If there was never a Superman, what would Lex Luthor be up to?

Cameron Nguyen
Cameron Nguyen

If there was never a Superman, what would Lex Luthor be up to?

Grayson Jones
Grayson Jones

Curing cancer and have a big happy family with supergirl.

Bentley Butler
Bentley Butler

Wouldn't his Superman hateboner just transfer over to Supergirl instead? Hell, I think Lex would pull his shit on fucking Krypto.

Noah Jackson
Noah Jackson

If they did that Lex Luthor President story line today, he'd be a Trump like character with the "Make America Great Again" campaign line or some variation.

Noah Peterson
Noah Peterson

He'd still be an evil asshole. Just with someone else opposing him, be it another superhero or someone at the Daily Planet. Why would an egotistical billionaire like Luthor do good just because Superman's out of the picture?

Dominic Green
Dominic Green

Luthor do good, even if for his egotistical reasons. It's like nazis and scientific progress, regardless of what you might think about them, they helped the world overall.

Brayden Cruz
Brayden Cruz

Depending on which motivation the writer's using, exercising philanthropy while making slightly shady deals on the side
One of the better motivations is that he turns to evil acts to prove that humans can defeat the ubermensch, for if they cannot then humanity is obsolete

Gabriel Cook
Gabriel Cook

If he didn't get horribly burnt or die? He'd probably be a combination of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, the version of Trump that r/The_Donald thinks of and what regular people think of when you hear "Steve Jobs" or "Elon Musk".

Without Superman driving him to supervillainy, he'll be able to focus more on his business and generally making developments in technological enhancements to the point that he might even be able to get into politics earlier in life than he actually did.

His tech would've even had time to advance even more to the point where the threats Superman usually handles could be dealt with by his stuff alone.

Either way, he'd still have hair.

Elijah Brooks
Elijah Brooks

He is a megalomaniac, with or without superman, though, so I'm pretty sure he'd still be a supervillain wanting to take over the world, although through legit ways. At the very least he'd be kind of a tyrant.
Also, I really fucking hate that origin.

Jeremiah Johnson
Jeremiah Johnson

Red Son has him in the epilogue become God-President of the World, cures all diseases, increases human life-span, solves the world hunger crisis, starts colonization of space and ect.

Nolan Turner
Nolan Turner

We saw that in The Nail, he was mayor of Metropolis. Of course in the main continuity, he was President, so maybe Lex needs someone to inspire him.

Personally I think the most dangerous Lex Luthor is the Lex who somewhere out there, doesn't give a damn about Superman.
Think about it, most of Luthor's machinations towards power are political or economic in nature, not something you can punch. If he stopped making every plan be all about killing Superman, or inserting KILL SUPERMAN as an unnecessary step in someone else's plan, Superman would hardly ever get in his way.
A calm, rational, Machiavellian Luthor who thinks Superman is "nice, but whatever", would be unstoppable.

…Except of course for that one reporter from Smallville he grew up with, who seems determined to take him down, and who he can never bring himself to kill because he's a sort of morality pet…

Carter Kelly
Carter Kelly

Which is why I put in Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.

Christopher Moore
Christopher Moore

He would run several websites which most of the internet would consider thier "go-to" resources, then he would start aggressively filtering them by ideology…

Juan Rogers
Juan Rogers

Superboy, lease save me!
>HOW FUCKING DARE YOU SAVE ME SUPERBOY

Jacob Barnes
Jacob Barnes

He'd probably just transfer his butthurt rage into some other alien hero

Luis Green
Luis Green

Didn't think Luthor cared about ideology.

Benjamin Nguyen
Benjamin Nguyen

He'd be George Soros

Without Supes there to drive him to want prove himself or shape his world view he'd simply continue being a genius businessman who attempts to control the world from the shadows rather than focusing on elevating humanity.

If we assume no supes, but still the rest of the DC world, I would think that he would actually become a bankroller for superheroes the second he caught wind that intergalactic threats could exist. He'd basically be a genius strategist that is both despised and vital to superheroes, as he wont hesitate to lie a hero into a situation that will kill him if it saved a few dozen extra lives long term.

Jeremiah Campbell
Jeremiah Campbell

Be an evil corporate asshole with control of the spotlight. If he was a good as he claimed he was..he would've the world better even before Superman came to the scene.

Anthony Miller
Anthony Miller

Wouldn't his Superman hateboner just transfer over to Supergirl instead?
<Lex having an inferiority complex against a woman.
He also doesn't need to make a test tube baby with her unlike Clark. It would be less of a hateboner and more of a regular one especially if she ends up like Power Girl.

He'd be George Soros
Yep, he was always evil.

Charles Price
Charles Price

He'd probably fail at his dream of becoming a scientist and ceo businessman because Superman was never there to drive him.

Jonathan Bennett
Jonathan Bennett

His hate boner was because people liked superman, assuming that without Superman like in several alternate dimensions such as flashpoint. He grows up to be a genius in a grey area.

Jaxson Watson
Jaxson Watson

He's the kind of guy who needs a dragon to slay. Without Superman he'd need another target, this could go well or poorly depending on what he lands on. Could go with something productive and be the Man who Ended Cancer, or lock on to something more useless/pozzed like "social injustice".

Levi Diaz
Levi Diaz

He'd be a pretentious, hipster douchebag with a trust fund going around causing anarchy and chaos just to "stick it to the man" (Or rather Superman.) Think the bike lock bandit only with limitless wealth and mob ties.

Jeremiah Brooks
Jeremiah Brooks

I think what of the major things that will always make Luthor one of the smartest villains villain and at the same time one of the most idiotic ones is his megalomania. The guy just can't stand the thought of someone being better/having more praise than him. If is isn't Superman then he will fixate on something else to envy.
You are right when you say he needs Superman to inspire him because, for Luthor, Superman is above him in everysingle way so he have to try his harder to be not only above him but to kill him too. If not Superman he'd probably love-hate someone else., but the problem is, he thinks too high of himself so it have to be someone really outstanding to motivate him, otherwise he'd be normally successful, even mediocre, like the Major of Smallville.
Should have said Bill Gates, then.
I really can't believe that faggot was Luthor.

Alexander Green
Alexander Green

In his very first comic debut he started a civil war in a foreign country and sold weapons for both side.
He technically acted as a jew… So guess what he will do without Superman… Yes, exporting as much rapefuges as he can. Probably would pozzed Gotham so hard even the Batman would be raped.

Chase Brown
Chase Brown

If he didn't get horribly burnt or die?
He was at the fucking window, he would be fine, but I guess he would build an actual anti-fire system for everyone to stop fire from burning shit down and have a massive hate-boner against fire.

Mason Garcia
Mason Garcia

It would be less of a hateboner and more of a regular one especially if she ends up like Power Girl
no valentine special comic were lex dates power girl
Fug
sold weapons for both side.
There is nothing wrong on maximizing profits.

Gabriel Wright
Gabriel Wright

While I do agree that Lex would likely be crooked even without Supes, he does have point thanks to the way Superman is written.

In his own twisted way Luthor is right about Superman. At the end of the day Supes is alien larping as hero whenever its convenient for him while letting hundreds of thousands of people he hears and could easily save to die, get raped etc. on daily basis.

Thanks to the wankery of his writers his powers pose no hard limit that constrains other heroes. They might need rest, but Superman does not need food or sleep thanks to his alien physique. While those other heroes usually do not have enough capability to a) detect and b) act fast enough to save people on large scale, super senses, flight and speed along with the other assorted bullshit leave Supes no excuse.

Tl;dr: while his various writers inflating his powers do share much of the blame, in-universe Luthor is right about Superman. He is alien toying with the lives of humans at his whims without genuine sense of responsibility and self-sacrifice that defines hero. After all someone who does nothing to help people in front of him despite the capacity to do so cannot be called one.

Jeremiah Hill
Jeremiah Hill

Furthermore it seems to me that DC has really missed out on this conflict for Superman. There is bound to be plenty of people victimised by crimes/accidents/natural disasters that feel that Superman ought to have saved them or their loved ones with various degrees of credibility behind the accusations.

A clever supervillain like Luthor could tap into such sentiment and use that kind of indirect angle to attack and discredit Superman. Every time he's hugging Louis Lane in the sky he ignores countless people he could save, every hour he works as Clark Kent he has to grapple with his conscience and super intelligence reminding him of the masses he dooms to sucky ends.

Supes gets treated as the Messiah, but the negative side of that particular coin is not really well explored. At most we get some atrociously badly written "Supes you are teh gunz" issue of the week and underlying conflict is quickly buried again.

Logan Hughes
Logan Hughes

Every time he's hugging Louis Lane in the sky he ignores countless people he could save, every hour he works as Clark Kent he has to grapple with his conscience and super intelligence reminding him of the masses he dooms to sucky ends.

They sorta did that in Astro city.

The truth is that in that kind of situation superman would work with world governments to create massive stable environments and only show up to say fuck off to Darksied or the occasional "Tech taken to far" plot.

The end result is Noblebright Sci Fi with magic and not really superhero stuff.

He is alien toying with the lives of humans at his whims without genuine sense of responsibility and self-sacrifice that defines hero.

What about the 100+ times he self sacrifices himself for humanity?

Its kinda unfair to lump realistic expectations into comics that would radically change if they had to go full logic.

Honestly DC does this way better then Marvel (Even before the SJWpocalylpse)

Ethan Butler
Ethan Butler

That's why if one wanted to write Superman believably as hero, you would either need to nerf him back to his roots where his powers were far more limited or have him only fight against cosmic threats that are in his own weight class. As long as neither is done and we get bastardazised amalgamation of both the point stands.

What really makes someone a hero is sacrifice. Batman and Spider-man autistically devote their lives into fighting crime at the cost of their personal lives to assuage their complexes. I acknowledge that both characters could and should be criticized for lot of shit, but at the end of the day there is tremendous personal sacrifice involved. Same applies to most superheroes in general, they cannot just go saving people without costs to themselves.With Superman as he is written you can't really say that he's sacrificing anything. He gets to have his cake of heroing when he wants and largely successful personal lifestyle on top of that as well. At most you could argue that he's sacrificing some of his time, but that's more like time dedicated to a hobby. It's quite telling that most of the time Supes treat his job journalist with more seriousness than as hero as evidenced by the hours he spends there. If he did not have to wilfully ignore people to do that thanks to his bullshit powers that would be fine. It would even be acceptable if he had to grapple with the tensions between his own wants and his duty, but that's mostly lacking as well aside from some isolated issues which get dropped and memoryholed time after time.

tl;dr: Hero is defined by self-sacrifice, and Superman is massively lacking in that in any meaningful way thanks to the way he is written.

John Evans
John Evans

tl;dr: Hero is defined by self-sacrifice, and Superman is massively lacking in that in any meaningful way thanks to the way he is written.

Well I agree to that sorta, but your lumping like 12 different iterations by 12 different writers from a span of 30 years for your own criticism of superman.

Not saying those snippets aren't correct, but it's kinda cruel to say that unless superman is fighting crime 24/7 then he doesn't care. Even cops aren't expected to do that much all at once.

Asher Ward
Asher Ward

Superman also doesn't actually sleep more than a few minutes every week.

Cameron Jenkins
Cameron Jenkins

Pic related is the closest thing to your wishes… At the end i really despited Luthor because he literally cheated and fucked over everyone only just prove a point…

The other good example what comes to mind is that JL episode where he lured Superman into paranoia and turned Billy Batson against him.

he isn't the i "i want to prove a point to help the people" kind of guy… but more like the Joker with the "i want to prove a point so i'm act as a bigger douchebag than usual"

Joseph Thompson
Joseph Thompson

I like how they turned Lex into a tech mogul in BvS, because a rich egotistical real estate developer like Gene Hackman's Luthor wouldn't fly as a villain with audiences today

Nathan Phillips
Nathan Phillips

morality pet
Fuck off.

Angel Butler
Angel Butler

There is nothing wrong on maximizing profits.

Hunter Anderson
Hunter Anderson

he'd be a Trump like character with the "Make America Great Again" campaign
I hope he sents that illegal alien superman back to his shitty planet.

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox

Just to clarify on my point, a super female isn't competition because Lex can breed with her. He can also breed with Superman but it is unnatural and non-consensual.

Brandon Baker
Brandon Baker

Cops do not have Superman's laundry list of superpowers either. If your average cop had super speed, senses, reflexes, strength, intelligence and flight and would not require sleep or sustenance like Superman, your expectations regarding them would be different.

Your logic fails because you keep treating Superman as human despite him being anything but. He has no limits that define humans in superverses as self-awareness and capacity for thoughts are thrown around like candies. He either needs to be nerfed to make him more humane for that logic to work or face constant conflict between his humanish desires and alien nature.

Jason Sanders
Jason Sanders

Lex being a tech mogul could work but the personality they picked for him in the movie doesn't. In the movie he's a whiny prick with daddy issues when he should be confident and cunning.

Leo King
Leo King

breed with Superman
So we get Superboy as a result?

James Price
James Price

It seemed like he tried doing a joker

Logan Wilson
Logan Wilson

Just because you could do things like that all day doesn't mean you'd want to spend all your time doing that. I'm sure doing nothing but crime fighting 24/7/365 would have some kind of long term negative repercussions to someone psychologically.

Austin Martin
Austin Martin

Didn't they do a story like that already?

Jaxon Sanchez
Jaxon Sanchez

red sun is one possibility

Ryan Hernandez
Ryan Hernandez

Is it uploaded in vola?

Ethan Sanders
Ethan Sanders

I'm not claiming to be hero either, nor do I have convenient powers which would make such lifestyle possible. Superman is not human being, he's goddamn alien with completely different physiology and mentality by proxy. It's about time you should pay attention to that instead of treating him as human that flies and punches people really hard.

Parker Perry
Parker Perry

I guess Aaron Diaz is up your alley.

He has human Psychology because it makes him relatable:

"Alien flesh robot that flies around solving all problems 24/7 and nothing else" isn't really all that compelling after like 4 issues.

Bentley Sanchez
Bentley Sanchez

Pretty good in Red Son.

Nicholas Rodriguez
Nicholas Rodriguez

He came off more like Riddler to me.

Camden Stewart
Camden Stewart

In a universe without Superman, Lex would have a rivalry with Bruce and hate Batman, or thats how I figure it..
This

Thomas Morgan
Thomas Morgan

Superman is not human being, he's goddamn alien with completely different physiology and mentality by proxy.
So you're just assuming his mind doesn't have the same stress as humans, despite 80 years of comics showing him acting strictly like a human being. You entire argument boils down to you own fucking "head cannon" on the character. Thanks or clarifying that your just an idiot.

James Long
James Long

Wannabe joker to me.

Samuel Price
Samuel Price

He would don the symbol of the image that once tried to kill him

He would be called Fireman

Camden Gutierrez
Camden Gutierrez

I mean it demonstrably doesn't. This is the guy who has withstood pressures the likes of which you can't fathom, has been under massive amounts of stress for days at a time without looking any worse for wear, and has never had a significant mental or emotional issue in his life outside of family matters.

The other guy is right, stop treating Superman like a person. He's written to be infinitely better than people in ability, but they don't match that with his devotion.

John Smith
John Smith

He would've played a better joker than Leto.

Logan Gonzalez
Logan Gonzalez

Self-inserting and fanboy glasses do not suit you user. As says, Superman's humanity is inconsistent with his written abilities. To be fair superhero writers drop this ball with most aliens and other groups you would expect to act radically differently based on their physiology as well, but that does not absolve Superman's (or his writers) sins.

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