Looker

No, not the movie “Looker” but someone obviously based on it.

I’m talking about the DC Comics character Looker, and she was quite appropriately named.

History: Looker was born Emily Briggs, a relatively plain woman who enjoyed a relatively plain life and was married to an equally plain husband.

Until, that is, an underground (literally) society named Abyssia kidnapped her to use in their plot to destroy the surface world. By their advanced science, and taking advantage of her Abyssian royal ancestry, she was radically transformed into a beautiful woman with telepathic and telekinetic powers, which were to be used to draw Halley’s Comet into a collision with the Earth. Only by breaking the hypnotic control placed on her consciousness by the various factions of Abyssians was she able to reverse the path of the comet and save the Earth, aided by The Outsiders, a superhero group once organized and led by Batman but who would leave in the issue after she gets her powers, making the team independent and under the leadership of Geo-Force.

Now possessing super powers, not to mention a super appearance, Looker took the name first Lia to divorce herself from her past. (When a rival telepath showed Looker the image of her past self, Looker originally was overwhelmed by the sight, but on the next confronation she is able to defeat her rival, saying “You made a mistake in our last meeting, Pravda … you reminded me of who I was: I hate what I was … and anyone who reminds me of her!”) She would start a career as a supermodel but begin to lose her husband in the process. She would also to join The Outsiders, rescuing them when they were captures of the Masters of Disaster under the pay of the Bad Samaritan.

However, it didn’t last. Looker would eventually lose her powers and return to being plain Emily, but when Abyssia was under attack she was able to return to aid them and recover her powers again.

Looker and her powers radically changed when Abyssia was overrun by vampires (a land that never sees the sun would have looked like heaven to them) and she herself was transformed into a vampire by their leader, Roderick, except that her superpowers allowed her to resist being in his thrall. Although her telepathic and hypnotic powers were increased as a result, as well as gaining other vampiric abilities, her superhuman nature allows her to avoid many of the traditional vampiric weaknesses.

With the eventual breakup of the Outsiders, Looker disappeared from comics, apparently resuming her modelling career (and, on the side, being a vampire hunter), finally to reappear during a story set in Markovia, the kingdom ruled by Geo-Force. She also recently rejoined the Outsiders, now a covert superhero group under the direction of Red Robin and a secret part of Batman Incorporated, re-joining Metamorpho, Halo and Katana from the original team.

Powers: In her original form, Looker had exceptional telepathic and telekinetic powers, all of which have a physical manifestation in glowing blue eyes. (Which is the tie back to the movie “Looker”, where the televised hypnotic induction had blue patterns imposed on the eyes of the people on the screen.) She easily commanded opponents to fall in love with her and fight each other for her affection, or she could erase their memories.

In her vampiric form, her hypnotic powers increased, as well as gaining the power to summon vermin and to transform into a mist form. She does not have to fear sunlight and does not have the irresistible urge to drink blood, although she does require blood to survive, and she can transform others into vampires, although when she does, she also forbids them from preying on humans.

In either form, personally, Looker was quite the opposite of her plain and mousy former self. Flamboyant, sensual, outgoing, Looker is on the ride of her life and enjoying every minute of it. (Well, except for her abortive romance with Geo-Force and her troubled relationship with her (eventual) ex-husband.)

Commentary: Looker is one of the few psionic heroic characters who actually seems to enjoy using her telepathic hypnosis on her opponents. While characters like Professor X of the X-Men seem to fret about the ethics of using their powers and use them sparingly (and will even seem apologetic afterward) or characters like Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super Heroes see their powers as just another tool in the fight against super villains, Looker seems to revel in them, especially in using them to manipulate her opponents. (And not just using her telepathic hypnosis: in at least one situation, she used her telekinesis to turn two gunmen who about to shoot an innocent target into shooting each other, and looked angry at them when she did it.) And since her powers were cenetered on her eyes, she also enjoys telling people to look at her and look into her eyes.

The original costume is also worth mentioning: not many superhero costumes are asymmetric like hers, where the right arm and the left leg are left bare and the mis-matched boots, although the cape fastened over one shoulder is reminiscent of the (DC) Captain Marvel. The pink bow at the hem of the left leg is a nice touch, though.

One more curious fact: Looker is about the only hero who flies (well, levitates herself very fast) standing up.

References:

  • DC Wikia entry on Looker
  • ComicVine entry on Looker
  • Tne Unofficial DC Universe guide to Looker
  • Comic Book Database list of Looker appearances
  • The Comics Character Religion index on Looker

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