DC Database

Quote1 Well, my friends, we've completed the casting for the Fearsome Five! And for our first act together, we will destroy the New Teen Titans! Quote2
Doctor Light src

Doctor Arthur Light was a minor but persistent foe of a number of heroes.

Arthur Light began his career as a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist, working alongside Jacob Finlay. Finlay developed light-manipulating technology in secret with the objective of using it to fulfill his dream and become a superhero, but Light was involved in industrial espionage against S.T.A.R. for a rival tech firm. In his first outing as a superhero, Finlay discovered Light's criminal activities. The following day, as a result of storing his equipment in the terminal for the computer console in his lab, Finlay caused the console to short-circuit and project a beam of laser-light that disintegrated him on the spot. Tormented by visions of Finlay's vindictive ghost and oppressed by his increasingly unequal relationship with his clandestine criminal employers, Light was driven to scour the lab for Finlay's costume, using it to drench himself in everlasting light and chase away the shadows where lurked his greatest fears.[1]

Using the technology to strike out on his own as a career criminal, Doctor Light picked a fight with the Justice League of America, using a device to paralyze their various members and teleport them away to other-dimensional planes where their powers would be inert. Arriving late to the battle, Superman and Batman switched costumes to trick Doctor Light, escape the dimensions they were separately cast off to, and retrieve their fellow Justice Leaguers from their own predicaments. Meanwhile, Light broke into the League's Secret Sanctuary lair and boasted of his presumed victory to the team's mascot Snapper Carr. To his chagrin, Light realized that he declared victory far too early when the Justice League regrouped and soundly trounced him.[2] Years later, Doctor Destiny impersonated Doctor Light to swap images with the Martian Manhunter and get him sent to prison in Light's place. The other JLAers were framed and incarcerated by Doctor Destiny through similar methods using other criminal guises. When the Justice League reverted to their true forms due to the independent plan of Green Arrow and left their holding cells to confront Destiny in their Sanctuary, the real Doctor Light was summoned alongside a band of other super-villains and brainwashed to fight the Leaguers on Destiny's behalf.[3]

Doctor Light holographically disguised himself as an ice-monster and drew a group of Justice Leaguers into a fight at the North Pole, feigning defeat in order so Superman would think to detain him in the Fortress of Solitude's intergalactic zoo. Smuggling himself into the Fortress by this stratagem, Doctor Light availed himself of a stored Amnesium sample, turning it into the prism for a laser which Light used to scramble the secret identities of all the JLAers, excepting Aquaman and Superman himself. Doctor Light then took advantage of the JLAers' confusion in their discombobulated recognition of their civilian identities to pick them off one by one, though Superman and Aquaman intervened to extricate their comrades from Light's traps and organized a charge to retake the Fortress and weed Light out. In the denoument, the Justice League agreed at Green Arrow's suggestion to exchange knowledge of each other's true identities, in order to prevent them from being taken advantage of in such a manner again.[4] Eventually, Light tried to murder Superman using a magical staff he created from Zatanna's powers, but he was stopped by the combined forces of Superman and Batman.[5] Doctor Light then attempted to use a device to scan the Galaxy Communications studio hosting The Johnny Nevada Show, when the subject of the night's discussion was citizens who were previously suspected of being Superman's secret identity. Though Clark Kent was on the set that night, he noticed Light and took steps to divert his search and set him up for an ambush.[6] Later still, Doctor Light competed with a new super-villain on the scene, called the Star-Tsar, and was flushed out of his light-bending, invisible lab smack-dab in the middle of Central Park by the Justice League and their ally, the Privateer (who turned out to be the Star-Tsar's faux-heroic alter ego).[7] Despite his defeat, Light returned and allied himself with a terrorist group in order to take control of a satellite which he attempted to use as a weapon against Gotham City. Light's plan was thwarted when Batman and Supergirl joined forces against him.[8]

After failing to defeat the Justice League, Doctor Light fought their sidekicks and former sidekicks, the Teen Titans. He then founded the Fearsome Five, but they were later defeated by the Titans. Light was violently expelled from the Five by his teammates. Each criminal caper led to Light's defeat, often humiliating him in the process. Light's most ignominious defeat was likely his defeat by Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.

Driven by self-doubt and guilt, thanks in part to Jacob Finlay's ghostly presence, he volunteered for the Suicide Squad. As a Squad member, he was less than successful in exonerating himself morally. On a mission against the Force of July, he killed Sparkler, the Force's youngest member and only a child.[9]

Finally, Finlay's ghost convinced Light to attempt a heroic turn, and was consequently killed by Parademons on Apokolips. Light was thus sent to Hell, where he was physically reunited with Finlay. Both men were released from Hell and returned to life, only to soon die again: Arthur Light suffocated while still inside his grave, while the desiccated Finlay clawed his way out of his own grave but was killed by a family of religious vigilantes. Light was again returned to life, and barely survived a great fall that his demonic tormentors may have intended to be fatal.

Doctor Light, freed of his ex-partner's hauntings, attempted to rejoin the Suicide Squad, but his appeal was summarily rejected by Amanda Waller.[10] He was briefly trapped in the Green Lantern's power battery, and as a consequence was temporarily transformed into living light.[11] 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

 Main article: Identity Crisis

After he attacked Sue Dibny the 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 being a plausible foe of the Justice League to a punching bag for the Teen Titans). He later recovered his memories and intellect, and vowed revenge against the Justice League.

First he kidnapped Green Arrow, using him as bait so he could initiate his revenge on the Teen Titans. When the Titans responded to his call and landed at Light's position, he attacked savagely and nearly killed them all. However, when every available hero who had ever been a Titan appeared, he suffered another defeat. Batman and Batgirl appeared to take him to prison, but revealed themselves to be Deathstroke and Ravager, who offered him a place in the new Secret Society of Super Villains, a large villainous organization headed by Lex Luthor. Doctor Light, hungry for vengeance and power, readily accepted.[12]

As a Society member, he was able to help Merlyn and Deathstroke defeat Green Arrow in Star City. Doctor Light then attacked and absorbed a great deal of the other Doctor Light's power, Kimiyo Hoshi. However, she eventually regained the powers he drained from her. He hired Killer Frost and Mirror Master to distract Green Arrow and Black Lightning while he attacked Green Arrow's family, Mia Dearden and his son Connor Hawke, killing a large number of students at Mia's high school in the process. When Black Lightning and Green Arrow caught up to Doctor Light, he trapped Black Lightning, Speedy and Conner inside their new apartment building after Deathstroke blew up the last one. Light then led Green Arrow on a chase through Star City until they both ended up in the park and Green Arrow faced off against Merlyn in a duel with bows and arrows.

One Year Later and Final Crisis

Light was then a member of Luthor, Joker and Cheetah's Injustice League Unlimited. During a battle with the Justice League, Cheetah betrays him and slashes him in the back because of her hatred of him.[13] Shortly after, the Injustice League are captured and deported to an alien world by the Suicide Squad.

After returning to Earth, Light became a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. He and Mirror Master were then sent by Libra to recover Metron's Mobius Chair, in which they were briefly challenged by Empress, Sparx and Mas y Menos, but defeat them easily by combining Light's beams with Mirror Master's mirrors. Light later participated in the murder of the Martian Manhunter, assisting the Human Flame and Libra. Later however, The Spectre judges Doctor Light and burns him to death by turning him into a candle and using his head for the wick. The Spectre, in his characteristically ironic fashion, chose this punishment because of Light's abuse of his ability to manipulate light.[14]

Blackest Night

Doctor Light's body was seen entombed in the Hall of Justice [15]. He is later resurrected as a Black Lantern [16] and he proceeds to attack Kimiyo. After he threatens Kimiyo's children, she loses her cool and incinerates him and his Black Ring with her light powers.


  • Photokinesis: Doctor Light has the power and ability to freely control and manipulate light for a variety of purposes. By mentally repulsing photons, Light can create areas of complete darkness. The limits of his powers and abilities are unclear, but he seems to be able to wrest control and manipulation of anything that emits light. Such things have included Green Lantern bright green glowing energy constructs, Superboy's heat vision, and magic lightning from Wonder Girl's lasso. He was also able to take the "internal" light away from Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi) and Ray (Ray Terrill).
    • Illusion Casting: He can create solid images of himself or others, which explode on contact.[17]
    • Energy Construct Creation[17]
    • Invisibility: He can bend the light around him to become invisible.
    • Energy Projection: He can generate blasts of yellow glowing energy.
    • Force Field: He can create yellow glowing force fields.
    • Flight: It is unknown exactly how he uses his light to fly, yet he does and has done so throughout most of his career, although it's possible he attracts himself to certain light.
    • Energy Absorption: Light can also drain ambient light in any area.


  • Genius Level Intellect: Originally, Arthur Light was brilliant. However, his mind-wipe by the Justice League reduced his intelligence substantially. Light's recent recovery of his memories seems to have brought his brilliance back with them.


  • Light Suit: Originally, Doctor Light derived his powers and abilities from his suit, but over time he has internalized this power and ability, and can use his light-controlling-manipulating powers and abilities without having to use his suit.
    • Mini-Jets: Before he internalized his powers, Doctor Light used mini-jets created by Gizmo to fly.[18]


  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • Accounts of Doctor Light's origins vary. According to DC Super-Stars #14 he accidentally created a portal to other worlds which allowed him to steal advanced light technology from Thanagar, successfully evading capture by Hawkman years before he met the Justice League. A later account, after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, however, tells a different story, stating that Light developed his equipment in partnership with Jacob Finlay. Although it has since been revealed that DC Super-Stars #14 is germane to Earth-Thirty-Two, this was validated further as the Pre-Crisis origin of Doctor Light by a subsequent reference to it in Justice League of America #149.
  • During the Silver Age, Doctor Light went by a few nicknames such as Lord of Luminescence and Photon Felon.



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