The Lex Luthor played by Gene Hackman in Superman: The Movie makes a cameo appearance in Crisis on Infinite Earths 100-Page Giant #1, out today at Walmart stores in the U.S. The comic, which is an official and canonical tie-in to the ongoing CW crossover event, sees a number of Earths destroyed in the main story, but the backup deals with a "Council of Luthors" who have convened to try to kill all of the multiverse's Supermen, using the events of the Crisis for cover. Among a number of favorite looks from the comics, there's one guy who's absolutely the one seen in Superman: The Movie.
You can identify him here the same way you could tell that Batman v Superman's Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) was going for a tribute in that Justice League post-credits scene: he's wearing a green suit with an ascot and a big, recognizable flower on it. And for a bonus? He shares his scene with the Jon Cryer Luthor from Supergirl, who of course played Hackman's nephew Lenny in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.
"We have a backup story that is called 'Infinite Luthor,' and it's basically all of the multiverse's Luthors versus all of the multiverse's Supermen," Guggenheim recently told ComicBook.com. "Jon Cryer's Luthor basically gets the idea to do what he does in hour two of the crossover from that story, so it all ties together really neatly. The Superman story is really so much fun. To see all those Luthors and all this Supermen together, it's fun for any comic book fan, but knowing how impossible that would be in live action, this is a real treat."
For a sense of how creative they got? Well, besides the Hackman Lex and "Aussie Lex," the long-haired, bearded "Lex Luthor II" from the '90s, there is an appearance in here by Beppo the Super-Monkey. If the Batman v Superman Lex appears here, though, it's basically unrecognizable in his post-prison form: there are a pair of bald Luthors in orange prison jumpsuits, but not one who looks like the long-haired version that Eisenberg played in his earlier appearance.
Brandon Routh's Superman in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover -- who wears the costume of the Kingdom Come Superman from the comics -- seems to be a direct follow-up to the verison he played in Superman Returns who is, in turn, a sequel to the Christopher Reeve version who squared off with Hackman's Lex in four movies in the '70s and '80s. In the Routh version, Lex was played by Kevin Spacey.
The "Crisis" TV event brings together the heroes from multiple Earths to battle against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), a godlike villain who threatens to destroy all reality. In the comics, the story ended with the deaths of The Flash and Supergirl, and the destruction of DC's multiverse, leading to a single Earth with a complex history packed with hundreds of heroes. The battle brings together together characters from all six of the current DC Comics adaptations on The CW (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning), along with characters and actors from Titans, the 1990 version of The Flash, the short-lived Birds of Prey, Smallville, Superman Returns, Tim Burton's Batman, and the iconic 1966 Batman series.
The first three episodes are available now, for free, on The CW app and CW Seed. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will conclude on January 14.