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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