Recently I read Superman Red Son. After Lex Luthor defeated Superman, he moves a chesspiece and says ‘Checkmate, Superman.’ This sentence made me think: Did Lex really defeat Superman in Chess in this picture? And more important, does this mean Luthor organized every single move from the moment Brainiac (shrinks and) steals Stalingrad? Did Lex manipulate Superman all this time by controlling Brainiac?
My thoughts why this could be the case:
Earlier Lex talks to Superman and asks if it is true Superman plays chess every evening against Brainiac. We know Lex himself plays every evening against a robotic arm. The first time we see Lex play against a robot arm is after the introduction of Brainiac,I think it could be possible they are playing against each other in these cases. Therefore Lex would have to had reprogram Brainiac earlier (something Superman wasn’t able to do).
The first time we hear about Brainiac in this story, Lex made a deal with him and Brainiac steals Stalingrad. This has two main consequences: First, Superman seemingly reprogram Brainiac which results in Superman using him as an ally and, second, shrinking Stalingrad, which is the big failure of Superman and the solution to defeat Superman in the end of the story.
More reasons why I think this could be true: The day Lex wants to defeat Superman a bug enters Stalingrad without being detected by Superman for the first time which could help to deliver the final punch (the letter “Why don’t you just put the whole WORLD in a BOTTLE, Superman?”), Lex has no problems with Supermans security, Brainiac loses really easy to Lex and Lex says in the end “… that this had all been worked out to the tenth decimal point forty years ago, ..”.
I’m wondering what you think about this theory. Did Lex manipulate Superman all this time by controlling Brainiac? What are your thoughts?