365 Reasons to Love Comics #86
Doctor Week: Day Three. The doctor is in! Who is it? Take it up with your HMO. Or click through past the fold. Today’s Ph.D. is a bright character with loads of potential waiting to be realized.
86. Doctor Light
No, not Dr. Light, the fin-headed arseraper, but Dr. Light, a.k.a. Kimiyo Hoshi, the cool Dr. Light. She’s probably the coolest idea to come out of any “Crisis” crossover.
Kimiyo’s not a medical doctor, but, rather, a scientist– an astronomer, in particular. She was given weird light powers by the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and became a full-fledged superhero after witnessing Supergirl’s self-sacrifice. Later, she went on to join a few incarnations of Justice League International, particularly the very first line-up, in which she didn’t last long, and later, Justice League Europe (which became Justice League International).
When she first appeared, Dr. Light had the personality traits of a… well, an anti-social bitch. By the time she joined Justice League Europe, she’d become a shy but powerful character who was prized for her intelligence rather than her ability in a fight– though, since she has the powers of all light, she’s incredibly powerful (maybe not as much as Monica Rambeau, but she’s up there). The personality change is kind of sudden, but I quite liked what Gerard Jones did to build up her character in JLE. He worked on Kimiyo’s self-confidence, and showcased her as a brilliant scientist, not just as an energy manipulator. She even became the leader of Justice League International, though the title was unfortunately cancelled a few months later when the Justice line was massively culled.
Since then, she’s barely appeared, though she did show up a few times on the Justice League cartoon. In her most significant comics appearance in the last few years, the villainous Dr. Light stole all her powers away somehow. It was Judd Winick writing, though, so you can all safely ignore that. If you really demand more, you can read Marionette’s lovely rant on the subject.
Dr. Light’s a very interesting character. She’s a superhero and a single mother of two, which is fairly unique. She also exists as a callback to the Silver Age DC hero formula of being a gifted scientist, and I love that. Not everybody needs to be an everyman. I’d love to see Dr. Light in the Justice League again, where she belongs. There should also be some more focus on her Japanese heritage and her family life. A strong, powerful, female superhero? Who finds time to balance superpowers, a scientific career, and motherhood? We need more of those in the Big Two.
For more: the Wiki.