Iron Man battles the Living Laser on the cover of Iron Man #211 (Oct. 1986). Art by Alex Saviuk.

The Living Laser (Arthur Parks, alias the Laser) is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Avengers #34 (Nov. 1966) and was created by Stan Lee, Art Simek and Don Heck.

Publication history Edit

The character of Arthur Parks first appears in Avengers #34-35 (Nov-Dec 1966), and is a relatively successful laser research scientist until spurned by a woman. Deciding he needed power to achieve his aims, Parks creates wrist-mounted laser units, a costume and uses the alias "Living Laser" as a mercenary and professional criminal. He then develops an infatuation with the heroine the Wasp, and after kidnapping her is forced to battle the superhero team the Avengers while aiding Costa Verde guerillas. After being defeated by the Avengers, the Laser is sent to prison.

The Laser then appears in Avengers King-Size Special #1 (Sep. 1967), and at the command of master villain the Mandarin fights the Avengers alongside other supervillains as part of his attempt at world conquest. After a defeat, the Laser, together with team-mate the Swordsman, join Batroc the Leaper as part of the first "Batroc's Brigade" in a bid to kill Captain America in Captain America #105 (Sep. 1968). After being defeated again, the Laser later joins the first Lethal Legion and features in Avengers #78-79 (Jul. - Aug. 1970) in a failed revenge attack on the Avengers. The Laser later battles the Kree hero Mar-Vell in Captain Marvel #35 (Nov. 1974), but after yet another defeat disappears into obscurity for some time.

In Avengers #151 (Sep. 1976), #153 (Nov. 1976) and Avengers Annual #6 (1976) the Laser acquires the artifact the Serpent Crown and attempts to use the crown along with the living weapon Nuklo to conquer the world, but is defeated by once again by the Avengers. In Avengers #164 - 166 (Nov. 1977 - Jan. 1978) villain Count Nefaria employs the Laser and temporarily amplifies his abilities — together with those of team-mates Power Man and Whirlwind — before sending them against the Avengers as the second Lethal Legion. The effect, however, is temporary and their combined abilities are drained by Nefaria, who is subsequently defeated by the Avengers. The character discovers in Iron Man #152 - 153 (Nov. - Dec. 1981) that the power build-up in his body is reaching critical - and potentially fatal - levels. The Laser seeks the aid of East German scientists, who offer to help by draining off the excess energy and using it to power a network of weapons satellites. This plan, however, is foiled by Iron Man who forces his energy levels to build to critical mass. The Laser begs for help, but with no time remaining Iron Man is forced to hurl him into the atmosphere where the Laser detonates and apparently dies.

The Laser is eventually revived in Iron Man #211 (Oct. 1986) and later battles the cosmic hero Quasar in Quasar #6 (Jan. 1990). The Laser eventually renews his vendetta against Iron Man and battles the hero across Iron Man #259 - 263 (Aug. - Dec. 1990), posing as the deceased Titanium Man to draw Iron Man out. Escaping again, the characters briefly enters an altermate universe in Quasar #30 (1992). With Iron Man #289 (Feb. 1993) the Laser reappears and encounters the hero Jim Rhodes, who offers him a position at Stark Industries and a chance of reforming. The Laser accepts, but after a series of murders and mishaps is absorbed by Iron Man's armor and trapped in a long-term containment unit in Iron Man: The Inevitable #1 - 6 (2006).

After being tricked by the entity MODOK in MODOK's 11 #5 (Jul. 2007), a freed Laser joins the Hood's criminal organisation. During a battle with the New Avengers in New Avengers #35 (Oct. 2007), he is defeated by sorcerer Doctor Strange. In the "Secret Invasion" storyline, he is among the many supervillains who rejoined the Hood's crime syndicate and attacked an invading Skrull force.[1] He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.[2]

Powers and abilities Edit

A gifted research scientist with expertise in laser technology and a Ph.D in physics, Arthur Parks began his criminal career using wrist-mounted laser projection units, and later implanted miniature laser diodes into his skin which absorbed energy. With the diode implants, Parks is capable of energy projection, light refraction for invisibility and illusion generation.

Parks's material body was later replaced by photons due to an overloading of the Living Laser's diode implants. By increasing the density of the photons comprising his form, Parks can achieve "solidity"; project photons as energy beams and project three-dimensional holographic images. He also possesses limited telepathic abilities in his photon form and can communicate with others. In photon form, Parks can also travel at light speed.

Other versions Edit

What If? Edit

What If? #63 (July 1994) presents an alternate reality in which the Living Laser remains at Stark Industries, with three different outcomes to this choice being portrayed.

Other media Edit

Television Edit

Video games Edit

External links Edit

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