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Superman (Justice Lords)

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I did love being a hero... but if this is where it leads, I'm done with it.
~ Superman before murdering President Lex Luthor.
I've done a lot of things I thought I'd never do these last two years. One more won't hurt.
~ Superman, showing his true nature to the Flash.

Superman of the Justice Lords is one of the most frightening aspects imaginable - the unstoppable power of the Man of Steel turned mad and warped into a ruthless dictator who will gladly crush his enemies to pulp in order to preserve the "greater good", thinking that what he is doing is giving people peace and security (the two things that people want to have, but not in the vision of the Justice Lords). Though this ruthless overlord has taken to using his natural Kryptonian heat-vision to perform crude but terribly effective lobotomies on those that would threaten his rule - making them virtually mindless drones in the process.

Superman would also be the one to try and push the Justice Lords to conquer other realities, despite the fact that many in his native reality had began to question him (especially Lois Lane) - yet the Justice Lords obeyed his will regardless and soon the two teams would clash as the Justice Lords Superman tried to replace the mainstream "Man of Steel" but was clearly a more ruthless anti-villain and a potential tyrant, lacking the restraint that Clark had (which often seemed to limit him but in reality may be one of his greatest strengths as a hero).

In the end, the Justice Lords version of Superman would show just how far down the path of darkness he was willing to go when he showed a willingness to kill the mainstream Flash (whose death in his world caused him to become the dictator he is today) - yet in an ironic defeat he was de-powered by mainstream Lex Luthor, who formed a brief alliance with the mainstream Superman to bring down the would-be-conqueror.

Throughout Justice League: Unlimited, the government and several civilians are beginning to believe that the mainstream Justice League can become just like the Justice Lords, after seeing that they had a gigantic laser gun on their Watch Tower. Question also argued with Superman that if Lex Luthor was to become President of the United States, Superman would do exactly the same thing his evil-counter part did, but Superman denied it. During the battle with Luthor/Brainiac, an android of the Justice Lord Superman appears to fight the original Superman. Then, when it seemed that the Flash had perished, mainstream Superman prepared to kill Luthor, but refused, firmly stating that he is not the monster his counterpart was.


  • The concept of an evil alternate reality Superman who would conquer the world due to the death of one of his close ones would later be revisited with the version from Injustice: Gods Among Us. Ironically, that version would also kill that universe's Lex Luthor, although for completely different reasons (the latter was because Lex Luthor attempted to stop Superman after realizing the latter was going too far, and unlike the mainstream Lex, was a genuinely good person).
  • This is not the first Superman to be a global dictator over the Earth. In fact, Superman's original characterization was as a villain via the character William Dunn in the comic The Reign of the Superman.

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