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Yes. It's a bit odd to be making such an apparently obvious and yet clumsily executed issue-long reference to the very continuity that you're trying to annihilate. If you're going to do such a thing, at least make the story better somehow. And I still question why this needed to be part of the Man of Steel mini? Why not have it happen in Superman's present day? It's not exactly integral to his origin/development.
And I agree that it would have been nice to have Luthor keep his scientist roots. I always loved his depiction in the 1990s animated series for just such a reason.
One final thought about corporate Lex: One thing that always bothers me about the superhero genre is that it's entirely dated. We don't have brazen criminals on the streets mugging people, pulling elaborate bank heists, and glamorizing eccentric crime bosses the way they did back in the 1930s. Sure, these things still happen on a smaller scale, but the kinds of injustice that we face most often in our lives is entirely different now and rarely solved with a super powered punch to the face. The corporate Luthor concept attempts to address this -- to take the most iconic representative of that bygone era's idea of justice and pit him against an embodiment of modern injustice.
Last edited by shaxper; 11-18-2012 at 05:59 PM.
It's odd, I realized at a young age that Superman's costume with his trunks on the out side resembled old pictures of circus strong men but in all the years of admiring how glamorous the gangsters were in those old Bogart and Cagney films I never once drew a correlation between them and the likes of Luthor, the Joker, Two-face and the rest.
Definitely something that bears more thinking on.
Beyond that, yes, that's pretty much where my mind was. Thanks for following it there :)
Last edited by shaxper; 11-18-2012 at 06:53 PM.
You asked earlier if super fast thought processes were a new power. No, Superman was a super-genius and could think at super speed in his pre-crisis incarnation.
Last edited by destro; 11-18-2012 at 07:30 PM.
Life looks better in black and white.
"Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender
Sucks 200 character limit.
And the Joker is recognized by most of Gotham as a menace (people like Harley Quinn being the rare exception). Lex remains a hero to most of the DC world from 1986 until Flashpoint.
True, but I like that twist. It's been tried with numerous other villains over the years, but it never really worked elsewhere. How many times have Batman villains passed themselves off as reformed, and convinced everyone but Batman of the fact, before he managed to expose them again?And the Joker is recognized by most of Gotham as a menace (people like Harley Quinn being the rare exception). Lex remains a hero to most of the DC world from 1986 until Flashpoint.
I don't think anyone's suggesting that all comics should take this approach, but I certainly found it refreshing because, in real life, the bad guys don't lose after an issue or two. True heroes stick it out in spite of the injustice of the matter, biding their time and remaining true to their convictions with the hope that one day justice will finally be on their side.I guess that falls under different strokes. One of the things I like about this kind of fiction is the certainty that the bad guy will lose eventually. I'm not reading to see Donald Trump kill people and get away scot free just because that is a strong possibility if it ever really happened. And remember that Lex wasn't an occasional enemy- he was shown to be active almost every other issue. Superman can actually defeat Mongul or Eradicator in a single arc, but Lex at best is a stalemate for over a decade of constant confrontations?
Again, I don't think ALL comics need to take the corporate Luthor approach. I enjoy a good punch in the face for justice any day, but pretty much ALL comics were taking the 1930s approach prior to this, and I appreciate a little diversity and novelty, as well as an approach that better mirrors the world I know and gives me hope that the kind of evil I know and live with can also be vanquished in the long run.I agree it's dated, but I think the visceral thrill of the early stories was that the good guy won and the bad guy lost. For example, the Lone Ranger rides into town and takes down the crooked land baron made people feel safe- the evil could be defeated. The Lone Ranger rides into town to confront the evil mega-corp, ending with Luthor dead and Wison Fisk stepping into continue forcing the people off their land isn't quite so inspiring. Neither is the Lone Ranger being jailed for the murder of Lex. Or the Ranger discovering that the head of the corporation is really a nice guy and that he and his corporate employees are just trying to earn a living....
Last edited by shaxper; 11-19-2012 at 02:35 PM.
Shaxper just like your Batman thread I'm loving this one too, I personally love Bryne's Superman run that I enjoyed how self contained his first year of stories were that they were just simply fun to read.
If it's one bad note of Bryne's I dislike is the caveman jawline he gives Superman.
For me, Superman never looked better than when he was drawn by Byrne and inked by Karl Kesel.
"I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler."--Jack "King" Kirby
The problem is that he can't lose and still be the same Lex. They made part of his character the "teflon" effect that none of his villainy ever is connected to him. Either he never manages to get caught by Superman without an escape clause... or he needs to evolve once he's caught into a different type of villain, one who isn't publicly admired and trusted.
DC went for the first option. Even when they seemed ready to give Lex some long overdue justice, the next creative team would find a way to reset him back to being the Wolfman/Byrne character again and all his misdeeds were back under the carpet. And after a decade or so, I personally was tired of waiting for justice to EVER come. It wasn't novel- it was Earth 3 where crime pays and the good guys losem (they just tossed Clark a few bones by letting him be an ineffective thorn in Lex's side).
I guess I just don't see the difference. The Pre-Crisis Lex never truly lost either, nor does any major super villain. You say the difference is that you shouldn't draw attention to the fact, but it certainly did look like post-Crisis Lex lost on occasion -- contracting cancer from the Kryptonite ring, for example, or even being taken to prison in this first post-Crisis appearance we're discussing. He gets out, but HE still views the moment as a loss and never forgives Superman for the insult as a result.
Thus, I do think efforts were made to infrequently relieve the tension that came from Lex being a "Teflon" villain; The frustration was intentionally created (and was necessary in order to provide the world's most powerful superhero with a worthwhile nemesis), but it was also relieved when, on occasion, Lex took a tumble.
While someone like say, Kingpin would be the major baddie in Daredevil or Spider-Man for awhile there would also be long periods where he was gone. With Lex, he is in your face almost constantly. Even the Joker in Batman goes away for awhile. So there is this constant reminder throughout the majority of his post crisis appearances that Superman is completely ineffectual against the most evil man in the city. The best Superman can do is foil a plot here and there. For me that makes for a weak Superman.
Life looks better in black and white.
When I started reading Superman as a kid, I came in just a few issues before Lex "died," so I have never read the span of issues you are describing. However, what you're saying certainly makes sense. Perhaps that's why I like the concept of corporate Lex while some of you who read all these issues back in the day do not.