Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hero of the Week 2010 #7: Lex Luthor

Real Name: Alexander Luthor
First Appearance: Action Comics #23 (April, 1940)
Group Affiliation: Orange Lantern Corps, New Guardians
Gaming Credentials: Superman (1978); Superman: The Game (1985); Superman (1987); Superman: Man of Steel (1988); Superman: Man of Steel (1992); Superman 64 (1999); Justice League: Injustice for All (2002); Superman: The Man of Steel (2002); Superman: Shadow of Apokolips (2002); Superman Returns (2006); Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (2008)DC Universe Online (TBR/2010)
Infinite Wars Ranking: #323

I know what you're thinking! Lex Luthor -- Hero of the Week?!
Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! This week's HOTW might not be someone you want to leave your kids with, but when the Earth is in peril, he stands ready to protect it on not one, but two different Earths. Intrigued? So you should be!

It's a parallel universe Lex Luthor that joins the Justice League in DC/WB's latest DTV animated feature, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. While the name borrows from the 1985 seminal DC crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the story actually owes far more to Grant Morrison's 1999 heroes-as-villains graphic novel, JLA: Earth 2, which itself borrows from a mid-sixties JLA story which introduced a universe where the DCU's heroes and villains were reversed!

The Kryptonian Kal-El of this universe is Ultraman -- leader of the Crime Syndicate of America!
It's from those villains that the last hero alive, Lex Luthor, has fleed, with the hopes of recruiting a crack team of Justice League heroes who can counter the CSA and end their tyrannical reign over the Earth, once and for all. Oh, and there's also the little matter of Owlman (Batman's counterpart), who has plans to destroy all the universes. Whoops!

The story of the feature was originally conceived as a bridge between the Justice League animated TV series and it's amped-up sequel series, Justice League Unlimited. As that never eventuated, it's been dusted off and remade as a feature film unto itself, featuring a more faithful version of the DCU, rather than that of the cartoon series. You'll notice a contemporary Martian Manhunter fighting alongside fellow JLA original, Hal Jordan, Earth's feature Green Lantern and a star on the rise thanks to some incredible comics (ie; Blackest Night), and a 3D live-action feature coming next year with Ryan Reynolds in the feautre role.

What's so significant about Green Lantern?
It's in Blackest Night that Lex Luthor once again rises to the challenge of evil, joining the collective of coloured-ring baring deputies now known as The New Guardians. It was receiving an orange ring of avarice from it's principle barer, Larfleeze, that brought Luthor to the epic end game -- a battle against the guardian of non-existence, Nekron.

For those who don't know: it's Nekron that raised a Black Lantern central battery from the broken corpse of the Anti-Monitor, and spread black rings across the universe to recruit the dead as his/it's undead Corps. Yes: zombie Black Lanterns. No: it's not as silly or complicated as it sounds!

The universe's champions of light line-up as: Hal Jordan (green), Ganthet (green), Sinestro (yellow), Scarecrow (yellow), Carol Ferris (violet), Wonder Woman (violet), Atrocitus (red), Mera (red), Saint Walker (blue), Barry Allen (blue), Indigo-1 (indigo), Atom (indigo), Larfleeze (orange), and of course, Lex Luthor (orange).

As you'll already no doubt know, if you've read previous HOTW articles about the subject, the cosmic emotional spectrum that makes up the powers of life are: Will (green), Fear (yellow), Hope (blue), Love (violet), Rage (red), Compassion (indigo), Avarice (orange), Death (black). Each power in the spectrum manifests rings, most of which have abilities that somehow reflect their emotions in execution, which is possibly bad news for the New Guardians team-up -- since the greedy who wield an orange ring are only made more so!

Fortunately, Lex Luthor and other less desirable allies of the New Guardians have just as much to lose from the destruction of all life and existence in the universe, as any hero. So today, we mark Lex Luthor's two triumphs of good as our motivation for this HOTW! You'll find all the action in the Blackest Night mini-series, and in the pages of Green Lantern. For more information, be sure to check out!

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