Looker's latest outfit from Outsiders #9.
|First appearance||(As Emily Briggs) Batman & the Outsiders #25 (Sep 1985)
(As Looker) The Outsiders #1 (Nov 1985)
|Created by||Mike W. Barr
|Alter ego||Emily Briggs|
|Notable aliases||Lia Briggs|
|Abilities||telepathy, telekinesis, psychometry, enhanced metabolism, superstrength, and enhanced healing, control over vermin as well as the ability to turn into vapor at night.|
Fictional character biography
Emily Briggs was a mousy bank teller who lived a quiet life with her husband in Gotham City. That all changed when she was kidnapped by people from the underground civilization known as Abyssia. The Outsiders set out to rescue Emily. After a battle with the people of Abyssia, Emily's heritage was revealed to her and as Halley's Comet passed by the Earth, Emily underwent a metahuman transformation, as well as becoming more conventionally attractive.
Joining the Outsiders
After leaving Abyssia to its people, Emily returned with the Outsiders and an astonished husband. She soon took on the name "Lia" as well as a more confident, yet self-centered, personality.
Emily's first outing as Looker occurred after the Outsiders had been captured by the Masters of Disaster. After defeating the Masters of Disaster, she freed the Outsiders and was welcomed into their ranks.
Her first tenure with the Outsiders showed how much the mousy Emily Briggs had changed, as she became obsessed with her beauty, something that usually created some tension between her and Katana. The tension was only heightened with the budding friendship between Looker and Halo, where the more free-spirited Looker was in sharp contrast with Halo's stricter legal guardian, Katana.
Looker shows a deep current of intelligence, when she defeats an intelligent virus inhabiting her then-friend Doctor Helga Jace. The sentient virus, believing that Looker was injecting Jace with a vaccine to which Jace was allergic, fled the body and died upon contact with the air. The vaccine was in fact, harmless glucose and Looker herself was already immune because she was not allergic. Unfortunately, Jace would later go on to willingly betray the Outsiders to the alien Manhunters.
Looker's role as somewhat of an outsider amongst Outsiders continued to worsen, especially when Windfall joined, a former Master of Disaster and peer of Halo, and the two were constantly involved in a rivalry of sorts. On top of that, Looker started a short affair with the team-leader Geo-Force during a time that they were stranded on an island but which continued when they returned. Eventually though, there came a mutual decision to call it quits, it being unfair not only to Gregg (Looker's husband) but also to Denise (Geo-Force's girlfriend).
Some time later, Looker received a call for help from Abyssia. Traveling to the underground city, Looker discovered that Abyssia had been taken over. Looker invoked a challenge on the despot, and in the course of the battle, she was stripped of her beauty and much of her power. Shortly afterwards, Geo-Force disbanded the Outsiders, and Lia returned to her previous life in Gotham City. Through unknown circumstances, Looker would regain her powers and be targeted by the Mud Pack, a group of various villains using the Clayface name, including a female Clayface who Looker fought while a member of the Outsiders. Lady Clayface duplicated Looker's form and powers in order to attempt to drive Batman in sane but Looker was able to undo the damage, in the process seeing into Bruce's mind and learning of his inner tormoil. She ultimately helped Batamn defeat the group and parted ways again.
Becoming a vampire
When Geo-Force's homeland Markovia was overrun with vampires, Emily's powers returned, and Looker was back in action alongside the Outsiders. An attempt by Queen Ilona to kill Geo-Force leads to Looker running into their leader, Roderick. Instantly enamoured by her, Roderick transforms Lia into a vampire in the hopes of Lia becoming his bride. After the transformation into a vampire, Looker's existing powers were joined by some new abilities. Due to previously being a metahuman, Emily was able to bypass some of the traditional vampiric weaknesses such as vulnerability to sunlight.
The Outsiders are forced to become fugitives, due to Roderick having framed Geo-Force for the murder of Queen Ilona. Looker helps the team face many adversaries, including the new Batman, the Eradicator, Halo's alien relatives and Islamic super-terrorists. Once the vampires were defeated and the Outsider's names restored, the team 'unofficially' disbands. They now work solely out of Markovia, which Geo-Force now rules over.
Served with divorce papers and now living under the vampiric curse, Lia has apparently broken all ties with her past life.
Lia at some point after this may have cut her ties with her vampire coven as well as she became more independent in her choice of actions. She eventually became one of the hosts of the television program The Scene, similar to The View. Her co-hosts included Vicki Vale, Tawny Young, and Linda Park. Two episodes were shown in which they interviewed Wonder Woman on her career, which were shown in that title comic. During taping Lia would wear a scarf around her neck to hide the vampire bite wounds.
Infinite Crisis and World War III
Looker later shows up in the Infinite Crisis storyline. She is part of the army of super-heroes gathered by Oracle to defend the city of Metropolis against the super-villain army of Alexander Luthor during the Battle of Metropolis. At the climax of the battle, the insane super-villain Superboy-Prime abandoned the fight to try to destroy the entire universe via destroying the planet Oa. Looker was one of many super-heroes with flight power who attempted to stop Superboy-Prime from leaving Earth. During the mid-air battle that ensued, Superboy-Prime destroyed the containment suit of radioactive super-hero Breach. Both Looker and fellow Outsider Technocrat were near Breach when the hero exploded. However, her telekinetic aura protected her from the explosion.
Later Outsiders ties
Looker resurfaced at the request of Batman to help him read the mind of an informant. In this instance Looker is still depicted as a vampire, but it is implied she is no longer immune to sunlight or is at least weakened in its presence. While scanning the informant's mind she is shown to be able to scan his misplaced thought patterns which were shifted off planet, displaying a power range over quite some distance. Lia now lives alone in a large, elaborately decorated mansion in Gotham City filled with framed photos of herself taken during her previous modeling days.
Lia reappears later where it is revealed she has been publicly moonlighting in her modeling career while secretly killing members of a powerful vampire clan. The clan retaliates by hiring a vampire hunter to assassinate her. The assassin is unsuccessful as Lia was able to destroy him before booking a flight to Markovia in order to help Geo-Force and her teammates. When she arrives in Markovia, she helps her former team fight an invading country.
The New 52
Looker resurfaces in the rebooted The New 52 continuity, once again working as an agent of Batman Incorporated alongside Halo and Metamorpho. It is revealed the Outsiders had survived the explosion but were assumed dead, and now do undercover jobs for Batman.
An alternate continuity version of Looker appears in "National Comics: Looker". Discarding her previous origin, here Looker is introduced as an attractive supermodel who became a vampire after a one-night stand turns her. Unable to continue being a model because of her vampirism (since she can not be photographed), Emily Briggs opens her own modeling agency, LOOKER, and uses her vampire powers to protect models from the evil elements of the fashion industry. She wears a red costume as opposed to the classic costume she wears in the pages of Batman Incorporated.
Powers and abilities
Looker possesses the full spectrum of psionic abilities: telepathy, telekinesis, psychometry, enhanced metabolism, mind-control, psionic energy blasts, levitation, the creation of force shields, remote vision, and enhanced healing. Due to her vampiric nature, Looker can turn into vapor, but only at night. She also has the vampiric ability to mentally command vermin such as bugs. Due to possessing psionic powers, Looker does not share the vampire weakness to sunlight; however, she presumably requires blood as other vampires do. Her earlier ability to not weaken in sunlight has been changed in The New 52 continuity; she is now as susceptible to sunlight as other vampires.
Her original costume was manufactured from a material unique to Abyssia; one way fabric, which was invisible from one side. This allowed her to keep her costume handy but not visible. She would turn the clothing the right way round to make it visible.
In other media
- A parallel earth version of Looker named "Model Citizen" appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, where she is voiced by Kari Wührer. She is a member of Owlman's team, which consists of alternate versions of the Outsiders and Justice League Detroit, and a part of the wider Crime Syndicate of America. Model Citizen does battle against the Justice League when they first arrive on their Earth, and uses her powers to try to manipulate Flash into joining her before ultimately being knocked out by Wonder Woman. Her telepathy in the film isn't shown to be as powerful as that of the Martian Manhunter but is more subtle and easier to awaken from. The Flash referred to it as being similar to a Jedi mind trick - to which she used her power to force Flash to agree that it was not.
- Adventures of the Outsiders #34 June 1986
- Detective Comics #604-607
- Wonder Woman (Vol. 2) #170 and #188
- Infinite Crisis #7
- World War III #4
- Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 2 #9 (July 2008)
- The Outsiders (vol. 4) #29
- Batman Incorporated (vol. 2) #1. However, the character is portrayed in the same fashion as she was prior to the events of Flashpoint
- Detective Comics #604