WARNING: the following article contains major spoilers for Dazzler: X-Song #1, by Magdalene Visaggio and Laura Braga, on sale now.
The X-Men, in all their glory, have never dropped the torch of social relevancy for very long. Even if the myriad titles making up comics’ greatest superhero soap opera teeter back into the mire of time travel and children of characters from alternate time lines, they often right themselves back to the wonderful world of allegory, even if it can be a touch heavy-handed in its execution.
Recently, Tom Taylor and Mahmud A. Asrar’s X-Men Red has plunged right back into the social political roots from which the original team was birthed. While Red paints its message of social awareness and inclusion in broad strokes that feature a lot of bigoted iconography (i.e. picket lines filled with bigoted messages, tiki torch-wielding man-children with hate in their hearts, etc.) that is sadly still relevant in the 24 hour news cycle, the nuance of the social climate has be brought to life in a Dazzler comic.
That’s right. A. Dazzler. Comic.
Look, we’re just as surprised as you guys are. It’s hard to image that a character who was introduced as a disco dancing multi-media marketing tool grew up to have something relevant to say about the inner strife that can occur within minority groups (specifically people within the LGBT community) more than thirty years later. But here we are, kicking it with Alison Blaire on her comeback tour…so to speak.
Dazzler: X-Song #1 is a one-shot special heralding Dazzler’s return to the X-Men, specifically in the pages of Astonishing X-Men (the now second best X-Men title running since MARVEL CANCELLED GENERATION X). But the return of Dazzler plays second fiddle to the real story of the issue. X-Song follows two inhumans who are attending Dazzler’s pro-mutant shows. At them, they are bullied by a few bad seed mutants who want to draw a line in the sand separating themselves from inhumans, which is kind of like having strong opinions on the differences between alligators and crocodiles.
This inner fighting resonates with a lot of social strife seen among people fighting for the same thing. Historically speaking, during civil rights movements as one group of disenfranchised people is lifted on the shoulders of progress, there is often an unspoken feeling directed toward other groups that urges them to “wait their turn.” Sadly, this often diminished progress as a game of inches, and causes change to move like an ocean liner instead of a speed boat.