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  1. #2476

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    Luthor is one of the most inconsistently written characters in comic book history. It's easy to imagine a version of Luthor setting up a Most Dangerous Game hunt, but to me, it's hard to imagine any specific version doing it?
    Hello, thanks for your reply. I haven't spoken to many Superman fans about how I view Lex Luthor, but I'm glad that you think he could commit such a hideous crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    For versions of Luthor who are more immoral and willing to commit atrocities, they have never struck me as paying the lower class much thought, except as it pertains to his personal dominance of them. He'd consider them a part of society that he needs in order to stay on top.
    Exactly! That kind of thinking stems from the super rich in any society. Here in India, the standard of living has gone up over the last three decades, but there is still income inequality and the top proportion of society earn a lot of wealth, try to find tax loopholes and instil means to keep the lower classes/castes in check. But I honestly don't think Lex is profit motivated. He uses profit making as a means to lure greedy investors (the top 1% wealthiest in every industry) who, frankly, shit on the lower classes because they all believe he is a money greedy industrialist like them; but then Lex double crosses/murders most of them because he feels that they pollute our planet in pursuit of wealth and have no other skill to contribute to humanity and they are harming progress of the human civilisation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    And no version of Luthor strikes me as overtly ableist. Even if he did consider the lower class, the destitute, or the disabled, to be a burden on society, it's hard to imagine these immoral versions of Luthor as capable of enough... shall we say "misguided civic-mindedness" to try to alleviate the burden on society. To these solipsistic Luthors, society exists only as a backdrop for his own grandeur, or for his feud with Superman to play out against. Cure someone of a hideous disease, give it to them again, cure cancer as a trick to get close enough to Superman to kill him, cure AIDS but turn it into an expensive, long-term treatment before releasing it, blow up the whole world just to score cheap points against Superman, etc.. He's not civic minded enough to try that specific kind of murder-for-the-good-of-society, even if he was that kind of classist and ableist.
    To me, his hatred of Superman is multi-faceted. There's a sense of good old fashioned xenophobia and racism that he holds against Superman. He clearly believes this "God-like" being could annihilate the human race and there's nothing we could do to stop him. But also, he sees him as an interfering foreigner, an immigrant, a refugee from a failed world who has no business telling us how we should behave and how we should support each other and work together. I think that feeling certainly ties in with an even deeper feeling which I think is the crux of Lex's hatred of Superman: he wants to rule all the nations of the world and "shape" the human race into becoming masterful and Superman is in his way. Because of his hyper-intellect and sociopathy, I think he looks at the world's societies in terms of Darwinian natural selection. No human being asks to be born and we shape our society to accommodate those that are "less able" out of compassion, which is Superman's ethos. But Lex's ethos I believe is, if a person has no qualities or attributes that are of benefit to mankind then that person has no reason to be here.

    I certainly think Lex's idiosyncrasies are based on some of the vilest leaders throughout History. Hitler for example (who one could argue served as the model for General Zod), tried to wipe out an entire race of people because he felt they were somehow ruining his picture perfect image of a clean, strong and racially pure Aryan German nation. I believe Lex's belief system comes from that same kind of thinking, however Lex takes that eugenic thinking and amplifies it; I think his goal is to make the human race strong, able and as perfect as possible. What's also interesting to me is that I don't think Lex views himself as a criminal; in fact he views criminals as being a scourge to society and an economic sponge that needs to be wiped out also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    By contrast, other versions of Luthor, who may act more civic minded, even as they serve their self-interests, tend to be more rational and more moral. And of course, once again, what would he gain by those murders? Becoming the new Superman after Kal-El dies, positioning Earth and humanity well on the galactic chessboard, going to jail in order to save the lives of others - these versions of Luthor might be willing to commit murder "for a good cause," but I just have more doubts they'd look down so hard on the disabled and the destitute.
    Yah, absolutely! I think he wants the ideal human race to be at the top of universe, so the very best of us, the best genes, will continue to thrive and evolve and the rest of us will be thrown into concentration camps to be exterminated. I don't think Lex has our sense of morality. He's a pure scientist, engineer and mathematician with a sociopath's outlook on the world. Lex doesn't understand that that kind of thinking destroyed Krypton and that's why Superman was sent here: to divert our natural progression and our base instincts and to make sure that that what happened to Krypton doesn't happen to humanity. Lex simply believes that the Kryptonian's ran their civilisation into the ground and if they "trimmed the fat" of their civilisation like how he is proposing with humanity, i.e. by exterminating unnecessary people, then they would have survived. As is the case with all poor leaders, they can't see the damage that they are doing. In many ways Superman and Lex want the same thing: to see a prosperous human civilisation only in Luthor's vision, not everyone is invited.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    There was, however, a character named "John Terrill" in the Superman newspaper strips from the early '40s, who burned down hospitals to murder the weak and feeble, believing they held society back. That sounds almost exactly like what you're positioning Luthor for. Eh, just a stray thought.
    Thank you! I didn't know that. I'll check it out. Many thanks.

    I think in an age of rising population, global warming caused by rising population, automation & AI taking over low skilled and skilled labour in the market and the ability for digital media and broadcast journalism run by super rich media barons to reach every pocket of the globe, there is certainly a place for a frightening villain like Lex Luthor to proliferate in our modern world.
    Last edited by fan_of_the_messiah; 02-14-2020 at 06:09 AM.

  2. #2477

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    Hello again, just a few more points on my favourite character of all time.

    I think there is a very profound reason why Lex Luthor is Superman's greatest adversary. Unlike other villains such as General Zod, Brainiac and Darkseid who are clear and present threats to human civilisation and ones we as a civilisation can unite together to fight against; Lex Luthor tears humanity apart from the inside. In fact, I dare say that Lex, with his ingenuity, is capable of defeating the other physically mighty Superman villains. But I think what makes him so dangerous is his ability to crawl inside people's heads and gets vulnerable people/nations to do horrific things to each other with the end effect being a rising body count and one step closer for him to become world leader. For a seemingly invincible 'man of steel' who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound; Superman is virtually powerless at seeing human beings being manipulated into hurting each other.

    I don’t think Lex can be incarcerated in a prison in the US or anywhere in the world. He’s too brilliant and he’ll find a way to overturn his conviction. He’ll crawl inside the heads of criminal gangs in prison to start conflicts and get them to fight/kill each other without lifting a finger. He’ll bribe Judges, US Department of Justice and FBI officers to worm his way out of prison. In a Superman story that I wrote many years ago about Lex Luthor’s rise to power, the ending had Superman incarcerate Lex Luthor in the Phantom Zone. Superman had no choice but to do so, because he’s too dangerous to be on Earth and the crimes he commits against humanity are unforgivable. In my story Lex is ultimately defeated when all the nations/people of the world rise up against him in solidarity and Superman tearfully says goodbye to all the people of the world and takes Lex into the Phantom Zone and joins him there as his ‘jailer’ to watch over him until his natural death.

    I think from Superman's perspective he feels a mixture of emotion with Lex. He certainly feels anger towards Lex for what he’s doing to people all over, but I think Superman also feels sadness and pity towards Lex. Superman views all life as being precious, so he can’t understand why someone so academically gifted, with so much potential and so wealthy with so much political influence around the globe would be so harmful to life instead of being a force to nurture and protect life and bring out the best in people.
    Last edited by fan_of_the_messiah; 02-14-2020 at 06:05 AM.

  3. #2478
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Thunders! View Post
    I didn't say he was the best fighter ever just because he's Superman, I said all of his powers, plus his mental capabilities, plus the number of skilled fighters he regularly faces, plus his experience means he can fight. And I also think that Superhumans are going to do human things at a Superlevel and that includes fighting. He literally pretends to make typos just out of marital solidarity.
    It seems to jump to extremes. If you say Superman should be competent in fight IQ it gets argued against as him being Richard Dragon.

    But since you mention it, I really don't like the gag about Lois being a bad speller. It's such a tired and labored tip to Dinner, who I feel is honored enough by much better developments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post

    TDKR was a Batman story. Look at two of the most iconic Superman stories, For The Man Who Has Everything and The Death Of Superman. The former has Wonder Woman getting rag dolled by a Superman villain only he can defeat while being subject to misogynistic insults. The latter had the entire Justice League lose several I.Q points and be unable to fight a big dumb alien whose only power was to hit hard.
    That is a common statement but it actually misses the entire point: his power is survival adaptation. So if you're staying away and blasting him his resistance goes up, or his fighting strength goes up Hulk style if you meet him head on. I can't really call Doomsday a character more than plot device, but the point everyone makes about him just being there for punching is explicitly wrong

    Which is why the JLA couldn't beat him in a fight, nevermind the brain power of Brainiac on top.
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  4. #2479
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    It seems to jump to extremes. If you say Superman should be competent in fight IQ it gets argued against as him being Richard Dragon.

    But since you mention it, I really don't like the gag about Lois being a bad speller. It's such a tired and labored tip to Dinner, who I feel is honored enough by much better developments.



    That is a common statement but it actually misses the entire point: his power is survival adaptation. So if you're staying away and blasting him his resistance goes up, or his fighting strength goes up Hulk style if you meet him head on. I can't really call Doomsday a character more than plot device, but the point everyone makes about him just being there for punching is explicitly wrong

    Which is why the JLA couldn't beat him in a fight, nevermind the brain power of Brainiac on top.
    Him having that ability was something the writers came up with after his debut story. Even then, the JLA would and should have fought smarter than that.

  5. #2480

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I can't really call Doomsday a character more than plot device
    Yes I agree. I believe he/it is a fairly one dimensional character that only serves as means for Superman to make the ultimate sacrifice.

  6. #2481

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    May I ask everyone a question? How do you all feel about Superman being a vegetarian in Birthright? I am totally for Superman being vegan, even though I am not. As a being who views all life as being precious, it would make sense to me for Superman to be a vegan.

  7. #2482
    Astonishing Member sifighter's Avatar
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    I personally don’t care what the Legion of Superheroes actually looks like because at this point I’ve seen so many iterations I just like the concept. To clarify, I started by watching the cartoon version of the Legion when I was younger and when I started reading comics it was one of the first I jumped on but it turned out to be Mark Waid’s reboot run. I later learned that hey turns out there has been three different versions of the team, and I met the original version thanks to the JSA and Superman but also Legion of Three Worlds which I’ll admit at the time was a mistake for someone who only knew one iteration and just learned of the original. In recent years I’ve started reading some of the trades for the post-Zero hour team, hopefully I’ll get to the classic team, and presently I am following Bendis’ fourth iteration of the team.

    So like I said what the actual appearance and continuity based history of the team doesn’t actually matter to me because it’s changed so many times and I’ve learned just to appreciate the concept and hope for good stories out of them.
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  8. #2483
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Him having that ability was something the writers came up with after his debut story. Even then, the JLA would and should have fought smarter than that.
    Because it was the same writers, that idea doesn't contradict the original story though. We're looking at this twenty five years later so it's not like these things exist separately from each other either.

    The JL by the way wasn't that League. I mean Booster, Maxima, Ice, Fire, and Guy... they were set up to fail. They didn't just get beaten up by Doomsday, but he did it with one arm tied behind his back.
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  9. #2484
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Because it was the same writers, that idea doesn't contradict the original story though. We're looking at this twenty five years later so it's not like these things exist separately from each other either.

    The JL by the way wasn't that League. I mean Booster, Maxima, Ice, Fire, and Guy... they were set up to fail. They didn't just get beaten up by Doomsday, but he did it with one arm tied behind his back.
    My point still stands. Writers have no problem throwing other heroes under the bus to prop up Superman.

  10. #2485
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fan_of_the_messiah View Post
    May I ask everyone a question? How do you all feel about Superman being a vegetarian in Birthright? I am totally for Superman being vegan, even though I am not. As a being who views all life as being precious, it would make sense to me for Superman to be a vegan.
    I thought it was an interesting spin on the character, and one that *could* fit within the context of who Clark is.

    In main continuity he's definitely not vegetarian, as some of his favorite foods are meat-based, but it was interesting for Birthright, and in another continuity (either larger media adaptation or reboot) I'd be okay with it being used again.
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  11. #2486
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    It would kinda hard to write a story where nobody loses. Again, lossing and jobbing are two different thing.jl is just losing to doomsday.
    Just like this

    This is jobbing

    Booster gold losing to doomsday is just that.
    Booster gold losing to harley quinn is jobbing.

  12. #2487
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Because it was the same writers, that idea doesn't contradict the original story though. We're looking at this twenty five years later so it's not like these things exist separately from each other either.

    The JL by the way wasn't that League. I mean Booster, Maxima, Ice, Fire, and Guy... they were set up to fail. They didn't just get beaten up by Doomsday, but he did it with one arm tied behind his back.
    Yeah, the original story didn't explain much about Doomsday. It was an alien menace from the dark terrifying depths of space. It was meant to be the sort of thing that could kill Superman.

    But like well, ALL Fourth World characters, Doomsday is too powerful for most characters to even hurt it. it's not just the adaptation thing. If you look at it in RPG terms it's like having a level 90 character beating up level 25 characters.

  13. #2488
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    Superman being vegetarian is fine, especially if he vat grows meat to alleviate his beef bougienen

  14. #2489
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Superman doesn't need food. He should be aiming higher than vegetarianism.

  15. #2490
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    Yeah, the original story didn't explain much about Doomsday. It was an alien menace from the dark terrifying depths of space. It was meant to be the sort of thing that could kill Superman.

    But like well, ALL Fourth World characters, Doomsday is too powerful for most characters to even hurt it. it's not just the adaptation thing. If you look at it in RPG terms it's like having a level 90 character beating up level 25 characters.
    I also don't think it the JL used in that story are being used as jobbers for the benefit of Superman. Jobbing is when a character with a well known reputation for being powerful is taken down to quickly establish the abilities of a newcomer. Superman already has the reputation of being the most all around power single member even in the iconic JL, never mind the one comprised mostly of b-listers and below. Even in post-Crisis, nobody would go into a story with the premise of a threat capable of killing Superman and expect the day to be saved by the likes of Booster Gold and Ice. And in a shared universe, a threat big enough to kill Superman is going to catch the attention of the JL no matter who is on the roster, but it isn't their story so they are going to lose anyway. Nobody is really going to think less of them because nobody is going to expect them to win. And Superman still dies in the attempt, so it's not like he makes it look effortless.

    The bigger issue is the lameness of Doomsday. But even with a better, more well thought out villain, Superman is still going to be the last hero standing after the JL loses and he's still going to die.

    As for For the man who has everything, readers went into that story during Pre-Crisis when Superman was undisputed the most powerful superhero in their roster. Mongul had been a foe he never had a definitive victory over. He didn't even have one in this story either. Wonder Woman doesn't job because the standard power levels at the time wouldn't cause readers to expect her to win against Mongul or think less of her for losing, and I believe this was before they even really emphasized her warrior skills. She was there along with Batman and Robin because Moore wanted the four pillars there. I think the way she lost could have been written better and I prefer the DCAU giving her the final word, but I wouldn't call it jobbing.

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