||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2012)|
|The Living Laser|
|First appearance||Avengers #34 (Nov. 1966)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Arthur Parks|
|Team affiliations||Lethal Legion
|Abilities||Genius level intellect
The Living Laser is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Avengers #34 (Nov. 1966) and was created by Stan Lee, Artie Simek and Don Heck.
The Living Laser debuted in The Avengers #34 (Nov. 1966) as Arthur Parks, a scientist who created wrist-mounted laser units and a costume (writer Mike Conroy stated "Arthur Parks was a scientist sufficiently proficient to design laser projectors small enough to wear on his wrists, quite the achievement in 1966.")
Following his appearance in the following issue, the Living Laser resurfaced in Avengers King-Size Special #1 (Sept. 1967). After an appearance in Captain America #105 (Sept. 1968), the character was part of the first version of the Lethal Legion in Avengers #78-79 (July-Aug. 1970). The Kree hero Mar-Vell encountered an android version of the Living Laser in Captain Marvel #35 (Nov. 1974). The real Laser reappeared in an extended storyline in Avengers #151 (Sept. 1976); #153 (Nov. 1976) & Avengers Annual #6 (1976).
After appearing as part of a pseudo Lethal Legion in Avengers #164-166 (Nov. 1977 - Jan. 1978), the character returned in Iron Man #152-153 (Nov.-Dec. 1981) and Iron Man #211 (Oct. 1986). The Laser featured in the Acts of Vengeance storyline in Quasar #6 (Jan. 1990) and reappeared in a new photon form in Iron Man #259-263 (Aug.-Dec. 1990) before returning in Quasar #30 (Jan. 1992) and Iron Man #289 (Feb. 1993).
Further appearances included the limited series Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11 #1-5 (Sept. 2007 - Jan. 2008) and New Avengers #35 (Oct. 2007). The character returned during the limited series Secret Invasion #1-8 (June 2008 - Jan. 2009), and made sporadic appearances in New Avengers.
Fictional character biography
As the "Living Laser", Parks becomes a mercenary and professional criminal. He develops an infatuation with the heroine the Wasp, and after kidnapping her is forced to battle the superhero team the Avengers. He captured Hawkeye and Captain America by placing them in a ring of lasers before leaving, but they were able to contact another member who helped them escape. The Living Laser met the Avengers again when he tried to conquer a small South American country, who defeat and incarcerate the villain.
The Laser, after breaking out of prison by creating a laser using parts teleported to him, reappears as part of a team formed by master villain the Mandarin after being teleported to his base, in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the Avengers and conquer the world and attacked Africa to try taking diamonds, but was defeated by Thor and Hawkeye despite the robot Ultimo being transported there from a volcano. As part of "Batroc's Brigade" (consisting of the Laser; the Swordsman and Batroc the Leaper) he participated in a battle against Captain America. The Laser reappears as part of the first version of the Lethal Legion gathered by the Grim Reaper in a failed revenge attack on the Avengers. There is an encounter between Kree hero Mar-Vell and an android version of the Laser.
The Laser eventually acquires the artifact the Serpent Crown, and while controlling the living weapon Nuklo and a battalion of the US Army attempts to conquer the world, but is defeated by the Avengers. He is then employed - along with fellow villains Power Man and Whirlwind - by Count Nefaria, who temporarily amplifies their abilities and sends them against the Avengers as the second Lethal Legion. The effect, however, is temporary and their combined abilities are drained by Nefaria (who in "powered" mode battles the Avengers until defeated by the Vision).
Discovering that the amplification caused a build-up of energy in his body that is reaching a critical - and potentially fatal - level, the Laser seeks the aid of East German scientists, who offer to help by draining off the excess energy and using it to power a network of weapons satellites. The plan, however, is stopped by Iron Man and in battle with the hero, the Laser's energy levels build to critical mass. Although the Laser begs for help, Iron Man has no choice but to hurl the character into the atmosphere where he detonates and apparently dies. Eventually revived, the Laser battles Iron Man once again; and during the Acts of Vengeance storyline battles the hero Quasar.
The Laser reappears in a new photon form, posing as the deceased Titanium Man while taunting Iron Man. The villain is eventually defeated and banished to an alternate universe. He eventually escapes, and obtains a position at Stark Industries. James Rhodes (a Stark employee and friend), however, is forced to trap the out-of-control Laser in a wide-beam communication chamber, which disperses him across the Andromeda Galaxy.
The Laser returns as an employee of the Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) villain MODOK, and later as a member of a criminal army formed by the villain the Hood. The villain sides with the heroes during the Secret Invasion storyline in a pitched battle with the alien Skrulls, and has a number of encounters with various teams of Avengers.
Mandarin and Zeke Stane recruit Living Laser to join up with other Iron Man villains in a plot to defeat Iron Man. Upon receiving upgrades, Living Laser managed to break Tony Stark's repulsor arc causing him to go into cardiac arrest.
Powers and abilities
A gifted research scientist with expertise in laser technology and a Ph.D in physics, Arthur Parks begins his criminal career using wrist-mounted laser projection units, and later implants miniature laser diodes into his skin which absorb energy. With the diode implants, Parks is capable of energy projection, light refraction for invisibility and illusion generation.
Parks's material body is eventually replaced by photons due to an overloading of the diode implants. By increasing the density of the photons comprising his form, Parks can achieve "solidity"; project photons as energy beams and create three-dimensional holographic images. The character also possesses limited telepathic abilities and can travel at light speed.
In the Heroes Reborn universe, created by Franklin Richards, Arthur Parks was a successful businessman of Parks Fiberoptics, until he lost his company to Tony Stark. Parks, now broken and desperate, having left his wife Amy, used his own technology to transform himself and attack Stark in his own home. Stark learned why Parks was attacking him, and tried to atone for what he had done and convince Parks to stop his attack. Parks refused to stop so Stark in his Iron Man suit was forced to destroy his containment armor causing his laser form to dissipate, killing him.
In other media
- Living Laser appears in the Iron Man animated series, voiced by Robert Hays. He is shown as a servant to the Mandarin.
- Living Laser appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episodes "Meltdown", "Fun with Lasers", "Technovore", "Designed Only for Chaos" and "Look into the Light", voiced by Louis Chirillo.
- Living Laser appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes "The Breakout" Pt. 1, "This Hostage Earth", and "Acts of Vengeance", voiced by Nolan North. He is a member of the Masters of Evil.
- Living Laser appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Flight of the Iron Spider", voiced by Keith Szarabajka.
- Living Laser appears in the 1991 Captain America and the Avengers video game.
- Living Laser appears as an occasional boss in the Iron Man 3 mobile video game. He is a mutation created by "Advanced Idea Mechanics" partnered with MODOK and Ezekiel Stane.
- Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, Collins & Brown, 2004.
- Avengers #34-35 (Nov.- Dec. 1966)
- Avengers King-Size Special #1 (Sept. 1967)
- Captain America #105 (Sept. 1968)
- Avengers #78-79 (July-Aug. 1970)
- Captain Marvel #35 (Nov. 1974)
- Avengers #151 (Sept. 1976); #153 (Nov. 1976) & The Avengers Annual #6 (1976)
- Avengers #164-166 (Nov. 1977 - Jan. 1978)
- Iron Man #152-153 (Nov.-Dec. 1981)
- Iron Man #211 (Oct. 1986)
- Quasar #6 (Jan. 1990)
- Iron Man #259 - 263 (Aug. - Dec. 1990)
- Quasar #30 (Jan. 1992)
- Iron Man #289 (Feb. 1993)
- Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK's 11 #1-5 (Sept. 2007 - Jan. 2008)
- New Avengers #35 (Oct. 2007)
- Secret Invasion #1-8 (June 2008 - Jan. 2009)
- New Avengers #46 (Dec. 2008); #50 (April 2009); Avengers: The Initiative #25 & 27 (Aug. & Oct.); #61 (March 2010) & #63 (May 2010)
- Invincible Iron Man #513
- What If? #63 (July 1994)
- Iron Man Vol. 2 #3
- Living Laser at the Marvel Directory
- Living Laser at the Grand Comics Database
- Living Laser at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe