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Monday, February 18, 2019 

A TV adaptation of Tigra and Dazzler is "woke"?

In this superficial Times-Record article about new Marvel adaptations on Hulu, something fishy comes up about an item involving two notable ladies created during the Bronze Age, and along the way, it also puts them down pointlessly:
‘Tigra & Dazzler Show’ is a story about two woke superheroes and best friends, Tigra and Dazzler, as they fight for recognition among powered people who make up the eight million stories in Los Angeles. Writers Erica Rivinoja and Chelsea Handler serve as executive producers.”

This one’s a head-scratcher. These two characters have almost nothing in common, except for devolving from serious super-heroines into (mostly) jokes.

Dazzler debuted in “Uncanny X-Men” in 1980, a mighty mutant combining a number of fads of the time: disco, roller skates and weird eye makeup. Dazzler (real name Alison Blaire) could transform sound vibrations into energy, which is an awesome power, but she mostly used it for light-shows at her concerts, where she sang, presumably, Donna Summer covers. She had her own comic book for a while, where she once battled (in circumstances too implausible to relate) Galactus. Oh, and Doctor Doom. Nevertheless, her inherent ridiculousness eventually consigned the character to limbo, despite numerous and sincere efforts to update her in various X-books.

Tigra had a straightforward and traditional origin: Greer Grant Nelson drank a secret serum that gave her cat powers, in order to avenge her dead police officer husband, in the very first issue of her very own comic book, “Claws of the Cat” (1972). But alas, Greer wasn’t destined for the straightforward and traditional superhero path, because her book was canceled with its fourth issue due to low sales.

From that point on, things got very strange for Greer, relegated as she was to supporting-character roles. She began appearing in various Avengers titles, where her origin was expanded to include Cat People, demons, Cat People who were actually demons, and various bodily transformations. She gained the power to become orange and furry, a true were-cat with a magic medallion to change back and forth.

Unfortunately, she also had a Cat Person soul at war with her human soul. This resulted in some mighty silly cat behavior, including seducing a bunch of male Avengers (at the same time) and chasing mice. Again, numerous and sincere efforts to rehabilitate the character into something marginally less ridiculous have been tried, mostly without success.

So, yeah, it’s kinda tough to guess how this one’s gonna go.
Seeing how some recent Marvel TV projects were cancelled, I'm sure we can guess where this is going too, because it may be one of the first productions to involve absurd, noticeable leftism. And I decidedly take issue with the assertion Tigra was a joke, the way this puff piece construes it, because after a few years, that's just the idea the writers had in mind, to turn her into something of a tongue-in-cheek sex symbol, recalling how she was portrayed in West Coast Avengers. I'm also not agreeing with the assertion Dazzler was a joke, if only because rock music is still a thing, if not disco per se, and her solo book from 1981-86 - one of the first direct sales titles at the time - did have some interesting moments.

And does "sincere" include this recent monstrosity? Because a direction that turns to making her look absurdly masculine or just plain unfeminine is not "sincere" in my book.

I don't expect this new TV show to be a success - certainly not from an artistic view - if it's as forced in politics as the article implies. And that's too bad, because Tigra and Dazzler really did have potential at one time, before the entitled modern overlords at Marvel ruined them.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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