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date: 27 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the queer politics of Marvel Comics’ Dazzler (aka Alison Blaire) from her comics debut (1980), to her solo series and other appearances over the following decade, and up through her recent one-shot appearance in Dazzler: X-Song #1 (2018). Drawing on scholarship by queer theorists Sara Ahmed, Jack Halberstam, and Nishant Shahani, the chapter examines how queer reading practices expand on what Ramzi Fawaz refers to as an “affective orientation toward otherness and difference” in superhero comics by reading Dazzler alongside other concepts in queer studies—particularly those tied to disco, derby, and drag. By highlighting how Alison Blaire’s relationship to these concepts destabilizes normative gender categories, the chapter demonstrates how Dazzler’s status as both a mutant and a performer allows her to embody queerness even in periods devoid of explicitly LGBTQ+ content in Marvel Comics.

Keywords: Dazzler, disco, drag, feminism, Lady Gaga, Marvel Comics, mutant, performance, queer, roller derby

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