Luminus (comics)

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Luminus (Edward Lytener) was a fictional character and villain who made several appearances throughout the DC animated universe. (Specifically Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League). He was voiced by Robert Hays, the character is primarily an enemy of Superman.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Superman: The Animated Series[edit]

Prior to his first appearance, Edward Lytener was an inventor working for LexCorp. He met Lois Lane while she was investigating questionable activities at the company. Ultimately, Lytener became a key whistleblower against the company. Lois' resultant exposé on the company brings her fame and prestige. Edward left LexCorp and ended up working out of a small warehouse. Though he was bitter over how things turned out, he did not give any direct indication. Outwardly, he maintained a friendship with Lois.

During his debut in "Target," Lois consults him regarding multiple attempts on her life. The near-miss assassinations—all mechanized and thwarted by Superman—began at an award ceremony in her honor. Lois gives Edward a device Superman found on her car, hoping he can identify it. Edward's microscopic examination reveals that the device has the LexCorp insignia. However, LexCorp owner Lex Luthor affirms his innocence. After another attempt on her life, Lois returns to Edward's workshop. It is at this time that a brief exchange implicates Edward himself. Soon, the inventor admits his guilt. He claims to have been attracted to her, and that he only helped her "so [she] would notice" him. Nevertheless, his feelings are clearly now just an obsessive hatred. As her secret attacker, he sent several harsh messages with each death trap. Soon, he lures her into yet another trap during their confrontation (which he was saving for her apartment). Meanwhile, Clark answers Lois' phone at the Daily Planet with Lex on the other line saying that he has traced the device to the one responsible and wants him to tell Lois. When Superman comes to the aid of Lois, Lytener presents a special vest made for physical combat. Using it, he can manipulate light and solar power. Near the start, he creates red sun light, which he knew was a weakness of Superman. With this advantage, he fights Superman almost to a standstill. After a battle that destroys most of the laboratory, Superman does realize how to overcome Lytener. He then rescues Lois while Edward is arrested and sent to Stryker Island.

Edward appears again in the episode "Solar Power", armed with a new device that allows him to escape prison by turning himself invisible and hijacking a helicopter. Managing to take control of a multitude of LexCorp communications satellites, Edward creates a force field between the Earth and Sun. This filters out most of the sun's light, save for the red: this creates an emulation of a red sun, again weakening Superman greatly. Edward initially attacks Lois Lane aboard a monorail, though he assures her that it's nothing personal. This time, he merely wants to use her as bait for Superman. When Superman arrives, Edward reveals his new costume and supervillain persona: Luminus. Through the next few days, Luminus taunts and tests Superman continually. Eventually, he finds an over-curious Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in his hidden hideout. He decides to kidnap both, and brings them to the communications tower from which he directs LexCorp satellites. When Superman arrives, he's faced with a variety of illusionary, hard light constructs (These include an Old West-style bar room and a pirate ship). After Superman fights through the illusions, Luminus himself confronts the hero. Though Superman is nearly killed in his weakened state, he manages to deflect one of Luminus' laser blasts, destroy the console coordinating the satellites. Yellow sunlight returns, and Superman is restored to full strength. Luminus is then summarily defeated, and arrested once again.

Justice League[edit]

Luminus appeared again in the Justice League episode "Only a Dream" now voiced by Nicholas Guest. In the beginning of the episode, he is part of an attempted jailbreak (with Copperhead, Firefly, Solomon Grundy, and Volcana act as his cohorts) from Stryker's Island. Using his newfound abilities with hard light duplicates, Luminus deals a nasty beating to the Flash using solid holograms. Still, he is defeated by Superman soon after he found the real one.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Edward Lytener is a master inventor, specialized in miniature electronics and manipulating light. Prior to becoming Luminus, Edward developed devices such as laser guns, remote-controls capable of overriding an automobile's functions, and a suit of powered armor that granted him enough strength to go toe-to-toe with Superman (for a while, at least).

As Luminus, Lytener is armed with a laser pistol and a device capable of projecting duplicates of himself or making himself invisible. With proper preparation, he can create any variety of holographic projections, and is even capable of making light solid (was once explained that he makes it solid with just the right kind of laser field).

As of the Justice League episode "Only a Dream," Luminus is now able to project hard light duplicates of himself at will.