Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Crisis on Infinite Luthors!

Here there be spoilers!

I don't want the world to know.
I don't want my Six to show,

Two Luthors have I.
I pretend I'm King Arthur,
But I'm Mr. Blue.

I wear a suit of armor,
Stalk Kara too.

God, that may be the absolute worst mangling of Lou Christie ever. Ever. Let's forget about that and think instead about the quandry that has been posed to us by the finale of Villains United.
One would think that, after Mark Waid pulled the same trick with The Flash several years back, I'd learn to pay attention to eye color. Then again, Lex Luthor has been so inconsistently portrayed in the last several years that a changing eye color would only be par for the course.

Hey, that's Mark Waid's fault too! Good for you, Mark Waid!

Okay, that's not fair. Mark Waid just made him horribly inconsistent from the Lex Luthor we've known for years. You know, the subtle, Machiavellian genius, as opposed to a madman who would stage a fake Kryptonian invasion. Jeph Loeb, on the other hand, gave us a Machiavellian genius who somehow suddenly became a battlesuit-wearing psychopath who pumped himself full of Kryptonite and Venom (somehow forgetting the body he lost to Kryptonite-induced cancer).

By the way, have they changed the style sheet for Lois Lane yet? Or at least said that the purple irises are contacts?

Anyway, as you well know by now, we've got two Luthors running around the DCU. One is the blue-eyed business-suit-wearing leader of the Society, who claims to be from some other reality, while the other is the green-eyed battlesuit-wearing "Mockingbird," leader of the Six. There's a good deal of speculation as to which Luthor is which and from what, so I figured it'd be useful to do a run-down of the various potential Luthors. Think of this as an all-Luthor edition of The Dating Game.

Luthor number one is Pre-Crisis Earth-2 Alexei Luthor! Alexei is a dashing red-haired European with stunning blue eyes. Among his major accomplishments are attempting to entangle all of Europe in a minor war, and getting killed by Brainiac in Crisis! He helped introduce the Earth-2 Superman to the dangers of Kryptonite, and ladies, he's single!

Luthor number two is Pre-Crisis Earth-1 Alexander "Lex" Luthor! Lex shows us all that bald is beautiful, and his hi-tech weapons tell you that fat is too! Lex's striking green eyes betray a boundless intelligence, which led him to great acclaim as hero of the planet Lexor. When not dressed in prison grays, he often dresses in a purple-and-green ensemble. Tragically widowed, Lex is on the rebound, and when he comes at you with his green armored bodysuit, how can you say no?

Luthor number three is, fittingly, Pre-Crisis Earth-3 Alexander Luthor! Alexander accentuates his distinguished bald head with a sharp red vandyke. Dressed in reds and blues, to match his facial hair and eyes, Alex is the sole hero of Earth-3, who was wiped out along with beloved wife Lois. But not before sending his only son through the vibrational barrier to Earth-1. See that, ladies? He's compassionate!

Luthor number four is Post-Crisis Anti-Matter Earth Lex Luthor, a wealthy philanthropist who dresses in green armor and fights against the dread Crime Syndicate of Amerika. Not only is he a good guy, but his heart's always in the right place--on the right side of his body!

Luthor number five is the Post-Crisis Man of Steel Lex Luthor! Having starred in (at least) high-profile stories like Man of Steel and Superman: For All Seasons, Lex is another green-eyed cueball cutie. Wealthy adventurer Lex Luthor is a thrill-seeker who has faked his death, come back as a clone with luxurious red hair, deteriorated and destroyed Metropolis, come back better and fitter than ever, thanks to some soul-searching (and selling!), rejuvenated Metropolis, and completed a successful candidacy for President! He's a technological and tactical genius and a mastermind of the first degree, whose turn-ons include small-town diners and big-town reporters; his turn-offs include aliens, mild-mannered reporters, and Sidney Happersen.

Luthor number six is Birthright Lex Luthor! With pale green eyes and a shiny bald head, Lex is a reclusive scientific genius with a short temper and a near-obsessive fascination with a dead alien planet. He's rich, he's single, and he's insane, but at least life wouldn't be boring.

Luthor number seven is Lex Luthor: Man of Steel! Lex is blue-eyed and has a thing for robotic superhuman brunettes. He's good to his employees, he's wealthy, and he's not afraid to cop a feel on a miniseries cover.

So who's who? My guess is that Mockingbird is "Man of Steel" Luthor, who disappeared after "Public Enemies," and has popped up in Teen Titans and Supergirl. Society Luthor is "Lex Luthor: Man of Steel" Luthor, who I would guess is also "Birthright" Luthor despite their differing eye colors. Society Luthor is more of a team player, while Mockingbird prefers smaller, more elite teams, like his Injustice Gang.

Evidence for: Brainiac's not in the Society, instead working with MoS Luthor, who has had the majority of contact with him in the past. Only one of the Luthors consistently appears in a Battlesuit, and MoS Lex has shown his penchant for armor in the past. Society Luthor is from another reality, but needs Pariah to tell him about the Multiverse, which any of the Pre-Crisis Luthors would know about.

Evidence against: Everyone from Luthor's Injustice Gang is in the Society, except the Joker. Battlesuit Luthor has frequent contact with kryptonite despite the fact that he lost one body to the element.

Other evidence: Apparently Battlesuit Luthor is suffering from some sort of mind-control or alteration. This seems to support either Brainiac or Despero (here, second bullet point) as the architect of this Crisis.

Who's who? Only Infinite Crisis will tell!

P.S.: Deepest apologies to Lou Christie and his estate.

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