Quote1.png Ask yourself, how much harm do they bring about? How many crazed psychopaths spin plots just to entangle or destroy them? It pains me. So much promise. So much power. And it seems to go wrong. That is why I have taken it upon myself to watch them. If they choose to put on these uniforms, claim to protect us, then they should be held accountable. Quote2.png
Maxwell Lord src

Maxwell Lord was a powerful business magnate and manager of the Justice League International. After the Gene Bomb gave him mind control powers, he became more and more power hungry, eventually usurping Checkmate as Black King.

Justice League International

Maxwell Lord was introduced as an up-and-coming young executive at a major corporation known as Innovative Concepts who would indulge in any means necessary to reach the top of the corporation. To that end, Lord established a friendship with the CEO of the corporation and became his protege to rise in the ranks of the corporation before concocting a plan to murder the CEO for his poisition in a cave spelunking expedition. The CEO was nearly killed after plummeting to near-death without Lord's influence, which caused Lord to have a change of heart to save his employer. During the attempt, Lord was abducted by a renegade alien computer owned by Metron and was possessed by the intelligence called Kilg%re. Kilg%re wanted Max to set up a worldwide peacekeeping organization, as part of its plan to dominate the world. To that end, the computer's programming and knowledge helped Lord become one of the world's richest men and create the multinational company dubbed Maxwell Lord Enterprises.

Lord helped in the establishment of the Justice League International and became their benefactor initially as part of the Kilg%re's scheme of planetary domination. He set up a disturbed would-be terrorist as a villain for the League to defeat, resulting in the man's death. (The would-be terrorist believed he had a bomb connected to his heartbeat, but in fact, Max had disconnected it.) For a while, Lord was constantly manipulated by Kilg%re into furthering his plans until Metron came to reclaim his computer. Lord eventually broke free from Kilg%re and destroyed the construct.[1]

Newfound Power

Originally as a normal human, Lord was one of many on Earth gifted with super-powers during the Invasion, when a Gene Bomb was exploded by the Dominators. This bomb activated the latent metagene present in a small percentage of Earthlings. Lord gained the ability to sense and control the minds of others, albeit at great difficulty.

After he was shot and placed in a coma, Dreamslayer, a super villain who, with the aid of the Extremists, a team of robotic servants, had once destroyed all life on their planet, took over Lord's body and "supercharged" this power, allowing him to control thousands of minds at once. Using Lord's body and power, he caused the JLI to lose its charter, and almost forced them to disband. Finally, however, while the possessed Lord forced the JLI to battle itself, the mortally-wounded Silver Sorceress managed to contain Dreamslayer and held it within her mind as she died, taking it with her, and while Lord was freed, his power was burnt out.


Later, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and seemingly died. Kilg%re, however, had been waiting patiently for the right moment to reactivate its control of Lord and downloaded his consciousness into a duplicate of one of the Extremist robots, Lord Havok. In this form he spent some time testing the League, for unknown reasons. He also took control of the secret organization known as the Arcana.

His cyborg body later somehow came to resemble his original human form. He pulled together several former JLI members, including L-Ron, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Fire as the "Super Buddies," advertised as "Heroes the common man could call."

Infinite Crisis and Death

Due to the effects of the Infinite Crisis event on the timeline, Lord was no longer a cyborg and, apparently, a criminal mastermind who spent years running the JLI gathering sensitive information about the world's superheroes, whom he considered a threat to the planet. In this continuity, he rose to power and corporate status as a result of his father's death and mother's prodding towards controlling superhumans and establishing dominance against enemies. To that end, he manipulated the events that led to the formation of the Justice League International while at the same time, he sabotaged JLI efforts in order to render the superhero team as ineffectual as possible. After the destruction of Coast City and the death of his mother, Lord went about using his mental powers and resources to work his way up into the Checkmate organization and establish control over the metahuman community for the sake of protecting the world from their influence. At the end of the prologue special issue, he shoots and kills one-time JLI member Blue Beetle when the hero discovers Lord's secret and refuses his offer to join him.[2]

During this time, Lord was given control of Batman's Brother Eye project (created to monitor all superhuman contact; Batman had grown paranoid when discovering the JLA had mind wiped him) by Alexander Luthor, Jr. (the god-like son of Lex Luthor from an alternate earth), taking it over and creating an army of cyborgs called O.M.A.C.s (humans infected with a virus that transformed them into the OMACs) programmed to hunt down and kill all superhumans.

He also used his powers to influence Superman's mind, causing him to brutally beat up Batman and attack Wonder Woman, believing them to be his old enemies (i.e. Brainiac, Darkseid, Ruin, and Doomsday). This is significant because Maxwell was never before shown to actually be able to cause full blown hallucinations through his minor psionic powers, which Maxwell explained was the result of subtly placing numerous mental controls over Superman over the years in secret. After barely escaping from Superman, Wonder Woman confronted Lord and bound him in her lasso of truth; demanding he to tell her how to free Superman; Lord tells her she has to kill him, and she snaps his neck. In response as Lord predicted, Brother Eye cast the footage of Wonder Woman executing Lord all over the world, destroying her reputation and her friendship with Batman and Superman (who rejected her despite the fact that she saved their lives).

Blackest Night

In the Blackest Night, Maxwell Lord is shown to be one of the bodies entombed below the Hall of Justice. Lord's dead body is revived as a Black Lantern during the time of the Blackest Night. He targeted Wonder Woman and lured her to Arlington National Cemetery with a trail of slaughtered bodies. When she arrived at the scene he sprung a trap on her and used black rings to revive the bodies of the men he had just killed and left as a trail. Wonder Woman used her lasso to destroy Max and turn the other undead to dust, but as she leaves the dust starts to regenerate into the former shells of the undead bodies. A while later, Max resumes his attack on Wonder Woman (after she turned into a Star Sapphire) and she encases his body in a violet crystal and shatters it to pieces. Maxwell continued to taunt her, his mouth speaking out of a part of the crystal.

Brightest Day

Lord was later brought back to life by the power of the White Light Entity along with other heroes and villains who stood wondering how they were brought back to life. Guy Gardner tries to restrain him but Max "convinces" Guy to let him be and he escapes to parts unknown. Lord later used his powers amplified by a machine to cause the world to forget his existence and went about stealthily reforming and leading an all new Justice League International across every corner of the world from behind the scenes while resuming control over Checkmate using moles placed in the organization. However, he discovered his resurrection came with the unsavory effect of turning those he tried to mentally control into zombified creatures, so he went about completing his mission of preventing a metahuman war caused by Magog bestowed by the White Lantern Entity to fix this curse. To that end he manipulated and framed Magog and Captain Atom for the murder of a thousand people in Chicago before making Magog commit suicide, earning his life by preventing the metahuman war and correcting his powers to continue his plans.

Along the way he would study and reevaluate the functionality of his O.M.A.C's while looking over a great many other assets the Checkmate organization had in preparation of pursuing his true goal: to fulfill his vendetta against Wonder Woman and murder her as revenge for initially causing his own death. He commandeered the expertise of Professor Ivo to incorporate the neural receptor spontaneity of the Metal Men, utilizing the genetic variability of Cadmus and the Creature Commandos projects, and cloning technology to construct the OMAC Prime to destroy Wonder Woman.

During his efforts, Lord was confronted by Power Girl, but managed to distract her using a clone he had made from her DNA collected by Crash and created by Dr. Sivana before escaping her notice by attacking her with a red sun energy laser cannon. It was later revealed he mentally controlled Donna Anderson, Chief Financial Officer of Powergirl s Starrware Industries, to covertly embezzle more than $50 million from the company and illegally sign away many of Starrware's intellectual property rights and technology before killing Donna by staging a death by drug overdose. Lord then mentally controlled Power Girl into attacking the Justice League International before sending OMAC Prime and an army of OMAC sentries to New York City and Los Angeles to destroy Wonder Woman, but was defeated thanks to the efforts of the Justice League International and managed to escape after being forced by Captain Atom to undue his mental spell over the world that caused nearly everyone to forget his existence and his deeds. Lord then sent out a live feed proclaiming leadership of Checkmate as a rogue organization and swearing to continue attempting to police metahumans in a manner less overt and behind the scenes, all while denying his previous crimes.


  • Mind Control: Gained from the aftermath of Invasion!, Maxwell Lord was affected by the Gene Bomb's side effect of triggering the dormant metagene in potential hosts. His ability to dominate the wills of others stems from the fallout of the Dominator's occupation of earth. Over the years his powers had been altered but his control over a person remains nigh absolute. Even going so far as to dominate the wills of beings as powerful as Superman on one occasion.[3] Over the coarse of his death and resurrection, Lords power had been altered due to his exposure to the Black and White Lantern powers. Mostly when he tried to control someones thoughts he would end up killing them and morphing their corpse into that of a Black Lantern Cadaver.[4] Once upon his rebirth, Max's reach extended the world over; enabling him to touch the minds of tens of thousands to billions of people all at once.[5]
    • Illusion Casting: Lord could make individuals see, feel and experience whatever he wished them too. So long as his mind was still peculating their perceptions of reality was whatever he desired them to be.[6]
    • Memory Manipulation: Lord could just as easily block out peoples memories as he could control their perceptions of time and relativity, Making people forget certain aspects if he willed them too.[7]
    • Mind Scanning: Max's powers changes in a great many ways in his new life, he could sense and feel the present psyches of every single person on the planet.[7]
    • Modular Wave Manipulation: The Entity had changed Maxwell's powers in such a way that he could now not only interact with sapient thought, but started practicing with a new form of control. Through the help of Professor Ivo, Max decided to focus his powers on the Omactivation Protocol of the dormant O.M.A.C. Virus. Booting up and controlling the xenotech inside of those who possess it within their system.[8]



  • Blood Loss: While using his powers Maxwell Lord starts to bleed from his nose. The more people there are the more blood is lost and this may lead to bleeding from eyes, mouth, and ears. With the blood loss that comes from the use of his powers he sometimes losses consciousness. When that happens the people under his control also lose consciousness.


  • At the "Crisis Counseling" panel at WizardWorld: Chicago, Dan DiDio explained why Maxwell Lord was used. After going through several possible characters who could be the "new leader for the offshoot of Checkmate", Maxwell Lord was suggested. Many of the editors thought that the idea made sense, as Lord had been shown to have a mean streak and to have killed previously. The idea was dropped due to the continuity errors, such as him being a cyborg, but they went back to it later after deciding none of the other possible characters were suitable. "We thought about that aspect of the story [where Maxwell was turned into a cyborg] some more," DiDio explained. "And then asked, 'Did anyone read it?' No. 'Did anyone like the idea?' No. So we moved ahead with Max as being a human, and having been a human, and not letting that small part of the past stand in the way of this story. We wanted what was best for Countdown, and for us, that meant that Max had to be a human."
  • Maxwell Lord's birth date is April 1st, 1951.[10]



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