Supervillain Origins: Living Laser

script written by Craig Butler Lasers are a part of modern living – but this guy makes his living with modern lasers. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Living Laser. As with most comic book characters, there are often reimagings and different versions to a character’s past. Special thanks to our users Jacob or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Supervillain Origins: Living Laser

 
Lasers are a part of modern living – but this guy makes his living with modern lasers. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the Living Laser.
 
As with most comic book characters, there are often reimagings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1966’s Avengers #34 and 35 and which was expanded upon in 1981’s Iron Man #153 and 1986’s Iron Man #211.
 
When the Living Laser started out, he was just your run-of-the-mill genius with technology that enabled him to utilize very powerful and destructive lasers. Through the years however, he went beyond experimenting with lasers to using them to turn himself into one. Neat trick.
 
When readers met the Living Laser, he was using his lasers to rob a bank – not for profit but to demonstrate his power and ability. The Avengers were called in after he had escaped, but he returned to the scene of the crime in his civilian identity of Arthur Parks. There he spied his ex-fiance talking to her old friend, Janet Van Dyne, aka The Wasp.
 
Parks was immediately smitten with the Wasp. Within moments, Parks had decided that he would commit himself to winning her love. He chose to do so by demonstrating his immense power. And what better way than by defeating her might husband, Ant-Man, who was at the time going by one of his other many identities, Goliath.

It did not go well for the love-stricken underdog. Goliath beat the Living Laser, but when the Avengers took him away, the Laser managed to escape. Modifying his weaponry, he created a laser beam that was even larger and more intense. He proceeded to lay waste to the City. When the Avengers intervened, he caught them. Using special lasers he was able to slow Captain America and Hawkeye while he absconded with the imprisoned Wasp.
 
Fortunately, Goliath showed up and released Cap and Hawkeye. Meanwhile, the Wasp learned of the Laser’s new nutty plan. He was pretending to help two villains conquer a South American country so they could become its new dictators. In fact, the Laser was using them to become dictator of the country himself – all to impress the Wasp.
 
The other Avengers appeared and tried to scuttle his plans but got captured by Laser’s mob. He had devised a fiendish plot to kill them all, a plan the Wasp believed had succeeded. Meanwhile however, Goliath shrunk down and rigged one of Laser’s machines to backfire, incapacitating the villain.
 
The Living Laser’s origin hasn’t changed much through the years, but the villain himself has gone through a number of metamorphoses. In 1981, he talked about how an alliance with the villainous Count Nefaria had doubled his powers – but only temporarily. Later, he found that the experiment that temporarily enhanced his powers had altered his very structure. He had become a living battery, constantly absorbing light and energy whether he wanted to or not.
 
Although he could release small amount of this energy, he needed a way to siphon off more of it. A team of East Germans constructed a machine that took his excess energy and used it to destroy enemy targets. Iron Man tried to stop him, discovering that the Laser could also now bend light and become in effect, invisible. When the Laser’s body overloaded with energy, Iron Man threw him into space, where he exploded harmlessly to others – if not to himself.
 
Of course, villains never stay dead long. In 1986, Laser returned to Earth – but he was a being of pure light with no corporeal substance. He was also a little unhinged by this turn of affairs and sought revenge against Iron Man. Ol’ Shellhead won out again, naturally.
 
The Living Laser has returned several times since, adopting another new look along the way. He no longer has an obsession with Janet Van Dyne, and just wants the money and power, without the women. He wouldn’t be much of a supervillain if he didn’t, now would he?
 
Are you a fan of the aptly-named Living Laser? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
 
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