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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 affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliasesEd Lytener
AbilitiesHolographic imagery

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Luminus (Edward Lytener) is a fictional character a supervillain 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 someone making attempts on her life. The assassinations—all mechanized death traps with harsh messages and thwarted by Superman—began at an investigative reporting award ceremony in her honor. Deciding the police won't be helpful enough in solving her problem, Lois goes to Edward with a device Superman had found on her car after one of these thwarted assassinations, hoping he can identify it. Edward's examination reveals the device has the LexCorp insignia, but LexCorp owner Lex Luthor affirms his innocence. After another attempt on her life, Lois returns to Edward's workshop after piecing some things together. This time, she gets Edward to wind up implicating himself during their exchange. Fully admitting his guilt, he claims to have been attracted to her, and he only helped her "so [she] would notice" him. When this failed, his feelings became an obsessive hatred. He then 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. Lex tells Clark to tell Lois that he has traced the device to the one responsible, and upon Lex telling him, Clark immediately heads straight to Edward. When Superman comes to Lois' aid, Lytener presents a special vest he made for physical combat that allows him to manipulate light and solar power. Near the start of the fight, he has the vest create the light of a red sun, knowing it to be 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 and objects 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 holograms with 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.

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