One of the core tenants of comic book superheroes is that they usually have an alter ego. Though Superman is, well, Superman, he is also Clark Kent. And as much as we associate flying, super strength, and x-ray vision with Superman, we also associate many things with his everyday persona, most notably the fact that Clark is a reporter for The Daily Planet.
The media plays a central role in many comic book story-lines, particularly in more modern arcs, and a post over at Wired.com very cleverly plays on that fact. Sponsored by Warner Brothers in anticipation of its release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice next March, the article is a fictional interview by reporter Ron Troupe (who, if you know your Superman comics, is the guy who took over Clark’s job at The Daily Planet after Superman’s death). His subject: Lex Luthor.
Now, say what you will about Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor in the new film, but I couldn’t help but hear his voice as I read this “interview” and it kind of worked. The jury is still out on whether he will do justice to the villain, but perhaps this “interview” will help convince fans to at least give him a chance.
The whole article is a fascinating read (taken very “seriously,” with magazine profile photos and a fun graphic detailing how much better LexCorp is doing than Wayne Enterprises), but the most telling bits are when Luthor is clearly playing Troupe as much as Troupe is playing him. He always has to be the smartest guy in the room, but his opinions often have a thoughtful kernel of truth within them, like his opinions on vigilantism, evolving threats, what it means to be “super” and so on.
Here are a few exchanges that caught my attention:
RON TROUPE: You mentioned the government. What role do they play in your “new global paradigm”?
LEX LUTHOR: Last week, I would have given you a totally different answer.
RON TROUPE: What changed?
LEX LUTHOR: Suffice it to say the dangers we’ve been talking about are very real. And they’re not just limited to a couple of alien brawlers able to level tall buildings in a single bout. I’m ready to sit down with whatever task force the government has assembled — in the interest of sharing intelligence and building solutions together…It’s past time for a radical rethink of our rusted-out lines of defense. If I have a philosophy here, it’s this: You don’t solve a multiplication problem with division. Unite, or die…This is the future, and lone gunmen and caped crusaders aren’t worth the ink it takes to print their name in a footnote.
RON TROUPE: This all sounds suspiciously like a manifesto.
The article does a lot to showcase not only Luthor’s personality, but also has some tidbits in regards to his plans with A.R.G.U.S. and possibly working with the government to combat certain “threats.” it’s also surprisingly humorous in parts, with Luthor taking a shot or two at Batman:
LEX LUTHOR: We should all be careful when we elevate anyone, human or alien, to “super” status.
RON TROUPE: Because we’re all equal.
LEX LUTHOR: Well that’s just absurd. No – I’m saying we need to be selective and elevate the right people. The right human people.
RON TROUPE: And what are your thoughts on the Batman? He’s human. Presumably.
LEX LUTHOR: Well, he is. In fact, I’d say he’s all too human. Any objective analyst will tell you that his brand of justice, vigilantism, is painfully outmoded, designed to be effective in an age when the law carried billy clubs because crime carried knives. The most dangerous guy on the street worked in the shadows because he was cowardly and superstitious. That’s all you needed to play upon in order to disrupt their operations. You want to clean up the streets? Dress up like the boogeyman, switch on a fog machine and lower your voice.
RON TROUPE: When you put it that way, it sounds ridiculous.
When put a certain way. just about any comic book storyline sounds ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun! Lex Luthor and Warner Brothers seem to be in on the joke and this article is an enjoyable and clever way to let the fans know that they are in complete control of the story they want to tell. We won’t know for sure if that’s true until March, but here’s hoping it is.
You can check back for more updates on all thing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – right here on GeekNation.
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