Marvel's New TV Shows Are Using An X-Men Character - How?

Dazzler at Marvel

One of Marvel's four new TV shows, The Tigra & Dazzler Show, will focus on a prominent X-Men character, which raises questions about how the series will address the hero's mutant origin.

Marvel and Hulu are partnering to produce four animated series: Howard The Duck, M.O.D.O.K., Hit Monkey, The Tigra & Dazzler Show, and a crossover special, titled The Offenders. Much like Netflix's The Defenders, The Offenders will unite the protagonists from the four previous shows. Written by Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja, Tigra and Dazzler will be portrayed as "two woke superheroes and best friends" living in Los Angeles and fighting for recognition in the superhero community.

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In the comic books, Tigra has deep ties to the Avengers. She was actually a founding member of the West Coast branch and is the on-and-off-again love interest of Hank Pym. Being an Avengers character, Tigra seems like a good fit for Marvel TV's plans. Dazzler is an entirely different story: Dazzler aka Alison Blaire is a key member of the X-Men who rose to fame in the 1980s. Known for having roots in disco music (the character was created as part of a canned multimedia effort in the late 1970s), she has the mutant ability to convert sound vibrations into light.

The separation between Marvel and Fox properties is what makes Dazzler's involvement so interesting. As an X-Men character, Dazzler would be expected to only feature in a film or show associated with Fox. The only exceptions to the rule are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a result of Magneto's children going on to be as linked to Earth's Mightiest Heroes as they are mutants. The same can't be said for Dazzler, whose involvement with teams like the Avengers and A-Force shouldn't preclude her being a primary X-Men character.

This naturally poses the question of whether The Tigra & Dazzler Show is an early result of the Fox-Disney deal, which will soon see the acquisition of all of Fox's film and TV assets by Disney, including the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. The deal is expected to be finished in the coming months, at which point Marvel will be able to move ahead on new stories involving those characters; until then, it's not possible for Marvel to use the X-Men characters. The upcoming series could be the first Marvel TV project to make use of characters acquired from the acquisition, but it's possible a separate deal has been made (especially as Fox also has a stake in Hulu).

However, it's worth remembering that the TV situation with X-Men characters is different. Various agreements have led to X-Men shows The Gifted and Legion, while animated shows follow a different approach entirely. It's distinctly possible that this entire situation is a result of the medium and style.

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Through all this, it remains to be seen how Marvel TV will approach Dazzler. Dazzler's history with the X-Men can easily be avoided or ignored, but her powers - and where they came from - will have to be addressed. It's possible that Dazzler will simply be acknowledged as a mutant; by the time the show airs, the Fox purchase will be finalized and the X-Men and all mutants will finally be on the table. However, that's a pre-finalization assumption, and it's possible her characters will be adjusted to fit the world - whether it's the MCU or something more standalone.

What little official information that's been released so far gives no real indication about how The Tigra & Dazzler Show will on mutants, which is why it seems likely that even if the show does stick to the source material and uses Dazzler's comic origin story, any mentions of mutants or the X-Men will be limited at best. At the same time, though, it could open the door for something bigger somewhere down the line.

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