- You've made a grave mistake, Iron Man, in thinking I'm an easy opponent.
- -- Living Laser src
Arthur Parks was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He fell in love with Lucy Barton until she left him to marry another man with greater wealth, causing him to lose his mind. Blinded by jealousy, he thought that to win a woman's heart he needed to have power, driving him to create his alter ego, the Living Laser.
Parks then met and fell in love at first sight with the Wasp. He captured her and began a battle with the Avengers, briefly collaborating with revolutionaries in Costa Verde and becoming the country's dictator for a few hours - until he lost the fight and was forcibly returned to the United States for custody and medical care.
He did not lose his thirst for power. After he had served some time in prison in New York, The Mandarin helped him escape. He began his team-up with Mandarin's Minions in order to take revenge on the Avengers, but his efforts were foiled by Thor and Hawkeye.
This failure led to Parks becoming a member of Batroc's Brigade, led by Batroc the Leaper, and then several incarnations of the Lethal Legion. After finding out Count Nefaria had double-crossed him (Nefaria had offered him, Power-Man and the Whirlwind increased powers, but only wanted to copy their power templates), he realized that the laser diodes implanted in his skin had become unstable; the power build-up in his body would eventually cause him to literally explode.
He sought out help and found East German agents who offered to help him; the excess energy would be drained off into a network of weapons platform satellites.
His human form was eventually destroyed while battling Iron Man in the East German "Heaven's Hand" base, when their exchange destroyed the installation that was to relieve him of his excess energy. Iron Man threw out the overloading Living Laser out of the base, to avoid the explosion destroying the base´s nuclear reactor. Parks exploded, but several months later, found himself on the streets of a city in California. His energy signal had been "collected" by a satellite, more-or-less as intended, after all; but this was causing malfunctions. Ironically, it was Tony Stark who repaired the satellite, releasing the pattern of energy which zoomed down to Earth and finally coalesced into a confused Arthur Parks, now entirely made up out of light, like a sentient hologram.
Although Iron Man approached him peacefully, offering to try to help him, Parks panicked, then broke into fury; finally, Stark was forced to fight and restrain him, trapping his light form in a mirror-sphere. He was taken to the West Coast Avengers compound where Henry Pym was working to restore him to normal.
The Living Laser subsequently escaped, and his increasing confidence and experience with his newfound abilities made him a greater threat than ever before. He sought out and fought Iron Man to a standstill, but only due to the mistaken belief that Iron Man had collapsed from injuries. In their second battle, with the help of Wonder Man and Henry Pym, Iron Man exploited one of the Living Laser's critical weaknesses to temporarily disperse the latter's energy-based body.
Space and Back
Upon reintegrating his energy form, Arthur Parks sought out Jim Rhodes, wanting revenge on Iron Man and Tony Stark; however, Rhodes told him Stark was dead (which he was, at the time) and that he had fired Iron Man. The Laser was confused by these developments, and Rhodes managed to convince him to take an engineering job at the company instead. But when Rhodes became convinced that the Living Laser was too dangerous, he engaged him in a specially equipped Iron Man armor, lured Parks into a Laser Focusing Chamber aimed at the Andromeda galaxy, and then activated it, firing the screaming ray of light into space for a projected journey of two million years.
But the Living Laser either returned to Earth, or (part of him) never left Earth (details are sketchy); in any case, he was sold as a computerized laser weapon system and bought as such by Tony Stark, who wanted to attempt to stabilize him mentally and restore his humanity. To this end, Dr. Maggie Dillon, a brilliant psychologist equipped by Stark with experimental technology, tried to contact the Laser, who had withdrawn deeply into himself. She managed to coax him out, and he was actually responding to her therapy; but in the end he decided he no longer had any need or desire for a human life. During his escape, Dr. Dillon was killed; Iron Man finally apprehended him again, absorbing his energy in his armor, then downloading it into a containment facility. There are no further attempts planned to "treat" the Laser.
More recently, Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane upgraded Parks with the condition to help them attack Iron Man, Parks managed to break Stark's repulsor arc and caused him a cardiac arrest. When Iron Man was captured by the Mandarin, he and fellow prisoner Ezekiel Stane convinced some supervillains to help them revel against the Mandarin, being the Living Laser one of them.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Arthur Parks was a gifted research scientist until he turned to villainy, and an expert in the design and construction of lasers. He began with wrist-mounted laser guns (which were the smallest lasers ever made), then implanted laser diodes into his skin with the help of fellow scientist Jonas Harrow and the funding of Count Nefaria (as well as a promise to have his power doubled).
Laser Mimicry & Projection: Currently, the Living Laser is a bodiless quantity of photons (particles of light) possessing human consciousness. He can exert mental control over the particles that comprise his form, determining their direction of travel and concentration. Through concentration, he achieves a critical density of photons, allowing him to laser. The maximum potency of this laser is not yet known, but it is known he can travel at the speed of light (186,274 miles per second). The full extent of his light-based powers has not yet been demonstrated, although he is believed to be able to maintain a holographic three-dimensional image of his physical self. It is possible that the Living Laser's body has not been totally destroyed, but was shunted permanently into the energy dimension from which Captain Marvel derives her powers, and replaced by an equivalent "quantity" of light. Possibly, the Living Laser can replenish the energy he expends by drawing new photons from this energy dimension. While in the form of a sentient light being, he can assume almost any identity by refracting light and creating holographic illusions. He can also concentrate his power as a single beam of light or he can become even deadlier by intensifying himself into laser beams.
|Power Grid |
Formerly, wrist-mounted laser guns and laser diode dermal implants.
- 87 Appearances of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 10 Images featuring Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 7 Quotations by or about Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
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