Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) is so dangerous and filled with evil that it's hard to imagine the world being able to stop him without Superman (Christopher Reeve) on its side. This self-proclaimed "greatest criminal mind" certainly earns respect with numerous attacks on the planet, not to mention the entire state of California. Lex found an enemy in the Man of Steel, and with the discovery of kryptonite, was able to exploit one of Supes' very few weak spots.
Luthor's first plan was to sink California into the Pacific Ocean by blasting the San Andreas Fault with giant missles. When that failed, he joined forces with General Zod, hoping his association with a guy with the same Kryptonian powers Superman possessed would help his own cause. Luckily, Luthor was out of action for Superman III, but he would return with another devious plan: create a nemesis out of Superman's DNA. Nuclear Man was born, but soon fell to the Last Son of Krypton, as did Luthor's dreams of ruling the world... again
Lex is 100% criminal. He loves living the high life and stepping on the little people, intent on asserting his will on those who oppose him. He formed a unique connection with Superman, for as noble and courageous as the Man of Steel was, Luthor would counter by being just as nefarious and vile. Eventually, Luthor would be caught, and only the righteousness of Superman would save the supervillain from being pummelled into powder for his evil deeds. The question at this point: will we ever see Superman battle Lex Luthor on the big screen again? There seems to be no prison that can hold gool old' Lex, except for the one that's keeping a new Superman series in pre-production hell.
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