A couple of years ago, back before Marvel actually made Dazzler an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., I wrote up this pitch for a rock-and-roll, super-spy, girl-power revamp of Dazzler for the website Relaunched:
DAZZLER & THE REFRACTIONS
After a painful split from her longtime boyfriend, Longshot, Allison Blaire wants to get away from being a superhero and freedom fighter and concentrate on her first and greatest passion: music. Dazzler hits up her old connections in the music biz but finds all of them either gone, out of touch, or disinterested in giving her a second chance. Allison starts again from the bottom, singing in clubs and trying to make things work on her own. She tries to put a band together with no success. Things just aren’t working out.
Finally, after performing at an open mic night, she’s approached by someone representing Rampart Records. They’re willing to put together a band for her, give them a record contract, and foot the bill for a worldwide tour. However, there are some serious strings attached…
Rampart Records is a front for S.H.I.E.L.D., and while Dazzler and her band will genuinely be playing concerts and recording music, to do so they’ll also have to go on missions in every city they visit -
infiltrating anarchist organizations, busting drug rings, catching super-tech dealers, etc.
Therefore the band Rampart has put together is all made of super-powered ladies, each of whom has their own reason for accepting S.H.I.E.L.D.’s deal. They are:
Real Name: Mary MacPherson
Band Role: bass guitar
Power: super strength
Her Deal: Once a meek pushover (and high school orchestra bass player), Mary was granted super strength by Dr. Doom during the first Secret War. She thought it was the answer to her prayers, hooked up with super villain The Absorbing Man, and took to a life of crime. She wasn’t any happier than she used to be, repeatedly busted by the likes of Spider-Man an She Hulk. Finally sic of both The Absorbing Man and the life of crime, Titania wants to go straight. She sells out The Absorbing Man to S.H.I.E.L.D. and agrees to join the band in exchange for her criminal record being
expunged. Because of her checkered past, Titania’s place in the band is probationary, and comes with a top-secret additional catch. Unbeknownst to Titania, she’s been tagged with a micro-tether. Should she get more than three miles away from the rest of the band, her powers will immediately go away, and she’ll be small and weak again. Oh, and the Absorbing Man? I wouldn’t expect that guy to stay locked up forever.
Real Name: Eva King
Band Role: lead guitar, backing vocals
Power: Shockwave blasts
Her Deal: A mutant with vibration powers, Eva is also a single mother whose son’s powers just kicked in. Raising a kid on your own is tough enough, but when that can’t control his sudden bursts of super speed, things get really tough. Eva wants to enroll him in the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, but can’t afford the tuition. That’s where Rampart steps in. Agree to perform as Dazzler’s right hand on stage and in the field, and the kid gets a full ride scholarship. How could a loving mother refuse? She hates to be away from her kid, but can’t help but also love this opportunity to finally really rock.
Real Name: Tina Marusa
Band Role: drummer
Power: The ability to anticipate other’s actions
Her Deal: With her mutant power to anticipate other people’s immediate intentions, Cadence is both the perfect fighter, and the perfect drummer. In a brawl or on the stage, Tina can always find the rhythm -
unfortunately, she’s never been able to settle into a rhythm in her life. Bounced around from school to school, Cadence eventually bounced out of school all together, she’s tried to fit in in bands and gangs but instead of finding her place, she’s just found trouble. For Tina, Rampart’s offer is the most simple and straightforward of all: here is a place you can finally use your abilities to contribute, and hopefully fit in.
Put together by design, it’s now up to Dazzler and the Refractions to figure out how to work together - how to gel on stage and how to rely on one another offstage. They’re off on a tour into every seedy corner of the Marvel Universe, and tasked with saving the world one dive bar at a time.