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Who is the best Lex Luthor?

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Poll Question: Who is the best bald villain?
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Steven Nyte View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/December/2009 at 01:33
Well, since we have the "Who is the best Superman" poll, I find it only fair to conduct one for his greatest adversary, Lex Luthor. So who do you think is the best Luthor?

Lyle Talbot was the first to portray Luthor on screen, in the 1950 serial Superman vs. Atom Man.

Gene Hackman portrayed the man of steel´s biggest enemy in 3 of the 4 Superman films, in a notable departure from the way Luthor is portrayed in the comic books. In the movies, Luthor is more often than not used for comedic relief, portrayed like "a used car salesman wielding nuclear missiles" (Quote Critic Peter Sanderson).

Kevin Spacey portrayed the most recent incarnation of Lex Luthor, perhaps being most notable for  his very funny "WROOOOOOOONG!!!" *lol*

John Shea portrayed Luthor in "Lois&Clark", departing from the traditional bald luthor look in the first season, only to return to it after being frozen at the start of season two. This incarnation of Lex Luthor would rather take his own life than face imprisonment and finally dies in the destruction of  his own laboratory.

Michael Rosenbaum plays the young Lex Luthor in Smallville, in an attempt to flesh out the backstory of why Luthor became the insane villain he was later on. This version of Lex Luthor actually sticks the closest to Luthors comic book origins, portraying him as a friend of Superman.

In the not so well known series "Superboy", Luthor was portrayed at first by Scott James Wells. The series portrays the young Luthor as a small time schemester and trickster, performing such "crimes" as rigging basketball games and stealing  small artefacts and so on. He loses his hair after a lab fire where he was saved by Superboy, though thinks it was Superboy´s fault. After that he kills a wealthy businessman and takes his place via plastic surgery. He is portrayed by Sherman Howard from then on. (I put them both in one option, since it´s really not well known)

EDIT

Oh yeah.. I went with Michael Rosenbaum, because his incarnation of Luthor sticks really close to the comic books and yet already shows the ruthlessness and criminal genius that let´s him become what he eventually will become.


Edited by Steven Nyte - 05/December/2009 at 01:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ministry Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/December/2009 at 01:47
Michael Rosenbaum, hands down, while Hackman was good, his was too comedic for my liking, and while Spacey was actually quite scary in the role (WRONG!!!), Rosenbaum had the character down to a T, even if he is playing a younger version, as his version is exactly what Lex Luthor should be, at least in his later seasons playing the character, Dark, Devious and ruthless.

There actually one that you didn't mention Nyte, James Marsters of Buffy (he played the character Spike) & Smallville (played Brainiac) fame, he played Lex Luthor in the animated Superman: Doomsday movie, and he was very good as the character too, even if it was just his voice.


Edited by Ministry Hunter - 05/December/2009 at 01:50
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Steven Nyte View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steven Nyte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/December/2009 at 02:20
Yeah, I know about him, but I left him out on purpose, because, just like with the Superman polls, this one lists just´s the ones that lent their body and voice to the character.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Member Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/December/2009 at 22:40
Rosenbaum, easily, hands down. He captures the genuine affection Lex once had for Clark when they were friends, almost brothers. He captures Lex's playboy side, constantly having different hotties on his arm. He captures Lex's obsession with Superman(read: Clark for the Smallville series). He absolutely nails Lex's manipulative nature! That's why he was the absolute best Lex Luthor...case closed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJsGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/December/2009 at 14:12
I've got to agree that Michael Rosenbuam is the best Lex Luthor - he can be evil and ruthless but in the beginning, you see him as a genuine friend of Clark's and they're obviously very close. In the later episodes though he reminds me of Lionel Luthor in Smallville as he becomes much more ruthless and agressive




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thundarr2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2012 at 17:54
I recently rewatched Superman: The Movie. In the entire series run, Luthor is only seen directly responsible for 1 death in 3 movies. Hackman was wasted with a largely comedic take on the character. Hackman could have been more menacing if given the chance.
 
Equally mistreated was Kevin Spacey. As he was basically doing an impression of the Hackman character. But only a bit more lethal.
 
John Shea was very good. But only in the first season of Lois & Clark. That first season was very different in tone than the rest of the series run. ABC decided to make the show increasingly more kid-friendly as it continued. Ironically causing the show to loss viewers and critics. Shea's Luthor was like some scorpion, he'd smile but you knew he was getting ready to strike.
But my all-time favorite is Clancy Brown.  Brown voiced Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series,  Justice League, several video games and some direct-to-video releases. Brown has voiced Luthor for over 12 years and longer than any other actor. His Luthor is a complete and complex character.  Personally, I wish he would finally get the chance to play the character in live-action.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote #Heel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2012 at 18:13
Michael Rosenbaum without any hesitation - brilliant in smallville
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Willy1225 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2012 at 18:19
I greatly enjoyed Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor even if he was more funny than evil BUT Rosenbaum was amazing as Lex Luthor for 7 years so I voted for him.
 
Kevin Spacey was solid in the role but he was hampered by playing Lex Luthor in a terrible movie.
 
The other people I have never seen their portrayal of Luthor so I cant comment on them (I saw the Lois and Clark Lex when I was younger but have zero memory of him so i cant comment on him).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ihatethatmonkee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2012 at 19:20
Rosenbaum. he very nearly stole the show in the finale of Smallville, and his obsession with Clark was done to perfection, as he played friend while trying to find what Clark was hiding.
 
Spacey might have been the best thing in what was a terrible movie, but it was still a terrible movie.
 
and agree about James Marsters. i loved Superman: Doomsday.
 
Shea could have been great if ABC didn't, as Thundarr says, make Lois&Clark (which over in the UK was called The New Adventures of Superman) so kid friendly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steven Nyte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/August/2012 at 19:22
By the way, does anyone know who Supie´s adversary in Man of Steel will be?

EDIT, just found out, will be Zod. Film looks like a bit of a clusterfuck though


Edited by Steven Nyte - 04/August/2012 at 19:24
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