One of the less informed election takes I’ve heard over the last year are the constant comparisons between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Superman’s chief rival, Lex Luthor. Beyond them both being over-50 white males with healthy egos, as a long-time comic book reader I don’t see much that the two men have in common.
7. Luthor’s Hair Style Doesn’t Look Ridiculous, Trump’s Does
Donald Trump’s hair is famously ridiculous. Most people assume that it is a hairpiece, an assertion Trump completely rejects. Whether it is or isn’t his hair looks silly, both for its styling and for what it may be covering up (baldness).
By comparison, Lex Luthor’s hair, or lack thereof, is badass. It is his signature style and in the various iterations of the character (except for Gene Hackman’s unfortunate Trumpesque wig in Superman: The Movie), it sets him apart from everyone else.
6. LexCorp Is A Real Company, The Trump Organization Barely Is
The Trump Organization is mostly a licensing business, selling out the Trump name to various construction projects. Trump himself doesn’t do much of any of the actual building under the Trump brand anymore.
LexCorp, on the other hand, is a major multinational. It has its hands in multiple industries – engineering, mining, transportation, communications, and beyond. It’s closer to General Electric or the Koch Brothers in its scale and breadth and income. It is a major employer in the city of Metropolis and beyond, not just a vessel for the Trump offspring.
5. Lex Luthor Is Actually Good At Being A Villain, Trump Is Bad At Nearly Everything
Lex Luthor is a master at putting a plan together and executing it. He, unlike Trump, has the patience to allow a plot to slowly and surely develop over time as he focuses on his end goal which is usually killing Superman. If his endgame were more realistic or if Superman were just slightly less capable, Lex would win more. As it is, he gets very close on a regular basis. He doesn’t have attention issues or flights of fancy (beyond killing Superman) like Trump clearly does.
4. Lex Luthor Would Never Be Involved With A Stupid TV Show
While Luthor and Trump share huge egos, Luthor is far more confident in himself. With the exception of Superman, he knows that he is the top dog in Metropolis, and he doesn’t need a reality competition show to prove that. Luthor would be bored dispensing catch phrases on TV and would consider it a step down in a “yuge” way.
3. Lex Luthor Is Actually Smart, Trump Is Stupid
Lex Luthor is actually smarter than Superman in many disicplines. He is an accomplished scientist and businessman with refined tastes in culture and art. He isn’t a simpleton who slathers everything in gold and has a need to be told how great he is on a regular basis, he knows that already.
He loses to Superman only because his ego gets in the way, not because he’s too dumb to figure out how to take down his nemesis.
Trump has a very limited vocabulary and clearly does not understand complex topics despite being afforded all of life’s opportunities.
2. Lex Luthor Ran A Good Campaign For President, The Trump Campaign Is A Mess
In 2000, Lex Luthor ran for President of the United States and won. He ran a strong, well-disciplined campaign and he didn’t let his past as a major villain get in the way. He didn’t have an acrimonious relationship with the party and he wasn’t involved in any scandals. He handily won.
At the time of this writing, Trump is headed towards an electoral college wipeout, and even if that doesn’t materialize he has easily run one of the worst, most poorly executed campaigns for president in the modern era.
1. Lex Luthor Is Actually A Billionaire, Trump Probably Isn’t
Lex Luthor is among the richest people in the world. He is right up there with the Bruce Waynes and other multi-billionaires. His businesses employ vast armies of people from coast to coast and internationally. LexCorp has multiple subsidiaries in multiple industries with the resources to keep Luthor on the forefront of the Superman-killing industry without producing a significant drain on his funds.
Donald Trump claims that he is rich but cannot objectively prove it. He won’t release his finances and history has shown that he has made multiple false claims about his net worth. My guess is that while Trump is wealthy, he is not quite a billionaire.
There is no question that Lex Luthor is actually a bonafide billionaire.