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icon_uk ([personal profile] icon_uk) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-07-27 21:01

One Perfect Moment - Lex Luthor, Millionaire Businessman

We all know Lex Luthor, evil manipulative powermad monster, mostly because we see him through the eyes of Superman and the other heroes where he drops his mask, but to the rest of the DCU, and Metropolis in particular he's a brilliant man, Metropolis' single largest employer, and a well know public figure, a celebrity with an eye for the ladies and (with a bit of bad boy about him) and philanthropist. Sort of like a pro-active Bruce Wayne, with SMARTS!

And how does he retain the common touch? Because he knows people, he really, really does. Okay, he knows them the way a biologist knows the Paramecium he's looking at down a microscope, but he still knows them.

This is from issue 1 of "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel", Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. I was tempted to post a rather fun discourse about TV remotes, but I decided I like this better.... (Actually I could post much of the whole issue because it's just that good.

Luthor is in his office, looking out at a magnificent new building under construction on Gotham, and pondering the nature of humanity and the spirit of creativity and achievment...







"...Lex"

His current amanuensis, Mona, comes in and starts a conversation, including the aforementioned discussion about TV remotes. Mona reminds Lex that that night he is due to attend the Von Rauch Academy Benefit Ball, to hand over his usual VERY generous donation.



Now why would Lex go so far out of his way to help a kid he's never met? Is it part of a long game? Or, as seems more likely, a mercurial whim because he can, because he just... <i>likes</i> Stan? Does it matter? It's just nice to see a little more of Lex than the usual EEEVIIIIILLLLL side.
silverzeo: (Default)

[personal profile] silverzeo 2010-07-27 20:29 (UTC)(link)
They're reprinting this as well as the Young Justice comic.

[personal profile] keeva 2010-07-27 20:31 (UTC)(link)
i like the fact that lex so very, very clearly does love wielding power, despite any other reasons he might have for doing something.

[personal profile] twigcollins 2010-07-27 20:41 (UTC)(link)
Nah, for me the perfect Lex moment will always be him, under threat of a horrible, agonizing death, taunting the Joker that Batman's never going to take him to the prom.

Ah, Lex. You were never better.

[identity profile] minyandu.livejournal.com 2010-07-27 23:29 (UTC)(link)
OHohohohohoh, that he-will-never-love-you like moment. :D

[personal profile] darkknightjrk 2010-07-28 03:01 (UTC)(link)
Wasn't that technically Alexander, though? I'm pretty sure he was impersonating Lex at moments pre-Infinite Crisis.
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[personal profile] espanolbot 2010-07-27 21:12 (UTC)(link)
Ehh, the top moment is nice but considering what Lex does later in the story... yeah.

[personal profile] lonewolf23k 2010-07-27 21:12 (UTC)(link)
Stan always showed Lex respect. Lex likes that, and decides to reward appropriate behavior.
naebler: (Default)

[personal profile] naebler 2010-07-27 21:16 (UTC)(link)
I like villains who aren't two dimensional. Especially for someone like Luthor who it is obvious has a mild OCD when it comes to Superman and Superhumans. Lex is someone who wants human ambition and accomplishment to mean something. He sees the world suffering under the aid of the spit curled demigod who comes in and saves the day. In the end when Lex is written right, you can see these moments where he does care about normal people. Sadly he is too often given two dimensional reasoning.

Lex in Justice was great and I would love to see more of this man in the main DCU.

[personal profile] ultimatecharm 2010-07-28 04:20 (UTC)(link)
Of course he cares about normal people... only when they worship him and the ground he walks on. I think a huge part of Lex's character is his raving ego. He'll only help the world if there is something for him or such a thing.
darklorelei: (Default)

[personal profile] darklorelei 2010-07-27 21:36 (UTC)(link)
I love the word amanuensis.

[personal profile] arysteia 2010-07-27 22:01 (UTC)(link)
I thought this sort of whim was beautifully summed up in one of the Eccleston Doctor Whos...Boomtown? Where the Slitheen are going to fry the planet, but not eat the pregnant woman. Because every now and then...

I loved this moment too, but the GN as a whole (finally got around to reading my copy) left me slightly confused. What exactly was Lex's game? I mean, I get the whole "Man is the measure of all things" part, but what exactly did destroying his masterpiece achieve?

[identity profile] fredneil.livejournal.com 2010-07-27 22:52 (UTC)(link)
The point there, at least for 9, was that doing that kind of thing didn't make the Slitheen-or Luthor- any less of a monster. It's what monsters like that do so they're able to do all of the horrible things they do. This way they can tell themselves, "I'm not so bad. I let one go."

[personal profile] arysteia 2010-07-28 00:45 (UTC)(link)
Oh, totally. I agree entirely. I just thought this was another perfect example of the same point. Any number of small kindnesses like this couldn't make up for Luthor's greater crimes, and while they are real in the moment, the whim will change when the wind blows.

[personal profile] mr_austin 2010-07-27 23:32 (UTC)(link)
One also has to consider that to Luthor this is 'saving people' in a way only 'regular' humans can; by offering shortcuts up the socioeconomic ladder in exchange for respect to their socioeconomic superiors.

I don't have the time to go into it but I really loved this scene because it set up that--even though Lex isn't a complete monster the way some writers make him out to be--he's still miles away from understanding Superman's ethical codes because even when he's doing a favor he still sees the world as dog eat dog and that one should never play a long game of chess when you can checkmate in five moves.

There's a ruthless logic to his strategies, yet at the same time its unscrupulous, views the world in terms of finite resources, and shows little empathy to anything that threatens his--however brief--moral high ground.

[personal profile] thandrak 2010-07-27 23:45 (UTC)(link)
One Elseworlds I'd always wished to see was... Metropolis Without A Superman.

Just... no Superman. Everything else? Essentially the same. Lex as the protector of the city. He'd be more heroic, without the mirror to reflect. Barely. But Lois... Lois has an attraction to power as much as anything. And they did date. Once upon a time...

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-07-28 05:10 (UTC)(link)
I dunno about that. In 'Man of Steel', it was shown pretty clearly that pre-Supes Lex acted pretty much the same as post-Supes Lex, just without the Superman obsession. He didn't turn into a ruthless sumbitch because of Superman, he was always that way - Superman coming along just... focused him. I think a Metropolis with a Superman would basically be one where Lex was still running things completely unopposed, the same magnificent bastard he's always been, and Lois was still sending back all his gifts.
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[personal profile] seriousfic 2010-07-27 23:51 (UTC)(link)
I'd say this counts as Lawful Evil. Lex is taking away a spot from someone who's earned it and giving it to someone who doesn't care enough to even attend class. Even when he's being nice to someone, he's doing it in a dickish, shallow way. Superman would probably go to Stan's kid and try to address whatever it is that's making him cut class rather than buying chemotherapy for a paper cut.
pseudo_tsuga: (Default)

[personal profile] pseudo_tsuga 2010-07-28 00:14 (UTC)(link)
Right. His solution is shallow and showy where Superman owuld probably get into the why of it.
lieut_kettch: (Default)

[personal profile] lieut_kettch 2010-07-28 04:25 (UTC)(link)
Avatar Korra avatar FTW!

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-07-28 05:18 (UTC)(link)
That's the thing about him, though - he doesn't see or care about the subtleties in a situation, he just bulls on ahead, because he's rich and powerful and nobody dares oppose him. I think he IS genuinely trying to do a nice thing for the janitor's kid - he's evidently in a good mood, and the guy's just been deferential to him, so he figures hey, what the hell - but he's trying to do a nice thing for THAT kid, not any of the other kids this decision might affect. Why should he care about them? They're not Joey. He's not trying to do a nice thing for THEM - as long as this particular good deed goes through as planned, who gives a damn about the others? Let them eat cake. He's that kind of guy - the impressive thing is that he manages to stay on top and avoid any real punishment for his actions DESPITE being such a bastard with complete disdain for everything except his goals.
seriousfic: (Default)

[personal profile] seriousfic 2010-07-28 05:21 (UTC)(link)
He's that kind of guy - the impressive thing is that he manages to stay on top and avoid any real punishment for his actions DESPITE being such a bastard with complete disdain for everything except his goals.

Well, he is a rich white corporate overlord... it doesn't take that much skill to avoid consequences of his actions.

"Mr. President, I spent all my employees' 401(k)s to build a giant anti-Superman laser. It didn't work. Yeah, bail-out."

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-07-28 06:02 (UTC)(link)
Well, true, but I'm not just talking about the sorts of things he does as a member of the elite, I'm talking about the things that would normally give other people not only reason to hate him, but ammunition against him. He has pissed off a LOT of people on his way up, and continues to do so now, yet he always manages to wriggle out from under things. I mean, he was the President of the United States, and he abused his position, putting the entire country - hell, the entire WORLD - in danger just to take another go at killing Superman - and where is he now? In prison? Well, last time I checked, no - he's still free as a bird, head of Lexcorp, and cooking up something new.
stubbleupdate: (Default)

[personal profile] stubbleupdate 2010-07-28 21:02 (UTC)(link)
I love that video. I just wish that it was on youtube instead of funny or die.
janegray: (Default)

[personal profile] janegray 2010-07-28 14:52 (UTC)(link)
Motto.

[personal profile] hyperactivator 2010-07-28 00:45 (UTC)(link)
I hate it when they make Lex a two dimentional jerkwad. If only because he talks about how he could change the world with his big ol' brain but in reality just dances around like a spoiled child singing "I have the cure for cancer but you can't have any because it's mine and I don't want you to. Niener niener niener! I have free clean engergy but because you don't like me for being mean to superman I'm gonna use it all for myself. Niener niener niener! You all should love me for being so much better than you and sexy and awesome and smart and cool and rich and well dressed and cool and awesome and modest but your all a bunch of stupid head who want to praise superman when I'm soooo much better!"


If he were truely written as truely wanting the best for humanity then I would like him. But mostly he's just a male Libby.

[personal profile] darkknightjrk 2010-07-28 03:06 (UTC)(link)
I think that is somewhat intentional--he could change things for the better, but he would rather rule the people with an iron fist. It really makes him an opposite to Superman, in that he tries to change things for the better, but doesn't want to rule over anyone.
seriousfic: (Default)

[personal profile] seriousfic 2010-07-28 05:23 (UTC)(link)
Yeah, they went into that back in Superman OYL. As Clark said, Lex has a whole year without Superman and all he did was prepare a giant death-trap for when Superman returned. As sympathetic as Lex can be at times, there's a reason he's the villain and Supes is a hero.
cleome45: (Default)

[personal profile] cleome45 2010-07-28 01:47 (UTC)(link)
Excellent! 8)

BTW, were you the person who posted scans that traced the history of Luthor's family-- Oh, about a year ago here?

I'm asking, because they'd be helpful to me right now, fanfic-wise, but the tags don't seem to lead to the post in question anymore. Damnit.
proteus_lives: (Default)

[personal profile] proteus_lives 2010-07-28 07:02 (UTC)(link)
Noblesse oblige or something deeper?
darkblade: (Default)

[personal profile] darkblade 2010-07-28 20:43 (UTC)(link)
Is it just me who wants him to follow this up with a "Screw the Rules I Have no hair Money!"