Iconic Superman villain Lex Luthor has been called many things - Apex Lex, Mockingbird, The Kryptonite Man, President - but in 2022 he'll have a new moniker: Batman.
In the just-released DC March 2022 schedule, Batman #121's primary cover by series artist Jorge Molina gives a startling sight: Lex Luthor suited up as a Batman. This issue is the fourth part of the current 'Abyss' storyline, and while the story's name refers to a new Batman adversary, Lex is the bigger threat according to series writer Joshua Williamson.
"When we were first talking about ideas [for first Batman arc], I asked 'what if there's someone trying to kill Batman Inc.? Then I realized we've seen that - it's every Batman Inc. story. 'Oh no, what if Batman Inc. killed someone and now Batman has to deal with it?' I needed a bad guy, so I asked myself who do I want him to go against, who would be fun, and someone we hadn't seen Batman against much recently. I remember landing on Lex, and said to myself 'Yeah, I think I got this.'"
Batman and Lex will cross paths in January 4's Batman #119, with a scene that Williamson tells Newsarama was actually the first thing he wrote for Batman.
Batman #121 variant covers
"There's a scene in Batman #119 with Bruce and Lex," Williamson told Newsarama. "The conversation is about how Batman is broke; Batman doesn't have money anymore. It's essentially Lex taunting Bruce, and just poking at him; trying to crack the Bruce exterior.
"Bruce is trying to be Bruce, but Lex is doing everything to piss him off; he wants the Batman to come out."
Now, it seems Lex is wanting to get in on the Batman Inc. enterprise - he is a businessman, afterall. Take note of Molina's Batman #121 cover though - it's not just a classic Batman suit - it's a mash-up of the Lex armor first designed by John Byrne, with elements of the Bat-suit - especially the Bat insignia.
As DC describes Batman #121, this is all part of Lex Luthor's "dangerous master plan for Batman Inc." While the description refers to a new member of Batman Inc. joining the fold, the appearance of Ghost-Maker on the cover seems to lead credence to that Gotham hero being the new inductee - although with Lex, you can never tell what's up his sleeve.
Batman #121 goes on sale on March 1.
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