|First appearance||New Gods #1
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Place of origin||New Genesis|
|Team affiliations||Justice League
Fictional character biography
Lightray is the shining star of New Genesis and a high-spirited New God. Unlike his grim friend Orion, Lightray is cheerful and optimistic and prefers to solve problems through compromise rather than combat. He uses the speed of light to his advantage in eluding foes.
Lightray has served one stint as a member of the Justice League. He joined the international branch along with Orion on the same night as a membership drive failed to find other new recruits. The difference between the two was illustrated in battle. While Lightray desires a minimum of fuss in battle by dispatching his foe, Crowbar, with a simple expenditure of energy to the man's face while, Orion prefers to destroy the pavement around Blackrock—and then was angered when his opponent surrendered instead of fighting to the death.
In this same issue, Lightray demonstrates his knowledge of chess. Lightray's long hair causes him to be mistaken for a female by the old-fashioned General Glory. They stay with the team until just after the battle with General Glory's old foe the Evil Eye.
As Sollis his idea of fun is protecting New Genesis from Apokolips, Darkseid, and his minions. He resides on New Genesis and is active in adventuring. He returns to Earth briefly in JLA #27 (March 1999), as part of an emergency expansion of the Justice League. The team battles the android Amazo in the Florida Everglades. Most of them are subdued and their powers copied, Lightray included. Amazo loses his powers when Superman, as the chairman, officially disbands the League, thus ending Lightray's membership.
In Countdown #48, Lightray falls to earth after an off stage fight with the New Gods Killer (later revealed to be Infinity-Man). He dies holding Jimmy Olsen's hand, repeating the word "infinite" and glowing brighter.
Powers and abilities
Like all the New Gods, Lightray is extremely long-lived, is stronger, faster and more durable than a humans are. Lightray, who flies at tremendous speeds, can generate and project solar energy. Thus he can create brilliant light and extraordinarily high levels into beams of laser-like intensity. Lightray can also use his powers of light to create lifelike illusions. Lightray prefers to use his solar powers in battle rather than engage in hand-to-hand combat. In his headgear Lightray carries one of the "living computers" called Mother Box.
Using his power to the utmost he can generate a massive sun as he did in New Gods #3 to escape the Black Racer. He can also fly at the speed of light, 'maybe even faster' according to friend David Lincoln, and he uses his own mother box. He has the ability to increase Superman's abilities to almost limitless proportions.
Seven Soldiers of Victory
Lightray makes several brief, non speaking appearances in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory series, where his human form is a frail man on crutches.
In the miniseries Captain Carrot and the Final Ark, Lightray's counterpart in the "New Dogs" is an anthropomorphic dog named Lightstray.
JLA: The Nail
In other media
- Lightray appears in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Legacy" Pt. 2, in a non-speaking role.
- Lightray appears in the two-part Justice League episode "Twilight" voiced by Rob Paulsen. When Batman and Wonder Woman arrive on New Genesis to look for Orion, Lightray taunts them, giving Wonder Woman a playful slap on the behind, prompting her to declare "He's worse than the Flash!". This leads to a chase around New Genesis as Batman manages to trap Lightray as Orion arrives.
- Lightray returns in an unspeaking role in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Destroyer." He encounters Lex Luthor, Sinestro and the Secret Society near New Genesis after they have accidentally resurrected Darkseid only to be attacked and have his Mother Box stolen by Evil Star, which the villains use to return to Earth, their base having been destroyed by Darkseid. His fate after Evil Star steals his Mother Box is unknown.
- Justice League America #42, September 1990
- Ibid #44
- Ibid #50, May 1991