Luminus (character)

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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman: The Animated Series
Created byBruce Timm
Voiced byRobert Hays (Superman: The Animated Series)
Nicholas Guest (Justice League)
In-story information
Alter egoEdward Lytener
Team affiliationsSuperman Revenge Squad
Secret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliasesEd Lytener
AbilitiesHolographic imagery

Luminus (Edward Lytener) is a fictional character and villain that made several appearances throughout the DC animated universe. He was voiced by Robert Hays, the character is primarily an enemy of Superman.

Fictional character biography[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 while Edward is forced to leave LexCorp and end up working out of a small warehouse. Though he was bitter over how things turned out, he didn't 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 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 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. This time, Edward winds up implicating himself during their exchange. Fully admitting his guilt, he claims to have been attracted to her, and that he only helped her "so [she] would notice" him. Despite this, his feelings have become an obsessive hatred. As her secret attacker, he reveals that he sent several harsh messages with each death trap, before luring 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 Lois' aid, Lytener presents a special vest he made for physical combat and allow him to manipulate light and solar power. Near the start of the fight, he creates red sun light, which he knew was a weakness of Superman's. With this advantage, he fights the man of steel almost to a standstill. After their battle that destroys most of the laboratory, Superman realizes how to overcome Lytener and defeats him. He then rescues Lois while Edward is arrested and sent to Stryker's Island.

Edward appears again in the episode "Solar Power", armed with a new device that allows him to escape prison by turning himself invisible. Managing to take control of a multitude of LexCorp communications satellites, Edward creates a force field between the Earth and Sun; filtering out all but red light: emulating a red sun to weaken 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's directing the LexCorp satellites. When Superman arrives, he's faced with a variety of illusionary, hard light constructs. 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 and 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.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Edward Lytener is a master inventor, specializing 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 emitted red sun radiation which 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 (which was once explained that he's able to do so 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.

In other media[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 acting as his cohorts) from Stryker's Island. Using his newfound abilities with creating hard light duplicates at will, Luminus deals a nasty beating to the Flash before being defeated by Superman once more.