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Lex Luthor’s father gets a tragic and epic backstory in Justice League #18

Lionel Luthor’s story directly influences Lex’s turn to evil.

Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. For more, read our review.

Justice League has been one of the most epic, content-rich series from DC Comics in some time. Crafted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, the series has revealed new things about characters and the universe as a whole. It doesn’t hold back ever and that includes the latest issue, Justice League #18, out today. Last issue we learned about Martian Manhunter and Lex Luthor sharing a moment in their childhood and this week we learn much more about Lex’s father, Lionel Luthor.

The issue is about a shard of the Totality coming into the hands of Vandal Savage.

For centuries he attempts to unlock its secrets, but it took a special mind in Lionel Luthor to unlock the majority of its secrets and power.

The most fascinating element explored in this issue is how Lionel takes this challenge and discovers so much more than Savage could have ever hoped. It shows not only how smart Lionel was, but how he sees the potential of this power and how it could help society. He’s a hero.

This, of course, helped Savage and progressed the research. The question arises though — how did Lionel disappear in the history books as a great mind who advanced human evolution? It’s a tragic story…

We learn Savage wiped Lionel’s memories, turning him into an average person. This resulted in him becoming a drunk and being a terrible father to Lex. One could argue Savage inadvertently created the evil that is Lex Luthor by turning his father’s legacy to ash.

As you can see from the last panel, Savage was very wrong about the Luthor name.

This is only a sliver of the story and I highly recommend you read the whole issue. You can buy it digitally today.

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