Shrinking Violet

+ Leviathan II + Atom Girl

Created by Jerry Siegel & Jim Mooney

Salu Digby of Imsk

Arn Digby (father), unnamed mother

Legion of Super-Heroes

Action Comics #276 (May 1961)

JOINED: undepicted, before her next appearance in Adventure #290 (November 1961)

shrinking Violet II / Leviathan II

Salu Digby of Imsk, aka Shrinking Violet, Emerald Violet


Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Super Heores v.4 #66 (March 1995)
As Emerald Violet: Legion v.4 #83 (August 1996)
As Leviathan: Legionnaires #52 (September 1997)

Legion v.4 #66

Atom Girl

Salu Digby of Imsk


Legion of Super-Heroes

Teen Titans/Legion Special (2004)


Shrinking Violet's first love, Duplicate Boy.
From Adventure #324 (1964). Art by John Forte.

Going where no girl has gone before.
From Adventure #350 (1966). Art by Curt Swan.

Violet reinvented. Designed by Dave Cockrum, this costume incorporates the letters "S" and "V."
From Superboy #202 (1974); art by Dave Cockrum and Mike Grell.


Violet returns to active duty.
From Legion v.3 #9 (1985). Art by Steve Lightle.

Many young girls are shy and gain confidence in themselves as they grow older. But never has the transformation been as abrupt as it was in Salu Digby.

When the teenager from Imsk first applied to the Legion, Shrinking Violet was a fitting name for her, not only because of her native Imskian power to reduce herself to microscopic size, but also for her shyness and lack of self-confidence. It was partially because of this that she failed in her first attempt at joining. (Action #276) But luckily, Triplicate Girl saw a kindred spirit in Salu, and convinced her to try again, whereupon she was accepted. (Adventure #290)

Once in the Legion, she performed her duties admirably, but was still not completely comfortable around other people, forming a long-distance romance with Duplicate Boy of the Heroes of Lallor rather than allowing herself to become close with anyone nearby. (#324) While most Legionnaires were called by their given names during their downtime, her behavior was so well described by her code name that almost everyone called her "Violet" (or "Vi" for short).

Though they maintained a long distance relationship, Violet stayed true to Duplicate Boy, even in the face of other suitors such as her fellow Legionnaire Colossal Boy. Once, Violet's vacation with Duplicate Boy on Imsk was rudely interrupted by the Fatal Five and he was nearly slain by Validus. In the aftermath, Colossal Boy expressed romantic interest in Shrinking Violet, and he was visibly disappointed when she later chose to return to Duplicate Boy. (Superboy v.1 #219)

As time went on, Vi became more and more self-assured. But her progress was violently interrupted by a group of Imskian independence fighters led by Legion reject, Micro Lad. They kidnaped Vi, put her in a sensory deprivation tank, and replaced her in the Legion with the Durlan actress named Yera. (Legion v.2 #286, 304) By the time the Legion caught onto the scheme, Vi had been captive for months. (#304-305), and when she emerged, she decided she'd never again be weak and defenseless. (#312)

Her newfound aggressiveness helped her recover in record time, and she embarked on a training program that made her skill in unarmed combat third among Legionnaires behind only Karate Kid and Timber Wolf. She took control of her personal life as well, breaking off her relationship with Duplicate Boy (who had known of her predicament but had done nothing about it, #313) and pursuing men previously "unattainable," such as Sun Boy. She soon realized the shallowness of such dalliances, and began to build close friendships among her fellow Legionnaires, especially with Lightning Lass. (Legion v.3 #22) She has since forgiven Colossal Boy for marrying the woman who helped kidnap her.

Over the years, Imsk's relationship with the United Planets has also been strained. They once threatened to secede from the U.P. over a dispute involving hunting rights. When Earth's solar system was ravaged by a mysterious shrinking plague, the U.P. accused Imsk and caused tension between Shrinking Violet and her fellow Legionnaires. They eventually discovered that the plague was engeineered by the evil Dr. Regulus. (Superboy & the Legion #232)

NOTES: Shrinking Violet's parents are Arn Digby and his wife. Although both her parents are natives of the planet Imsk, she was born on Earth. Shrinking Violet's homeworld was first named in Adventure Comics #328 (Jan. 1965). The fact that she was born on Earth, not Imsk, was revealed in Who's Who in the Legion #6 (Oct. 1988).

Jim Shooter on Shrinking Violet: More than a little like a female version of Ultra Boy. She is very hung up on Ultra Boy. She is very hung up on Duplicate Boy and is rather a depressive sort—but not as extreme as U-Boy. Just being a girl helps, because it is easy to relax into a follower's role and her essential underlting morbidity is interpreted as shyness. She is very emotional, bright, attractive, and confusing to simpler types like Colossal Boy who can't understand that she is happiest when wallowing in loneliness, suspicion, doubt abd fear. She gets all her weird sex from Duplicate Boy and waiting and worrying just makes it sweeter. —Interlac (1976)

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Shrinking Violet: Painfully shy, insecure and possibly not quite competent in the early years. Probably was dealing with issues of sexual identity, not able at first to accept her lesbian nature. Never really had it together until she found Ayla, but after that, she become one of the Legion's best. —Interlac (2000)

Legion 1.5 (v.4)

In the history that unfolded after the first Crisis (no longer valid), Violet went on to prominent service in the Legion…

Her newfound aggressiveness helped her recover in record time, and she embarked on a training program that made her skill in unarmed combat third among Legionnaires behind only Karate Kid and Timber Wolf. She took control of her personal life as well, breaking off her relationship with Duplicate Boy (who had known of her predicament but had done nothing about it) and chasing after men previously thought unattainable, such as Sun Boy. However, she soon realized the shallowness of such dalliances, and began to build close friendships among her fellow Legionnaires, especially with Lightning Lass.

Although Shrinking Violet was a dedicated Legionnaire, she was an Imskian first, and when the planet Braal declared war on Imsk, she quit the Legion to join its army. She was one of the officers who oversaw the damper project, the building of a machine to cancel Braalians' magnetic powers. She was present when the damper was set off at Venado Bay in the Braal syst7em, and was horrified at the results. When a semiconscious Rokk Krinn stumbled upon the Imskian military base there, she did all she could to prevent further harm from coming to him...even as he slashed her right eye in his delirium. She decided to protest the damper's use publicly, but for her disobedience, she was placed in the stockade for two years, where the moral support of her fellow Legionnaires helped her bear the ordeal. Though the Imskian army tried to silence her, they were unable to thwart her will, and to this day she wears the scar on her eye as a symbol of her protest. When she was finally discharged from the army (dishonorably), she took Ayla Ranzz up on her offer to join the Ranzz family at its plantation on Winath. She was there when Roxxas the Butcher came to kill former Legionnaires, and when the Legion re-formed, she was one of the first in line to join.

She has since made her peace with Rokk Krinn...who had felt just as guilty about warring against her as she had against him. She recently lost a leg in battle against the Khunds, and it has been replaced with one from an android Probe. She has also recently assumed leadership of the Legion, which has gone on the run, and for security purposes used the code-name Virus. They have since been cleared of any wrongdoing during the attempted Khundish bombing of Weber's World, a fight which she survived thanks to Ayla...but which Laurel Gand did not.

The Shrinking Violet of Batch SW6 is still a Shrinking Violet in both name and manner. She fell in love with Devlin O'Ryan during the war for Earth's liberation. Despite this, she turned down his offer to join him in the adult Legion team, preferring to stay with her friends on New Earth, where she is among the Legionnaires based there. She is presently trying to ward off unwanted (?) advances from the younger Matter-Eater Lad.

Legion 2: Earth-247

All-girl recruits. From Legion v.4 #66 (1995).
Art by Lee Moder.

Violet reveals the power of the Emerald Eye
(taking on the just-decesed Leviathan's powers in the process).
From Legion v.4 #83 (1996). Art by Lee Moder.

The Salu Digby of universe-247 is now called Leviathan, having also inherited the growing powers of that Legion’s Gim Allon. That universe ceased to exist in the Infinite Crisis, but Leviathan remains with the team, wandering the multiverse…

Salu Digby was a shy, awkward girl who ironically became one of Imsk’s best young hand-to-hand fighters. Shortly after the formation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, she was chosen as one of three finalists to  representing Imsk in the group. Adopting  the code-name Shrinking Violet, she competed against Ion and Micro in  a number of tests made specially to showcase their power: to shrink to microscopic size.  During the bout, Ion was murdered by Micro, and Violet uncovered the evidence. She happily joined the Legionnaires and headed for Earth. (Legion v.4 #66)

Early on, Shrinking Violet proved her worth, especially in covert sorts of tasks. Naturally, she was tapped by Chameleon to participate in a Legion sub-group,  the Espionage Squad. (Legionnaires #28) She became fast friends with Kinetix, who was only too happy to dismiss Violet as a quiet mouse. Both girls were part of a love triangle between they and Leviathan, on whom Violet had a crush. But Leviathan had eyes only for Kinetix.

Despite her proven worth, Violet grew annoyed at being ignored, for the most part, by her teammates. Her emotions drew the attention of the  Emerald Eye of Ekron, which she had  encountered on an earlier mission. (Legion #74) The Eye seduced Violet, and infused her with with the confidence to become more extroverted and aggressive. (Legionnaires #34) Her newfound attitude led her fellow Legionnaires to elect her as Legion leader in their first open contest. (#38)

Her first act as leader was to order the Eye to give every Legionnaire his or her heart's desire. This  led to disaster when Leviathan's desire turned into a death wish: he perished after heroically  stopping a super-villain. Gim’s death unleashed a torrent of emotion and power from Violet, who finally revealed the Eye to everyone. She openly invoked its power in hopes of reviving Leviathan. (Legion #83) (She would later discover that instead, the Eye had transferred his power to grow large into her.)

The newly remade “Emerald Violet” was a terror, and the Legionnaires were unable to stop her from remaking them in her image. Some Legionnaires such as Saturn Girl and Gates refused to bow to the Eye, and Kinetix tried to take the Eye's power for herself. When her defeat grew near, Violet commanded the Eye to turn back time, which it interpreted loosely; it hurled half the Legion back to the 20th century. (Legion #84) Violet fled from Earth, later  encountering M'onel. At that time, she had begun to resist the  Eye's influence. (Legionnaires #44)

When the Eye's former master, the evil sorceror Mordru, awakened from his imposed slumber, the Eye itself went into self-preservation mode. It  convinced Violet to stop resisting or surely they would both be enslaved by Mordru. Violet merged with the Eye and together they  tricked Mordru into an alliance. A rival mage, Mysa, convinced Violet to separate from the Eye. She  then used it against Mordru, and ordered it to depart for somewhere Mordru would never find it. (Legionnaires #50)

Estranged from the Eye, the Legion accepted Violet back. Only then did she discover that she possessed Leviathan's powers. Now she could either grow or shrink, and adopted his codename as well, becoming LeVIathan II in his honor.  (#50, 52)

Some still wondered whether Violet could resist the Eye if it ever returned. She put these fears to rest—for herself as well—by single-handedly defeating the Emerald Eye. (Legion #109)

Since then her service has been solid. She went on a date with the Legion’s engineer,  Chuck Taine, but discovered there was no spark. (Legionnaires #66) Legion chef Tenzil Kem took a liking to her, but since universe-247 was destroyed in the Infinite Crisis, Kem no longer exists. Violet remains with her Legion, wandering the multiverse.

Legion 3: Earth-Prime

Salu Digby's race was once enslaved by the Coluans who gave them their ability to shrink. They were freed by Brainiac 5 and as a result Salu—and all Imskians—regards him with a godlike reverence. Her entire race is loyal to Brainiac 5 as well. When he crafted a plan to restore Dream Girl to life, the Imskians helped "mine" power from the villain Lemnos. (Legion v.5 #18)

After the first wave of Legionnaires were admitted, Atom Girl began operating covertly. Thus, many newer Legionnaires came to believe that she was only a myth. She garnered the nickname "Shrinking Violet." (#14)

She burst into public view, literally, during the Legion's final battle with Terror Firma. Brainiac 5 used a slingshot (which belonged to the legendary Robin) to deliver Atom Girl right into their leader, Elysion's, body. Atom Girl burst out of his shoulder and won the . (#12)

This spectacle characterized Salu's warrior-like attitude. She prefers also to carry firearms and is a superb hand-to-hand combatant. It's no surprise, she gets along best with similar Legionnaires, Shadow Lass and Timber Wolf. Atom Girl in fact once accompanied Shadow Lass to her homeworld of Talok VIII. (#23)

Lest she be underestimated, she has also proven to possess the cunning needed in battle. With Brin and Tasmia, Atom Girl prevented the powerful E.R.G.-1 from killing the President of Lallor. She stalled him on two fronts: directly with reason, and (like her ancient predecessor, the Atom) she rode through phone lines to take out E.R.G.'s brother Randall. (#35)

She tested both her physical and mental limits when her team was captured and some tortured on Rimbor. Afterwards, Colossal Boy tried to comfort her, but she retreated, vowing revenge on her tormenter. (#42-45)

NOTES: Among traditional Legionnaire names, Atom Girl's name is an anomaly. In previous incarnations, she has always been called Shrinking Violet. Presumably, Mark Waid named her Atom Girl to adhere to the "boy/girl" convention, and also to link her to the legacy of the 21st century Atom.

Other Versions

Shrinking Violet was also a member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

+ Powers

Shrinking Violet has the natural Imskian ability to shrink herself and the air and clothing surrounding her. Recently, she has also been bestowed with Leviathan's ability to grow to up to 10 meters tall. This happened via the Emerald Eye of Ekron, of which Violet was once the Beholder. As Beholder of the Emerald Eye, she weilded near-omnipotent power. The Eye has since found a new beholder, the Empress of Venegar.

Appearances + References


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