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    Lex Luthor Question

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    Rickster

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    Lex Luthor Question

    Post  Rickster on July 16th 2012, 10:17 pm

    OK I might loose all my geek cred for this question but how is it that Lex Luthor who has no super powers is Superman's greatest nemesis? It seems like Superman could stop him easily.

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    Re: Lex Luthor Question

    Post  Guest on July 17th 2012, 1:04 am

    As a pragmatic manner, I think it's a good way to keep writers on their toes and encourages careful thought on how to construct credible conflicts. Lex Luther is usually set up as a Super Genius, in the realm of scientific innovation or business, or both. He can bring to a story what a corporation will do for the bottom line of profit, and how that impacts on individuals and society; he can also bring the theme of responsible use of technology. It's tricky, but put Superman in a reactionary role then Superman gets to do spectacular things, trying to foil a scheme involving superscience, or some epic-scale money making scheme; the destructive fall out from something huge give Superman opportunity to save lots of people. Then again, if you try and give Superman some credit for being proactive, he'll save himself a lot of trouble, but that might boil down to less Superman action.

    It does give Superman a good test of his ability to restrain himself. Will he be able to work within the limits of the law? He can't just automatically toss Lex into prison everytime, he has to have concrete proof that Lex is tied to whatever scheme went down. And then, Superman has to make time to testify in court, otherwise Lex will walk. So this tests Superman's priorities: given a choice between some brewing disaster, and having to choose between that and evaluating if Lex getting free is more dangerous? Great potential dilemma; is Superman fast enough to do both? Is Lex behind an elaborate distraction, arranged from prison to enable him to get away?

    It's better than just having Superman matched with a Supervillain as strong as him. Superman versus General Zod is great fun, add in his lackeys and you can see him in physical danger from something other than Kryptonite. But how best to depict Superman, as a Super Police officer, or the worlds ultimate Red Cross volunteer? I prefer emphasis on him saving people and thwarting catastrophic disasters, and especially inspiring people to do the right thing; but there's a balance to be had: Lex is dangerous because he keeps on doing large scale stuff that needs Superman on the scene to prevent a lot of death and destruction; so Superman needs to be clever within the context of societies laws to get him.

    I don't know if this makes any sense. The first Superman movie, Superman Returns and Lois and Clark have been effective examples of Lex as a worthy intellectual opponent, and the movies show the violent threat he represents to people and property on an epic scale. I admit I don't read the comics regularly, so mainly I'm a fan of the character as shown in movies and TV shows. I hope that helps, perspective-wise.

    Paeter
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    Re: Lex Luthor Question

    Post  Paeter on July 17th 2012, 2:47 pm

    I thought Desert Kris's thoughts were spot-on.

    This thread also reminds me of some of those age old "who would win in a fight" questions:

    Green Lantern Or Silver Surfer?
    Superman Or The Hulk?
    Batman Or Captain America?
    Batman Or Iron Man?
    Batman Or The Justice League?

    The answer? "Whoever the writers and editors decide will win." (Usually Batman)


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    BenAvery

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    Re: Lex Luthor Question

    Post  BenAvery on July 18th 2012, 7:54 am

    Lex is a super genius with no moral restrictions. Superman becomes his only obstacle to world domination.

    Superman is a super powered man with a strict moral code.

    So it's not just brains vs. brawn, it's two absolutes. Do whatever you can to achieve what you want since there is no right or wrong, and do whatever you can to uphold right in the face of wrong. It's a conflict of ideals.

    In fact, to me, it's brains vs. heart, so to speak. Lex is all brain and intellect, while Superman -- who does have well developed intellect and physicality, obviously, also has a soul.

    So Lex hides behind the rules and morals that Superman believes in, using them to keep Superman at arms' length.

    Rickster

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    Re: Lex Luthor Question

    Post  Rickster on July 18th 2012, 6:30 pm

    Paeter wrote:

    This thread also reminds me of some of those age old "who would win in a fight" questions:

    Green Lantern Or Silver Surfer?
    Superman Or The Hulk?
    Batman Or Captain America?
    Batman Or Iron Man?
    Batman Or The Justice League?

    The answer? "Whoever the writers and editors decide will win." (Usually Batman)

    The final in my Bible as lit class in high school had an extra credit question "who would win in a fight Batman or Superman"



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