Lex Luthor Week begins at Swanderful! In this splash page from Action 423, Sexy Lexy doesn’t seem to get it even as he’s surrounded by a tableaux of his vulnerability against Supes’ might.
I mean, he can even nail you to the ground, Lex.
It’s really interesting that the first image in the tableaux is Superman splitting open a carapace designed to protect you and the image below it shows your weaponry backfiring. Apparently, Superman kicks your ass because he’s your Buddhist lesson. (Please forgive me: I am finishing Tezuka’s BUDDHA so it’s influencing my scholarship at the moment.)
You see, the issue intrinsic to your hatred is that Superman represents the idea that physical power is “superior” to intellect and you want to prove that intellect can prevail. You don’t seem to get that BOTH fail, and fail often, as neither intellect nor physical power can protect you from catastrophic loss (home planet, hair)…and, more importantly, it causes it even if you try to be careful…which is how Superman fucked you up way back when…or by accident, which is how you destroyed Lexor, the planet where people appreciated you and you had a nice family and where you wore groovy retrofuturistic outfits.
Friends are not consistently loyal or sensitive. Superman’s biggest weakness is that he is a dope when it comes to being emotionally perceptive and sensitive. Superman is your lesson that his physical might and your intellect are not unlimited. You expected him to not screw up as he was your best friend; your expectation that there is some kind of absolute revenge-win waiting for you to conceive and execute it as payback just makes you more and more bitter.
Long time readers of Silver Age Superman can think of multiple examples of Supey’s lack of thoughtfulness; those unfamiliar with Superman comics will see a concrete example on the next two pages coming up on Swanderful…
Incidentally: love those boots and that mad scientist thinking chair, Lex!