Sunday, April 20, 2008

SARLSH, Part 6, By Johnathan

SENSOR GIRL

I know I'm pretty casual about the ol' spoilers when the stories that I'm writing about were printed 20+ years ago, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. The mystery of who Sensor Girl actually is is kind of a neat one and I wish that I hadn't known going in. So fair warning: if you don't already know and you think that you might be reading through the relevant Legion comics some day, skip this review.

ONE LAST SPOILER ALERT

Okay, on with the review. Sensor Girl joined the Legion at the same time as Polar Boy and so forth, without any testing or auditions. Saturn Girl merely read her mind and vouched for her suitability. This occasioned no small amount of comment, but Sensor Girl made it in. Her powers and abilities weren't spelled out right away but rather revealed piece-by-piece over the course of a fair number of issues. As I recall (I'm not at my own computer as I write this) she showed a wide range of enhanced senses, plus the ability to remove the senses of another, plus the occasional anomalous occurrence of super strength and suchlike.

Eventually, everyone was going nuts trying to figure out who she was - half the team thought that she had mind-controlled Saturn Girl or was Saturn Girl herself and the other half thought that she was somehow the recently-Anti-Monitored-to-death Supergirl, especially poor Brainiac 5. Ultra Boy tried to peek at her with his Penetra-vision (and my inner English major pegs this as possibly the ultimate expression of the Male Gaze) only to discover that she was apparently an empty costume, just flying around! The Legion was wracked with consternation!

Who was she, you ask? Turns out, she was Princess Projectra, filled with sadness over Karate Kid's death and unable to just hang out on Orando but not quite square with the Legion after, you know, murdering Nemesis Kid. The super-senses were new - she got them from ancestor spirits or something - but everything else was skillfully-applied illusion power. And the Legion must have enjoyed the mystery enough to overlook one little murder. Actually, the same thing happened with Star Boy, didn't it? He killed someone, waited a little while, put in an appearance in a new costume and ka-pow! all is forgiven and forgotten, murder-wise. Maybe it's just the novelty of seeing a new costume around the place?

Speaking of costumes, I like this one. As a Canadian, a red-and-white colour scheme evokes feelings of a patriotic nature within me (this is why I always vote for Santa Claus). As well, I am inordinately fond of double-breasted uniforms like Captain Marvel's and though this isn't quite that, it mimics the style enough for mine eyes. The only thing that I don't like about this costume is the super-wide shoulders, but it wouldn't really be a mid-Eighties costume design without some hint of that decade's awful, awful fashion sense.

Shoulders and all, she's:

JOHN APPROVED

2 comments:

Garrett W Vance said...

It does my heart good to see that there are such wise 30th Century scholars sharing their knowledge of the Legion of Superheroes. I was a huge fan of that comic in the 1970's (the Cockrum and Grell art years) and have tried to stay in touch with it as I can since.

I didn't get to read much of the Sensor Girl era but thought that it showed signs of harkening back to the Legion that I loved in my youth- later incarnations have left me a bit cold I'm afraid. I also love her costume, its brilliant.

Thanks for the well written and informative blog, I salute you!

Johnathan said...

Hey, no problem! The Legion is the backbone of my comix-lust, and it's highly rewarding to know that I can babble about it on the Internet and provide some entertainment to fine folks such as yourself.

And thanks for commenting on what turns out to be one of two 'Part 6's for this feature. I'll just discretely go change some numbering...

Salute returned!