#2 – Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
In Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, told from the point-of-view of Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex gives Bruce Wayne a piece of Kryptonite over a business dinner as he tries to convince the CEO of Wayne Enterprises how great a threat Superman is to the human race. The story treats Superman as a new arrival in Metropolis, and Lex attempts to sell Bruce on the notion that Superman’s very existence is limiting to the human race, that humanity’s development will be stunted as long as Superman is around. In addition, the only reason ordinary people have to trust Superman is that Superman says he should be trusted. Lex explains his point with narration over a battle between Superman and Batman.
Batman shows up with the Kryptonite in hand, but loses it following a blast from Superman’s arctic breath. Despite the absence of dialog, the battle illustrates Batman’s mad dash to retrieve the one thing he knows Superman is weak against only to be cut off at every turn. The Superman and Batman here haven’t met before, so they go into the fight with little preparation. Even with the Kryptonite, Batman is caught off guard and overwhelmed, only able to avoid his opponent for so long before Superman eventually lands a knock-out blow.
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel displays how physically outmatched Batman is by Superman, and how both he and Lex have to rely on their minds to even stand a chance. The fight feels like a first round, with Superman winning, but Batman walking away with a keener knowledge of his adversary. Round two won’t be so simple.