SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Astonishing X-Men #17, by Matthew Rosenberg, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D'Armata and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
It's easy to forget about Dazzler. Alison Blaire was one of the X-Men's core members in the 1980s, but the pop diva superhero faded away with the glitz of the disco era that inspired her. While she was popular enough to star in her own series for 40 issues and appear in Konami's famous X-Men arcade game, she's bounced around various X-Men teams and titles for the past few decades.
Despite her infrequent appearances, Dazzler is an immensely powerful X-Man who might one day prove to be an Omega Level mutant. While her ability to absorb sound and channel it into light beams doesn't sound too impressive, she's used that power to do things that entire teams of other X-Men couldn't do at the peak of their powers.
In Astonishing X-Men #17, Alison proved why she's one of the X-Men's strongest, and most underrated, members once again. Over the past few issues, the cybernetic X-villains known as the Reavers have taken control of the X-Men's other robot villains, the Sentinels. As they're attacking the X-Men, they also hacked into some nanotechnology within Banshee, a recently-revived X-Man with a supersonic scream.
When Banshee starts attacking his fellow X-Men, Dazzler steps in to absorb the full brunt of Banshee's supersonic scream, redirecting the sound into a blast of kaleidoscopic energy that destroys two Sentinels.
As that visually stunning display of power suggests, Dazzler could very well be one of the X-Men's strongest members. Elsewhere in the issue, she used her abilities to generate still holograms of her teammates with nothing but ambient sound around her. And while her abilities are equally adept at both fine-detailed work and bombastic blasts of energy, the upper limits of Dazzler's powers aren't really clear.
Twice, Dazzler has absorbed a full blast from Black Bolt, the Inhuman leader with an earth-shattering scream that's far beyond Banshee's abilities. Black Bolt's scream is one of the most destructive forces in the Marvel Universe, and Dazzler ate it up effortlessly in 1984's Dazzler #32, by Mike Carlin and Mark Bright, and 2016's IvX #1, by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire and Leinil Francis Yu. And in the alternate reality of 2015's What If Infinity? Inhumans, by Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo, she vaporized Thanos with a single blast after being charged up by Black Bolt.
When she's sufficiently charged up by sound, there's nothing Dazzler can't do. After she absorbed the soundwaves that make up the villain Klaw and the sound of an exploding galaxy, Alison was powerful enough to get Galactus' attention and travel into a black hole in 1981's Dazzler #10, by Danny Fingeroth and Frank Springer. While there, she single-handedly defeated Terrax, one of Galactus' planet-destroying Heralds.
Even by the fantastic standards of the Marvel Universe, Dazzler can wield an unimaginable amount of energy. The only other X-Men who can channel that kind of power are generally considered ultra-powerful Alpha or Omega Level mutants. While those somewhat nebulous labels have really only been used intermittently over the years, Dazzler seems like she could reasonably fall into either category.
Dazzler's name doesn't really come up when the X-Men's most powerful members are being discussed, but as she's proven in her strongest moments, she's just as strong as powerhouses like Storm, Magneto or Iceman. Regardless of her stature with the X-Men's hierarchy, Dazzler has powers with unlimited cosmic potential that make her much more than a former disco singer.