Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Groovy Chick Month 2: Sensor Girl


Recognize this face (or lack thereof)? If you don't recognize it from days gone by, check out the latest issue of Justice Society.

Long before Renee Montoya donned the pseudoderm, this was the most famous faceless woman in comics. And if it weren't for this woman, you might not be reading the Absorbascon today.

I was in college, and had been "off" of comics for many years. Till a dealer at Sig Ep hooked me up with some Levitz Legion; "Try it, " he said. "You'll like it." Curse you, Evan!

Paul Levitz, Master of the Multiple Plotline, had introduced some new members to the Legion, including the mysterious Sensor Girl. No one knew what her real name was, what she actually looked like, and how in heaven's name that mask stayed on. The mystery of Sensor Girl is what got me hooked on comics again.

What was groovy about her? Well, the mystery part, yes. She was the "Supernova" of her day, only no one was close to solving the mystery. The common wisdom was that she was Supergirl, somehow feeling much better after her death in Crisis on Infinite Earths. The common wisdom was wrong.

In fact, even DC itself took some time to figure out just who Sensor Girl really was.

Also, her look was FABulous; none of that exposed cleavage for her (or, for that matter, exposed anything). She was proud and aloof; she was very private, didn't hang out with the other Legionnaires, and didn't get called any cutesy Legion-y nicknames, like "Sensy" or "SG". You called her "Sensor Girl" or you wound up swallowing teeth.

Oh, and she was dramatic.

I remember one time in the middle of a Legion meeting she suddenly screams out

"HOW AWFUL!"


while striking a pose worthy of Storm. I forget what her super-senses had detected: children being eaten by space-whales or the approach of a sun-eater or Shaun Robinson's Oscar dress. Something like that.

No snappy patter for Sensor Girl; she used to dole out condemnatory smack talk to her foes that was just barely sub-Phantom Stranger level in its witheringness. She made you want to cover your own face in shame; then she kicked your teeth in.

She also kicked patootie. She single-handedly defeated the terrifying Emerald Empress of Ekron once. Snapped her neck, I think. Eat your heart out, Wonder Woman.

Sensor Girl, gang. She was one groovy chick. And given the way some storylines are headed, you may see her in action again... .

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved Sensor Girl, before she became a giant snake. She's not still a giant snake, is she?

totaltoyz said...

Now THAT's a costume! I never figured out why someone would choose to fight crime wearing what many of the Legionnettes wore in the 70s; I've picked more fabric out of my dryer lint trap. I agree; Sensor Girl rocks!

Scipio said...

Sensor Girl has not been seen as a live character on New Earth. But her statue was part of the LSH display at the Fortress of Solitude as revealed in the most recent issue of Justice Society.

Bill Meisel said...

I never heard the story (in the link) about Sensor Girl originally being Supergirl. That would have been cool ...

Jacob said...

Sneckie disappeared with the rest of the post-ZH Legion-- into the timestream, with their universe seemingly killed off in IC.

I miss postboot XS, and Kinetix (pre-Terrorforming), and Anthramites, and Gates, and the female Kid Quantum. And the reconfigured Chuck and Tenzil. And Andromeda. I don't miss Montress, and I don't miss Sneckie.

Christopher said...

I remember those Sensor Girl plotlines..She was awesome. Creative use of illusions all around..but yeah..the Supergirl impression was VERY convincing..

Anonymous said...

I remember a wonderful panel during the 'Conspiracy' storyline where she had a face-off with Mon-el (Mon-el!) and was radiating both defiance and concern - through a complete face mask. I'm really not sure how they did it.

Paragon Kobold said...

Sensor Girl had a great costume, a great personality, and clever use of powers. I want to see her back, but I worry about current DC creators getting her right.

I can just see someone redesigning the costume to have clevage in the white bit above the belt. And writing her with snappy banter.

Jonathan Miller said...

She actually (at Saraya's own request) removed the Empress from the Eye's perception. Because she'd grown dependent on the Eye for her lifeforce (or something), the Empress then pretty much turned to dust.

The Empress also knew who Sensor Girl was and tried to recruit her for the new Fatal Five. Got turned down, stone cold. :-)

Siskoid said...

Yeah, the neck-snapping was reserved for Nemesis Kid.

Loved Sensor Girl too, and for all the reasons mentionned above. A masked Legionnaire? Yeah baby. 'bout time.

Derek said...

"Sneckie disappeared with the rest of the post-ZH Legion-- into the timestream, with their universe seemingly killed off in IC.

I miss postboot XS, and Kinetix (pre-Terrorforming), and Anthramites, and Gates, and the female Kid Quantum. And the reconfigured Chuck and Tenzil. And Andromeda. I don't miss Montress, and I don't miss Sneckie.
"

See, that right there? That's why I can't read anything Legion of Superheroes. Half those words aren't even words!

I... I just can't handle it.

Scipio said...

Half those words are names.

That's going to be an issue in any series (comic book or otherwise) with lots of characters. It ain't called "the Legion" for nothing.

Scott said...

I rather like that the pre-Crisis LSH, or a reasonable facsimile, now seems to be in continuity on New Earth again. Thank Mr. Mind, I guess. And yes, the inclusion of Sensor Girl is interesting, especially since we also have Val Armorr Karate Kid, implying some changes to their history (to say the least).

That said, with this old/new Legion in place, there's no reason that folks' favorite post-Crisis and post-ZH Legionnaires couldn't still be brought in, just as additions to the ranks after Clark Kent/Superbody stopped adventuring with the team. You want your Quantum Kid and XS? Why should that be a problem.

So, 7 Legionnaires in the 21st century, so far we've got Karate Kid, Starman, Dream Girl, Wildfire, and Dawnstar - so who are the last two? Timber Wolf and Tyroc?

Scipio said...

Based on the badinage between the two unseen Legionnaires visiting Dolores Winter, I think it has to be some combination of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, B5, and Saturn Girl.

MaGnUs said...

Sensor Girl was cool, and a great costume design. I miss(ed) the Levitz Legion; and now they're back!!!

anonymous said: "I remember a wonderful panel during the 'Conspiracy' storyline where she had a face-off with Mon-el (Mon-el!) and was radiating both defiance and concern - through a complete face mask. I'm really not sure how they did it."

Easy, channeling Ditko-Spider-Man-Goodyness!

Jonathan Miller said: "She actually (at Saraya's own request) removed the Empress from the Eye's perception. Because she'd grown dependent on the Eye for her lifeforce (or something), the Empress then pretty much turned to dust."

Awesome scene!

Again, Sensor Girl had a great costume... and then they wen't and redesigned it, and she had an awful purple-legging thingy, no mask, and a horrible perm.

Raz said...

There's a line somewhere where Sensor Girl says something like "control is one of the world's greatest illusions; it's impossible to ever truly achieve" which then and there made her one of my favourite characters.

Princess Projectra bugged me, but Sensor Girl rocked. If she can be brought back to be as cool and snarky and enigmatic, I will be very happy. =)