Arthur Light is a fictional comic book supervillain appearing in books published by DC Comics. He is the third individual to have adopted the persona of Doctor Light, after a Golden Age foe of Doctor Mid-Nite and Arthur's associate Jacob Finlay. Light, a long-time enemy of the Teen Titans and the Justice League, has been portrayed both as a serious menace and as a company in-joke for incompetent supervillains. His stint as Doctor Light is concurrent with that of a superheroine using the same name, Kimiyo Hoshi.
Fictional character biographyEdit
The first Silver Age Doctor Light was a criminal physicist named Dr. Arthur Light, who first appeared in Justice League of America #12. A retcon introduced in Secret Origins #37 revealed that this character was actually the second Dr. Light. According to the retcon, his predecessor was his partner at STAR Labs, a scientist named Jacob Finlay. Finlay created a technologically advanced suit to control light as a minor superhero, but was accidentally killed by Arthur Light near the beginning of his heroic career (though Finlay's death may have been caused by hiding his costume in a computer console, causing it to malfunction). Light took the suit and the "Doctor Light" codename, using them for selfish, criminal means. He has been periodically haunted by Finlay's ghost through the years, but could use the light generated by the suit to drive off this spirit.
Through the Silver and Bronze Ages, Doctor Light was a minor but persistent foe for a number of heroes. He first fought the Justice League and, after he failed to defeat that group, fought their former sidekicks, the Teen Titans. He was also notably beaten by a solo Hal Jordan not long after his defeat by the JLA. He then founded the super-villain team the Fearsome Five, but they were also defeated by the Titans, and Light was violently expelled from the Five by his teammates. Each criminal caper led to Light's defeat (as villains always went down to defeat in the Silver and Bronze Age), but these defeats were used later as the basis of his humiliation that culminated in the events of the Identity Crisis storyline and its aftereffects.
Perhaps Dr. Light's most ignominious defeat was his defeat by Little Boy Blue and his Blue Boys - a group of non-superpowered children.
Driven by self-doubt and guilt, thanks in part to Finlay's ghostly presence, he volunteers for the Suicide Squad, a group of incarcerated supervillains who perform dangerous missions for the US government in exchange for clemency. On a mission against the patriotism-themed super-team called the "Force of July", he encounters Sparkler, the Force's youngest member. The presence of a super-powered child reminds him of past defeats and he lashes out, killing Sparkler with a blast through the chest.
During his time with the Squad, Light demonstrates a simple desire to be liked by the other members. He sees his chance when a mysterious pie-armed attacker is on the loose but nobody actually believes Light has been pied.
Finally, Finlay's ghost convinces Light to attempt a heroic turn during a mission where multiple members of the team, some unwillingly, have traveled to Apokolips. Light is swiftly shot dead by Parademons. Light was thus sent to Hell, where he was physically reunited with Finlay. Under the watch of a lesser demon and its annoying assistant, both men were released from Hell in turns and returned to life. Both would only soon die again: Arthur Light suffocates while still inside his grave, while the desiccated Finlay claws his way out of his own grave but was killed by a family of religious vigilantes. Arthur Light was again returned to life, and barely survives a great fall that his demonic tormentors may have intended to be fatal. Arthur also finds time to possess the body of the female Doctor Light, Kimiyo Hoshi. With the aide of her teacher, Kimiyo is able to reject Arthur's presence.
Dr. Light, freed of his ex-partner's hauntings, attempts to rejoin the Suicide Squad, but his appeal was summarily rejected by Amanda Waller.
He later becomes trapped in the Green Lantern's power battery, and as a consequence was temporarily transformed into living light. He later joined a short-lived incarnation of the Injustice Gang, in which he assisted Lex Luthor in building holographic duplicates of the JLA.
Identity Crisis onwardsEdit
The controversial 2004 miniseries Identity Crisis retroactively revealed that Doctor Light had, at some point in the past, raped Sue Dibny, the wife of the superhero Elongated Man, on the JLA Satellite. (Later issues revealed that he was a serial rapist with Light bragging that Dibny was not his first victim). After taking a vote (which was not unanimous), the Justice League resolved to alter his mind through the use of Zatanna's magic so that Light would no longer pose a threat to their loved ones. In the process, they accidentally gave him a partial lobotomy, thus explaining how he fell from a plausible foe of the Justice League to a punching bag for the Teen Titans or Little Boy Blue. He later recovered his memories and intellect, and vowed revenge against the Justice League.
When Dr. Light was next seen, he had captured Green Arrow, using him as bait so he could get revenge on the Teen Titans. When the Titans responded to his call and landed at Light's position, he attacked savagely and brutally beat them all. However, after Light easily defeated every other hero who had ever been a Titan, Cyborg appeared and single-handedly defeated him. Batman and Batgirl appeared to take him to prison, but revealed themselves to him to be Deathstroke and Ravager in disguise, and offered Light a place in the new Secret Society of Super Villains, a villainous organization headed by Lex Luthor. Dr. Light, hungry for vengeance and power, readily accepted.
As a Society member, he aided Merlyn and Deathstroke in defeating Green Arrow in Star City. Doctor Light then attacked and absorbed a great deal of power from the female hero Doctor Light, later referring to his treatment of her as raping her (Green Arrow #54). However, Kimiyo Hoshi eventually regained the powers he drained from her and later soundly defeated him in battle during issue #7 of Infinite Crisis.
One Year Later and Final CrisisEdit
In the Justice League of America Wedding Special, Light was a member of the Injustice League Unlimited. During a battle with the Justice League, fellow Injustice Leaguer Cheetah betrayed him and slashed him in the back because of her hatred of rapists. Shortly after, the entire Injustice League was captured and deported to an alien world by the Suicide Squad; Doctor Light was consequently one of the villains featured in Salvation Run.
After returning to Earth, in DC Universe #0, Doctor Light was a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. In Final Crisis #1, he and Mirror Master were sent by Libra to recover Metron's chair. They are briefly challenged by Empress, Sparx and Mas Y Menos, but defeated them fairly easily by combining Light's beams with Mirror Master's mirrors. Light also aided in the murder of the Martian Manhunter, assisting the Human Flame and Libra.
Later, in Final Crisis: Revelations #1, The Spectre delivered final judgment on Doctor Light (who is discovered in the middle of a mock superhero rape orgy with various women dressed as Teen Titans), and burned him to death by turning him into a candle, using his head as the wick. The Spectre, in his characteristically ironic fashion, chose this punishment because of Light's abuse of his ability to manipulate light.
JLA #27 detailed the Milestone Comics characters known as the Shadow Cabinet attempting to steal the remains of Arthur Light, still in the form of a candle. This is revealed in the next issue to be a false premise; Superman and Icon set this scenario up to familiarize the Shadow Cabinet with the JLA.
The candle is, however, used by Hardware to restore to Kimiyo Hoshi the remaining powers Arthur stole from her.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Dr. Light was a light manipulator, with the ability to control light for a variety of purposes. He could bend the light around him to become invisible, generate blasts of energy, create force fields and fly. By mentally repulsing photons, Light could create areas of complete darkness. Teen Titans #23 implied that Light could 'power up' by draining the ambient light in the area. During the Rock of Ages storyline of Grant Morrison's run on the JLA series, Light is even shown to be capable of taking control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum on the suggestion of Lex Luthor.
The limits of his powers are unclear, but he seemed to be able to wrest control of anything that emits light. Such things have included Green Lantern constructs, Superboy's heat vision, and magic lightning from Wonder Girl's lasso. He was also able to take the "internal" light away from the light powered characters, the heroic Doctor Light and the Ray, leaving them temporarily powerless. He also had the ability to create holographic images.
Originally, Doctor Light derived his powers from his suit, but over time he internalized this ability, and could use his powers without having to use his costume.
Arthur Light was mentally brilliant, a genius in the field of physics. However, his mindwipe by the Justice League reduced his intelligence substantially, and he lost his skill for creative use of his powers. Light's recent recovery of his memories seems to have brought his intellect back with them. As a result, he became a much deadlier opponent, capable of fighting a huge team of Teen Titans to a narrow defeat and facing off against multiple superheroes at once.
- Justice League of America (1st series) #12 (The Last Case of the Justice League)
- Atom #8 (Lockup in the Lethal Lightbulb)
- Green Lantern #33 (Wizard of the Light-Wave Weapons!)
- Justice League of America (1st series) #122 (The Great Identity Crisis)
- Teen Titans (1st series) #44 (The Man Who Toppled The Titans)
- Secret Origins #37 (Legion of Substitute Heroes - Doctor Light)
- Suicide Squad (1st series) #52 (The Death and Life and Death and Life and Death and Life of Doctor Light)
- Green Lantern (3rd series) #36 (The Ghost of Christmas Light)
- Green Lantern (3rd series) #80 (Final Night tie-in)
- Teen Titans (3rd series) #21-23 (Light's Out)
- Final Crisis: Revelations #1 (killed by the Spectre)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Edit
Teen Titans animated series Edit
In the Teen Titans animated series, Dr. Light is a fairly minor villain voiced by Rodger Bumpass. An almost direct opposite of his pre-Identity Crisis character, he is a capable fighter, but unlike his character in the comics, he lacks the common sense to go with it. His powers, which are derived from his suit, include light energy blasts, and in the Season Four episode "Birthmark", a light whip even capable of cutting through metal. His suit's design is very similar to the suit design for the Batman Beyond villain, Shriek. During the series, Light is generally seen as more of a nuisance than a real threat, and his frequent short appearances and easy defeats are somewhat of a running gag.
In his first appearance, the Season One episode "Nevermore", he got Raven angry, which unleashed her demonic side. He was nearly killed by her dark powers and has never really recovered, remaining permanently unstable and in fear of Raven ever since.
He made a cameo in "Fractured" when Larry is talking about how Robin beat the villains all the time (along with Cinderblock). He made another cameo in the episode "Wavelength" after the Titans, Bumblebee, and Aqualad got out of the HIVE Underwater Base. Robin gets a signal and Cyborg asks if it is Brother Blood, but Robin responds, "Dr. Light found a bank vault."
In "Birthmark", he was back at it with a light whip, but made the mistake of hitting an oil rig visible from the Titans Tower. He put up a good fight until Raven, using an exact appearance from the Season 1 episode "Nevermore", appeared and sardonically asked, "Remember me?"; in response, Dr. Light paled and promptly declared, "I'd like to go to jail now, please."
In "Kole", he then tried to harness the power of the Aurora Borealis with a crystal until the Teen Titans attack and an accident sends them to an underground prehistoric land where he plotted to use Kole as a power source. The Titans and Gnarrk defeated him; however, it should be noted that this time Dr. Light was able to put up a much better fight than in previous encounters with the Titans since he was using Kole as his unwilling power source. His downfall this time was largely due to Gnarrk freeing Kole and thus cutting off his newfound power supply.
He is seen in the giant villain pan in "Homecoming: Part 2" but is not seen taking down a Titan in "Calling All Titans". He is also not present in the final battle in the Brotherhood's base, but he is seen robbing a bank afterwards and all thirty Titans ready themselves to take him down (to which Raven remarks "He's totally gonna freak this time").
He is also a playable character in the multiplayer battle mode in the video game based on the animated series.
Justice League: The New Frontier Edit
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