As the "Living Laser", Parks becomes a mercenary and professional criminal. He develops an infatuation with the heroine the Wasp, and after kidnapping her is forced to battle the superhero team the Avengers. He captured Hawkeye and Captain America by placing them in a ring of lasers before leaving, but they were able to contact another member who helped them escape. The Living Laser met the Avengers again when he tried to conquer a small South American country, who defeat and incarcerate the villain.
The Laser, after breaking out of prison by creating a laser using parts teleported to him, reappears as part of a team formed by master villain the Mandarin after being teleported to his base, in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the Avengers and conquer the world and attacked Africa to try taking diamonds, but was defeated by Thor and Hawkeye, despite the robot Ultimo being transported there from a volcano and as part of "Batroc's Brigade" (consisting of the Laser; the Swordsman and Batroc the Leaper) in a battle against Captain America. The Laser reappears as part of the first version of the Lethal Legion gathered by the Grim Reaper in a failed revenge attack on the Avengers and has an encounter with Kree hero Mar-Vell.
The Laser eventually acquires the artifact the Serpent Crown, and while controlling the living weapon Nuklo and a battalion of the US Army attempts to conquer the world, but is defeated by the Avengers. He is then employed - along with fellow villains Power Man and Whirlwind - by Count Nefaria, who temporarily amplifies their abilities and sends them against the Avengers as the second Lethal Legion. The effect, however, is temporary and their combined abilities are drained by Nefaria (who in "powered" mode battles the Avengers until defeated by the Vision).
Discovering that the amplification caused a build-up of energy in his body that is reaching a critical - and potentially fatal - level, 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. The plan, however, is stopped by Iron Man and in battle with the hero, the Laser's energy levels build to critical mass. Although the Laser begs for help, Iron Man has no choice but to hurl the character into the atmosphere where he detonates and apparently dies. Eventually revived, the Laser battles Iron Man once again; and during the Acts of Vengeance storyline battles the hero Quasar.
The Laser reappears in a new photon form, posing as the deceased Titanium Man while taunting Iron Man. The villain is eventually defeated and banished to an alternate universe. The villain eventually escapes, and obtains a position at Stark Industries. James Rhodes (a Stark employee and friend), however, is forced to trap the out of control Laser in a wide-beam communication chamber, which disperses him across the Andromeda Galaxy.
The Laser returns as an employee of the Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM) villain MODOK, and later as a member of a criminal army formed by the villain the Hood. The villain sides with the heroes during the Secret Invasion storyline in a pitched battle with the alien Skrulls, and has a number of encounters with various teams of Avengers.
Mandarin and Zeke Stane recruit Living Laser to join up with other Iron Man villains in a plot to defeat Iron Man. Upon receiving upgrades, Living Laser managed to break Tony Stark's repulsor arc causing him to go into cardiac arrest.
The Living Laser was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in 1966 and first appeared in The Avengers # 34.
Powers & Abilities
A gifted research scientist with expertise in laser technology and a Ph.D in physics, Arthur Parks begins his criminal career using wrist-mounted laser projection units, and later implants miniature laser diodes into his skin which absorb energy. With the diode implants, Parks is capable of energy projection, light refraction for invisibility and illusion generation.
Parks's material body is eventually replaced by photons due to an overloading of the diode implants. By increasing the density of the photons comprising his form, Parks can achieve "solidity"; project photons as energy beams and create three-dimensional holographic images. The character also possesses limited telepathic abilities and can travel at light speed.
In Other Media
- Living Laser appears as a recurring villain in the 90s Iron Man TV series, voiced by Robert Hays. This version of the character is part of a team of villains that work for the Mandarin.
- The Living Laser appears in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, voiced by Louis Chirillo.Parks is introduced in "Meltdown," where he finds some equipment from Stark Industries that gives him his laser-like abilities. Using it, he attempts to rob a bank as the Living Laser, but is stopped by Iron Man, who hands him over to the police and takes his equipment from him. However, as a side effect, Parks' body is destroyed, turning into an Energy being, very much like in the comic. He breaks out of jail and fights Iron Man again, hoping to prove his worth by being "the one who slayed Iron Man". However, Iron Man is able to stop him once again. Living Laser makes his second appearance in "Fun with Lasers," where, lost in space and haunted by visions of his parents and Iron Man mistreating him, he is revealed to be able, when combined to a S.H.I.E.L.D. Space station, to destroy an island. Learning upon this, he takes control of the base and threatens to blow up if Iron Man does not come to fight him again. After a vain attempt from Nick Fury to stop him, Iron Man arrives and is able to defeat him again, and hands him over to S.H.I.E.L.D. Upon learning that the Living Laser is dying in S.H.I.E.L.D. prisons in Technovore, Tony Stark volunteers to help him in "Designed Only for Chaos," and Parks ironically feels grateful to him for being the only one trying to help him. However, as Stark is trying to heal his body, Ghost, captures Parks and brings him to A.I.M. in order to use his energy to bring M.O.D.O.C. to life. Though Iron Man arrives, M.O.D.O.C. comes to life, and proves to be more than a match to him, even getting his real identity from a mental attack and trying to get his scientific knowledge for A.I.M. interest. However, upon learning Stark and Iron Man are the same person, the Living Laser realizes that Iron Man was just trying to help him from the beginning, and assists him in fighting M.O.D.O.C., saving his life. Though they are able to damage M.O.D.O.C. enough to make him flee, Parks then dies and disintegrates before S.H.I.E.L.D. arrival. Before disappearing, he expresses his regret at having used his power to try and hurt the only one who wanted to help him, but also his happiness and pride to have become "the one who saved Iron Man."
- Living Laser appears as a recurring character in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Nolan North. After escaping from the Vault early on, he goes on to join Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil.
- Living Laser appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Flight of the Iron Spider," voiced by Keith Szarabajka.
- Living Laser is an enemy in the 90s arcade game Captain America and the Avengers.
- Living Laser is a boss in video game adaptation of Iron Man 3, voiced by Tom Wayland.
- Living Laser is a boss in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Andrew Kishino.
- Living Laser appears in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Living Laser was scheduled to appear in ToyBiz's action figure line for the 90s Iron Man animated series. The figure was originally retooled from the U.S. Agent figure released earlier in the line. However, the line was cancelled due to low sales, resulting in Living Laser becoming a highly sought after collector's item. The figure was later retooled as the Astral Armor Professor X figure from ToyBiz's X-Men: Mutant Armor series.
- Living Laser is featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Living Laser was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Universe line.
- Living Laser was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends Line as part of the Thanos Build-a-Figure wave.