Wonder Woman 1984 is now in theaters and on HBO Max and sees The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal join the ranks actors in the DC Universe with his role as classic Wonder Woman villain Maxwell Lord. However, while Lord is a well-known villain for comics fans, the version Pascal plays in Wonder Woman 1984 is a bit unique, one that is influenced by versions on the pages of DC Comics while also having different motivations, different powers, and even a different presentation than anything fans have ever seen before. As the character is a bit different than what fans might have expected, here's an explainer on exactly what powers the big screen version of Lord has and where they come from.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Wonder Woman 1984. If you haven't seen the film, read on only if you want to know.
In Wonder Woman 1984, Pascal's Lord is a success-obsessed business mogul though despite his polish and presence he's actually a fraud. His business is little more than a Ponzi scheme, trying to get investors in his oil business when there is, in fact, no oil. But it quickly is revealed that Lord has a plan: he plans to use an object called the Dreamstone to save his failing company, ultimately obtaining the object by seducing Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and taking it from her office at the Smithsonian.
The Dreamstone is key here. Though the object appears to be just a hunk of citrine, it's actual an object imbued with powers from a god and allows the person holding it to be granted a wish though not without great cost. Once Lord has it in his possession, he wishes to become the embodiment of the stone, thus gaining the power to grand wishes and also extract that great cost -- in this case, he can take whatever he wants from the person he is granting the wish for.
This is quite different than the powers usually attributed to Lord in comics. In comics, the character has powers of telepathic persuasion though how he gains those powers depends on which point in comics history you look at. He tends to always use them for his own gain, however, which also makes him a bit different than Pascal's version in Wonder Woman 1984. The film's version honors the earliest iteration of Lord in comics, according to the actor, though is still completely unique.
"Definitively with this character particular, we were really trying to honor an earlier version of Max Lord in the DC comics," Pascal told ComicBook.com. "And then surprisingly, I kinda had to shed away other specific references, to kinda of go after something that is unique to this particular movie, I guess, in an attempt to surprise you with, I guess, not necessarily what you would expect and so that was really delicious to just kinda go all in and to discover that every day with [director Patty Jenkins]. I mean, basically, if it works, I credit... I give her all of the credit and if it doesn't it's definitely her fault!"
Wonder Woman 1984 is now streaming on HBO Max and playing in theaters.