What’s up party people? Usually I present to you, the kind reader, information about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but sometimes, sometimes, something cool comes along about the DCCU that I don’t want to pass up. This week: Warner Brothers is starting some viral marketing for Batman v. Superman: DONK DONK and it focuses on Lex.
THIS POST CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS YO
Yesterday, an interesting article went up on FORBES.COM (yes, that Forbes): a piece about Lex Luthor and what he has done with his father’s company. This looks like it’s the beginning of a viral marketing campaign from Warner Brothers, and it’s actually pretty cool.
The article talks about how Lex turned his father’s “aging petrochemical and heavy machinery” company into the tech-based Fortune 500 powerhouse that it is today. The article mostly talks about Lex’s father’s accomplishments, and the tone of the article reveals that not only was Luthor Sr. a ruthless businessman, but that Lex brushes it off like it was nothing. This is our first real look at Lex: His father was ruthless and vicious in starting and building his company, and Lex is a level above that. However, instead of being outright ruthless, Lex is able to hide his true nature, and is actually loved by many. Throughout the article, his true self shines through.
But that’s not all there is. This article has some interesting nuggets. Take, for example, this gem:
“Well, Dad was a complicated guy,” his down-to-Earth son notes as we pass a tasteful display of his world-famous collection of meteorite crystals. “He came from a country where the government, in the guise of protector, had absolute control over the citizens. That drove him. I get it. Heck, I’d hate to see that sort of thing happen over here.”
That’s a lot to unpack. First, the obvious: I guarantee you that Lex’s “world-famous collection of meteorite crystals” includes Kryptonite. The article didn’t say Meteorites; it said crystals. This is an important distinction, because we’ve all seen enough episodes of Meteorite Men to know that they simply aren’t called crystals.
Another interesting aspect of this excerpt: Lex’s family is from an area with a repressive government, who exerted absolute control in the name of protection. This both informs us of Lex’s motives going into DONK DONK, as well as the angle in the media he will play when publicly dealing with Superman. Lex will use his family’s own personal tragedy to exploit public opinion against Superman. Again, this shows Lex’s true nature, while the public simply loves him.
Lets move on:
Taking the reins of the family business after the untimely death of his indomitable father, the prodigal son boldly changed the direction of the firm from oil and heavy machinery to tech. LexCorp has quickly become the second largest emerging technology corporation in the world next to Wayne Enterprises.
Partly, the success of this young company comes from Luthor’s willingness to go where Wayne fears to tread. Wayne Enterprises has shied away from military contracts in the last decade.
“It’s a necessity,” Luthor insists. “We live in the most dangerous point of time in all of human history. Statistically speaking, it’s a near certainty that another world-changing crisis is hurtling toward us like a speeding bullet. We have to be ready to defend ourselves. No civilization was ever conquered by having a strong military.”
Lex and Bruce are going to have a contentious relationship. After reading this, I don’t think Bruce would willingly work with Lex, and Bruce is careful enough to do his homework. Once Bruce took over the family business, he moved away from military contracts (but, notably, has not completely abandoned them).
Also, notice how LexCorp is the second largest technology corporation behind Wayne Enterprises. Wayne is still at the top, but seems to be old money. Lex is the new generation of power. Further, look at that last sentence. Lex has a close relationship with the military, who was very invested in monitoring Superman at the end of Man of Steel. Given Lex’s R&D Department and General Lane’s proclivity towards experimental weapons, I bet there is an interesting relationship between Lex and General Lane either in this movie or the next.
In the face of Luthor’s self-effacing, easy charm, it’s tempting to see him as “just one of the guys” and not for what he truly is: a giver. Only when pressed does he admit that LexCorp is in the top three charitable corporations in America, just after Kord Industries and Wayne Enterprises. “It’s not a competition,” laughs Luthor. “Besides, I can’t hold a candle to those guys in the debauched billionaire playboy department!”
Not only is Bruce’s playboy ways mentioned (and confirmed, this isn’t your familiar Nolan-Bruce-hiding-for-the-past-eight-years Bruce (He’s active in the community and he has a reputation to maintain), but KORD ENTERPRISES is also name dropped. Kord, you may well know, is Ted Kord, who also goes by the Blue Beetle. We recently got some information that a Booster Gold / Blue Beetle movie was being developed. This further establishes that Blue Beetle fits in the DCCU.
Lastly, a hint about Lex’s endgame in The People of the United States Represented by Batman v. Superman:
But he downplays the corporate generosity side of LexCorp. “Handouts don’t change the world. The true gift of LexCorp is our products. We are on the cusp of unveiling a technology that will change the world forever.”
When pressed, the youthful mogul will only hint. “It’s about safety. This is a product that will protect you, and everyone, from threats you don’t even know about yet. I don’t want to scare anybody… much. But there are a lot of threats out there, and they’re here today.”
Lex is developing some technology to keep the world safe. This sounds a lot like Tony Stark’s Ultron program, but I bet it’s based off of recovered Kryptonian technology and Zod’s body. Could it be drones of some kind? Doomsday, perhaps?
Bonus: Associated with the above Forbes article is a new twitter account: @AlexanderLuthor. So far it has one tweet: Linking to the Forbes article. This looks like it’ll be a cool viral marketing campaign.
Batman v. Superman, (2016) 03 U.S. 25 is only six months away!