Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Who's Who: Shrinking Violet

Shrinking Violet
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Salu Digby
Super-Power(s): Ability to reduce her size, from several centimeters to microscopic size
Planet of Origin: Imsk
Legion Seniority: Shrinking Violet applied for membership at the same time as Supergirl, Brainiac 5, Sun Boy, and Bouncing Boy. Although she was not admitted at this time (that honor went to Supergirl), the next time Violet appeared, she was shown to have been awarded membership. From the stories it is not clear whether she joined before, after, or at the same time as Sun Boy. However, it has been established that she joined before Bouncing Boy, who was a member when Mon-El joined. Perhaps if she and Sun Boy joined at the same time, she is listed first both alphabetically and gender-wise (ladies first?). According to DC Role Playing Reference: LSH (co-authored by long-time LSH author Paul Levitz), Violet is Legionnaire #14.

Legion Log 
Shrinking Violet made her debut in Action Comics #276 as an applicant for Legion membership. Although she is passed over for membership at this time, in her next appearance one year later (Adventure Comics # 300) she is shown as a member. Under what circumstances she was admitted, and why she wanted to join the Legion in the first place has never been revealed.  

Shrinking Violet's membership with the Legion for her first ten years was as quiet and demure as she was. When on a mission during Year 4, she met Duplicate Boy of Lallor. They fell in love and continued a long distance romance for several years. During Year 11, Shrinking Violet was kidnapped by rebels on her home planet of Imsk and kept in a sense-tank until she was rescued by the Legion. For nearly a year, the Durlan actress Yera impersonated Violet. After Shrinking Violet returned to active duty, she became more outgoing and forceful. Symbolically, she went back to her original uniform but switched the white sections to black.

Shrinking Violet in her early years did not make any particular deep friendships in the Legion, although she was on good terms with everyone. At times, she seemed to look up to and/or admire the physically or emotionally strong men on the team, such as Mon-El, Superboy, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad. Although Colossal Boy had a crush on her and she knew of it, she never reciprocated. She spent time with her fellow Espionage Squad members Invisible Kid, Phantom Girl and Chameleon Boy, so was perhaps friendliest with them. When she was especially lonely without Duplicate Boy around, she agreed to go on a date with Matter-Eater Lad, but they ended up staying just friends. After Violet returned to active duty after her kidnapping, she struck up a friendship with Lightning Lass who had also recently gone through a life-altering experience. Also, Violet seemed to be friendlier with strong-willed members such as Sensor Girl, but less friendly towards old friends Chameleon Boy and Colossal Boy.

Although Shrinking Violet always had a word for purple in her code name, she never wore the color in her uniform, at least not in the original continuity. Instances where that Violet is shown in purple are of her impersonator, Yera.

During and after the five-year gap following the Magic Wars, Violet returned to Imsk and was drafted to fight in a war against Braal, the home planet of her fellow Legionnaire Cosmic Boy. This ended with the "Battle of Venado Bay", during which she found herself saving a grievously-injured Cosmic Boy from her own comrades. Delirious with pain, he left her with a long scar on her face and blind in one eye. The eye, and their relationship, was later repaired, but she kept the scar.

Eventually discharged despite being a war hero, Violet went to live on Winath with Lightning Lass, with whom she was now romantically involved. The pair helped reform the Legion and worked with them to halt the Khund invasion of Orando, free Earth from the Dominators, and stop Mordru from raising his army of the undead. During the Khund invasion, Violet lost a leg in battle and was grafted with a new blue one. When the Legion was framed and had to go on the run, Cosmic Boy began to show signs of instability and Violet took command under the new code name Virus. She led the team until the timeline collapsed.

Shrinking Violet was also one of the members of the SW6 Legionnaires, and appeared in Legionnaires when it was spun-off into its own series.

After the Reboot, Violet's combat prowess caught the attention of Legionnaires Apparition and Spark who were evaluating Imskian applicants. She aided them in solving the murder of a fellow competitor, Ion, who was murdered by a third competitor, Micro. Violet claimed she didn't want her spot on the Legion by default, but micro-cameras caught her battle with Micro and the Legionnaires encouraged her to join them. She was sworn in alongside Andromeda and Kinetix, the latter of which coaxed Violet out of her social shell. She developed a crush on Leviathan, as did Kinetix, but it didn't stop the two girls from becoming best friends. When Violet came across the Emerald Eye of Ekron, it seduced her and made her more outgoing, and she was elected Legion leader. Innocently, she wished that all the Legionnaires would be granted their heart's desires, which unfortunately caused Leviathan's heroic death. After she used the Eye to remake the Legion and Earth in the Eye's image, the Legion had to stop her. In the wake of these events, she merged with the Eye and remained under its power as Veye.

After she was freed from the Eye, and her new master Mordru was defeated, Violet suddenly found herself with Leviathan's powers in addition to her own. She alternated between using the code name LeViathan (in tribute to him) and Violet until this timeline collapsed.

After the Threeboot, Salu is known as Atom Girl, a myth to all but the founding Legion members. She was considered a joke by the second wave of Legionnaires, until Brainiac 5 revealed her actual existence in the battle against Elysion of Terror Firma. She was apparently exploring Brainiac 5's microverse and had lost track of time. She entertains an air of mystery and of being slightly crazy, and is fiercely loyal to Brainiac 5. A romance with Micro Lad (Colossal Boy) was hinted at but never consummated.

After Infinite Crisis, Violet's original history has more or less been re-established. She is at odds with Yera, now a Legionnaire under the name Chameleon Girl, but her romantic relationship with Lightning Lass has survived the various changes to continuity.

Shrinking Violet has appeared in several episodes of The Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, voiced by Kari Wahlgren, mostly in the background until her role was expanded in Season 2.

Important Shrinking Violet Stories: 

Action Comics #276
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Shrinking Violet makes her debut as a Legion applicant

Adventure Comics #300
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Shrinking Violet is now a member

Adventure Comics #301
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
 Shrinking Violet already a member when Bouncing Boy joined

Adventure Comics #324
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3)
Love at first sight with Duplicate Boy

Adventure Comics #343
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5)
 Shrinking Violet believes in jinxes

Adventure Comics #350
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Shrinking Violet takes a Fantastic Voyage inside Superboy

Action Comics #381
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9)
Shrinking Violet misses Duplicate Boy, so goes out with Matter-Eater Lad
Action Comics  #389
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9)
Shrinking Violet saves Cosmic Boy and Chemical King

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #193
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10)
Shrinking Violet gets her Dave Cockrum designed uniform

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #202
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10)
Shrinking Violet & Colossal Boy are trapped in space

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #212
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11)
Shrinking Violet faces Micro Lad for the right to serve in the Legion

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #214
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12)
Shrinking Violet has a shrinking phobia

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #219
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12)
Shrinking Violet fears the Fatal Five has killed Duplicate Boy

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #232
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
Imsk nearly goes to war with the United Planets

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #234
The Secret Origin of Imsk

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #285
Shrinking Violet's last appearance before being kidnapped by Imskian rebels

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #305
Shrinking Violet is rescued by the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #312
Shrinking Violet returns to active duty

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #313
Shrinking Violet breaks up with Duplicate Boy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #1
 (reprinted in An Eye For An Eye TPB)
Shrinking Violet meets up with Micro Lad again

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #7-8
 (reprinted in The More Things Change TPB)
Shrinking Violet is part of the group to destroy the Sun-Eater factory

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #13
 (reprinted in The More Things Change TPB) 
Shrinking Violet comes on to Sun Boy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #19-20
Shrinking Violet helps defeat Tyr's world

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #21
Shrinking Violet has a bias against Durlans

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #22
Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass have a heart-to-heart

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #23
Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass start to become good friends

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #1
Five years later, Vi is a hardened war veteran; the scar STAYS

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #15
Vi loses a leg in action against the Khunds

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #16
Vi's leg is replaced with an artificial model

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #41
The SW6 Shrinking Violet becomes the first Salu Digby to actually wear violet

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #53
Vi's new look as Virus premieres

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #66
The Reboot Violet is inducted into the Legion

Legionnaires #34
Violet gains confidence after exposure to the Emerald Eye

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #83 and Legionnaires #40
The Emerald Eye possesses Violet and causes the death of Leviathan

Legionnaires #50
The Emerald Violet is a thrall of Mordru

Legionnaires #52
After being freed from the Eye and Mordru, Violet inexplicably gains growth powers

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #109
Violet finally rids herself of the Eye's influence

Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) #12
The Threeboot Violet, Atom Girl, springs from the microverse to save Brainiac 5

Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) #14
Spotlight on Atom Girl and her return to the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) #6
After Infinite Crisis, the status quo is restored, including a romantic relationship
between Violet and Lightning Lass

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v6) #1
Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass have their R&R ruined by the Emerald Empress

Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) #11
Shrinking Violet harshes on a dead Micro Lad

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series (2006)
Shrinking Violet, voiced by Kari Wahlgren


  1. Nice overview of Violet's major appearances.....

  2. Who is the flying figure behind the animated Violet supposed to be? Invisible Kid I?