Today, at iFanboy, an interesting debate has come up.

Lex Luthor – The greatest criminal mastermind of our time, and Superman’s archenemy, has beeen portrayed in various media forms by many different people and incarnations.

Which begs the question: “Who is the best Luthor?”

We’ve got the contenders laid out for you to review and we want to know what you think! So click and check them out and let us know who your perfect Luthor was.

superfriends_luthor.jpgLEX LUTHOR from the Super FriendsThis is the incarnation of Luthor that defined him for me, as its the earliest one I can remember. The leader of the Legion of Doom and the boss of all the rogues. Luthor was a genius and had that great purple/green color scheme.
hackman_luthor2.jpgGENE HACKMAN from Superman the MovieOne of the most memorable, and unique approaches to playing Luthor. Humorous and more criminal minded, Hackman defined the role and made it his own, even down to only being bald at then end of the movie. I spent years in my childhood yelling, “Miss Teschmacher!” around my house.
loisclark_luthor.jpgJOHN SHEA from Superman: The Adventures of Lois & ClarkSay what you will about Lois & Clark, John Shea was a standout as Luthor for the entire series, again in a unique approach to the role. He was rich and he wanted Lois and hated Superman. Every episode with him was worth watching.
TAS_Luthor.jpg LEX LUTHOR from Superman: The Animated SeriesIs it a surprise that the Dini/Timm approach to 90s animation would yield such a great Luthor? Corporate and conniving, Luthor has done his best to bring Superman down. Although, I’m still hazy on his ethnicity.
smallville_luthor.jpgMICHAEL ROSENBAUM from SmallvilleThe most recent Luthor (until the new movie comes out) Michael Rosenbaum has taken the role of Luthor and has stolen the show in Smallville countless numbers of times. By fostering the strong friendship between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent, in this “before he wore the cape” approach, it makes the eventual turn to evil that much more anticipated and tragic.


  1. Hmm… this is a really tough one.

    My gut reaction is Hackman, but Rosenbaum is every bit as good if not better. It’s just that the interpretations of the character are so different with Rosenbaum’s more true to the comic version. So I think I have to give it to Rosenbaum, though Hackman is a close second.

    Shea was the best thing about LOIS & CLARK. He was a great Lex as well. I think it’s because Lex is such a great roll. I’m sure that Spacey will do really well with it.

  2. Hands down it’s animated Lex, just like animated Batman is the best Batman to me. Dini is the one who gets it right when it comes off the page.

    That being said, Hackman is great, and as a stand alone, can’t be beat, but it’s not the feel I’d personally go for with Lex.

  3. I haven’t seen much of new animated Lex as I didn’t really watch SUPERMAN: THE ANIMIATED SERIES and haven’t seen much of JUSTICE LEAGUE: UNLIMITED, but I did catch the new episode of JL:U this weekend and it involved Gorilla Grodd trying to recruit Lex into The Legion of Doom and after Grodd laid out his plans at the end Lex goes “Monkey, I like your style” in that great voice and I laughed and laughed.

  4. there’s a new catchphrase, if I ever heard one.

  5. You really never watched the Superman Animated series? I think it may have been better than the Batman animated series. It was certainly better than the justice league cartoon.

    Honestly, you might want to think about renting those discs or even buying them, because that was a great show. In college I watched it almost every day when it was on.

  6. Superman was good, but no way was it better than the Batman show.

  7. That’s probably true, but at the time, I enjoyed the aesthetic of the show. It was really well done, and it had a different feel than the Batman show. They really did a great job at making a Metropolis feel the way it should. Great great guest actors too.

  8. I don’t know, I’ve always liked how Lex from the animated series is black.

  9. He’s black like Destro!

  10. that’s actually a perfect comparison

  11. Maybe he’s latino?

  12. No no, think of the racial implications. Lex, an angry man with every biological and intellectual advantage is continually bested by a white farm boy with nothing but the luck of good genes, and those genes help him make his way in the world. While Lex fights and struggles for everything he’s earned and built for himself, but no matter what he does, or how much he accomplishes, he’s still overshadowed by the stupid white farmboy.

    The underscoring of the narrative is so much more full that way.

    And I believe, according the the old comics, that Destro, my dear ifanboy readers, is supposed to be a scottish family.

  13. There are no african-american scottish people?

  14. He can’t be African-American if he’s Scottish.

  15. Ok, Im confused, but I’ll stop for fear of an even more awkward convo.

  16. Cartoon Lex is black? He didn’t seem like it to me.

  17. You can be African-Scottish.

    It was an old Scottish family, centuries old, so chances are very high that Destro is in fact a white family.

    But, it is possible to be both in theory.

  18. how off topic are we?

    I always though the TAS Luthor was black.

  19. nah, he just had a lustrous Tan and a deep voice. As well as a stunning sense of style.

    He’s like George Hamilton, but an evil genius.

    Actaully, that’s what I liked about TAS Lex is that he wasn’t necessarily evil. He was super successful, and he just hated Superman. I think Lex is best when he isn’t evil. Ruthless sure, and with white hot hatred for Supes, but not evil.

    Hackman Lex was just a bad guy. That sours it for me a bit.

  20. Rosenbaum has perfected the “turn back” as i so put it. With class and style he lectures you with renaissance quotes on how he just disembowled your plot to take over and how he infact used it against you. The victim is caught off guard and is like a wound animal waiting for teh kill strike. after letting you soak in that as he walks away…”just on more thing…” and then tells you not only has he defeated you in a game of wit but also has closed your bank account and credit cards but actually you dont exist. And i thought his performance in sorority boys was amazing..

  21. SNAP!

  22. I’m not supposed to be laughing here at work during training, yet here I am.

  23. Damn, I’m sill laughing at Teagan’s comment.

  24. Hackman’s Lex was fantastic. I love the hologram gadget that shows him and his henchman playing chess while HE MAKES HIS DARING ESCAPE ON A HOT AIR BALOON.

  25. That balloon thing really belies the genius bit doesn’t it?

    As does the copious use of toupee.

  26. I can’t believe I spelled balloon that way.

  27. hey, it was early on a Sunday – cut yourself some slack. it’s all good