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Superman's #1 Villain: Lex Luthor, and why is it always you?

Nowhere in the history of Man of Tomorrow has one man, a human at that, put so much distress into a superhero's life. He's even made Superman an Enemy of the State on occasion, and there he is, always waiting, plotting, invariably planning to kill the Son of Krypton at his weakest moment.

But has anyone else noticed that Lex Luthor is, almost always, the central villain in every Superman movie or release?

Ok. To be fair, the movie company has one shot for your love. And we definately like seeing a hero that clashes against his greatest foe; only if that flick has success or luck, can we expect a sequel. But Lex has had the spotlight since the Man of Steel arrived:

  • He appears first in Action Comics #44 (1940)
  • He was the main villian of the late 70's Superman, Superman II, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
  • He was the central villain in Superman Returns.
  • He was the reoccurring bad guy, as a teenager, in the TV series "Smallvile".
  • He was the main reoccurring enemy in Superman: The Animated Series.
  • He returned many times as the key antagonist in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
  • And more...
But the goal here is not to hammer at Lex; he truly deserves to be Superman's #1 arch-nemesis. One of the great things about him is that his only claims to power are his genius intellect, wit, and charisma. After all, it is no small achievement to become elected President.

My only thin line of contention is that contiously bringing Lex Luthor back as the main villain in each Superman movie release might be overdoing it. In the cartoon and TV series, it's understandable; Lex and Kal-El represent that eternal balance of good vs. evil, just like Batman and The Joker. But when major superhero movies and animated releases are issued, I'd like to see the Last Son of Krypton face off against different threats, ones that require him to use his powers.

Left: The cover of Superman All-Star, which can be purchased at for $13.49

(I do recognize that two recent animated movies, Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse did not feature Luthor as the main villain. They played out pretty well and I admired them.)

Nevertheless, I'm sure many of you have opinions on the recent animated release of All-Star Superman. If you haven't guessed by my commentary, Lex Luthor is the main villain. Perhaps I appear to be complaining; actually, I'm just interested in why Warner Home Video is using Lex so much. I guess it's because he makes them money.

I mean, regardless, I know I'll be buying it.

Interested in some Superman Triva: Check out: The Top 10 Villains of Superman.

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