Man of Steel 2 is currently up in the air after the shift in the DCU, but Lex Luthor and Superman’s relationship surely would have played into the narrative, considering the importance of the rivalry the two have experienced. Throughout cinematic adaptations and on the comic page, these two foes have fought tooth and nail for victory.
The conflict has been painted in so many shades and continues to evolve with each passing appearance. These memes do a perfect job of reflecting the rivalry that the businessman and the Man of Steel have had, and perhaps speak to how it could evolve in the future.
Lex Luthor has a vast range of technology and weaponry at his disposal, but there is truly only one thing that can keep Superman at bay. Whenever he’s in a fight with the Man of Tomorrow, Luthor brings out the Kryptonite, the major weakness to his mortal enemy.
This meme sums that up well, hilariously pointing out how Luthor might cower behind the Krypton substance, in an attempt to diminish the powers of Superman. Luthor’s ideology is based around fearing godly beings, and this gives him an element of control as a mere man.
Luthor’s Worst Fear
Lex Luthor has consistently suggested that one day Superman could turn on humanity, and no one would be able to stop him. Fans have used the Amazon show The Boys to suggest that throughout their rivalry, Lex Luthor might have actually been right about Supes.
The show sees Homelander depicted as an evil variation of the Man of Steel, and showcases what could happen if DC’s version of the character was corrupted. The meme thus reflects on Luthor’s initial position while also making a joke about the Prime series.
Men Of Money
Strangely, despite all their differences, both Lex Luthor and Clark Kent have something in common. Each of them essentially hides behind the wealth to fix problems. with Superman depicted as relying on the money of the Justice League and more specifically Batman, to solve some of the crises they have faced.
The meme features Batman looking shocked at Superman’s commitment to cover the costs, but it also suggests that Luthor knew this was an area of dispute to take advantage of. It’s implied in the meme that perhaps Lex is playing these two heroes off of one another. The meme sums up Lex Luthor and the rivalry on many levels.
Starting Out With Big Crimes
There has been a classic meme circulating for years based on some old artwork featuring a younger Lex Luthor. The picture sees him stealing forty cakes from a high school, with the text suggesting what a terrible crime this was. This is hilarious, retro comic book storytelling at its best.
But the meme has evolved to bring in the distinguished competition. Thanos might be the big bad of Marvel, but Superman has had to face this extremely dangerous threat for years. Needless to say, the meme pokes fun at Luthor being Superman’s nemesis considering the power the Kryptonian holds. It is often a mismatched fight.
The Most Brilliant Mind
Who is the greatest criminal mind of all time? That’s a big question and this meme suggests that the answer is Lex Luthor himself. He is one of Superman’s most powerful villains and this image sums up why. It’s his brains that make him a suitable foe for Kent’s brawn.
The character is a genuine genius, with the meme essentially offering a counter-argument to the previous one, as to why there is a rivalry in the first place. Despite Superman’s intellect, he simply cannot measure-up against the leader of LexCorp, which is a daunting prospect.
Real World Comparisons
Sometimes it’s fun to make real-world comparisons to fictional characters. Whether it’s Invincible or The Boys, Amazon Prime programming is pushing an anti-Superman narrative. Fans have joked that it’s because the founder of the company, Jeff Bezos, is similar to Luthor in multiple ways.
While the money and the appearance might be comparable, the meme also says a little more about Lex and Superman’s fight. It is totally on brand for Luthor to create a media empire to discredit the Man of Steel and comic stories of the past have seen the villain involved in this kind of propaganda push.
Superman Is Slacking
Occasionally, whether it’s on the page or the screen, Superman slacks in his responsibilities. Lex Luthor doesn’t give up and isn’t held back by any personal commitments. He even stabbed his own mother and sister in the back in order to gain the advantage in his war.
The differences between Clark and Lex thus couldn’t be starker, with Superman spending time with his family on the farm in Smallville. Maybe Clark doesn’t take the rivalry serious enough, especially when his allies are in danger, but he also wants to enjoy the world he helped to save so many times.
Luthor’s Poor Planning
If Kryptonite doesn’t do the trick then perhaps an elaborate plan will do instead. Occasionally though Luthor’s plans are far more complicated than they need to be, with Superman taking advantage of the scheme, or the chaos expanding to include further threats.
This meme sums up the plan that Luthor utilized in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which ended with an alien invasion; the kind of threat that Lex himself was afraid of. Their relationship will forever be defined by these over-the-top tactical maneuvers that don’t go to plan.
Death Of Superman
Superman has been depicted on screen in so many variations but his death has been portrayed on a much smaller scale. Luthor’s whole life is about putting an end to the Man of Steel, but it’s also the kind of personal rivalry that means Lex himself has to be responsible for Superman’s death.
This meme funnily plays on that, with Luthor disappointed by Clark’s demise, because it wasn’t him who put him in the ground. The life of a superhero is incredibly dangerous, and it comes with the territory that someone who isn’t an arch enemy, ends up dealing the final blow. Lex is too ego driven to consider that possibility.
Tricking The Man Of Steel
The relationship between these two enemies is partially based on the predictability of Superman. The Justice League member continues to make the heroic sacrifice for the supposed greater good, but it’s a fact that Lex Luthor can usually use to his advantage.
This meme jokes that Superman will cause all kinds of unnecessary damage to make the save, but Luthor can create situations just like these to paint the alien in an unfavorable image; as he has done numerous times over in the past. Superman’s naivety and consistency might be his downfall.