Real Name: Dr. Edward Lansky
AKA: El Lider. Sunshine.
First Appearance: Lansky appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man 1; his light-emitting alter-ego burst onto the scene in the third issue of that title.
Died In: Lansky diffused during a power blackout in Spectacular Spider-Man 20 and was presumed deceased. (Ever notice how people in the Marvel Universe keep forgetting that ol' physics principle about the impossibility of destroying energy?)
What's His Problem? Vice Chancellor Lansky, one of the few establishment officials popular with the students during a time of frequent campus upheaval at Empire State University, publicly challenged NYC politicians when they cut academic funding. Utilizing his specialty, the study of light energy, he designed a costume that emitted solid light. Faking his own kidnapping, Lansky began to nab officials he saw as corrupt and/or ineffectual. Once the higher-ups had been disposed of, he planned on taking over management of ESU. The new villain made the mistake of tangling with Spider-Man, who as then-physics-major Peter Parker had read some of Lansky's papers and knew how to put the kibosh on the Vice-Chancellor's light suit. Alas for both Spidey and Lansky, the kiboshing process turned Lansky into a being of pure light energy, making him one of the more powerful super-villains Spidey ever had to deal with.
Powers: Once transformed into light energy, Lightmaster became pretty all-powerful. He could move at the speed of light. His control over solidified light was uncanny; he could use light to strike blows, and even warp it into glowing versions of everyday household items and modern day appliances such as fly-swatters and vacuum cleaners. His condition made him energetically (and emotionally) unstable; he needed a constant supply of light just to remain cohesive, which made things like city-wide blackouts at night a real pain.
Favorite Quote: "I guess that tussle with Spider-Man didn't work off as many frustrations as I thought." (Marvel Team-Up 113. Lansky gets introspective after destroying his own lab in a fit of pique).
Heroes He Kept Running Into: Spider-Man happened to be around when Lansky was "kidnapped" by the Tarantula, and was the super-hero Lightmaster blamed when his scheme for funding higher education went wrong. Deducing that Spidey had to be a student at ESU, Lansky noted that one student kept vanishing during Spidey's fights: Hector Ayala. Kidnapping Hector in broad daylight (like, when else is the "Lightmaster" gonna operate?), he planned on telecasting "Spidey's" civilian identity. When it came time for the reveal, however, Lightmaster found he had a White Tiger rather than a Spider-Man by the tail. After the blackout dispersed his molecules, Lightmaster managed to track down the Dazzler and used her as a conduit for his powers; when Spidey foiled that as well, Lightmaster channeled himself through Quasar's energy bands in an attempt to regenerate his human form. Once Spidey and Quasar understood what he was trying to do, they helped him regain his humanity. Lansky repaid them by promptly trying to destroy Quasar. (Moral: never trust a disenfranchised academic.) Volunteering as a light-experiment human guinea pig in return for a reduced prison sentence, Lansky reverted to a being of light energy, absconded with Dagger, and tried to use her as a recharger. He incurred the wrath of Cloak, who absorbed most of Lightmaster's light and returned a near-lifeless husk to the Genetech scientists. How a being of pure light can be reduced to a husk, near-lifeless or otherwise, is one of those Marvel physics questions best left unasked...
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: In his Vice-Chancellor guise, Lansky was much beloved by the students of ESU, who thought he was on their side against da Man. His various villainous side-kicks, however, were paid for their companionship: Tarantula, Kraven the Hunter, and the Enforcers. Of these, the Enforcers proved the most loyal, refusing to identify him under intense police questioning.
Most Despicable Act: Lansky accidentally set in motion one of the more horrific massacres in Marvel history when he revealed that Hector Ayala was the White Tiger. Upon learning Hector's identity, the Maggia and several other criminal organizations hired mercenary Gideon Mace to destroy the White Tiger as an example to other costumed crime-fighters, which Mace did by murdering Hector's mom and all other members of the Ayala family.
Lightmaster Mug Shots!
Spectacular Spiderman 20
Amazing Spider-Man 203
Marvel Team-Up 113
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