- —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.
The Living Laser joined the Lethal Legion lead by Grim Reaper. He also teamed up with rogue army general Jacob Pollock and acquired the Serpent Crown. The Laser used light imagery to trick the Whizzer into attacking the Avengers and retrieved the zombie Wonder Man from Avengers Mansion. With the power of the Serpent Crown, the Laser reawakened Wonder Man's mind. Wonder Man turned against the Living Laser, however, and the Vision stole the Serpent Crown from him, leading to his defeat.
Lethal Legion II
He joined the second Lethal Legion until finding out Count Nefaria had double-crossed him (Nefaria had offered him Power Man and Whirlwind's increased powers, but only wanted to copy their power templates).
His human form was eventually destroyed while battling Iron Man in the East Germany "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. He was recruited into Mephisto's Legion Accursed.
Several months later, the Laser 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 a fury; finally, Stark was forced to fight and restrain him by 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 new found abilities made him a greater threat than ever before. He battled Quasar on the Moon, but vanished through one of the Watcher's viewing portals, inadvertently passing into an alternate reality. The Watcher eventually summoned Quasar back to the Moon to retrieve the Living Laser from the parallel dimensions he was lost in.
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.
Shot into Space
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 multiple times 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 were no further attempts planned to "treat" the Laser.
MODOK'S 11 & Hood's Gang
After somehow getting free he became a member of MODOK's 11 in an attempt to make enough money to be able to make himself human again though this goal failed. He then went on to join the Hood's gang. He sided with the heroes during the Secret Invasion and battled with the Skrull's and had a number of encounters with various teams including the New Avengers.
Long Way Down
Mandarin and Ezekiel Stane upgraded Parks with the condition to help them attack Iron Man. The Living Laser 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 rebel against the Mandarin, with the Living Laser being one of them.
When Iron Man was on the hunt for several kits of the Extremis virus sold at an A.I.M. auction, Colombian drug lord Juan Valencia hired the Living Laser along with fellow villains Vibro and Firebrand to protect him in case Stark tried to get to the kit in his possession. As soon as he infiltrated Valencia's mansion, Iron Man was confronted by his hired thugs, though they were quickly dealt with. The Living Laser got his second wind when Stark was confronting Valencia personally. Valencia stopped the fight and got Iron Man to listen to him. Before the Living Laser could complain about his lack of payment, Iron Man threatened him into fleeing.
After Hydra took over the United States, Living Laser and the Army of Evil were placed in stasis by Supreme Hydra Captain America from fear of what would happen if they were allowed to remain free. After the fall of Hydra's regime, Living Laser was likely removed from stasis and taken into custody.
Return to Hood's Gang
Laser attended a meeting of various villains organized by the Wizard to discuss what to do about Doctor Doom who had unexpectedly decided to become a superhero and become the new Iron Man. As the Hood brought up the idea of forming a gang of villains to take Doom out, Doom suddenly appeared and took down all of the villains present. He later participated in an ambush against Doom along with many of the other villains that Doom had earlier defeated.
He also attended a meeting to discuss the Hood's rise as the new Kingpin of crime. He joined Hood and the Corruptor in attacking Doom at Doom's villa in the French Riviera. The fight ended in Living Laser getting knocked out by Doom, the Corruptor's death, and Doom's escape.
Living Laser rejoined the Lethal Legion when Count Nefaria reassembled the team to help him find a new source of power in the Catalyst, a device created by Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. After raiding the Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Facility to kill the scientist who discovered it and prevent his knowledge from being shared to anybody else, the Lethal Legion attacked a public demonstration for the Catalyst taking place at the Empire State University. The attack was interrupted by Spider-Man, but he was overpowered by the villains.
The Lethal Legion was ultimately stopped by the vicious vigilante Sin-Eater, who shot each member of the Legion and Nefaria. However, due to his new supernatural nature, when the Sin-Eater killed the Lethan Legion, he also stole their powers. This process also returned Arthur and the rest of the villains back to life, filled with a new-found sense of repentance for their crimes. They were all transferred to the Ravencroft Institute, where they became model patients. After the "sins" accumulated by the Sin-Eater were transferred into the Order of the Web and then they were expunged from this corruption, they went back to their original hosts, causing the Living Laser to regain his powers and return to his normal self.
When the Sin-Eater's master, the demonic Kindred twins, enacted their final attack against Spider-Man, they used their powers to pull into their service an army of super villains, including the Living Laser, due to his involvement in the Sin-Eater's rampage. They participated in a battle royale for Spider-Man's head until Doctor Octopus freed himself and the other contestants from the Kindreds' control.
- 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.
- Laser Implants: He originally had 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).
- 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.
- Formerly, wrist-mounted laser guns and laser diode dermal implants.
- Superhero Living Lightning changed his alias to simply "Lightning" to avoid confusion with the Living Laser.
- 93 appearance(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 13 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 8 minor appearance(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 12 mention(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 47 image(s) of Arthur Parks (Earth-616)
- 9 quotation(s) by or about Arthur Parks (Earth-616)