Man of Steel. Nolan Superman Reboot.:

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One should point out that, prior to Marv Wolfman and John Byrne turning Lex into an evil corporate baron in 1986, Lex Luthor spent more than 40 years posing a serious threat to the Man of Steel without the aid of legitimate resources. If he needed money, he stole it, like any good supervillian would. He cared about killing Superman and world domination, in that order (sometimes not even world domination; there were a number of stories that put forth the notion that Lex would have retired if he ever managed to kill Superman). He most certainly didn't care about society, it's rules, petty civil authorities, or what any of the ants going about their mundane little lives thought about him.

Any of Lex's appearances during Byrne's run on Superman are good examples of corporate Lex, particularly "The Secret Revealed" from Superman #2.
[up] He also spent that time largely as a Mad Scientist Supervillain stereotype, with nothing to distinguish him from all the others but "Hates Superman". Byrne gave him an actual distinct personality, for a change.
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He could be both a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a Mad Scientist in the film. In fact, it's either implied or outright stated that Luthor became rich because he sold patents to his inventions.
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354 kalel9429th Sep 2012 09:12:09 AM from Dragonstone
Rascal King
Yeah, a medium between scientist and businessman is the best way to portray Luthor. The DCAU nailed it.
The last hurrah? Nah, I'd do it again.
355 GeekCodeRed29th Sep 2012 09:47:11 AM from City of the Damned , Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
What's the trope for skin contact magic?
Bruce Willis for Lex Luthor.
Oh, true, Luthor shouldn't *only* be a businessman. However, his mad science should be in the context of the cool, collected, charismatic Lord of His Domain version, rather than running about the world using mad science to steal cakes.

To steal a comparison, Luthor should be like a combination of Movie Stark's genius and charisma, and Movie Stane's aura of respectability, strong PR, ruthlessness, and business acumen.
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[up][up][up][up][up] Elliot S! Maggin went a long way towards giving Mad Scientist Lex a distinct personality; his stories are easily the best of the late Julius Schwartz era.

Is a character a stereotype if their characterization is largely what established the stereotype? Who were the "mad scientist world dominators" before Lex Luthor?
358 Deboss29th Sep 2012 02:40:23 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Tesla probably.
359 maxwellelvis29th Sep 2012 02:47:12 PM from undisclosed location , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Mad Scientist Wannabe
[up]Too obscure.
Of course, don't you know anything about ALCHEMY?!- Twin clones of Ivan the Great
360 Maridee29th Sep 2012 06:03:08 PM from the suburban jungle , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
@Atom James: I have been meaning to watch that. I like Evangeline Lilly, weirdly enough.
ophelia, you're breaking my heart
Each version of Luthor has its issues, the thing with CEO Luthor is that he has to maintain some degree of Plausible Deniability to remain in that position while still challenging Superman. But if his schemes get too big and Superman can't figure out some way to bring him to justice it makes him look incompetent. The STAS Luthor was satisfactorily conniving but the Time Skip for the Justice League Luthor left out the crucial moment when he was caught in the act, rendering him more petty and two-dimensional before season two and Unlimited got him back on track with his skills at manipulation.
@Robbery: Ultra-Humanite was originally a Mad Scientist who wanted to Take Over the World. He was actually Superman's Arch-Enemy for a few years until Luthor came along, became more popular, and made Humanite redundant in Supes' Rogues Gallery. Humanite eventually became the "brain in a gorilla" we know today because of this.
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363 johnnyfog29th Sep 2012 11:24:43 PM from the Zocalo , Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Actual Wrestling Legend
And then came Mojo Jojo and he was ruined all over again.
I'm a skeptical squirrel
Mighty No. 51345
...
Did someone just say Nikola Tesla was too obscure as an archetypal mad scientist?
He was THE mad scientist. The archetype was based on him.
The image of a strange man building stranger devices in a lab crackling with electricity? TESLA (as depicted by Thomas Edison)!
He's the Ur-Example for the Real Life Mad Scientist! That's from this own site!

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365 johnnyfog29th Sep 2012 11:39:12 PM from the Zocalo , Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Actual Wrestling Legend
The beta Lex Luthor reminds me of a Buck Rogers serial villain, personally. Fantastic airships and the like.
I'm a skeptical squirrel
366 KnownUnknown30th Sep 2012 04:15:47 AM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2015
he STAS Luthor was satisfactorily conniving but the Time Skip for the Justice League Luthor left out the crucial moment when he was caught in the act, rendering him more petty and two-dimensional before season two and Unlimited got him back on track with his skills at manipulation.

Actually, they showed Lex getting caught in the act and his subsequent downfall at the beginning of "Injustice For All."
"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
367 maxwellelvis30th Sep 2012 04:48:45 AM from undisclosed location , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Mad Scientist Wannabe
[up][up][up]Yeah, but at the time Luthor was introduced, Edison had still kept Tesla pretty much buried in the public eye. Probably not a lot of comic book writers who knew who he was at that time.
Of course, don't you know anything about ALCHEMY?!- Twin clones of Ivan the Great
368 Maridee30th Sep 2012 07:50:15 AM from the suburban jungle , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
[up][up][up] That makes me want an AU steampunk Luthor.
ophelia, you're breaking my heart
I need a drink
One where Superman teams up with Tesla to defeat Luthor and his Death Ray Relays?
Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
Um, the DCAU has Luther spending the majority of his time as a corporate mastermind. Did you only get to see the first two seasons of Justice League, and nothing before or after?

...yeah, I saw the first 2 seasons of JL and then I don't think JLU aired on TV in my area outside of cable channels which I never had. The only other DCAU cartoon I saw was BTAS and I don't quite remember if Luthor was there though I'm probably wrong.

It certainly sounds like I have a heck of a lot of catching up to do!

Lex wasn't in Batman: TAS. He was one of the two overarching Big Bads of Superman: TAS (the other being Darkseid) and was a Corrupt Corporate Executive, albeit one who was also a scientific genius. He got exposed early in Justice League and spent its first two seasons a straight-up supervillain/ Mad Scientist before getting a pardon for helping beat the Justice Lords. For the first season (or two seasons) of Unlimited he became a politician, ran for president, and was ultimately the mastermind behind Project Cadmus (though Brainiac turned out to be the mastermind behind him). Finally, in the last season of Unlimited he went back to supervillainy after being exposed again, and ended up running the Legion of Doom.

And there's a brief history of DCAU-Lex, who generally did a good job at combining the disparate aspects of the character into a whole that made sense.
[up]Wasn't mainstream DCU Luthor after Infinite Crisis a reconciliation of all his characteristics, too? He lost his company and he somehow still had the resources to become a Mad Scientist.
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Not a familiar with the modern-era comics as I should be, unfortunately. I was speaking solely about DCAU-Luthor.
374 VeniVidiPony30th Sep 2012 09:08:24 AM from Celestia's auto-lot
Trained by Flim and Flam
ell, it can't do as badly as Superman 3 and 4.

You know - the two Superman movies that don't exist?
BUY A CAR FROM ME!
375 Maridee30th Sep 2012 12:42:01 PM from the suburban jungle , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
@ Atom James: and one where Luthor has a freakin' awesome flying ship.
ophelia, you're breaking my heart

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