“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or be the mirror who reflects it.” ~Edith Wharton
The image above says it all! “This is Lightray! Lighthearted and brimming with personable qualities, he is the friendliest of the New Gods! But when battle comes, he is a formidable foe! In the clash between New Genesis and dread Apokolips, Lightray turns the power of light into a weapon of astounding magnitude! Follow his exploits! As goes Orion, so goes Lightray–into domains where even Gods are subject to the whims of grim destiny!” Lightray was created by Jack Kirby as part of his New Gods Fourth World saga. He first appeared in New Gods #1 (1971). His costume is classic Kirby with sleek lines, complete with machine details (like his funky headgear), and the requisite underwear over tights. I like its colors of gold, white and red, contrasted with his shock of orange hair. I really appreciate Kirby creating a character with an optimistic outlook and think he is a great foil for his warlike friend Orion (who totally needs some kind of anger management classes).
Lightray is not a marquee name by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, he was killed in Countdown #48 although Grant Morrison brought him back to life at the end of Final Crisis #7. Above headshot is by Arthur Adams and is from an issue of DC Comics’ Who’s Who. Lightray’s expression is kindhearted and friendly. He looks like someone who would be easy to talk to.
More Arthur Adams Who’s Who Lightray artwork. You can see the same image in color here. Lightray may be kind, but his expression here lets you know that he is not about to take any guff from anybody!
And still more Arthur Adams Who’s Who Lightray artwork featuring our hero travelling with his companion Orion, showcasing his powers and with some woman whose identity is unknown to me.
Lightray and Orion were in the Justice League for a short time and this transferred to television as well! Wikipedia tells us that “Lightray appears in the Superman: The Animated Series episodes “Legacy”, Parts 1 and 2, in a non-speaking role. Lightray appears in the Justice League episodes “Twilight” Part 1 and 2 voiced by Rob Paulsen. Lightray appears in an unspeaking role in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Destroyer.” He rescues Lex Luthor, Sinestro and the Secret Society near New Genesis only to be attacked and have his Mother Box stolen by Evil Star.”
Lightray jumps into action as drawn by artist Cinar. I appreciate that Lightray is depicted lanky but still muscular. I admire the way color is used in his hair (brown and orange highlights) and on his white costume (blue and purple accents).
I love this expressive artwork of Lightray (Ken Kneisel thinks this is Dan Jurgen’s artwork inked by Jerry Ordway). Now I leave you with a song by the Bellamy Brothers that I think Lightray would appreciate if he listened to Earth music. I think it speaks to the qualities that Lightray represents. I’d love to see him return in something amazing. I think the comics industry could use some more bright and optimistic characters as well! Are there any characters that fit the bill that you like to read about? Let me know in the comments! Cheers!