The reports suggested that the process will somehow involve the body of General Zod, in a twist on expectations that fans have had since Man of Steel that Luthor will design his armor suit from the comics based on Zod's own armor.
And while the immediate reaction is to recoil in horror at the notion of another Nuclear Man fiasco on the horizon, we thought it was worth taking some time out to realize that Luthor, being a longtime Superman antagonist AND a mad scientist, has a history of creating Superman villains...not all of whom are bad.
For no good reason other than my own entertainment, I'm going to list them not in the order of best to worst or worst to best, but least to most memorable.
He didn't create this one to kill Superman, and many readers will probably disagree with me on her inclusion, but Myriad was always an interesting addition to the Superman canon to me.
Hired as a fitness instructor and sparring partner for Luthor, he killed her after she beat him in a sparring match in front of Lois Lane, humiliating him. During the Bloodlines event, aliens found her body and, after draining it of spinal fluid for nourishment, the reaction with the aliens' DNA caused her to revive with powers.
In the issue that gave Luthor his first name, Adventure Comics #271, it was revealed that Lex hated Superboy (later Superman) in part because he had failed to prevent an accident in his lab that resulted in Lex's baldness. The accident was related to a protoplasmic creature that Luthor had created in a lab, which then turned on him.
And, yes, it's more than just the hair. The loss of both the life form he created and the irreplaceable formula used to create it enraged Lex. But the hair thing is what most people remember.
The creature was never named and, as far as I know, didn't appear again -- although it seems likely it was the basis for the Matrix Supergirl, created in 1988 and (in story) given life by an alternate universe's Lex Luthor.
Don't be surprised if a variation on this turned out to be what Lex ends up making; after all, the story that gave us Matrix Supergirl also gave us Superman's execution of the Kryponian criminals, including Zod, when it turned out that they were uncontrollable.
Engineered to be a part of Luthor's Injustice League, he was one of a number of new iterations of classic villains who joined that team.
Again, this one skirts the edges since they weren't created as villains, but a number of them went on to become villains, addicted to the power Luthor had given them and willing to act on his orders in order to keep it after he "turned off" the Everyman heroes.
The most memorable and frequently reused of those is Everyman, who was kind of a shapeshifter, except with a Tony Chu twist (he needed to assimilate a part of somebody before he could use their DNA to simulate their appearance, which led to creepy moments of him eating nail clippings, etc.).
Shaggy Man, like Blockbuster, was created during the Dwayne McDuffie run on Justice League of America to help bolster the strength of the Injustice League during one of Luthor's more recent "green power suit" periods.
Also like Blockbuster, it was just Lex creating a fairly generic character that would fit into the existing identity of a piece of DC IP.
Lex Luthor II
Dying of Kryptonite poisoning, Lex eventually set about creating the ultimate nemesis for Superman: himself.
A younger, fitter body with a wild mane of hair gave Lex an opportunity to stage his own death and avoid prosecution for his crimes, taking the manipulative "businessman Lex" to a whole new level by erecting a wall between his past and present.
Lex and Metallo have long had a love-hate relationship, due to Lex's desire to possess the Kryptonite heart that keeps Metallo alive. In the New 52, though, Lex actually stepped in to help create Metallo as part of the government project John Henry Irons was originally a part of.
Not sure whether it carried over to the New 52, but in Superman: Secret Origin, it's revealed that the toxic chemicals that gave Rudy Jones the powers of Parasite came from LexCorp and that Jones was in the right place at the right time to be infected due to events manipulated by Luthor.
In the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths reality -- which is what Man of Steel draws a lot of inspiration from -- Bizarro wasn't an alternate-universe version of Superman who just believed the opposite of everything. He was a failed attempt at giving Lex his own Superman and, depending on what iteration of the monster you're talking about, he could range from rampaging force of nature to a good-hearted simpleton not too far removed from James Gunn's cinematic take on Groot.
In Superman #175, one hundred issues after the death of Superman, Lex Luthor engineered a new Doomsday built around the bones of the previous one.0comments