Superman may consider hope the most powerful force in the world, but when Lex Luthor attained cosmic godhood, it was hatred that ultimately saved the day.
In a shocking revelation for Superman fans, it turns out hate helped the Man of Steel save the DC Universe. When Lex Luthor gained cosmic godhood, Clark was at the mercy of his greatest enemy, or he would have been if not for Luthor’s immense hatred.
From the moment the hero began to soar through the skies, Luthor made it his mission to take Superman down. From building powerful armor to subtly orchestrating events to wear him down, Lex Luthor hates Superman and will do anything he can to take him down. Despite his high intellect and determination, Luthor finds himself perpetually thwarted by his nemesis, keeping Lex trapped in a cycle of obsession he’ll likely never be able to break.
The greatest example of how Luthor will never overcome his pettiness came when he became infinitely more powerful than his nemesis in Action comic #900 by Paul Cornell, Pete Woods, Gary Frank, Jamal Igle, Dan Jurgens, Jesús Merino, Rags Morales and Ardian Syaf. Lex Luthor reached his ultimate form and gained cosmic power by merging with a celestial being known as the Zone Child. With his new abilities, Lex unleashes a wave of happiness across the universe, showing that he has the potential to make everything better for every life form. But there’s a catch with Zone Child’s powers: they can only be used for good deeds, and negative deeds will steadily diminish them until they’re gone for good. Clark begs his nemesis to drop their feud and do good for once. But Lex Luthor gives in to his hatred for Superman and attacks as his cosmic abilities slowly wane, leaving Lex human once more.
It’s such a shame to see Lex squander the greatest gift he’s ever had. The villain often brags that without Superman he would be able to save the world, but when he gets the chance to do so, he wastes it. The saddest realization of the whole event is that the hatred Lex has for his nemesis only makes him weaker and only serves to help Superman.
Even though Superman has a large gallery of rogue villains out to destroy Earth or conquer civilization, none of them have such a personal relationship with the hero as Lex Luthor. Lex is alarmingly obsessed with Superman to the point that defeating him has become his only desire, blinding him to anything else. Even when told that any negative action would cause him to lose his omniscient powers, Lex can’t get over his hatred of Superman. Lex slowly loses his cosmic upgrade as he attacks Clark is the perfect metaphor for how Luthor’s rage only hurts himself. The truth is, Superman doesn’t need hope when it comes to dealing with Lex Luthor, because the villain’s intense hatred is destined to be his undoing.
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