Lex Luthor is Back

April 26th, 2010 by | Tags: ,

And I like it. 

Lex Luthor has always been one of my favorite villains.  Well, any character can be my favorite or least favorite depending on how they’re written, but I like the concept behind Lex a lot better than I do most villains.

For one thing, businessman Lex is not the kind of villain who will kill everyone in the room.  The Jokers, the Deathstrokes, and the Prometheii made me pretty sick of that.  Luthor is the type to slowly, surely, brilliantly grab for more and more power.  He undertakes plans with a specific and productive end and doesn’t just go for off-the-charts death and destruction.

Which isn’t to say that there isn’t emotion and insanity in there.  Luthor’s main motivation has always been more clear and – for me – more understandable than the motivations of other villains.  When he got a Lantern Corps ring, his motivation was Avarice, but for me, he’s always been ruled by envy. 

This is a guy who prides himself on being the master of the universe, and all of a sudden a bigger, stronger, more powerful, and more popular guy shows up.  In his city.  And that guy isn’t even of Luthor’s own species.  I can just feel him burning with frustrated rage and jealousy, and twisting it around in his head until he has the moral high ground. 

And when you put him in a business suit, he has to keep himself restrained enough to keep that moral high ground, at least in his own head.  It makes for a great drama, great stories, and great, stable, continuity.

At least in theory.


Maybe that cover’s just a fantasy sequence.

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13 comments to “Lex Luthor is Back”

  1. Oh no, it’s the real deal; Cornell’s arc is all about Luthor wanting the Orange ring back.

    Out of the many annoying things about Blackest Night, my award for most annoying is how the special league at the end of #6 did NOTHING for the end game, and in fact #7 was all about Orange lantern Luthor chasing Red Lantern Mera around for 20 pages.

  2. While I too prefer corporate cutthroat Lex, between teaming up with Brainiac in the Superman books and hunting for an Orange ring, I don’t really see how he is “back”

  3. I loved Captain Britain, Dark X-Men and his Doctor Who episodes, so I can’t be more excited.

    @Dan Coyle: @OnimaruXLR: Interviews Cornell just says he’s after power, I don’t think he literally meant trying to take Larfleeze’s ring, but more him trying to find his own source of power. The idea of Luthor putting his all into making his own power ring (or something) should be cool.

  4. “Maybe that cover’s just a fantasy sequence.”

    It is

    Cornell’s own words

    “Lex is motivated by, and looking back to, his time as an Orange Lantern. He’s not one now. But it’s given him a taste, and he really wants… something in particular. He’s fighting for just himself, which he thinks is the greater good.”

  5. I was looking forward to this until I found out Cornell doesn’t get to use Superman for almost a year. To me it feels like the lesson DC learned from taking Superman out of the Superman books and watching sales fall is that they should keep Superman out of the Superman books, which makes no sense.

  6. @Dan Coyle: Just because he wants the ring doesn’t mean he’ll get the ring. But even if he does – well, the Orange Corps is my favorite corps, and Lex Luthor yelling ‘mine’ was my second favorite moment after Mera vomiting lava on her baby.

    @Nathan: Woohooo!

  7. Here’s the interview for people who want to read it


  8. @Mark Cook: read this

    Seems like Cornell didn’t want to bother going through hoops and just decided to write Luthor.

  9. Wait, that sounds a bit better.

    You know, few writers would make me want to look at a DC book at this point given the Reign of the Boy King, but Cornell is definitely one of them.

  10. I think “doesn’t get to” was the wrong choice of words on my part – why Superman won’t be in Action Comics is not really connected to my disappointment that Paul Cornell won’t be writing Superman in Action right away.

  11. @Dan Coyle: hahaha that was so brilliant, yo should write for Leno :rolleyes:

    But yeah, COrnell excites me. I mean he took Fraction’s scraps from Utopia and wrote one of the best miniseries of the past year

  12. I think one of the reoccuring tropes with Lex is the acquisition of superpowers and the subsequent loss, and Cornell’s probably going to be exploring this.

  13. Nathan: Yep, Geoff Johns using the DCU to cushion his quickly approaching nervous breakdown- if it hasn’t happened already- is HILARIOUS.