Crisis on Infinite Earths was a decisive moment in the history of DC. Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s 1985 series brought a unified sense of continuity to the DC Universe for the first time. But perhaps more than that, the greatest success of the original Crisis was how it balanced compelling drama for longtime DC readers alongside a wide-eyed sense of excitement for newcomers. Whether or not you had read a DC book before, Crisis on Infinite Earths made you believe in the stakes of its story. Now, with the first installment of DC’s three-part animated adaptation, Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One, available digitally, let’s take a look at one of the story’s underappreciated heroes.

Even though Crisis on Infinite Earths featured just about every DC character out there—from Sgt. Rock, to Kamandi, to the Seven Soldiers of Victory, to Darkseid, to Jonah Hex, to the Crime Syndicate, to the Legion of Super-Heroes—it also introduced a powerful new heroine called Doctor Light. In keeping with DC tradition, Kimiyo Hoshi is the second person to operate under that name—the first was an old Justice League villain from 1962 named Arthur Light. Unlike her predecessor, however, Kimiyo’s Doctor Light is no villain, and she would go on to become a member of the Justice League in their 1987 relaunch by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire.

While Doctor Light’s importance has waned in the succeeding years after the first Crisis, it’s well past time we sing her praises here on She’s introduced in Crisis on Infinite Earths #4, as a scientist on Earth-1’s Japan studying the influx of antimatter into their world. While her colleagues express their despair around the situation, Kimiyo enters and declares that they are all acting like cowards. (She does not play around!) Moments later, Kimiyo is hit with a blast of light from a star, causing her to vanish from her Earth in a cloud of antimatter. She resurfaces in the company of Earth’s biggest superheroes in her fabulous new costume and isn’t afraid to use her powers against Starfire and Halo. Luckily, Katana and Superman are nearby and are able talk to her in Japanese.

Doctor Light functions as a perfect new reader insert into the story, with one twist. Rather than being bewildered at the sight of Superman and the immense multiversal stakes of the event, Kimiyo rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. She’s not even fazed by her fancy superhero threads or powers. After all, she’s an accomplished scientist and future UN diplomat! She realizes she’s got an understanding of the situation that none of the longtime superheroes have, and she’s prepared to do anything to make them listen to her.

In this way, Doctor Light represents an outsider’s view of DC Comics, with her lack of concern for the broader historical significance of the Crisis. Just about every other character in Crisis operates with an understanding of the DC multiverse—it’s why they know that some characters, like the Freedom Fighters, are only found on one specific Earth. Doctor Light, however, could care less about the minutiae of continuity or the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe. She shoulders past Superman without a second thought. To her, being a superhero is almost beneath her.

This dynamic with Doctor Light is a rare one. Oftentimes in the superhero genre, becoming a costumed hero is presented as the best thing that could ever happen to someone. But for Doctor Light, it’s just a side effect of her latest headache. Almost forty years later, this type of perspective still feels fresh. You can’t help but instantly love her.

Kimiyo’s later adventures in the Justice League were rooted in the cultural and political landscape of the late 1980s. But what would Doctor Light be like now, in a story set in the present day? How would she connect to newer characters in the DC Universe, now that she isn’t the only character to debut during a Crisis event? These are the questions that will continue to haunt me.

Doctor Light is voiced by Erika Ishii in Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One. Ishii nails Kimiyo’s exasperation and attitude perfectly and is an utter delight to watch in this first film. Just like in the Crisis on Infinite Earths comic, Kimiyo Hoshi once again stands out against a sea of familiar faces in the DC Universe. Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One is a promising start for Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi’s journey in DC’s animated movies. We have lots to look forwards to in Part Two.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One is now available digitally. Look for it on 4K UHD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, January 23rd.

Jules Chin Greene writes about comics for, and his work can also be found at Nerdist, Popverse and Multiverse of Color. You can follow him on Twitter and Bluesky at @JulesChinGreene.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Jules Chin Greene and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.