At the beginning of the 80’s Marvel had it very clear: to succeed in a competitive world that had more and more leisure offerings away from the comics, something more was needed, an extra that would make the fictional characters tangible in the real world. That’s why, when Dazzler debuted in issue 130 of ‘Uncanny X-Men’, everything seemed to change. The mutant was also a music star. So much so that she was not created per se by the comic book company, but by a record label called Casablanca Records, where she was known as Disco Queen. This is just the beginning of the madness.
You are the dancing queen
As soon as she was born, Dazzler was born with a record deal and a movie under her arm, which was to star the star of the moment, Bo Derek. In fact, the character went from being African-American to resembling the actress. In the end Casablanca Records went bankrupt and there was no movie, no album, and no TV special that was supposed to introduce the character and in which Robin Williams, Donna Summer or Cher would appear as Marvel characters.
But if there’s one thing Marvel doesn’t do, it’s give up. It’s been ten years and they’re already ready to invest in another typical early ’90s multimedia adventure. This time they would do it differently: they would take a budding artist and turn her into a comic book character, instead of the other way around. The one chosen by the LMR label was Jackie Tavares. If her name doesn’t ring a bell, spoiler: it’s for a reason.
Tavares met Stan Lee, the project flourished and became, overnight, Nightcat: heroine by night, singer by day. In fact, the future star herself went to the Marvel offices to have several photos taken dressed as the superheroine in question and took the opportunity to see the first designs by Jim Lee (who would end up not drawing the comic). Her only comic book, of 52 pages, came out at the same time as the album and was promoted in different television programs. The plan was perfect, not even if it was just for the sake of pure mash-up.
Except it wasn’t. Nobody asked for more adventures of Nightcat (described as “Wolverine on a bicycle”), the album was not successful and a crossover that had been scheduled with Spiderman ended up in the trash. And that the comic ended with the phrase “The cat has only begun to prowl”. The album, meanwhile, which had songs like ‘#1 House Rule’, ‘Your love is all I need’ or ‘Say you’ll be mine’ was considered a kind of Mili Vanili. Since then, Nightcat has had a couple of background appearances and Stan Lee shut his mouth about her until the end of her days.
If there are failures that you can smell a mile away. Just tell that to DC with ‘Flash‘, right?
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