:characters_of_dc: Masterminds and Mayhem [March 2021]:characters_of_dc:

Hello All!
For this session of the Characters of DC Club we will be focusing on one of the greatest villains in the DCU and continual thorn in Superman’s side: Lex Luther. Lex has been a part of the Superman mythos almost from the beginning but how well do we really know the guy. Is he just a megalomaniac or is there more to him? Lets take a deeper look shall we members of the @CharactersOfDCClub by taking a look at stories that feature him from across the decades.

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ADDITIONAL CHARACTER INFORMATION

Lex Luther

CHARACTER WIKI LINK

PUBLICATION HISTORY LINK

CHRONOLOGY LINKS

Golden Age

Silver Age

Other

CREATORS:

Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

FIRST APPEARANCE

Action Comics #23 (1940)

MEMBER OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS

Legion of Doom
Injustice League
Injustice Gang
Justice League
Secret Six
Superman Revenge Squad
Secret Society of Super Villains
Intergang
LexCorp
Orange Lantern

READINGS FOR MARCH’S SESSION:

WEEK ONE (MARCH 1-7) ORIGIN AND THE GOLDEN AGE

WEEK TWO (MARCH 8-14) NEW ORIGIN AND THE SILVER AGE

WEEK THREE (MARCH 15-21) BRYNE’s MAN OF STEEL

WEEK FOUR (MARCH 22-28) THE NEW 52 AND FOREVER EVIL

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS WILL BE POSTED IN THE TOPIC EVERY WEEK ON SUNDAY NIGHT.

And that is that as they say. I hope everyone enjoyed this trip through the decades with Lex Luther. See ya all next month as C of DC explores the Wild West with DCU’s most famous Western character: Jonah Hex. Hope to see you all there

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General Question:

  • There have been many versions of Lex Luthor over the years both on screen and in comics. Where did you first encounter the character and which version is your preferred version?

Interesting Notes:

  • Lex Luthor is Superman’s longest running antagonist.

  • All of Luthor’s Golden Age stories were retroactively attributed to an Earth 2 counterpart named Alexei Luthor in the 1960s. This version of the character subsequently vanished as a result of COIE.

  • The last story in this week’s selections, Battle of the Atoms, marks the 14th encounter between Superman and (Lex) Luthor. Not all of the books involved are available on DCUI yet but here’s the list in case you are curious what the others are.

List of those issues

  • Action Comics #23 “Europe at War Part 2”

  • Superman #4 “Challenge of Luthor” & “Luthor’s Undersea City”

  • Superman #5 “Luthor’s Incense Menace”

  • Superman #10 “Invisible Luthor”

  • Superman #12 “Beasts of Luther”

  • Action Comics #42 “City in the Sky”

  • Superman #13 “Machinations of the Light”

  • Action Comics #47 “Power stone”

  • Superman #17 “When Titans Clash”

  • Superman #18 “Heat Horror”

  • Superman #20 “Superman’s Secret Revealed”

  • Superman #31 “Tune Up Time for Crime”

  • Superman #34 “When the World was Tired”

  • Superman #38 “Battle of the Atoms”

‘Battle of the Atoms’ also has the distinction of being a story that was delayed because of wartime censorship. It was originally written in 1944 but because it featured use of an ‘atomic bomb’ the United States Department of War asked that the story’s publication be delayed. It was published in 1946 after the end of WWII.

And now for the rest of our questions

WEEK ONE (GOLDEN AGE)

  1. What did you think of the first appearance of Luthor in Action Comics #23?

  2. Do you see any similarities between the character of Luthor in these Golden Age issues and more modern versions of Lex?

  3. Luthor’s iconic bald look came about as a result of an artistic error, which happened in his fourth appearance in 1941. Do you like the red haired look or do you prefer his more iconic look?

  4. Superman was sure that Luthor’s challenges in Superman #4 was just a distraction so he could have his lackeys steal the Army’s new weapon. How do you feel about that assessment? Do you think there was more to it than that?

  5. Which one was your favorite Luthor moment in these stories and why

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My first encounter with Lex was through the Superman films with Gene Hackman in the role of Lex Luther.

My absolute favorite version is Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex in Smallville. That was when the character started having some depth to him. I have actually met him at a convention once.

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And here are the questions and a bit of additional information for this week.

Fun Facts

  • In Lex’s Silver Age origin he was initially a big fan of the then Superboy, even having a shrine in his honor containing various items of memorabilia.

  • The people of the planet Lexor consider Lex to be a hero and Superman to be a villain. In the recent Future State series Lex is the ruler of this same planet.

  • Lexor has a red sun, which renders Superman powerless but which also prevents Kryptonite from affecting him. It is a bit ironic that Lex in “When Luther Met Superboy” was attempting to create an antidote that would have made Clark completely immuned to it.

Questions

  1. First off has anyone ever read the Silver Age Luthor origin presented in Adventure Comics #271? If you have what did you think of the story and how does it compare to other Luthor origin stories you’ve read?

  2. The people of the planet Lexor consider Lex to be a hero because he was able to restore their lost technology to them. They idolize him. What did you think of their funeral for their hero?

  3. Of course Lex had everything in this story all planned out. What did you think of his plan to eliminate greatest foe forever?

  4. What did you think of Luthor’s plan to destroy Superman’s confidence in Action Comics 335?

  5. Superman helps Lex out here by causing Ardora to forget that she had learned her husband was in reality a criminal mastermind. What do you think that says about Superman’s relationship with his arch foe?

  6. It’s a Luthor team up in our final story selection for this week. What did you think of the team up between Alexei Luthor and Lex Luthor? What about Alex Luthor of Earth 3? What you think of his team up with both Supermen?

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Here’s this week’s questions @CharactersOfDC.

This week’s reading comes from Byrne’s 1986 classic Man of Steel, which was a new origin for Superman and also one for Lex Luthor. Instead of being a super genius mad scientist type he becomes a genius businessman in Byrne’s retelling of his story although I would argue that he still sounds like the same ole Lex from the prior ages. Still narcissistic, arrogant and a megalomaniac with a twist of hatred for Superman.

  1. What did you think of this new white collar criminal version of Lex Luthor?

  2. He seems to have a romantic interest in Lois in this story. What do you think of their interactions here?

  3. What did you think of Lex first attempt at creating a clone of Superman?

  4. During the process of creating the clone Lex learns that Superman is in fact an alien. What did you think of his gaining that level of information?

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It’s late at night so I won’t answer everything right now, but as to #1, I really love the reinvention of Lex as an evil businessman. It really feels like Lex has become this sort of apotheosis of the kinds of guys Superman was always fighting in the Golden Age, and I love that a lot more than the mad scientist take.

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A lot of people are perhaps a bit more familiar with this take one the character that for sure. Certainly a lot of other media have taken this idea and ran with it in some degree. This is the version I am most familiar with probably because of that.

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I always enjoyed how Lex Luthor is a victim of male pattern baldness in this origin as opposed to there being some melodramatic reasoning behind his chrome dome.

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First off welcome to the forum.

Secondly, I like that too. I don’t see the need of having some “reason” for his baldness. He could be shaving his head for all that it matters honestly.

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WEEK FOUR (FOREVER EVIL)

  1. What did you think of Lex Luthor in this story?

  2. What about the allies he gathers here? Interesting group he’s gathered here wouldn’t you say?

  3. Who would have ever thought that Lex would be the only one in a position to save the world from the Crime Syndicate? I especially like this panel from issue #2.

Which was your favorite Lex moment in this story?

  1. Seems Lex care for Bizarro and Bizarro seem to care as well as shown in issue #4. Do you think this may be related in some way to the friendship that has existed in the past between Lex and Clark?

  2. Speaking of Luthors here we have yet another Luthor: Alexander. What did you think of him?

And one final question and then we’re done:

What did you all think of these stories and how Lex developed over time?