Princess Projectra + Sensor Girl + Sensor
Created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan
The Legion has attracted its share of distinguished applicants, but its prestige was raised an extra notch when it was joined by royalty — Princess Projectra of Orando. On the eve of an assault on Earth by the Khunds, the Legion put out a desperate call for new members, to which she responded, using the illusion powers that her grandmother, the Orandi witch Hagga to throw the entire Legion into a panic. She was immediately admitted, using her powers effectively to help repel the Khundish invasion, and using her own name and title. (Adventure #346)
Upon joining the Legion she immediately fell in love with fellow recruit Val Armorr, Karate Kid. (#362) He loved her as well, and the two were romantically linked throughout their Legion career. When the couple journeyed to Orando for a visit, Val decided to formally ask Projectra's father for her hand in marriage. King Voxv decreed that as a commoner, Val would have to prove his courage by living in the barbaric twentieth century. (Superboy v.1 #206, Karate Kid #1) Val was true to his word and undertook a great odyssey in order to prove his worth. Further, Karate Kid saved the king's own life from a villain called the Black Dragon. (Karate Kid #10)
Though Val returned from his time travels, it would be some time before the young couple returned to Orando to make things official. On their next visit, Projectra received a horrible shock: her father died, and she was expected to become Queen. (Legion v.2 #284, 285) Her grandmother attempted to seize power and install her cousin, Pharoxx to the throne, claiming that Projectra was unfit to rule. With the help of the Legionnaires, Projectra prevailed. (#286, 288) Afterwards she did not hesitate to assume her royal duties. She and Val resigned from the Legion and were engaged to be married. (#296)
The ceremony was trouble-free (Legion v.2 Annual #2), but the newlyweds' were doomed. Pharoxx, in hopes of gaining power, allied with the Legion of Super-Villains and let them use Orando as their base of operations. (Legion v.3 #2) As Projectra and Karate Kid returned from their honeymoon, the were captured by the Super-Villains, led by Nemesis Kid — the Legion traitor who joined the same day as they. The villains planned to "kidnap" Orando into another dimension and use it for their base of operations. Once again, Val came to Projectra's rescue, destroying the villains' main power source. But the effort cost Val his life. (#4)
His sacrifice allowed the Legion to rallly and the LSV were rounded up. Projectra invoked royal privilege and executed Nemesis Kid. She chose to conclude the Legion chapter of her life by completing the villains' plan to transfer of Orando to another dimension. In her grief, she believed that the medieval world would fare better if removed from the thirtieth century's tyrranies. (#5)
In her isolation, Projectra explored more of the ancient magicks practiced by her lineage. She was charged by Orando's mystical ruling body, the Council of Orakills, to atone for the LSV's rampage across the planet. In much the same way her husband once needed to prove himself, Projectra was ra was ordered to do penance. She would have to return to Earth, and without her royal clout , rejoin the Legion. She returned to the Legion as a masked mystery woman. She entrusted only Saturn Girl with her identity, and was admitted as Sensor Girl. (#14) Since her absence, she had cultivated new abilities, which helped to hide her identity. Her illusion powers were greatly extended; not only were her own senses hightened, she could easily affect others' perceptions on a much finer scale.
Not every Legionnaire was willing to accept a total unknown into the Legion, and harbored suspicions of who she might, in reality, be. The Legion's leader, Element Lad, asked her to reveal her true identity, but she refused even him. (#24) Ultimately, the decision to unmask was forced upon her by the Emerald Empress, who attacked the Legion with her new Fatal Five. The Empress sensed a kindred spirit in Sensor Girl, and exposed her ruse to everyone. (#25)
Projectra was instrumental in defeating the Empress, and after this display of bravery, the Council of Orakills offered the throne back to Projectra, but she chose to remained with the Legion as Sensor Girl. She kept the mask, now preferring to operate in the public without her royal priveleges. (#27)
Under unrevealed circumstances, Projectra participated in a ceremony to return her husband to life. The Legion arranged for the same ritual that had revived Lightning Lad years before. (Adventure #312) They were successful, and in a bizarre twist of fate, Val joined six other Legionnaires to travel back to the 21st century to perform the very same ritual to save someone else. (Justice League of America v.2 #3) The lethal lightning chose Val's lightning rod and the hero would have died again if not for his quick reflexes. He dodged the lightning and cheated death again. After this mission, however, he was ordered to remain in the 21st century and undertake a new mission. (#10)
Projectra wasted no time grieving for Val a second time. She joined a new assembly of the Espionage Squad and traveled back to the 21st century in order to shepherd the hero Mon-El on to his destiny. In Metropolis, she disguised herself as a Science Police officer: “Wilcox.” (Superman #687, 692)
Projectra's homeworld was named in Adventure Comics #346 (7.66), her first appearance. King Voxv first appeared in Adventure #362 (11.67), Hagga in Legion v.2 #288 (6.82). Superboy #206 makes mention of her mother, who was supposedly alive, but never appeared and was never mentioned again.
Jim Shooter on Princess Projectra: Was not a political admission. She is proud of her noble background and yet does not want to be separated from her friends by station. K.K. is a natural for her, because he'd act the same before the King of Razamataz as he would with Sam the Streetsweeper. She'd say, "I'm a Princess" and he'd say, "Far-out! Wanna screw?" Opposites do attract—her couth, class, cultural offset his rowdy behavior and vastly different culture. She is somewhat lost in this technological world, he is at home. She is a mystic, he has grown up amid science—and yet, perhaps the Oriental half of Val is more in tune with Projectra's background. She is very duty-oriented, and to conduct herself in public, anyway, as a princess, is very important to her. She believes in her own nobility and that belief is the source of what courage, honor, loyalty and strength she has. —Interlac (1976)
Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Princess Projectra: A regal demeanor, with all that implies. Perhaps because of in-breeding within noble lines, she seems especially susceptible to some debilitating mental viruses, but Projectra has admirably rallied back from those difficulties. —Interlac (2000)
Steve Lightle on Supergirl/Sensor Girl: "Awhile back Paul Levitz and I created a few Legionnaires, and assorted supporting characters. Sensor Girl was always more Paul's baby, just as Tellus and Quislet were more mine." … "When Paul [Levitz] saw that I had designed a Legionnaire with a full mask, I think that sparked his desire to spare Supergirl from her Crisis fate, by making her the lady behind the mask. I believe the original idea was that even she didn't know her true identity, and that she had lost all her Kryptonian powers except those pertaining to her senses. This is why, in the early appearances of the character, she appears to have powers consistent with X-ray vision, heat vision, etc. It wasn't until [DC Comics president Jeanette] Khan insisted that Supergirl should remain dead (she was very firm on this at the time) that Paul came up with Plan B ... Projectra. after all, who wanted to incur the wrath of Jeanette?" —Comic Book Resources (2002)
Legion 1.5 (Post-Crisis)
In post-Crisis continuity (no longer valid), Projectra returned to Orando, to lead them at last …
Sensor Girl remained with the Legion even after being invited by Orando's Council of Orakills to reclaim her title. She was … disillusioned with the entire concept of leadership. This attitude changed somewhat, when after inadvertently killing the Emerald Empress, the Legion decided to show their support for her by voting her leader. (Legion v.3 #59) She reluctantly took on the task, and after helping the universe contain the damage wrought by the Magic Wars, realized what kind of difference a good leader could truly make.
After Earthgov was infiltrated by the Dominatorys, Sensor Girl was officially listed as the Legion's leader until the organization disbanded, but in reality, she left sometime before that, at the urging of the Orakills. Projectra was convinced to return to Orando when her people began having troubles living in their new dimension. Projectra resigned to once again rule over Orando, and one of her first moves was to return the planet to Earth's dimension. (Legion v.4 #15)
With the help of her Legion friends, Projectra did her best to steer her planet through the galaxy's troubled times. And when the Dark Circle attempted to assassinate Projectra, former Legionnaires Valor and Shadow Lass stepped in to help dismantle the cult's presence on Orando. (#18) She maintained close contact with many of her friends, and she was key in their battle against Mordru. The evil mage used her for her ability to communicate with the dead greatly helped during Mordru's ressurection campaign. She joined with the Legion one final time to help rescue Rokk Krinn from the clutches of Glorith and Mordru. (#44-48)
The Projectra of Batch SW6 died together with the SW6 Karate Kid and Chameleon Boy in the explosion of underground chambers during the war to free Earth of Dominion oppression. (#32)
Projectra's counterpart from Earth-247 has similar powers, and was royalty from Orando, but the similarities ended there. This princess was Jeka Wynzorr, whose home planet of Orando, was a faraway world inhabited by huge serpentine beings. When she traveled, Jeka disguised herself as a humanoid to avoid the common xenophobia. When the Legion of Super-Heroes sent out a call for new members, she successfully passed all the tests and was admitted, with her ability to affect the senses of others suggesting the codename Sensor. (Legionnaires #43)
She became most friendly with Chameleon, whose Durlan race is also subject to xenophobia. All along, her father, King Charlz, had been trying in vain to convince her to resume her royal duties, and after he found out about this "date," he demanded that Jeka return home. She felt duty-bound and left the Legion only to find that her father was considering Orando's admission to the Affiliated Planets (run by the nefarious Dark Circle).
Chameleon and Sensor plotted a successful undercover mission to infiltrate the Dark Circle. (#60) Afterwards, she abdicated her royal position. (#62)
Her mettle was tested during a mission with Thunder to search for fragments of Eternium (from the Rock of Eternity). (Legion v.4 #113) Sensor was captured and tortured by Lord Pernisius, (#116) but saved by a new ally (and future Legionnaire), Gear. (#117)
Sensor's destiny was violently altered by forces wrought by Ra's al Ghul. Ra's had introduced energies that were meant to "help" the population of Earth achieve its next stage of evolution. But after Ra's was contained, his machinations lingered in the form of Terrorforms—Earth natives transformed by his science. Terrorforms housed "hypertaxis," or evolutionary energy. The Legionnaires devised a plan to restore the affected human population with the help of the Terrorforms. The plan was successful until a rogue Robotican drone was awakened and began attacking. A stray blast hit one of the Terrorforms, and Sensor was caught in it's explosive wake. (The Legion #17)
Jeka's body went into shock, then a coma. As her life readings fluctuated, the Legionnaires were helpless to cure her and eventually called in Ra's himself. Ra's stabilized the transformation but claimed that he could not fully reverse it. When Jeka emerged from her coccoon, she'd been transformed. She now had a humanoid head and torso but retained her snakelike lower body. (Perhaps since the hypertaxis energy was human-based, this affected the nature of her transformation.) (#18)
Jeka was traumatized; she considered her new form hideous, and secluded herself in quarters. This was fortuitous, as she was not present when the Legion was possessed by Universo. (#21) The nature of her powers also helped her avoid his mind-control and she was instrumental in freeing other Legionnaires and defeating the villain. (#22)
NOTES: Writer Andy Lanning said: " 'Ah, Sensor... The thing with her is this: it seemed a great idea that some of the Legion members would be genuine aliens rather than humans or humanoids. This isn't Star Trek where aliens simply have to be actors with prosthetic foreheads. So, Sensor is a snake. But she is also a revised version of an old character who was a hot humanoid female and some older fans just can't reconcile the change.' Abnett asks that fans ... remember just how much they hated Monstess."
Legion 3 (Earth-Prime)
In Universe-Prime, Orando was the wealthiest world in the galaxy. That world's Princess Projectra (given name Wilimena Morgana Daergina Annaxandra Projectra Velorya Vauxhall), like so many youths across the galaxy, heeded the call of the Legion and rebelled against her "safe" society. Projectra received special status as a core member of the team when she became the financial backer for much of the Legion's activities. This status was otherwise reserved for members with exceptional abilities, and they were awarded the rare Legion flight ring.
One of the Legion's first true challenges was the terrorist organization called Terror Firma, who targeted Orando in its first wave of attacks. The result was genocide, including Projectra's parents. (Legion v.5 #6) With the death of her immediate ancestors, she found herself possessed of the hereditary Orandan powers of illusion casting. (?)
This trauma unbalanced the girl, and Projectra began plotting revenge on her own team. She was further enraged when she learned that would no longer be awarded special diplomatic status in the United Planets—as Orando no longer existed. (#37) Saturn Girl's mother, Sydne Ardeen, sensed that Projectra was on the edge, and urged the young woman to behave. Instead, Projectra stole a bracelet from a jewelry store. (#39) Her troubles escalated when she learned she was being sued by Orando's creditors. After this meeting, she accosted some tourists (#40) and was arrested. (#41) Soon the Legion's new business manager, M'Rissey convinced the President to release her. (#45) Phantom Girl consoled Projectra with stories from ancient Superman comics, but the tales actually planted a seed of revenge in the princess. She also found she was not the sole survivor of Orando. She allied with Shaman Henrik and other Orandan survivors to plot vengeance together. Her powers are due to increase with her accession to the "throne." (#46) Her first volley was to strike at the already disembodied Dream Girl, who could foresee Projectra's actions and foreward the Legion. She attacked Dream Girl on the astral plane, "blinding" her and removing her powers. (#47)
Projectra's own powers continued to grow as well, drawn from the spirit world. But her sometime paramour, Timber Wolf, was also suspicious and he began tracking her. Next Projectra critically wounded Phantom Girl, drew Saturn Girl onto the astral plane, then altered both their memories. (#49) The resolution of this case remains a mystery. When Projectra was next seen, she was once again in league with the Legionnaires, and Dream Girl, Phantom Girl and Saturn Girl were all fine. (#50) This end of this story was cut short when the series was canceled and writer Jim Shooter was forced to wrap things up more quickly. CBR quoted editor Dan DiDio at the New York Comic Convention "Q: What happened to the end of Shooter's Legion of Super-Heroes? DiDio: We don't cover that. It was a pseudonym at the author's request. We cancelled the book, finished it and shoved it out the door." Read more from Shooter here.
On the Legion of Substitute Podcasters #41 (2009), Francis Manapul confirmed that Projectra was intended to become a true traitor and villain. To him, it was within her character: "when she saved people it's cause it made her feel good."
All versions of Projectra cast illusions as their primary power.
Sensor Girl has also come to have some mystical affinity, which is linked to her family's heritage. As Sensor Girl, she pushed her powers to their limits, targeting the humanoid senses—more than just sight.
Sensor has mental abilities that allow her to manipulate the sensory perceptions of others. This includes limited telepathic abilities.
Projectra of Earth-Prime's powers have been described as ruling the back of the brain, where darker "Id" urges lie. Her powers may be waxing as well, as they are newly acquired.
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