Edward Lytener was a former LexCorp inventor. When his company was under investigation, he became an instrumental whistleblower, only to fall in Lois Lane's good graces. However, this resulted in his disgrace, so Lytener turned on Lois and tried to kill her. Naturally, this meant he crossed paths with Superman, and Lytener's public shame eventually prompted him to become the costumed supervillain Luminus.
Edward Lytener was a top-flight scientist and engineer for LexCorp who specialized in light-based technology, including lasers. When Lois Lane was investigating corrupt practices at LexCorp, Lytener became smitten with her, and informed on his boss, Lex Luthor, in the hope that Lois would "notice" him. Based on his information, she wrote an award-winning exposé on LexCorp, but Lytener was fired. Further, he received no media attention, as Lois protected his identity as a source, when he actually wanted her to do so. To his secret fury, Lois remained oblivious to his infatuation, and regarded him as just a friend, and a useful source.
Outwardly still friendly towards her, he plotted to kill her in revenge for ruining his career. Fittingly, his first attempt was at the Excalibur Awards, when Lois was to accept her award for her article. He planted a laser device that slowly cut away the wire suspending a giant glass sword over Lois's head as she mounted the podium for her acceptance speech, but Superman was able to save her. Later, he planted a remote control in her car that allowed him to take control of it, almost sending her off a highway overpass.
When she figured out that he was behind the attempts on her life, she confronted him at his laboratory, while elsewhere, Luthor informed Clark Kent that the laser had been traced to a batch of equipment that went missing when Lytener was fired. Superman rushed to the lab, where Lytener had trapped Lois in a shrinking cage of laser beams, and had equipped himself with a suit that emitted red sun radiation. Superman was just able to overpower Lytener and save Lois.
Lytener was incarcerated in Stryker's Prison, where Luthor provided him with equipment to continue research for LexCorp. Using this equipment, Lytener prepared an elaborate scheme for revenge against Superman.
Dubbing himself "Luminus", Lytener escaped from Stryker's and used a pirate communications signal to hijack an array of LexCorp space satellites, which created an energy field that blocked out the sun's rays, except the red ones. As Superman gradually weakened, Luminus lured Lois and Jimmy Olsen into a trap, forcing Superman to come after them in his weakened state. He had to fight his way through a world made of hologram illusions that were capable of delivering solid blows. However, even in his state, Superman was able to disable the communications signal and the satellites, regaining his strength in time to capture Luminus.
Some years later, Luminus was part of a mass breakout from Stryker's, along with Firefly, Volcana, Solomon Grundy, and Copperhead. He was pursued through an oil refinery by Hawkgirl, and lured her into a hard-light trap made of shrinking walls, causing her to panic before Superman rescued her. Cornered by Flash, Luminus attacked him with a horde of hard-light doppelgangers, until Superman arrived and used his x-ray vision to identify the real Luminus, allowing Hawkgirl to knock him out. He was returned to Stryker's.
Powers and abilities
Lytener was a brilliant scientist who specialized in light-based technology. He was highly skilled with lasers and electronics technology, and invented a series of weapons and traps based on them; he also invented a harness that emitted red-sun radiation allowing him to deliver substantial blows to Superman.
He was also able to render himself and other objects invisible.
As Luminus, he was armed with a laser pistol, and donned a battlesuit that enabled him to levitate, project solid illusions of objects and people. It could also project his image over great distances.
During his second battle with Superman, he created an entire building full of hard-light illusions that were capable of hurting the Man of Steel (although it should be noted that Superman was currently not operating at his peak due to the sunlight being filtered so that only red sun radiation was reaching him).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bader, Hilary J. (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (September 19, 1997). "Target". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 7 (airdate). Episode 19 (production). Kids WB!.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Goodman, Robert (writer) & Tomonaga, Kazuhide (director) (September 26, 1997). "Solar Power". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 11 (airdate). Episode 24 (production). Kids WB!.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Lukic, Butch (director) (October 11, 2003). "Only A Dream, Part I". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 27 (production). Cartoon Network.