- Like you said...there are some things you're not supposed to see. Some things nobody's supposed to see. Ever.
- -- Joe Ledger src
Joseph Daniel Ledger is a Colonel in the United States Army. He is the son of a prostitute named Mary Ledger, whose step-father Eddie physically abused him. He has an ex-wife named Mandy and a son named Jordan of whom he is unaware. He joined the Army at sixteen with a fake identity. Later in life Sergeant Joe Ledger was on a mission in South America, in which he shot and killed a boy and afterwards attacked a fellow soldier, being demoted to Corporal. After his mother was murdered, Joe discovered his mother didn't know who his real father is. He killed his step-father upon learning the truth. The government gave Joe Ledger an option, to perform covert operations missions or go to prison.
Ledger got the nickname Doctor because of the precision with which he performed his secret "operations" around the world, like a surgeon. He is considered the perfect soldier: an army man who follows any and all orders and is a natural killer. Joe Ledger was the only candidate who was focused and single minded enough to be able to control the power prism found in Hyperion's space ship. It was absorbed into his skin and he lapsed into a coma.
Joe was in the coma for years, not aging but not waking either. His awakening was eventually triggered by putting him in proximity to Hyperion's ship. Joe awakened under the influence of the ship itself, flying about for days before his own mind resurfaced.
After recovering from his coma, Doctor Spectrum was once again used for covert missions for the government, missions Hyperion had once been carrying out. However, after Hyperion's existence and powers were made public, the government could no longer use Hyperion in such a way without drawing the ire of all the other nations of the world. So they came up with a cover story: whenever Dr. Spectrum was carrying out one of his missions, an "accident" was arranged at the same time that Hyperion would rescue people from. This way the government still was able to use a super powered individual, while the world, ignorant of Spectrum's existence, could not protest.
Eventually this strange coincidence was pointed out to Hyperion himself, and disturbed by the thought of what was happening, (or maybe just wanting to meet other individuals with super powers), Hyperion set out to find Spectrum. Spectrum, perhaps underestimating the sheer power and toughness of Hyperion, struck first in their encounter, setting off a long and devastating battle that ends when Hyperion touches the crystal in Spectrum's hand by accident, and is given memories of his journey to Earth. Confused by this insight and the new questions they provoked, (and saddened at the sight of the devastation he and Spectrum had wreaked), Hyperion stops long enough for Spectrum to escape and recover. Ledger then met Amphibian while healing after the fight.
After taking the super-human serial killer Michael Redstone into custody, he was approached by the super-hero program's new official, General Richard Alexander, who ordered Spectrum to locate and capture Amphibian, showing him a picture of her. After capturing Amphibian and starting a romantic relationship with her, Doctor Spectrum meets Zarda, who attempted to remove the power prism and retrieve her memories. But before that happened, she was attacked by Amphibian in retaliation for harming Spectrum.
Before Hyperion informs Jason Scott of all the super-humans working for the government. Doctor Spectrum was going to be on the covert operations team, as Alexander felt there would be no good way to paint a good picture of his past. On the team's (Squadron Supreme) first mission Joe Ledger is affected by M'Butu's power to mind control anyone who hears his voice. Zarda manages to free Doctor Spectrum by calling to the voice within the Power Prism, who in an unconscious state, frees Hyperion and Amphibian. After the end of the mission, the Squadron are then ordered to take down insurgents in Ilam Province in Iran codenamed "Long Walk". After the mission Joe Ledger is briefing the joint chiefs and their staff on the details of "Long Walk".
Time Runs Out
His strength level appears to be that of a man who engages in moderate regular exercise.
- Power Prism: Doctor Spectrum's powers stem from the prism in his right hand. It is important to note that this prism comes from the race that Princess Zarda and Hyperion originate from. This being the case, it is also true that the prism appears to possess some sort of intelligence. This is apparent from his actions after the prism fused with his hand in Supreme Power Vol 1.
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