 and 4 involving Doctor Doom is equally good. Recovering a mystical gem Doctor Doom forces Dazzler into a mystical realm ruled by Nightmare and must confront her worst fears.
Of note in Issue 4 is the sequence in which her estranged father is informed of his daughters disappearance. The captions reveal he has no tears for his missing child, which troubles him, as the panels pull ever back away from his chair until he is a tiny figure in the room.
The Hulk makes an appearance in Issue 6 and 7, with Dazzler trying her best to keep him under control. These effectively show her trying her best to deal with a situation that she knows is beyond her and addressing the issues of persecution she feels.
These issues capture not only the character but the feel of 1980s Marvel. Anyone trying to emulate that era should look to these stories, whether you decide to use Dazzler or not.