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DC Turns Lex Luthor Into Elon Musk With One Word

Lex Luthor has long been one of Superman's main adversaries, and the supervillain (who often acts like an '80s tycoon) will soon return to live-action in James Gunn's "Superman: Legacy." But in the comics, Luthor is being compared to a real-life controversial figure, Elon Musk, thanks to a single word.

In "Superman: House of Brainiac Special" #1, the "Campaign Headquarters" story (by Mark Russell, Jordie Bellaire, and Dave Sharpe) follows Perry White's efforts to become the mayor of Metropolis. Running against the Daily Planet's former Editor-in-Chief is Garon Blake, whose hateful campaign calling for all aliens to be deported from the city uses Superman and the arrival of Czarnians (the once-extinct race Lobo was long believed to be the sole survivor of) as its key talking points to drum up fear in the voting populace.

The issue shows the con men and grifters who support Blake's divisive rhetoric, with one podcaster in particular saying, "They're putting alien DNA in the chocolate milk." Meanwhile, a LeXema (a parody of Twitter/X) account called Free Lex Luthor responds to a post claiming aliens have been abducting and experimenting on humans since 1947 with the simple response, "Interesting."

The line directly references Musk's tendency to share shallow responses to political posts he wants to amplify on X, his social media platform, without actually engaging in a meaningful way. The billionaire loves to write "interesting" to boost a post he's read without actively adding his own thoughts on the topic. Of course, this scene isn't the first time a comic book has taken a direct shot at Elon Musk, nor is it the first time he's been compared to a major billionaire social media figure.

The Elon Musk joke is the latest attempt to modernize Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor being compared to Elon Musk isn't the first time the supervillain has been used as a stand-in for a real-life billionaire and social media owner. In "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is presented as a young, brash, fast-talking capitalist — basically, a campy villain mixed with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, a role Eisenberg played in "The Social Network." At the time, the actor was slammed for his performance as Luthor, which audiences felt was more like a parody of social media magnates than the comic book version of Luthor.

DC Comics isn't the only publisher to recently take a shot at Musk. Marvel's "Roxxon Presents: Thor" #1 (by Al Ewing, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D'Armata, and Joe Sabino) throws a number of pointed barbs at the controversial billionaire, with its meta-story poking fun at the troubles being faced by Tesla's Cybertruck by providing pro-A.I. influencer Chad Hammer with his own, very buggy "Thor-Truck." Said to have no weaknesses or crumple zones, the Thor-Truck parodies the safety concerns that have arisen over the recently recalled Cybertruck. The fictional vehicle is shown to be extremely dangerous to have on the road despite its vaunted technological advancements, as it mows through innocent bystanders as Hammer drives it with glee.

Ultimately, Musk hasn't helped himself avoid the comparisons to being a comic book villain thanks to his handling of X/Twitter and his over-promising and under-delivering on technology like the Cybertruck. Instead, he's opened himself up to criticism from the media, and both Marvel and DC Comics have made sure to satirize the billionaire effectively. Luthor's "interesting" comment is simply the latest example of how well his persona aligns with that of a supervillain.