Monday, November 7, 2011

Luthor - A Villain


So I've been thinking a lot about Lex Luthor lately. I know, my brain could probably be used doing better things, but this is where is has been, thinking about a bald man with anger management issues towards alien beings that dress in tights (or, ahem, armor). I cannot help the fact that I have been watching the original Superman movies and gagging in reaction to the portrayal of Lex Luthor by Gene Hackman. I mean really? He goes on and on about being the most intelligent man in the world and is anything but that.

So I dipped back into the stack of comics I have in the corner and took a look at Paul Cornell's run on Action where Lex Luthor was the main character. I was under the idea that Lex would be well defined within the pages of that run as I found it to be enjoyable on reading it the first time. What I found was that Lex was fairly ill-defined and the characters that he was pitted against were more well characterized than he was. Yes he was a little cocky, and yes he had some interesting ideas about science and the black rings that he was chasing, but that seemed to me to be about it. I was disappointed. Now that makes me want to go back out and get the Luthor GN that Brian Azzarello did and take a look at that. I believe that graphic novel had a very definitive look at what went through Luthor's brain and what made him tick.

In action comics we have been seeing Grant Morrison portray Lex as a human with little regard for anyone else(torturing Superman and causing major damage to Metropolis' rail system), and a focus on rubbing out any aberrations that may blanket him in a shadow. Having only seen two issues of this, I don't quite know Lex's full character in Morrison's take, but am interested to see what happens with him.

Lex Luthor should be the deadliest man in the room, capable of causing civil unrest in countries around the world, and capable of handling himself in a man-to-man fight with the strongest superhero in the world (with a little help from his armor). He should also have a core that appeals to those reading him, a sympathetic side wherein the reader can step into his shoes and understand why he hates Superman so much, and although this side would be well hidden, it would also be the driving force as to why Luthor is obsessing over an alien.

But enough about this, I'm out,

Martin

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