LexCorp

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LexCorp
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superman vol. 1 #416
Created by Elliot S. Maggin
In-story information
Type of business Conglomerate
Base(s) Metropolis
Owner(s) Lex Luthor
Employee(s) Talia al Ghul
Lana Lang

LexCorp (originally styled Lexcorp) is the company founded by Lex Luthor in the DC Comics Superman series. It made its first canonical appearance in John Byrne's The Man of Steel miniseries, which established the post-Crisis Superman's origin. However it had previously been referred to some months before the Crisis in an Elliot S! Maggin story set in a future New York City, where the Silver Age Luthor establishes it after he is reformed.[1][2] LexCorps subsidiary companies include, LexChemical, LexMart, LexComm, FedLex, LexOil, LexAir, and TelLex. [3]

History[edit]

Unlike his earliest appearances where he was portrayed as a warlord and a would be dictator, most of Lex Luthor's Golden Age appearances portrayed him as a mere thief who would use his genius to rob banks. However, the idea that mere money was not Luthor's chief motivation for crime was established as early as 1961. After robbing the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox and defeating Superman in the process, Luthor and his men celebrate. When they learn that the Superman they defeated was a robot standing in for the real Man of Steel who was on a space mission, Luthor ordered his men to return the gold. He does this because he does not steal for money's sake; anything he might steal is a mere symbol of a victory over Superman. Having defeated a mere robot, the gold he stole was worthless.[4]

Later writers such Elliot S. Maggin refined this idea. In his novel Superman: Last Son of Krypton, Luthor is revealed to secretly own the Thunder Corporation, a very large and powerful company that he uses as a front to finance his criminal organization. The Chairman of the Board and principal stockholder of Thunder Corporation was a non-existent billionaire playboy named Lucius D. Tommytown. Luthor would occasionally hire an actor to portray Tommytown in order to continue the illusion and would even write fanciful reports about the playboy's activities and having them sent to a magazine under the alias Brian Wallingford. The headquarters for the Thunder Corporation legitimate operations and, unbeknownst to all, headquarters for Lex Luthor's criminal empire and location of his penthouse suite was the Zephrymore Building. Luthor went through an elaborate ruse because he thought himself too honest to pretend to be anything but a criminal.

Maggin speculated that Luthor, whom he characterized as not being completely evil would eventually reform and, retiring from crime, become a legitimate business man, with his company Lex Corp going on to be tremendously successful.[5] A future Superman is pleased to learn that his old friend's holographic devices are standard equipment for reporters.

In the wake of the Crisis, John Bryne and the aforementioned Marv Wolfman greatly popularized the idea of Luthor as an evil businessman and established their version of the character as having always been a ruthless capitalist. Originally organized as an aerospace engineering firm, LexCorp has become one of the world's largest, most diversified multinational corporations. Under the astute - some would say, ruthless - management of its founder, Lex Luthor, LexCorp grew and prospered, absorbing scores of smaller businesses.

While still in its original offices on the top floor of Metropolis' famed Daily Planet building, LexCorp made its first acquisitions of two then-struggling airlines, Inter-Continental Airlines and Atlantic Coast Air Systems (since renamed LexAir). As LexCorp subsidiaries, the airlines began to prosper and when rising profits were threatened by fuel shortages, LexCorp bought out Southwestern Petroleum, now known as LexOil.

For a brief period, the Daily Planet itself came under the ownership of LexCorp, but Luthor quickly became disenchanted with what he considered the low profit margins of the newspaper business. He moved LexCorp's offices into a new high-rise building and began buying up downtown properties in preparation for the day when LexCorp would build its own corporate headquarters. LexCorp soon bought out a Metropolis television station and acquired a satellite transmission company, linking both under the corporation's new LexCom subsidiary as SuperStation WLEX. With a potentially worldwide electronic communications outlet under the LexCorp umbrella, Luthor soon sold the Planet, building and all, to TransNational Enterprises.

In time, LexCorp gained controlling interest in no fewer than three banks - the Metropolis Mercantile Bank, Commerce Bank of Metropolis, and First Metro Security - and moved into all the major financial markets, absorbing new holdings worldwide.

By the timeframe of the Alliance Invasion, LexCorp dominated the commerce of the city - and, indeed, of much of the world - from the 96-story L-shaped building which towered above the Metropolis skyline from the eastern tip of the borough of New Troy. It was estimated that LexCorp at its height, either directly or indirectly, employed nearly two-thirds of the city's 11 million people. A majority of local businesses were wholly or partially owned subsidiaries of LexCorp. Among those many subsidiaries are such diverse businesses as Advanced Research Laboratories, Secur-Corp Armored Car Service, North American Robotics, Hell's Gate Disposal Services, and the Good Foods Group, owners of Ralli's Family Restaurants and the Koul-Brau Breweries.

In addition to its many properties in the greater Metropolis area, LexCorp has domestic holdings in Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Gotham City, and Boston. LexCorp currently maintains financial institutions, research facilities, refineries, and/or manufacturing plants in a score of countries, including Australia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Union of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, and the free market of Hong Kong. When CEO Lex Luthor was elected President of the United States, Talia al Ghul took over the company. Following his dismissal as president, he unofficially fired her and took back his place, unaware that she kept a portion of stock from him.

Competitors include Wayne Enterprises, Kord Enterprises, Queen Industries and S.T.A.R. Labs.

A year after the events of Infinite Crisis, Lex Luthor has been stripped of his wealth, assets, and businesses and is reduced to living like a vagrant. LexCorp has had its stocks dissolved and sold off to other companies, most notably Wayne Enterprises. Talia Head donated a large portion of its profits to the Wayne Foundation during Superman and Batman's year long absences.[6]

Lana Lang became LexCorp's new CEO following Luthor's public acquittal from criminal charges,[7] although the company seems to be heading towards bankruptcy.[8]

Lana Lang was automatically dismissed from her post of CEO when she attempted to use Team Luthor (a LexCorp security unit) to aid Superman in a battle against the superpowered Atlas; this was in violation of a contractual clause in all LexCorp employment charters forbidding aiding Superman in any way - Lang had not read the fine print.[9]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The major conglomerate featured regularly on Smallville is LuthorCorp, an agricultural conglomerate which was founded by Lionel Luthor. Following Lionel's incarceration in the fourth season, LuthorCorp comes under Lex's control and gradually turns into a corporation with several subsidiaries and divisions. In the series finale, the LuthorCorp tower is damaged by several explosions which disfigure the corporate logo on the side of the building, with the scarred remains subtly spelling out "LexCorp".
  • LexCorp is shown to be the home of Luthor's pet lizard Ignatius, in the cartoon Krypto the Superdog.
  • In The Batman, LexCorp is shown in the two part episode "The Superman/Batman Story."

Film[edit]

  • A company named Lex Luthor Incorporated appears in the first Superman film. It is a property development company that buys up acres of seemingly worthless desert land which Lex plans to convert into a new West Coast after destroying California.
  • LexCorp is mentioned in a piece of scrolling text in one of the web pages for The Dark Knight's viral marketing.
  • In the 2013 movie Man of Steel, Lexcorp is shown both on the skyline of Metropolis and on several trucks that appear throughout the film.

Video games[edit]

  • LexCorp appears in DC Universe Online. LexCorp Tower is located in Downtown Metropolis. The soldiers of LexCorp consist of Lexcorp Shock Troopers, Lexcorp Heavy Troopers, Lexcorp Security Guards, Lexcorp Enforcers, and Lexcorp Gladiators.
  • LexCorp appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. In this adaptation, LexCorp is featured as the main area for the level Research and Development. In addition, LexBots are frequent enemies in the game, as well as playable characters. "LexCorp Security" and "LexCorp Heavy" are also two minor playable characters in the handheld versions of the game.
  • LexCorp appears is referenced in Batman: Arkham Origins. In Penguin's office, there list of companies including LexCorp. Two LexCorp subsidiaries, Big Belly Burger and Koul-Brau Breweries, appear in the game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chat Transcript: Elliot S! Maggin". Comic Book Resources. 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  2. ^ Eury, Michael (2006). The Krypton Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 143. ISBN 1893905616. 
  3. ^ The Superman Files. Matthew K. Manning (trans.). p. 74. 
  4. ^ Action Comics 277
  5. ^ Superman #416
  6. ^ Superman #650
  7. ^ Superman #654
  8. ^ Superman #663
  9. ^ Superman #679