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Shrinking Violet is a fictional character, a superheroine and Legion of Super-Heroes member in the DC Universe's 30th and 31st centuries. Her real name is Salu Digby and she comes from the planet Imsk. She was created by writer Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of Superman, and artist Jim Mooney. She has the power to shrink to tiny size, as do all Imsk natives.
In the original pre-Zero Hour continuity, she was the thirteenth person to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. She first appeared in Action Comics #276 (1961). She tried out for membership at the same time as Sun Boy and Bouncing Boy. At that same tryout, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 joined the Legion. Shrinking Violet joined the Legion later, as did her fellow applicants Sun Boy and Bouncing Boy. Despite her shyness, Shrinking Violet, known as Vi to her teammates, served as an exemplary Legionnaire. She became romantically involved with Duplicate Boy of the Heroes of Lallor.
Years later, she was kidnapped by Imsk-native radicals. She was replaced in the Legion by Yera, a Durlan actress who used her native shapeshifting abilities to assume Violet's identity (the radicals had told her that Violet wished to go on a secret vacation). Some other Legionnaires became suspicious of the fake Violet when Yera, wearing Violet's form, suddenly fell in love with Colossal Boy, who harbored an unrequited crush on the real Violet for years. Yera's charade was exposed and the real Violet was rescued. After her recovery from the trauma of her abduction, Violet resumed her Legion career. More cynical in personality, she became decidedly aggressive in her dealings with criminals. Eventually, she became the most skilled female Legionnaire in hand-to-hand combat (with the exception of Dream Girl).
After returning to active duty, Violet broke up with Duplicate Boy when she learned that, although he had discovered Yera's secret some months earlier, he had neither told anyone nor tried to rescue her. She later had a short-term romantic relationship with fellow Legionnaire Sun Boy. Some time afterwards, it was strongly implied (but never explicitly stated) that she entered into a longer, more serious romance with another teammate, Lightning Lass.
After the Legion's disintegration in the aftermath of the Levitz-written era, 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; he, delirious with pain, did not recognize her, and attacked her face, destroying her right eye and leaving her with a long scar along her face. The two later reconciled, and although she had her eye repaired, she chose to keep her scar as a reminder.
Before the Legion reboot, one of Violet's legs was disintegrated and subsequently replaced with an artificial one.
In the "Legion on the Run" storyline, she operated under the alias Virus, as Legion leader.
During the "Five Year Gap" following the Magic Wars, Earth fell under the covert control of the Dominators, and withdrew from the United Planets. A few years later, the members of the Dominators' highly classified "Batch SW6" escaped captivity. Originally, Batch SW6 appeared to be a group of teeange Legionnaire clones, created from samples apparently taken just prior to Ferro Lad's death at the hands of the Sun-Eater. Later, they were revealed to be time-paradox duplicates, every bit as legitimate as their older counterparts. After Earth was destroyed in a disaster reminiscent of the destruction of Krypton over a millennium earlier, a few dozen surviving cities and their inhabitants reconstituted their world as New Earth. The SW6 Legionnaires - including their version of Shrinking Violet - remained.
Violet originally joined the Legion (as Shrinking Violet). In the final competition to become Imsk's representative, one of the other contestants, Micro, murdered the third finalist, Ion. After she apprehended Micro, Vi was gratefully accepted into the Legion, and despite her chronic shyness, quickly became close friends with the outgoing Kinetix who joined at the same time and who pushed her to become more outgoing. It was shortly after the depowered Kinetix had left on a search for new power artifacts that Violet came across the Emerald Eye of Ekron. Seducing her, it gradually allowed Vi to become more outgoing the way she wished to be to the point where she was elected Legion leader.
Keeping the Eye a secret after the mystically-repowered Kinetix returned (having been sent to search for the Eye) proved deadly. Innocently, she wished that all the Legionnaires would be granted their heart's desires. Unfortunately for Leviathan, his wish was for a heroic death which the Eye promptly arranged. Having had a longstanding crush on him, she was heartbroken by his death, and openly revealed the Eye's power in an attempt to revive him by forcing the Legionnaires to go on a galaxy-wide search for a means of resurrection.
It was only after she had remade the Legion, as well as the Earth, in the Eye's image and several accidentally freed Legionnaires tried to stop her that she realized it had all gone too far; she then commanded the Eye to "turn back time". Maliciously, the Eye took the opportunity to send half the Legion a thousand years into the past, while taking Violet herself into deep space to attempt to continue its brainwashing of its host. There, it sensed its prior master, Mordru (one of the few beings capable of using it against its will) had been reawakened. At this point, Violet and the Eye had merged together, with the Eye being the dominate host. This joining was called Veye.
After she was freed from the Eye, and Mordru was defeated, Violet suddenly found herself with Leviathan's powers in addition to her own. Since then, she has alternated between using the codename LeViathan in tribute to him, and simply being known as Violet.
Current continuity (2005-)
In current continuity, Shrinking Violet is also 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 in the battle against Elysion of Terror Firma. She says she was exploring Brainiac 5's microverse and simply lost track of time. Invisible Kid used her name as a cover up to veil his tracks while spying on Brainiac 5. Subsequently, she assaulted Invisible Kid and after suspending him over the city, forgave him. She seems to quite like the image this gives her of being slightly crazy. She is fiercely loyal to Brainiac 5. Atom Girl overreacts to comments about her size and appears to feel hurt about appearing small in the eyes of the other Legionnaires, and seems unable to handle failure, as her rough facade only hides underlining self-image issues.
The events of the Infinite Crisis miniseries have apparently restored a close analogue of the Pre-Crisis Legion to continuity, as seen in "The Lightning Saga" story arc in Justice League of America and Justice Society of America, and in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc in Action Comics. Shrinking Violet is included in their number.
Violet has the superhuman ability to vary her size. Originally, she could only shrink (down to subatomic sizes, if necessary), but after the original Leviathan's death, the Emerald Eye bestowed her with his power to grow to giant sizes as well. In her current Atom Girl incarnation, she does not appear to possess this growth power and has returned to primarily shrinking once again.
Shrinking Violet has appeared in the Legion of Super Heroes animated series. She was mentioned in "Man of Tomorrow", and had cameos in "Timber Wolf", and "Chain of Command", but her first real appearances wasn't until "Sundown - Part 2", and in "Chained Lightning" where she was voiced by Kari Wahlgren. Shrinking Violet and Brainiac 5 seemed to have grown close in the episode "Chained Lightning"; whether this is just a friendship or something more is yet to be seen.
In the episode "Message in a Bottle", Shrinking Violet appears again, this time as part of a party that headed to the shrunken bottled city of Kandor to stop the original Brainiac. She was teleported with the Legion (they were shrunk first, using a special laser) to the city. She found, however, this affected her powers and she couldn't shrink right. She stands taller than everyone else by a few feet (by their proportion). She could grow to colossal size (huge to the citizens but still tiny to normal humans) as well. Her relationship with the Legion's Brainiac 5 is also hinted at in this episode.
In the series finale, after the corrupt Brainiac 1.0 data Brainiac 5 downloaded in "Message in a Bottle" comes to the fore, Brainiac 5 pushes Shrinking Violet roughly as he passes her in the hall. Though the sound effects suggest she was badly hurt colliding with a wall, she seems fine later, with no visible bumps or cuts.
- Gay League - Shrinking Violet
- Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 4) #38, Late December 1992.