FANDOM


""Luthor -- Super-Hero!"": Superman returns to Lexor to apprehend Lex Luthor, who has become the revered leader of the planet; while Superman is not only considered a villain, but loses his powers under its red sun.


Quote1 She loves me... the people here idolize me... because I've done things for them! Now, if I can use the ancient science of this world to give me artificial superpowers, I can keep Superman from spoiling my paradise here. Quote2
Lex Luthor

Superman #168 is an issue of the series Superman (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1964.

Appearing in "Luthor -- Super-Hero!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Superman's Spacecraft

Synopsis for "Luthor -- Super-Hero!"

Superman returns to Lexor to apprehend Lex Luthor, who has become the revered leader of the planet; while Superman is not only considered a villain, but loses his powers under its red sun.

While disguised as a statue in the Luthor Museum, the Lexorians pile Rainbow Crystals before Superman, as a tribute to Lex Luthor. The crystals greatly concern Superman and he stuffs them all in a bag and escapes the museum, but not for long. Luthor has been feverishly restoring old technology that gives him temporary superpowers, which he uses as "The Defender" to find, capture and imprison Superman. Luthor notes the irony as he looks at Superman behind bars.

The Robotic Guard was a poor choice, as Superman exploits its dogmatic nature to escape and reprograms it to steal the Rainbow Crystals and bring them to his spacecraft. Luthor -- as "The Defender" -- follows the robot and recaptures Superman. But as the mind-numbing properties of the Rainbow Crystals are explained to Lex, he realizes that their emissions are what had destroyed the Lexorian's understanding of any kind of technology.

A truce is reached and Superman is allowed to leave, with a promise to destroy the crystals and protect Lex's secret identity as the Defender.

Appearing in "Luthor, Daily Planet Editor!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Horse-drawn Phaeton
  • Horse-Drawn Fire Engine
  • Luthor's Prisoner Transport (Destroyed)
  • Sternwheeler Paddle Steamer

Synopsis for "Luthor, Daily Planet Editor!"

A month after Superman left Luthor on Lexor, Lex was still not content, despite the world's adulation and Ardora's constant affection. He continued to fixate on revenge and creates artificial Red Kryptonite and a special prison transport to house Superman; which he returns to Earth in, with only partial success. The design was faulty, and Lex lost control, travelling back in time to 1906; where he intercepts and replaces Cyrus Goat as the new editor of the San Francisco Daily Planet.

A Kandorian psycho-locator finds Luthor in the past, so Superman follows through the time barrier and unknowingly applies for a job -- as Clark Kent -- with Lex Luthor. Luthor sports mutton chops as a disguise: he is Cyrus Goat, the editor of the 1906 Daily Planet. Goat (Luthor) challenges "Kent" to get three scoops; and the third scoop was the purchase of a new Fire Engine that Luthor had secretly painted with Red Kryptonite.

Superman soon deduces that Cyrus Goat is actually Luthor, but too late. The Red Kryptonite takes most of his powers, including invulnerability, so Superman is forced at gunpoint to row Lex Luthor to an island in San Francisco Bay where Luthor's teleporter is hidden. Malfunctioning, as did his earlier spaceship, the teleporter only deports Luthor; and manifests such destruction in his wake that it causes the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Almost powerless, Superman does what he can to alleviate the city's suffering, until his powers return and he flies back to the present; where he finds Lex Luthor still languishing in an abandonned Alcatraz jail cell -- Lex himself said he super-goofed, and forgot that the island in San Francisco bay was Alcatraz!

Notes

  • Earliest chronological appearance of Perry White.
  • The planet Lexor is first named in this issue.
  • The Rainbow Crystals emitted rays which "dulled the brain's electroenencephalic actions" and are what caused the Lexorians to return to barbarism. Superman describes them as "the rarest mineral in the universe, only produced by strange conditions".
  • Lex Luthor's exposure to the Rainbow Crystals in "Luthor -- Superhero" may be why his performance was so poor in the follow-up story "Luthor, Daily Planet Editor!". His D.I.Y. prison-ship malfunctioned; he forgot basic geography on Alcatraz's location; and his D.I.Y. teleporter failed to function properly -- causing the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 and leaving Lex trapped.

Trivia

  • Due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the "Metropolis Mailbag" letters column reproduced an article from the Friday August 30, 1963 New York Times that detailed an upcoming Superman story featuring President John F. Kennedy. A memoriam note explains that the story was pulled due to Kennedy's assassination. The story did finally appear in Superman #170 at President Lyndon Johnson's request. Included is a detail from the original JFK and Superman cover by Curt Swan and George Klein that was planned for Superman (Volume 1) #170. It has never been printed anywhere else.[1]
Superman Earth-One 010
  • Superman gets the privilege of riding a tandem bicycle with Real Person singer and actor Lillian Russell; and he remarked "I've often been saved by people with an "LL" in their name, but Lillian Russell has five L's in hers."
  • This issue reveals that Lex Luthor was responsible for causing the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
  • The cover copy markets this issue as an "All-Luthor" story.
  • Lex Luthor is also known as the Lexorian superhero "The Defender" in this issue. The Defender's insignia is a D; which represents the second time that Luthor has had a secret identity with that letter as the insignia. Lex had previously been disguised as the Kryptonian Dak-El in Superboy #115, and he was only foiled because he had the Latin Alphabet letter D on his chest; but he was meant to be Kryptonian.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.