Thursday, April 05, 2007

More of Dr. Light than you probably reasonably expected to see today.
Colonel Sanders, no!
Oh, boy. If yesterday's secret origin of Gorilla Grodd didn't work for you, today's Dr. Light post is going to leave you cold. Mostly because it's not very good. Especially compared to his other Secret Origin, but it may or may not be the worst retcon for the character. Again from DC Super-Stars #14, this time we've got "Let There Be Dr. Light!" Written by Paul Kupperberg, art by Dick Ayers and Jack Abel.

This origin starts with southern dandy/"Phd in optics" Dr. Arthur Light about to test his newest invention: a device that is supposed to 'capture' lightrays from through time and space, so he can view the future. Instead, he turns it on and gets other dimensions. Focus!

"A single twist of a dial and the scene shifts..." to a futuristic looking city, which turns out to be another planet. So, Light can see other dimensions and planets easier than you can change the channel on your VCR, but can he see the future like he planned? No. You suck, Dr. Light!

The machine's focus changes again, to a laboratory, that Light identifies as an optics lab. Wow, that's not coincidental or anything, even for a story like this. Light wants to study the goodies therein, even though he's already invented a machine to view other planets. Not sure what better you think you're going to find, Doc. He accidentally drops a wrench (an 'optics' wrench, no doubt) through the screen, and finds he has also opened a space warp to the alien planet's lab. Light steps through the screen to commence looting.

Light is quickly interrupted by a guard, who yells at him in some alien language, so he grabs what he can and jumps back to earth. The alien planet turns out to be Thanagar, which means out of all the Hawk Police, Katar Hol is about to get up on Light's grill. Since this story takes place before Katar and Shayera came to earth, he's wearing what looks like it was supposed to be an early version of his costume--the little star on the strap really doesn't work, but on the cover of this issue, Katar's wearing green tights and red Robin-booties.

Also, while I'd love to see a return of editorial captions and footnotes, putting them on a hand is just so dumb.

Back on earth, Dr. Light puts on his...Dr. Light costume, which admittedly is a vast improvement over what he was wearing. He uses "solidified light" to blow a hole through his lab. All right, that may have been a little premature, but he's excited, OK? Actually, it does look like he plans on levelling his place of employment, then looting the smouldering wreckage maybe.

By this time, Katar's tapped the energy of the space warp and followed it back to earth. I don't know if that sort of scientific can-do is beyond the reach of the planet that gave us the Absorbascon, Nth Metal belts, and big fake wings; but it seems dicey. Then we get fighty time, with ray blasts and punching and Light tries the old multiple images trick, and while Katar recognizes it has to be the one casting a shadow, he still punches an image. Taking a hit, Hawkman crashes on a roof of a solar research center.
It's two, two, two cliches in one!
Seemingly beaten, Hawkman takes flight again, flying right into a clear line of fire, but it's only a mirror with the wings attached. Flying only with his belt, Katar swoops down but Light warps out, escaping. Katar recovers the stolen tech, and returns to Thanagar, unaware that years later he would make earth his home. And learn to talk to birds. And enjoy swinging a mace.

Actually, I would rather Hawkman cave my skull in with a mace, than lose to the old mirror trick. And I've always thought that it was sort of lame that Hawkman's wings weren't real: that's one of the little things that may not technically have been broken in the regular DC continuity but was 'fixed' in the Justice League cartoon. Don't most people just assume his wings are 'attached'? Otherwise, you could replace Hawkman with a Legion Flight Ring and a two-by-four.

Well, I'm done with this issue, since the Two-Face secret origin is kind of like 'improving' your million-dollar mansion by nailing a ten-dollar birdhouse to the side of it. It also refers to Two-Face's daughter, which is another artifact of continuity I don't think you hear about much anymore. There were also single page text origins of Brainiac and the Shark, which did remind me of another fun issue...which I may have to find later. 'Til next time, don't shoot the mirror. God, I shouldn't even have to say that in this century...

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