Lance Lumiere is a scientist exclusive to the NOW! Comics series. He is a nuclear engineer working at the Institute of Science, and competes for Rebecca's affections. He later becomes Agent R, a cloaked robot killer for hire. He is partially inspired by Acetylene Lamp.
Lance is bold and egotistical. He is usually very self-assured, but it is very visible when he's shaken or uncomfortable. Lance and Elmer Dobbs are rivals, both in their scientific endeavors and in their romantic pursuit of Rebecca. Lance begins to date her, but the two split after Lance is attacked by a slime monster created by I.Q. Plenty. When Cybersharks attack the Institute of Science, Lance leaves Rebecca and Elmer for dead. While the latter are revived as robots, Lance is laid off from the Institute due to budget scale-backs.
In the comic canon, Lance created the micro-reactor in Astro Boy's fueling system. He was initially neutral on Astro until being hired by Megacorp.
After being laid off, Lance goes underground. He becomes an industrial spy for the Megacorp business conglomerate led by the tycoon Mr. Bargy. Lance adopts the alter-ego Agent R, going under a cloak to avoid being immediately identified by Astro. He creates the super robot Megathreat, and uses it to abduct a child from Astro's class, with the intention of luring in Astro and destroying him. This plan falls through when it turns out the boy he kidnapped, Archie, is his boss's son.
Mr. Bargy begins to see Astro in a more favourable light, and Agent R's assignments shift to observing technology under development in the Institute of Science. Lance is caught spying on Dr. Elefun and Astro while they study a dinosaur. When Lance attempts to run out of the building, he is caught by an undercover Dr. Boynton. Lance is then hog-tied and mailed to the police.