6 Comic Book Characters Who Have Seen the Light-Based Powers
Christmastime is upon us! As is Hannukah and any other wintery holiday of your choice! The snow has fallen. The TV specials are on. It gets really cold. And almost all of my Christmas shopping is done. But mostly importantly, the Christmas lights are up! So let’s tie that into superheroes!
When I was little, my family would play the Christmas Light Game in the car on a long ride home. My brother sat on one side of the back seat and I sat on the other, and we counted all the houses that had lights on our side of the street. Whoever had the most houses won! Unfortunately, there aren’t any Christmas light specific comic book characters, but I think I can cheat a little with just superheroes and villains with light-based super-powers. These are all characters who can generate and manipulate light or light energy.
Join me after the jump to get into the festive spirit of brightness!
Edward Lansky got into super villainy for a good cause: to prevent budget cuts at Empire State University, where he worked as a physics professor. But Lightmaster tried to stop the budget cuts by kidnapping the politicians trying to implement the cuts. Lansky invented his costume himself, but when Spider-Man kicked his butt and hit him with some electricity, it gave Lansky super-powers for legit. Science gone wrong always results in super-powers, and it helps when your super science suit just transfers the powers to your body. Lightmaster would then go on to be a background villain in all manner of Spidey stuff going forward. Though he did produce a daughter who became the superhero Sun Girl, with light-based weaponry. So at least he’s good for something.
5. Living Laser
Arthur Parks started out as a scientist who invented a pair of laser gauntlets to use committing crimes (noticing a trend?). Seems simple enough, right? But this still somehow put him up against the Avengers, got him into deeper and deeper trouble, and eventually an accident in space turned him into an actual living laser being (again, trend?)! He looks pretty gnarly, at least. And he uses his light powers for all manner of fun things, like teleportation, illusions and just plain laser blasting people. He’s also unafraid to rock pink as his super-villain color. That’s pretty badass.
Solstice was one of the last Teen Titans to join the team before the eventual New 52 reboot. She’s the daughter of Indian archaeologists, and seemed to be a pretty bright and cheerful superhero at the end. She made herself a dazzlingly gold costume, coined the name Solstice and seemed ready to be a pretty awesome superhero! But then the New 52 came along and DC turned her into the dark husk of deadly light you see above. Gone was the backstory, the family, and most of the cheerfulness. She became just a hanger on of the Teen Titans, until a really psychotic love affair with the evil Kid Flash caused her to murder a judge in order to go to prison with her love — only for Kid Flash to end up leaving her in prison while he rejoined the Titans. The New 52 was not kind to Solstice.
Man, why didn’t any of us like Dazzler back in the big X-Men arcade game? Just because her mutant power button couldn’t even begin to compare to Nightcrawler or Colossus…but c’mon, we should have given her a chance! Dazzler is a superhero rockstar who can transform sound waves into powerful light-based energy attacks! And not only is she a rockstar, but she’s also an interdimensional warrior and a pretty steady X-Man. Dazzler has been getting all sorts of new love in the past few years, though not all of it good. Still, she’s a fighter and we all should have wasted more of our quarters on her back when it counted.
2. The Ray
The Ray has been around in one form or another since the 1940s, even before there was a DC Comics. He started out as a WWII hero with light-based powers, then he passed those along to his son, then there was a double agent bad guy Ray, and even the New 52 got its own version of The Ray. All of them have light-based powers, and they usually end up joining the Freedom Fighters superhero team. Not sure why they all usually go for that big fin at the top front of their helmet/mask, but more power to them, I suppose.
1. Doctor Light
There are two major but different Doctor Lights at DC Comics, and I can’t seem to find a reason why they wear the same exact costume. The male Doctor Light is a rapist villain who has fought the Teen Titans since the 60s. He wasn’t always a rapist, and I suppose we can chalk that up to some of DC’s grittier reboots in the 00s. Whatever the case may be, he’s bad news. The female Doctor Light is a hero and a Justice Leaguer. She got her powers during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and would go on to be kind of a part-time superhero, helping out various teams and allies at various occasions. She also has two children, and they take up a lot of her time.. Really, really not sure why she wears the exact same costume or uses the exact same name as the bad guy Doctor Light though. The two don’t seem to have anything to do with one another. But she’s one of the few prominent Asian superheroes, so she’s got that going for her at least.