Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: New York City
First Appearance: Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 (Winter 1984)
Powers/Abilities: Light-Master wore a belt on which were mounted a battery of silvery lamps which could project a blinding blast of light; though not mentioned in the text of the story, his mask also appeared to have a light on the forehead. He also carried grenade-like capsules which could disperse clouds of black dust too thick for normal people to see through. He wore a large visor which likely protected him from his own lights. He seemed to have advanced knowledge of electrical lighting systems, enough to overload and short out Christmas lights across Manhattan without damaging either lampposts or interior lights in buildings. For breaking into the bank vault he used a large industrial laser, too large apparently to serve as a viable weapon.
Height: Unrevealed; the only image that gives any
idea of his height is the one of him being punched by Spider-Man, which
suggests he's not massively different in height than from the 5'10" hero
Weight: Unrevealed; the minimal images and mention that he was wearing a skin-tight costume would suggest a reasonably muscular physique, so somewhere around 160-180 lbs. seems reasonable
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 (fb) - BTS) - Desiring fame and wealth, an unidentified man with specialist knowledge in electrical lighting and rampant egomania decided to become the costumed criminal Light-Master. To this end he designed a skin-tight costume and face mask divided in quarters of black and white, with a belt covered with powerful lamps capable of emitting blinding lights, and grenades of blackout gas (because he reasoned that a master of light should naturally also know about its opposite, darkness).
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 - BTS) - In mid-December and the run-up to Christmas Light-Master robbed Manhattan's Dasent Gallery of Fine Arts, bypassing a fortune in ancient Grecian gold jewelry to instead take two statues,...
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 (fb) - BTS) - a gold one representing Helios, god of the sun, and a silver one, representing Selene, goddess of the moon.
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 -
BTS) - The flashes of light as he used his powers to break in were
visible a considerable distance away across the city, and drew
Spider-Man's attention, but by the time both gallery security and the
wall-crawler got to the gallery Light-Master was gone with his prizes.
(UK) 1985/3 (fb) - BTS) - Wanting fame as much as wealth, Light-Master
called the Daily Bugle to identify the thief as himself. However, most
of the reporters considered him a crank caller, so the newspaper
failed to include the name in their article on the break-in, which
didn't even make the front page. This enraged Light-Master, who called
the paper back and got through to assistant editor Robbie Robertson,
who recorded the call in which Light-Master ranted that since they had
not acknowledged his first feat he would provide them a real story. He
told Robbie to have reporters out on the street that night, that the
clue was "Bah Humbug," and that they'd learn what that meant at 10pm.
Visiting the Bugle in his civilian guise as photographer Peter Parker,
Spider-Man heard the recording when Robbie played it back to the
Since Manhattan's Christmas lights were meant to be switched on for the first time that night, Spider-Man presumed Light-Master would be targeting those, and staked out the area of the illuminations to wait. Light-Master meanwhile prepared to overload all the Christmas lights across multiple streets, though (likely to demonstrate his control rather than out of concern for the public) he rigged his disruption so it wouldn't affect lampposts or building lights. Wanting to ensure everyone would know who was behind the attack, he rigged up a rooftop sign ready to display the message "Unhappy Christmas! The Light-Master" and then he waited by his sign, intending to have a good vantage point to overlook the chaos he was about to cause. Seconds before 10pm Light-Master caused a huge power surge that briefly caused all the bulbs in the illuminations to burn dazzlingly bright, then they began to explode, plunging the crowds below into darkness and showering them with broken glass. Luckily most of the lights had been strung over the roads rather than the sidewalks, so that the majority of the glass fell on the roofs of cars rather than bystanders, and Spider-Man saved a young boy, the only victim in danger of serious injury, from a falling neon tube. Hearing police and ambulance sirens, Spider-Man made a quick check to ensure there was no one who needed urgent help that the authorities couldn't provide once they arrived, then swung up to the rooftops, suspecting the villain would want to see his own handiwork. Sure enough, a few minutes later the Light-Master activated his sign claiming responsibility for the attack.
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3) - Having foolishly stayed by his sign, the gloating Light-Master was spotted by Spider-Man, but as the hero swung down to the same roof to try and take the villain by surprise, Light-Master turned and spotted him. Wary of trying to run at his foe because his spider-sense was now tingling, Spider-Man raised his arms to try and ensnare Light-Master in webbing, but the criminal triggered his belt-lamps. The resultant flash of light blinded and disorientated the hero, causing him to stumble backwards as he instinctively retreated from the intense flare, and before he could recover Light-Master beat a hasty exit.
(UK) 1985/3 (fb) - BTS) - The attack thankfully resulted in only some
minor injuries from falling glass, and a few broken bones resulting
from a couple of car crashes involving panicked drivers. Pleased that
the Bugle now carried his name on the front page, Light-Master left
them another telephone message, describing himself as the greatest
super-criminal New York City had ever known and promising them a lot
more stories, including perhaps the defeat of Spider-Man. Then he
added a challenge to his new nemesis, promising that if the wanted a
rematch he could find a clue at Time Square at 11pm that night.
Sticking with his chosen theme of having first stolen statues of the
Sun and Moon, Light-Master now planned to that night steal the Stars
of Rajpur, a pair of huge rubies being stored in the Second National
Bank, and wanting to prove himself smarter than his opponents, he
rigged it so that at the same time as he was breaking into the bank
the lights in Times Square would fail, except for a small number which
would spell out the cryptic clue "The stars in the sky."
Just before 11pm Light-Master
broke into the bank, shutting off the power to the ground floor lights
and the alarms, then used a large industrial laser to cut open the
vault door, and swiftly extracted the rubies.
(Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3) - However, Spider-Man had easily figured out Light-Master's clue, and arrived seconds after he had exited the vault. Cockily Light-Master informed the hero that he would easily defeat him again and triggered a blinding flash, but the hero had anticipated this attack and had added special filters inside his mask; though not sufficient to completely nullify the effect of the flash, he retained enough vision to punch Light-Master in the face, knocking him across the room. However, the distance this put between the two foes shifted the advantage back to Light-Master, as Spider-Man's temporarily reduced vision slowed his advance across the room, giving Light-Master time to deploy one of his blackout grenades. With both men now unable to see anything, Light-Master started groping for the exit, but he had not anticipated Spider-Man's spider-sense, which allowed the hero to figure out exactly where he was despite the lack of visibility. Spider-Man snagged Light-Master with webbing, yanked the villain over to him, and knocked him out with a punch to the jaw. The hero then dragged Light-Master out into the street and was in the middle of webbing the crook to a lamppost when Light-Master began waking up. Before departing to inform the cops where to find their prisoner, Spider-Man quipped to his defeated foe that since he liked light so much, the hero would ask if it were possible to give him a cell on the sunny side of the penitentiary.
Comments: Created by unknown. Sadly the U.K. annuals don't include credits for writers, artists or anyone else for that matter. Like most UK Annuals, it would have been released a few months before the end of the year, in time to be bought for Christmas. Typically annuals which had the year printed on their cover were actually released the year before, so that children receiving them as presents on Christmas Day would not think they were getting an out-of-date product. However a lot of British Marvel annuals of the late seventies / early eighties didn't carry a date on the cover, and the date given in the copyright section of the indicia is often wrongly used for the year distinguisher - so if you are looking to buy the annual, be aware that online listings might be mixing up the years. The one you want has a cover showing Spider-Man leaping around dodging gunfire and finally ending up in the crosshairs of a sniper scope.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, U.S. Marvel stories were largely reprinted in comics belonging to either Alan Class Comics or Odhams, and the latter also usually handled any reprints in annuals. That changed in the 1970s, around the time Marvel took things in-house and established Marvel UK. However, despite the existence of Marvel UK, the UK annuals were generally published via one of a number of established companies that specialized in publishing the hardcover annuals for the Christmas market, and who got the rights to do so could change from one year to the next. This particular annual was published by Marvel Comics Group "in association with" Grandreams. Up until the late 1970s these were purely reprints with no new fiction, but right at the end of the decade and into the start of the 80s, just as Marvel UK began producing its own stories in the weekly comics, the annuals started carrying text stories sprinkled with a handful of illustrations. Light-Master appeared in one of these, the second text story (Lord of Light) given in the Annual, positioned after a reprint of US Spider-Man story "But the Cat Came Back" (Amazing Spider-Man I #226) and another text story "Eight Legs Hath the Spider." Sadly, the only images we have of him are the two used in this profile, giving us a glimpse at only part of his costume.
This profile was completed 09/24/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.
Profile by Loki.
Light-Master has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3, p5, pan1 (main image)
Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3, p7, pan1 (punched by Spidey)
Spider-Man Annual (UK) 1985/3 (Winter 1984) - credits unknown
First Posted: 09/26/2021
Last updated: 09/24/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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