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  1. #31
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    One of my favorite aspects of Lex Luthor, the self-made billionaire aspect, always reflects the limitations of what super-heroes can achieve.

    Superman may save lives and set a good example for other people.

    But Lex Luthor provides jobs and income for at least as many people.

    That's why I love the fact that Lex Luthor can get booked by the police like this:


    And wind up in jail like this:


    And finally have his world-class defense attorneys free him whenever he likes and he's back at work like this:


    Lex Luthor is like a cockroach: you can throw the legal book at him and he will always find a loophole to exploit it to his advantage.

    Lex Luthor is The Man.

  2. #32
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daBronzeBomma View Post
    Yikes. I think you and I have very different ideas of what the definition of "arch-nemesis" is.
    I don't really think of Luthor as Superman's "Arch-Nemesis", but as a sort of "Arch-Rival". The reason he's Superman's most interesting foe to me is for all the reasons he can't be the arch-nemesis. Superman's arch-nemesis, if I were to pick, would probably be Brainiac.

    I get what you mean when you say that Lex is a very human evil compared to Brainiac, but honestly the reason I find him so compelling is that I think on a fundamental level, Luthor isn't evil at all. Arrogant, yes, spiteful, yes, but not evil.

    All this isn't to say that Luthor isn't Superman's greatest challenge. He is, because he makes Superman outwit him. If Luthor is a man who doesn't let innocent people die in his schemes (and as we've seen in my "Hall of Heroic Luthors" on the previous page, that was once true [though even at the time, characterization wasn't always consistent]) then the reason Superman continues to have faith that Luthor could do more good than he could is because he knows Lex isn't actually a cold-blooded killer of innocent people.

    (Contrast the modern convention that Superman just totally hates Lex- much less interesting to me)
    Lex, of course, doesn't think he could get enough glory to surpass Superman, so he's totally committed to being the most effective criminal in history rather than the second best hero.

    Of course, every time Lex fights Superman, it's a challenge to Superman's reigning status as the Ultimate Cop. It's about showing that Superman is fallible, that Superman can be beaten, that Superman can be killed, to prove that Superman doesn't really deserve to be considered the World's Greatest. It sends a message that Luthor > Superman.
    He just doesn't need to kill people to get that point across, just like Superman doesn't need to kill to get his point across. If Luthor got away from Superman but a kid died during the getaway, Lex would be a monster. He's too wrapped up in his own image to allow that, so of course he saves the kid and goes to jail. After all, he can literally escape from jail any time he wants to.

    So I suppose I mean that when Superman fights Brainiac, or Metallo, or Parasite, it's a battle for innocent lives who will be lost, but when Superman fights Luthor, it's a battle for ideas and for dominance.

    There is no way I can express just how much I disagree with the bold statement. Lex Luthor would never believe Superman is truly altruistic.
    I would really like to just lay out how I see the character seeing Superman's morality, but it's almost five a.m. where I am and I've had an epiphany. I think I might have figured out our differences regarding the character- we both like Lex, but we like versions so radically different from each other that they're almost irreconcilable:


    I cannot bring my ideal conception of Luthor back. He's sort of got the trappings of the World's Greatest Criminal back after losing the trappings of Byrne's Kingpin Lex, but his nobility is now a facade.

    Still, the Lex of the late Silver Age stories is still there, in bits and pieces, just like how the Golden Age Depraved Terrorist is still there and the Kingpin Lex is still there, the Silver Age Noble Renegade Criminal is still there, partially. I just wish he was more dominant than he is in the current stories.

  3. #33
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I don't really think of Luthor as Superman's "Arch-Nemesis", but as a sort of "Arch-Rival". The reason he's Superman's most interesting foe to me is for all the reasons he can't be the arch-nemesis. Superman's arch-nemesis, if I were to pick, would probably be Brainiac.

    I get what you mean when you say that Lex is a very human evil compared to Brainiac, but honestly the reason I find him so compelling is that I think on a fundamental level, Luthor isn't evil at all. Arrogant, yes, spiteful, yes, but not evil.

    All this isn't to say that Luthor isn't Superman's greatest challenge. He is, because he makes Superman outwit him. If Luthor is a man who doesn't let innocent people die in his schemes (and as we've seen in my "Hall of Heroic Luthors" on the previous page, that was once true [though even at the time, characterization wasn't always consistent]) then the reason Superman continues to have faith that Luthor could do more good than he could is because he knows Lex isn't actually a cold-blooded killer of innocent people.

    (Contrast the modern convention that Superman just totally hates Lex- much less interesting to me)
    Lex, of course, doesn't think he could get enough glory to surpass Superman, so he's totally committed to being the most effective criminal in history rather than the second best hero.

    Of course, every time Lex fights Superman, it's a challenge to Superman's reigning status as the Ultimate Cop. It's about showing that Superman is fallible, that Superman can be beaten, that Superman can be killed, to prove that Superman doesn't really deserve to be considered the World's Greatest. It sends a message that Luthor > Superman.
    He just doesn't need to kill people to get that point across, just like Superman doesn't need to kill to get his point across. If Luthor got away from Superman but a kid died during the getaway, Lex would be a monster. He's too wrapped up in his own image to allow that, so of course he saves the kid and goes to jail. After all, he can literally escape from jail any time he wants to.

    So I suppose I mean that when Superman fights Brainiac, or Metallo, or Parasite, it's a battle for innocent lives who will be lost, but when Superman fights Luthor, it's a battle for ideas and for dominance.


    I would really like to just lay out how I see the character seeing Superman's morality, but it's almost five a.m. where I am and I've had an epiphany. I think I might have figured out our differences regarding the character- we both like Lex, but we like versions so radically different from each other that they're almost irreconcilable:


    I cannot bring my ideal conception of Luthor back. He's sort of got the trappings of the World's Greatest Criminal back after losing the trappings of Byrne's Kingpin Lex, but his nobility is now a facade.

    Still, the Lex of the late Silver Age stories is still there, in bits and pieces, just like how the Golden Age Depraved Terrorist is still there and the Kingpin Lex is still there, the Silver Age Noble Renegade Criminal is still there, partially. I just wish he was more dominant than he is in the current stories.
    That was a reasoned and well-thought-out post. Very well done, sir/madam!

    I would say my ideal Lex Luthor would be not crazy, be reasoned or bargained with; may be irrational about one particular thing; will definitely break his own word if need be (but never on a whim); takes pleasure in his own malfeasance against his enemies, but doesn't seek to bother those who don't bother him.

    That may be neutral evil or rebel evil or social evil, not really sure where Lex Luthor would fall on the 5x5 Moral Alignment chart:

  4. #34
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    Like Superman, Lex luthor (when done right) is a man who can do pretty much, anything. Lex wants to own/control/rule as much of reality as possible. Basically Lex wants to be GOD. The best reason ever given for Lex hating Superman is pretty simple. Superman is a self-righteous jerk who keeps getting in Lex's way. That is all the reason Lex needsa to hate his archenemy.
    John Martin, citizen & rightful ruler of the omniverse.

  5. #35
    Mighty Member Thor2014's Avatar
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    When did Luthor become Lex Luthor? I've noticed in most older stories that he's always referred to as 'Luthor' as opposed to Lex or Lex Luthor. If he didn't have a first name at first, when did he acquire the first name of Lex? I found it much more dramatic when Superman would shout 'Luthor!,' The Luthor last name alone IMO sounds much more powerful than 'Lex,' or 'Lex Luthor.'

  6. #36
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daBronzeBomma View Post
    That was a reasoned and well-thought-out post. Very well done, sir/madam!
    Thank you, very much. I'm very pleased to have garnered a compliment for a post I wrote at five in the morning! (Also: I am a man! -punch-)

    I would say my ideal Lex Luthor would be not crazy, be reasoned or bargained with; may be irrational about one particular thing; will definitely break his own word if need be (but never on a whim); takes pleasure in his own malfeasance against his enemies, but doesn't seek to bother those who don't bother him.
    I don't think I take particular exception to any of the things you said here, though they can all be implemented well or poorly, depending on circumstance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thor2014 View Post
    When did Luthor become Lex Luthor? I've noticed in most older stories that he's always referred to as 'Luthor' as opposed to Lex or Lex Luthor. If he didn't have a first name at first, when did he acquire the first name of Lex? I found it much more dramatic when Superman would shout 'Luthor!,' The Luthor last name alone IMO sounds much more powerful than 'Lex,' or 'Lex Luthor.'
    I know this one! April 1960! Before the story "When Luthor Met Superboy", he was always just Luthor, but since A) most people don't call kids by their last names and B) Superboy and Lex are in friendly terms in that story and most friends are on a first-name basis, they introduced his full name, "Lex Luthor" for the first time! It really sheds an interesting light on their relationship, once I'm never sure if I like or not.
    Last edited by Adekis; 05-20-2014 at 01:18 AM. Reason: I accidentally a word

  7. #37
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    Thank you, very much. I'm very pleased to have garnered a compliment for a post I wrote at five in the morning! (Also: I am a man! -punch-)

    I don't think I take particular exception to any of the things you said here, though they can all be implemented well or poorly, depending on circumstance.


    I know this one! April 1960! Before the story "When Luthor Met Superboy", he was always just Luthor, but since A) most people don't call kids by their last names and B) Superboy and Lex are in friendly terms in that story and most friends are on a first-name basis, they introduced his full name, "Lex Luthor" for the first time! It really sheds an interesting light on their relationship, once I'm never sure if I like or not.


    The origin story written by Jerry Siegel. Amazing thing is there are stupid people out there who insist on crediting that story to Elliot Maggin. Or if they admit that Siegel wrote the story, they claim that Maggin added nuances to it. In reality Maggin's retellings of the Siegel-written origin story were watered down versions of it.
    John Martin, citizen & rightful ruler of the omniverse.

  8. #38
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Let's change it up for a bit.

    How about we celebrate all the full-body (as opposed to voice-only) actors who played Lex Luthor?

    Starting with the very first live-action Lex Luthor, Lyle Talbot!

    Talbot starred as Luthor in the 2nd Superman movie serial "ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN" in 1950.







    Has anyone seen ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN? Is it available in blu-ray or dvd? How does it hold up in 2014?

  9. #39
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daBronzeBomma View Post
    Let's change it up for a bit.

    How about we celebrate all the full-body (as opposed to voice-only) actors who played Lex Luthor?

    Starting with the very first live-action Lex Luthor, Lyle Talbot!

    Talbot starred as Luthor in the 2nd Superman movie serial "ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN" in 1950.







    Has anyone seen ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN? Is it available in blu-ray or dvd? How does it hold up in 2014?

    Saw this one over 10 years ago. It was the best live action depiction of Luthor I have ever seen. Clancy Brown's voice-portrayal is very reminiscent of Lyle Talbot. At no point in "ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN" was Luthor called Luther. Nor was he depicted as a buffoon.
    John Martin, citizen & rightful ruler of the omniverse.

  10. #40
    Newbie Member Goldarmy's Avatar
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    I feel Luthor has three significant aspects. He is a paragon. He is pragmatic. And he is a bastard.

    But I think he is a bastard due to his pragmatism. He calls Superman "alien", because Superman's actions are alien to him. He could be a Man of Tomorrow but stuck into being a man of Today.
    - A Skrull! Doctor Richards, why have you still not developed a counter measure against them? How many times did they impersonated you, ten?
    - A dozen Batman.

  11. #41
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Heading to the IndyPop Con in Indianapolis this Saturday.

    I've been reading the reviews and reactions to FOREVER EVIL #7 , and after careful consideration, I'm going to buy all 7 issues (with bags and boards of course). Apparently, if you are a fan of Lex Luthor, YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS SERIES!

    No matter his other flaws as a professional, 2 things seem to be clear about Geoff Johns:

    1) He hates the BatGod version of Batman almost as much as I do

    2) He loves Lex Luthor almost as much as I do

    SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

    Apparently , Lex Luthor figures out that Batman is Bruce Wayne, for realsies

    If Superman went from SuperGod to SuperDunce in 1986 onwards (and perception-wise, he did to a large degree among non-Superfans), Batman can go from BatGod to BatDunce for the next couple decades for all I care (at least when interacting with other non-Batverse characters). I am so glad there finally is someone in charge at DC who realizes having Batman constantly crap all over their other heroes was bad for business in the long run.

  12. #42
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llozymandias View Post
    The origin story written by Jerry Siegel. Amazing thing is there are stupid people out there who insist on crediting that story to Elliot Maggin. Or if they admit that Siegel wrote the story, they claim that Maggin added nuances to it. In reality Maggin's retellings of the Siegel-written origin story were watered down versions of it.
    The only thing Maggin added to the story was that Lex's parents disowned him and changed their family name. It was still a good story in its own right.

  13. #43
    Fantastic Member llozymandias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBally View Post
    The only thing Maggin added to the story was that Lex's parents disowned him and changed their family name. It was still a good story in its own right.


    Just looked it up, Lena's first appearance was in Superman's girlfriend Lois Lane #23, February, 1961. Story title: "the Curse of Lena Thorul". Written by the very underestimated Jerry siegel. The thing about Lex's parents disowning him, & changing their name to Thorul was Jerry Siegel's idea.
    John Martin, citizen & rightful ruler of the omniverse.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I don't really think of Luthor as Superman's "Arch-Nemesis", but as a sort of "Arch-Rival". The reason he's Superman's most interesting foe to me is for all the reasons he can't be the arch-nemesis. Superman's arch-nemesis, if I were to pick, would probably be Brainiac.

    I get what you mean when you say that Lex is a very human evil compared to Brainiac, but honestly the reason I find him so compelling is that I think on a fundamental level, Luthor isn't evil at all. Arrogant, yes, spiteful, yes, but not evil.

    All this isn't to say that Luthor isn't Superman's greatest challenge. He is, because he makes Superman outwit him. If Luthor is a man who doesn't let innocent people die in his schemes (and as we've seen in my "Hall of Heroic Luthors" on the previous page, that was once true [though even at the time, characterization wasn't always consistent]) then the reason Superman continues to have faith that Luthor could do more good than he could is because he knows Lex isn't actually a cold-blooded killer of innocent people.

    (Contrast the modern convention that Superman just totally hates Lex- much less interesting to me)
    Lex, of course, doesn't think he could get enough glory to surpass Superman, so he's totally committed to being the most effective criminal in history rather than the second best hero.

    Of course, every time Lex fights Superman, it's a challenge to Superman's reigning status as the Ultimate Cop. It's about showing that Superman is fallible, that Superman can be beaten, that Superman can be killed, to prove that Superman doesn't really deserve to be considered the World's Greatest. It sends a message that Luthor > Superman.
    He just doesn't need to kill people to get that point across, just like Superman doesn't need to kill to get his point across. If Luthor got away from Superman but a kid died during the getaway, Lex would be a monster. He's too wrapped up in his own image to allow that, so of course he saves the kid and goes to jail. After all, he can literally escape from jail any time he wants to.

    So I suppose I mean that when Superman fights Brainiac, or Metallo, or Parasite, it's a battle for innocent lives who will be lost, but when Superman fights Luthor, it's a battle for ideas and for dominance.


    I would really like to just lay out how I see the character seeing Superman's morality, but it's almost five a.m. where I am and I've had an epiphany. I think I might have figured out our differences regarding the character- we both like Lex, but we like versions so radically different from each other that they're almost irreconcilable:


    I cannot bring my ideal conception of Luthor back. He's sort of got the trappings of the World's Greatest Criminal back after losing the trappings of Byrne's Kingpin Lex, but his nobility is now a facade.

    Still, the Lex of the late Silver Age stories is still there, in bits and pieces, just like how the Golden Age Depraved Terrorist is still there and the Kingpin Lex is still there, the Silver Age Noble Renegade Criminal is still there, partially. I just wish he was more dominant than he is in the current stories.
    But here is the thing, there are many Pre crisis stories, where I didn't find Lex sympathetic at all. I mean what about the Silver Age story where Lex and Joker teamed up to make a bunch robots to take over the world, what was sympathetic about that?

    Also in the Silver Age origin where Lex and Superman were friends, but had a falling out and became enemies, I found Lex totally unsympathetic. In the falling out, I found Superboy 100% in the right and Lex 100% in the wrong. Lex came off as ridiculously petty in that origin, so its to buy Lex as poor lost former friend of Superman, when he choose to become Superman's enemy for really petty reasons.

    Petty jealousy is not a sympathetic and that is the reason why he seems to hate Superman. Also someone like Magneto has more sympathetic back story then Lex does, being a Holocaust survivor is far more traumatizing then losing your hair or an experiment and being mad at the guy who saved your life in the process. Also you said Lex is somewhat tragic, because he could be the world's greatest hero, if not for Superman. But why can't he be a hero with Superman around, Batman does. The answer is simple, because Lex is a petty egomaniac who cares more about praise then actually helping helping people, if Superman wasn't around, he could very well find another excuse to be a petty jerk.

    However, Lex has never been a total monster, he is a jerk certainly, but even in the Post crisis universe he was given moments of humanity. He once punched Joker in the face because Joker wanted mock the families of people who were killed by Lex's Injustice Gang and Lex said those people were collateral damage, their deaths were unfortunate, but necessary. Lex should not be afraid to kill people, but it should be for a purpose, with a greater goal in mind, not just because he is bored and wants to kill people for fun. Also Lex has been willing to team up with heroes to defeat greater threats, like Darkseid in Final Crisis, so he has been willing to put aside his hatred of Superman and fight for a greater good, now and again.

    Lex is not like Joker or the Red Skull or Darkseid, he is not pure evil, but his motives for hating Superman are not sympathetic. I think Lex is a guy with a lot of negatives, but a few positives, he has a spark of humanity beneath the pettiness and the arrogance, that can be brought forth in the right circumstances. Superman has faced villains who are far more evil then Lex, with no sympathetic traits: Brainiac, Mongul, Darkseid, etc. But a lot of the petty and mean things he did in the early Post crisis era, I can see him doing that, Lex in the Silver Age was petty to declare the man who saved his life an enemy, so the pettiness in the Post Crisis era seems in line with that.

    I think the idea that Lex should never take a life is not feasible, I think Lex sacerfice other people's lives to achieve a greater aim and really Lex's willingness to sacrifice people for his ambitions makes him a better counterpart to Superman, then a villain who is not willing to kill anyone. The difference between Lex and the Joker, is Lex doesn't kill needlessly and would likely draw the line at intentionally killing children in cold blood. Magneto is a very sympathetic, but he is willing to spill blood for his cause, ditto with Adrian Veidt, its hard to make a villain who is totally adverse to killing menacing, but a villain can be both sympathetic and menacing, depending what they are willing to kill for.

    Take the pettiness away and he would a different character. Xanatos is a villain similar to Lex, he is rich, brilliant, manipulative and selfish, but doesn't have a petty bone in his body.
    Last edited by The Overlord; 05-29-2014 at 07:04 PM.

  15. #45
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    "Revenge is a sucker's game." I've always loved that line.

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