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  1. #16
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    The DCAU did it. Businessman and scientist. The mad science backs up the evil business, the evil business backs up the mad science. They make him a complete threat.

  2. #17
    Astonishing Member
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    My perfect Lex is closer to his Bronze Age situation according to Elliot Maggin than the Byrne/Wolfman take we've seen for the last 35 years.

    First Lex is what he is and unless he is furthering another goal he isn't hiding it.
    Cat and mouse games with the law? Please! If Lex sent a robot to kill Superman then he'll gladly admit to it. He's not letting some lackey appear bright enough to outsmart Lex Luthor by "stealing" Lex's inventions.
    Trying to keep up a front as an "honest" businessman? Why? Luthor has better things to do than worry about "Joe Average" thinking Lex is a criminal.

    It may seem silly to build a robot to rob a bank, but from Lex's viewpoint putting a day's effort into that robot is far less trouble than the day to day effort of being a CEO. Sure the actual intellectual effort of running Lexcorp would be maybe 5 minutes of his day, but the endless need to deal with employees, hold stock meetings, sign documents ... would just be distractions from more important goals- like defeating Superman or probing the outer reaches of the universe.

    And like ducklord I picture Lex prior to his war on Superman as the guy whose name no one had heard of but whose creations we all recognize on sight. As "Al Martin" , "Jerry Shuster", and a dozen others he has over a thousand licensed patents. As "Milt Johnson", "Oswald Mendez" and "Grant Morrison" to name but three, he has publised hundreds of books, thousands of articless and numerous blogs on every subject under the sun. His accumulated wealth under all his aliases would make "Businessman Lex" green with envy, but unlike that version no one can connect one cent of his money to the guy with a major grudge against Superman.

  3. #18
    Spectacular Member The Frog Bros's Avatar
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    Something else that burns Lex, other than Superman's constant thwarting of his attempts at world domination, is the fact that he represents the one thing that his uber-intelligence never knew: that an alien from another unknown world landed on Earth and lived here without him knowing about it. In all other conceivable matters, he knows everything about everything. After Lex's first encounter with Superman, he of course dedicates his scientific study to all things alien and Krypton and is able to ascertain everything imaginable about the subject, but as someone who prides himself as being the most intelligent of his species, the fact that it initially happened without his knowing irks him to no end and fuels his hatred. Superman represents the one blip in his otherwise unmatched array of knowledge and intelligence; he's the one variable that Lex could not/will not ever be able to predict.
    Last edited by The Frog Bros; 04-15-2021 at 06:23 AM.
    "There is nothing quite so perfect as the exact way in which comics combine the word and image." --Alan Moore
    "Before it was a Bomb, the Bomb was an Idea. Superman, however, was a Faster, Stronger, Better Idea." --Grant Morrison

  4. #19
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    I’ve been thinking about businessman Lex. My own personal take on Lex is:

    1. Year One - Clark debuts, Lex is working as a consultant for the military, Lexcorp is in its infancy. Lex designs Anti-Superman weapons for General Lane’s Project 7734 including Metallo. Lex and the military part ways after Supes reaches an uneasy truce with the government
    2. Year Two-Four - Lex is CEO of Lexcorp which has become one of the leading mega corps of the world. This is peak “businessman Lex”.
    3. Year Five-Seven - Lex becomes President, Lexcorp gets awarded multiple government contracts and becomes heavily involved with the military once again
    4. Year Eight - Clark & Lois finally take him down, Lexcorp gets torn apart as a result of Lex’s fall
    5. Present - Lex has to start from scratch but is no longer handicapped by a need to maintain a good reputation. He’s out to punish the world as well as Superman, seeking to rule through crime as he once did through capitalism and politics

    My ideal Lex relies on Mercy, his cyborg bodyguard that he “rescued” from life as a quadriplegic, and Hope a synthazoid that he personally created himself. Lex is defined by ego and a Messiah/god complex that demands the complete subservience of everyone around him. Lex can be charming, I see him as having the Tony Stark wit, but it covers up a narcissist complex that reacts violently when pushed. He masks his hatred of Superman in intellectual sounding fears of Supes crippling human potential or the threat he poses, but really he hates Supes for taking the spot of humanity’s champion that Lex believes is his birthright.

    He’s constantly customizing and upgrading his battle armor, Lex should never look retro, no Silver Age nostalgia.
    For when my rants on the forums just aren’t enough: https://thevindicativevordan.tumblr.com/

  5. #20
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    The DCAU did it. Businessman and scientist. The mad science backs up the evil business, the evil business backs up the mad science. They make him a complete threat.
    Yep, that was great a incarnation.
    Last edited by BBally; 04-17-2021 at 12:47 PM.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

    Credit for avatar goes to zclark

  6. #21
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    1. Lex grows up in Metropolis but moves to Smallville because of some scandals his father went through, one of which were brought to light by the Daily Planet by crusading Perry White that provided news about Lionel Luther's corruption and his possible criminal connections and losing his share in Luther Corp. (the part of Lionel's downfall was influenced by DeHaven's novel It's Superman, I also had Lionel in the place of Byrne's Lex being a former childhood friend of Perry White before Lionel become a corrupt businessman and even had an affair with Perry's wife).

    2. Lex doesn't connect with anybody in Smallville with the exception of young Clark Kent who's around 5 years younger than him, whether it's because he found Clark intriguing to be around or he felt genuine connection with him is up for debate. (Yes, I'm a fan of the Clark-Lex friendship and a fan of SMALLVILLE).

    3. Lionel was abusive towards his family, though not as physically as most comic incarnations portray him but more mentally and manipulative but is especially harsh on Lex for "wasting his time on science experiments", which causes Lex to resent him.

    4. During one of his experiments, the cottage he rented catches fire but is rescued by a mysterious blurred figure. He almost lost most of his hair in the process but is more upset about all the progress lost with the his experiments up in smoke and his father forbidding him from ever doing any more experiments. Is forced to wear a wig as the accident caused him permanent baldness and his father is all about appearances.

    5. Lionel's wife finally leaves him and takes their youngest child Lena with her, (Lex is close to a young adult and can't take him with her) Lionel uses his criminal connections to take his wife out of the picture and bring back his daughter but this causes an accident where both are presumed dead (in reality, are with the witness protection program under fake names, a nod to the Pre-Crisis Luthors changing their name to "Thorul"). Lex is horrified at this being really close to Lena. The Luthor mansion is caught on fire with only Lex surviving with several burns (there's a possibility Lex killed his father and started the fire to make it seem Lionel perished in the flames).

    6. After getting the insurance claims on his father's life, Lex leaves Smallville and moves back to Metropolis, starting from the bottom in Suicide Slum preferring to use the insurance money to fund his experiments and while offering his services to different businesses and even the government before finally starting his own business and becomes successful enough to buy his father's company, which has been floundering and renames it Lexcorp. No longer wears a wig and instead embraces his baldness as a final "take that" to his now deceased father who cared for appearances (plus he thought it made him look more imposing). He begins funding several operations, including Cadmus.

    7. Portrays himself as the man of the people, fighting corruption and unemployment while also doing his own brand of corruption secretly. Whether this was an act or he did in some twisted way believe he was doing this for the benefit of Metropolis citizens is up for debate. (A bit of Maggin influence there with Lex having a possible chance of redemption down the line.)

    8. Several years of being the most powerful man in Metropolis is put in jeopardy when Superman makes his debut. At first, Lex tries to have the Man of Steel work for him but Superman declines his offer. Lex doesn't take it well. Clark Kent tries to reconnect with Lex who publicly denies knowing Clark or that he was ever in Smallville.

    9. Finds out about his father's affair with Perry White's wife and the possibility that their son Jerry White being his step brother so he tries to form a connection with him under the pretense of forming a sibling relationship he once had with sister but Perry White rejects, not wanting any member of his family to do with Lex, which puts him and the Daily Planet editor on even shakier grounds than they already had. He does attend Jerry's funeral after the events of "Soul Search". A few years later, he discovers that his sister is alive but decides not to reconnect out of fear of her being targeted by his enemies.

    10. Thanks to the efforts of Superman and the Planet, Lex's public image slowly crumbles though he still retains a significant amount of influence in Metropolis and tries to play protector of Metropolis after Superman's death during the "Doomsday" event by presenting the world to Superboy, a clone that has been created using both Superman's and Lex's DNA. After the events of Reign of the Supermen where the real Superman returned and took down Mongol and Cyborg Superman, Superboy quits being Lex's puppet and decides to become his own hero.

    11. "After the Worlds At War" event, Lex is seen as one of Earth's heroes and eventually becomes President, Lexcorp gets awarded multiple government contracts and becomes heavily involved with the military once again.

    12. Is finally taken down in the events of "Public Enemies" and Lexcorp gets torn apart as a result of Lex’s fall. Now has to start from scratch but is no longer handicapped by a need to maintain a good reputation. He’s out to punish the world as well as Superman, seeking to rule through crime as he once did through capitalism and politics. During this period, the Lex and Brianiac team officially formed (he worked before that this period is closer to their Pre-Crisis team ups) and a few years in, Lex ends up on a planet, which ends up becoming Lexor and forms a family but once Superman discovers his whereabouts, they both do battle with Lex in his armor suit but the battle causes Lexor to explode, killing his family. This increases Lex's hatred for Superman even more.

    13. After a number of years, Lex is able to regain control of his shares from his old company through fake identities (another Maggin reference) and through his influence is able to put the blame of his crimes on an "imposter" and reforms Lexcorp. However, he doesn't have that positive reputation he once had, but he doesn't care.

    14. After assisting the heroes in stopping a major crisis, which ends with Superman disappearing, Lex goes through his Superlex phase under the pretense as being a tribute to Superman even after Superman reappears. However, despite his early skepticism Superman feels Lex is genuine in wanting to protect Metropolis and it seems the former friends might reconnect but that is dashed when a full on invasion from the escaped Phantom Zone criminals led by Zod causes Lex to view all Kryptonians as a threat to Earth and reforms the the Legion of Doom/Injustice League but as a secret operation to take down Superman and his Kryptonain family like Supergirl, Krypto and both Superboys, the battle continues. Again, up for debate, whether he planned this all along or his redemption was possible.


    The below points fit into a more "possible future" story as a potential ending to the Superman vs Lex Luthor saga.

    15. After one final attempt to kill Superman by giving himself a serum that would finally give him the power's Superman posses (All Star Superman reference), Lex is defeated again after Superman uses one of his gadgets to make Lex lose his powers, Lex goes on a rant about how he would have saved the world if it wasn't for Superman's presence when Superman retorts that if he truly wanted to save the world, he would have done it years ago. Defeated Lex offers no response, his short period of having Superman's powers caused him to have the same sense and awareness Superman has, which seems to have an effect on him.

    16. Many years down the line as a "possible ending", during a final attack by Darkseid and his forces, Lex is offered a chance of freedom by the government if he would assist them in building weapons to take on the forces of Apokalips, Lex accepts despite objections from the Justice League stating Lex isn't to be trusted. During the battle, Lex apparently sacrifices himself to save Metropolis. After the battle ended and Darkseid is finally defeated for good, it's discovered one of Lex's clones has disappeared. The clone reappears years later under the name Leo Quintum who know works as one of the scientists working for Star Labs, he donates what's left of Luthor's shares to other scientific ventures that would try to find cures for diseases and for other benefits of mankind. An older Superman is the only one who knows of his identity but decides to let him be, believing that Lex is finally seeking redemption for his past actions.
    Last edited by BBally; 04-26-2021 at 06:50 AM.
    No matter how many reboots, new origins, reinterpretations or suit redesigns. In the end, he will always be SUPERMAN

    Credit for avatar goes to zclark

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Luthor is one of the most inconsistent characters in comics.

    I would try to justify the different iterations by splitting him up into multiple distinct characters.

    First of all we have The Ultra-Humanite.

    Ultra is The Worst of Mad Scientist Luthor: a petty, amoral, selfish asshole of a genius who would sacrifice anything and everything just to hurt Superman in whatever way he can, hiding behind a veneer of humanism that doesn't hold up, as it's obvious the only thing he really believes in is himself. He's a cold blooded murderer. Any time you think of Luthor doing something truly awful, like curing a debilitating disease only to inflict it again immediately, because he doesn't actually want to do good but just to prove that he could if he wanted, put that into Ultra's box. He would destroy the world just to make Superman sad, escape into another parallel world, and do it again. He has hardly any inner goodness at all. He may also be a White Martian / Human Hybrid now, like Luthor was in "Year of the Villain"; Ultra, classically, jumps bodies like some people change clothes, so I think it's justifiable.

    Secondly, I want to bring in Big Bill Bowers, resurrecting a forgotten Golden Age character.

    Bowers is The Worst of [i]Kingpin Lex[i]: He owns half the city, treats his workers like crap, works with organized crime, is a misogynist, and would blow the city up upon dying just because he thinks he has the right to take it with him, since he "owns" it. Every cruelty from the post-Crisis days, up until the arc where Luthor takes over a warsuit to blow up the town, goes into the Bowers box. He can even have basically the same hair from The Man of Steel - but maybe brown instead of red.

    Thirdly, there's Lex Luthor.

    I could have gone on with more and more variations, but I had to stop sometime. This is the Luthor that's perfect for me.

    Luthor brings together the pre-Crisis Luthor of Edmond Hamilton and Elliot Maggin with the Rebirth Luthor trying to do good out of self-aggrandizing motives. He's still ultimately a selfish person, and spent most of his life motivated by a petty belief that he could never escape Superman's shadow, but he's never been all bad. Even at the height of his criminality, he would never have allowed an innocent to die in the process of his own success at a crime, and multiple times he allowed Superman to arrest him in order to help someone in danger. However, after years of Superman telling him that he could do more good than Superman himself could, if he only tried, and a life-changing experience defeating Ultraman of Earth 3, Luthor has come to believe that he does in fact have the ability to surpass Superman as a hero, and so he's joined the Justice League and unironically devoted himself to the same humanitarian pursuits as his "rival" and increasingly, friend and colleague, Kal-El. He still has anti-hero qualities but they're balanced out by the same qualities that once made him an anti-villain.
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