Every beloved superhero has an equally powerful (and disliked) villain. Sure, they spend a lot of time-fighting bad guys and have many opponents, but every superhero has that one nemesis. And for Superman, it is Lex Luthor. But why exactly does Lex Luthor hate Superman so much?
Lex Luthor hates Superman because he is jealous of him. Superman makes Lex feel like he is second best. He has superhuman powers that make him better and more powerful at everything. Furthermore, he is selfless and puts others first, making him loved by all and preventing Lex from holding that title.
Keep reading to find out all about Lex Luthor, why he is so evil, why he hates Superman, and why he is a threat to the Man of Steel.
The History Of Lex Luthor And What Makes Him So Evil
Lex Luthor was first introduced in the Superman comics in Action Comics #23 in 1940. Luthor was created by Superman creators Jerome “Jerry” Siegel and Joe Shuster. Whether they intended for Luthor to become Superman’s number one nemesis is unknown. He wasn’t even named when he was first introduced.
But something about Luthor’s humanity, or lack thereof, resonated with readers. The fact that Superman’s most prominent foe was not someone with powers like him but rather a human who possessed enough genius to match Superman’s powers was relatable to fans. So, Lex Luthor was reintroduced and given a backstory, linking him to Superman.
What makes Lex Luthor so evil is his mind. He has an estimated IQ of 225, which is higher than Albert Einstein! Most people think of an evil genius as a mad scientist type and not Lex Luthor. Lex is also an expert computer hacker, cybercriminal, and gifted scientist and built his own business from the ground up. His biggest weakness is his ego.
Why Does Lex Luthor Hate Superman So Much?
When Lex was given a backstory in the comics, it gives readers more insight into why and how he and Superman became enemies. The surprise here is that Lex and Superman were actually childhood friends and were as close as brothers. So what could make Lex hate Superman so much that he has even tried to kill him at times?
In the comics, an incident happened when the boys were teenagers. Superman (or Clark, as Lex knew him at the time) built Lex a science lab. However, Lex accidentally sets the lab on fire. Clark saves him, but Lex loses his full head of red hair in the process, leaving him the bald villain most of us are familiar with.
The incident was purely accidental and was actually more of Lex’s fault than Clark’s. But Lex’s ego was already growing, and he was convinced that Clark sabotaged the lab to cause the fire and leave Lex permanently disfigured. This event alone does not account for all of Lex’s hatred towards Superman, but it had more of a snowball effect.
The ultimate reason Lex hates Superman is his own weakness, his ego. Lex is insanely jealous of him and also knows that Superman represents everything that Lex is not- and never will be.
Lex wants to be the most powerful person in the world and knows that as long as Superman is in the picture, he can’t be. Furthermore, the power that Lex craves, and has had to work and even kill for, has come to Superman naturally.
Lex has to work out to stay fit and strong. And still, his strength does not even come close to Superman’s. Superman is immortal, and Lex knows at some point, he will die. But most importantly, Superman has gained a following and respect by simply being good and saving others.
It doesn’t matter how many good deeds Lex does, his ego, humanity, and pride will always keep him from being as selfless as Superman, and he will never measure up. Therefore, pure jealousy fuels his hatred for the Man of Steel. \
What Threat Does Lex Luthor Pose to Superman?
Superman’s canon is great, so there are some differences in his relationship with Lex. In every version, the two are enemies. But in some versions, Lex knows that Clark and Superman are the same and that his weakness is kryptonite. And in some versions, he does not.
He knows that Superman is from Krypton and not Earth, which is one way he tries to bring him down. He knows that even as brilliant as he may be, he can never match Superman’s power. So he tries to turn him from a beloved superhero to a pariah by revealing him as an alien, an outsider, and trying to discredit him.
In some of the film and television versions, Lex finds out that Superman is Clark and tries to use that to defeat him. He even goes as far as to kidnap his mother in Batman vs. Superman.