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Dr. Light

Alias: Arthur Light

Related Links:  Fearsome Five

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Let There Be Light

Dr. Arthur Light and Dr. Jacob Finlay both young scientists in the S.T.A.R. Labs Light Technology Department, were an inseparable pair. Jacob, far more than Arthur, was extremely protective of their research and insisted that it be used in the cause of good and morality. Unbeknownst to Jacob, Arthur had been illegally selling other S.T.A.R. secrets to a powerful corporate raider. One night, Arthur was caught pilfering further lab technology and was confronted by a new superhero who called himself Dr. Light. The hero tried to capture Arthur – and then, once he got a clear look at Arthur’s face seemed to recognize him and mysteriously set him free.

Reflecting on the incident later that night, Arthur realized that Jacob was Dr. Light and that he had been helping himself to their technology in order to create a superhero Identity. Knowing Jacob’s secret made Arthur even more reluctant to fulfill the new request of his corporate benefactor – who demanded that Arthur find and turn over the secret of Dr. Light’s powers.

The next morning, in the shambles of the lab tom apart during his battle with Dr. Light, Arthur began to confront Jacob about their mutual situations when an electrical short in their equipment caused a laser to lash out toward Jacob, disintegrating him in a blinding flash. Arthur assumed that Jacob would no longer be a part of his life – an assumption that turned out to be anything but true when Jacob’s ghost began haunting Arthur whenever the lights went out, blaming Arthur for his death. Arthur continued to be terrorized by the vengeful spirit of his former friend until he accidentally came across Jacob’s Dr. Light outfit, hidden in the lab. In a panic, Arthur used its light-ray beams against Jacob’s ghost. He immediately discovered that light, in any form, was his one defense against the spirit, and Arthur took the costume and weaponry for his own protection.

As Dr. Light, Arthur became intoxicated with his newfound power and decided to use it for personal gain. He knew that his criminal career would eventually bring him into conflict with the newly formed Justice League of America, so Light set a trap that first immobilized the League members, then transported each of them into another dimension. Unfortunately for Light, his opponents eventually made their way back to Earth and took Light into custody.

When the Justice League proved too challenging, Dr. Light set his sights on the Teen Titans.

That first case against the Justice League would be the closest Light would ever come to a victory against any adversary; after his initial defeat by the entire League, he systematically went after individual super-heroes, again finding himself unable to beat any one of them.

Dim Bulb

One fateful evening, Dr. Light was able to infiltrate the Justice League’s satellite headquarters. The only person at the headquarters happened to be Elongated Man’s wife, Sue Dibny. Dr. Light brutally attacked Sue until the League arrived and subdued him.

Fearing what Dr. Light may do in the future, the League pondered what actions to take. In the wake of the death of Flash’s wife, there was an increased concern for the loved ones of Justice League members. Zatanna, Hawkman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Black Canary and Elongated Man voted – and Dr. Light’s sentence was decided; Zatanna used her magics to tamper with Light’s mind to help correct his aberrant behavior. But Zatanna’s spell didn’t work quite right… and Dr. Light received a partial lobotomy at the hands of the Justice League.

The event was kept secret by the League members. But Dr. Light tried to continue his criminal career – and his brain addled attempts were met with failure time after time.

Dr. Light’s defeat at the hands of the Teen Titans is recounted  in SECRET ORIGINS Annual #3 [1989].

Not So Bright Future

After Titans’ mentor Mr. Jupiter had closed down his training program, Mal Duncan had been left in charge of the Teen Titans base and equipment. The members received an emergency signal which rallied Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Mal to their former headquarters. This turned out to be a trap set by Dr. Light, who intended to use the Titans as bait to trap the Justice League. Together, the revived Titans defeated Dr. Light and stopped his plan to take over the JLA satellite.

Dr. Light became obsessed with creating a name for himself among the underworld. Whereas the adult JLA proved too powerful, Light believed he could defeat the younger, less experienced Teen Titans – with the right help. The Fearsome Five was a group put together by Doctor Light when he placed an ad in the Underworld Star, a criminal underground paper. The charter members included Dr. Light, Gizmo, Shimmer, Mammoth and Psimon, the latter taking over leadership from Dr. Light during their first encounter with the Titans.

The Fearsome Five would return to battle the Titans, and Dr. Light was always in a power struggle for leadership over the group. Light eventually fled the Fearsome Five in fear for his life.

ABOVE: Dr. Light gathers the Fearsome Five in NEW TEEN TITANS #3 [1981].
BELOW: Dr. Light displays his power in NEW TEEN TITANS #3 [1981].

Dr. Light was later recruited by the Suicide Squad for a number of missions. What he kept secret from his teammates was that the ghost of Jacob had been plaguing him more and more; on his final mission, Jacob goaded Light into declaring himself a full-fledged super-hero, then watched in glee as Light was cut down by dozens of ray gun-wielding soldiers on Apokolips.

Thought dead, Dr. Light later resurfaced. He returned to his criminal ways with no more success than he had previously enjoyed. Eventually Light’s powers turned on him when he became trapped within the power battery of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan. After residing in the lantern for over a year, he was freed, only to find that he was now partially constructed of light. He later joined Alex Luther’s Injustice Gang, but as before, when the scheme began falling apart, Light fled.

Dr. Light confronts the newly formed Teen Titans in TEEN TITANS (third series) #23 [2005].

Lights Out

When Sue Dibny was brutally murdered, Dr. Light became a prime suspect. During the course of the investigation, Dr. Light learned the Justice League had tampered with his mind. The enraged criminal sought revenge on the costumed heroes, staging a publicized battle with the newly formed Teen Titans in an effort to take back his reputation. More dangerous than ever, Light embraced his true, vicious nature and took particular satisfaction in terrorizing his female prey. His plan eventually came crashing down when the Outsiders arrived with a horde of previous Titans, who helped drive Dr. Light away.

With the threat of a Final Crisis looming, Crispus Allen accepted his role as The Spectre by exacting God’s vengeance on some of the DC Universe’s most vile sinners. To that end, Spectre hunted down Dr. Light and killed him, burning the sadistic rapist alive.

 Powers & Abilities

As a hand-to-hand combatant, Dr. Light couldn’t beat an egg; but as a brilliant theoretician and technician, Light created countless highly advanced weapons based on the various properties of light. For example, he could create convincing illusions with it, solidify it, and even warp space and dimensions with it. Originally using hand weapons, Light soon incorporated most of these devices into his costume.


The Titans battle Dr. Light, as depicted in this VS System Card Art.


Essential Reading

Justice League of America #12 [1961]: First appearance of Dr. Light.
Teen Titans #44 [1976]: The Teen Titans reorganize after a two-year hiatus, with Robin, Kid flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Mal as full-time members. Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy and Mal are lured to Titans’ Lair by a false distress signal, where they battle Dr. Light, who seeks revenge on the JLA; The Teen Titans do not work as a team and are defeated, except for Mal.
New Teen Titans #3 [1981]: Dr. Light forms the Fearsome Five in order to attack the Titans again; Fearsome Five member Psimon, under Trigon’s subtle influence, takes over leadership from Dr. Light, and the villains defeat the Titans; Psimon plants a compulsion in the heroes’ minds to destroy the JLA. First appearance of Fearsome Five; First appearance of Gizmo, Mammoth, Shimmer and Psimon.
New Teen Titans #7 [1981]: Titans’ Tower is unveiled. The Fearsome Five renew their assault on the Titans, using Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, and the dimensional transmitter in Titans’ Tower to bring Psimon back; Once the Fearsome Five is defeated, Silas reveals that he is dying of cancer; After two months of reconciliation between himself and his son, Silas dies.
New Teen Titans #37 and Batman and the Outsiders #5 [1983]: Fearsome Five member Gizmo breaks his villain group out of prison; Under Psimon’s leadership, the Fearsome Five kidnap Dr. Helga Jace and force her to make them a group of Mud Men to help in their battles; Dick Grayson tells Bruce Wayne that he wants to terminate their heroic partnership; The Titans and the Outsiders team up to defeat the Fearsome Five after the villains expel Dr. Light from the group and attempt to kill him; Robin chafes under Batman’s leading the two groups in battle and takes over, proving that Robin does not always have to be in Batman’s shadow.
Tales of the Teen Titans #56-58 [1985]: The Fearsome Five, without Dr. Light, invade S.T.A.R. Labs and take Neutron and Jinx to be their new teammates; Cyborg’s refit is completed, but his body rejects the parts; The Fearsome Five are defeated; Cyborg is brought back to health and meets Dr. Sarah Charles; Jericho is made a full-fledged Titan. First appearances of Sarah Charles. First appearance of Jinx. Jinx and Neutron join the Fearsome Five.
Green Lantern (second series) #36: Dr. Light fights Green Lantern and is trapped within the power battery of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
Green Lantern (second series) #79-80 [1996]: After residing in the lantern for over a year, Dr. Light is freed, only to find that he was now partially constructed of light. Upon emerging, Light fights Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), who defeats him.
Identity Crisis #1-7 [2004]: In the wake of Sue Dibny’s murder, Dr. Light becomes a prime suspect. A segment of the Justice League reveals they mindwiped Dr. Light years ago. Light discovers this and becomes enraged.
Teen Titans #21-23 [2005]: “Lights Out,” an IDENTITY CRISIS follow-up story! Doctor Light has forced the Titans’ hand and staged a publicized battle with the young heroes to take back his reputation. But as the Titans fall, help arrives in the form of two young heroes. Get ready for the debut of the new Hawk and Dove!
Final Crisis: Revelations #1 (of 5) [2008]: With the end of creation nigh, Crispus Allen must embrace his role as The Spectre by exacting God’s vengeance on some of the DC Universe’s most vile sinners. To that end, Spectre hunted down Dr. Light and killed him by burning the sadistic rapist alive. Death of Dr. Light.

Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published byICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by

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