Alison Blaire was lead singer in the heavy metal band "Dazzler," known for its obscene lyrics and spectacular visual effects (secretly supplied by her mutant powers). After two less-than-successful records, Ali considered outing herself as a mutant for extra publicity. Before she could, she was approached by teacher Emma Frost, who was forming a group of young mutant spokespeople to distance the current presidential administration from the X-Men. Uninterested in Frost's politics, Ali said she would join in exchange for a record deal, a requirement she reiterated when the X-Men tried to recruit her. Ali joined Ms. Frost's group, the New Mutants. However, an anti-mutant military faction programmed giant robot Sentinels to attack the group's introductory press conference. The X-Men, on hand for the event, counterattacked and defeated the Sentinels. The anti-mutant conspirators were exposed, and Professor X offered Ms. Frost's charges a place at his own school. Ali was the only one to accept, albeit claiming she was doing it for free room and board.
After overindulging at an Atlantic City rave, Ali (now called "Dazzler" by her fellow mutants) returned to the school in an intoxicated stupor; but she recovered in time for Sinister's attack on the X-Men. Despite her claims of disinterest, Ali helped fight off the serial killer, who was defeated shortly thereafter by Rogue. Ali dissolved her band, unconvincingly claiming this was induced by Professor X's telepathy. Later, when Gambit attacked the X-Men at a carnival while trying to abduct Rogue on behalf of the Strucker twins, Dazzler helped rescue civilians trapped in a Ferris wheel. She then accompanied the team to rescue Rogue, who nevertheless left of her own free will.
Soon afterward, Professor X sent half of the team to investigate criminal charges against the Genoshan mutant Longshot. Her interest piqued, Dazzler persuaded Angel, Colossus and Nightcrawler to accompany her on an unauthorized mission to rescue Longshot. When Angel was also abducted by Longshot's captors, Dazzler demonstrated leadership skill in rallying the team against their foes. Following Angel's rescue and Longshot's escape, Dazzler and the others learned Longshot was indeed guilty of murder. An infuriated Professor X resolved to punish the one responsible for the unauthorized mission, but Angel, realizing Dazzler was more likely to be expelled than he, claimed that he had been the ringleader. Impressed by Angel's selflessness, Dazzler rewarded him with a kiss, and the two became romantically involved. However, when the pair tried to prevent the release of Magneto from the Triskelion, Dazzler was severely injured by Deathstrike, and fell into a coma.
Recently, Dazzler had awoken from her coma to find Nightcrawler by her side. When she asked for Angel instead, Nightcrawler teleported her out of the room and hid her in a cave from everyone else, telling her that the X-men were being hunted. The other X-men showed up and took her back to the institute, where she found out that Nightcrawler had really kidnapped her. Outraged at the fact that they didn't expel him, Dazzler quit the team.