After Bruce Wayne has lost his enormous fortune, it has become more and more obvious that Lex Luthor would be a far better nemesis for him than the Joker.
Warning: contains spoilers for Batman # 119
DC Comics has finally proven it Batman and Superman would be far more challenged if they just switch nemeses. A scene lately Batman # 119 highlights this point.
It’s no secret that the Joker and Lex Luthor are considered the main enemies of Batman and Superman respectively. Comic book fans may argue that other villains can be bigger threats and even rivals to the heroes, but outside of comic book circles, mainstream pop culture and non-comic readers undeniably connect the couples together. That was probably why Joker and Lex Luthor were chosen as antagonists in the heroes’ first popular big-screen film adaptations. But when the two enemies switch, it’s easy to see how better they are at taking up the fight against each other’s heroes.
At the end of James Tynion IV’s race on Batman, Bruce Wayne is left without his huge fortune. That means he can not fund his international efforts to outsource Batman using Batman Inc. This left a gap for Lex Luthor to come in and fill the void left by Batman Inc.’s financier. Nu, i Batman # 119 by Joshua Williamson, Jorge Molina, Adriano Di Benedetto and Mikel Janin, Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor collide. During a private dinner meeting, Lex Bruce tells the story of a $ 20 million bottle of mine and then continues to pour the bottle directly onto the floor. For Bruce Wayne, a man who was never without his fortune, watching Lex mock him by wasting millions and millions again shows how matched Lex is as a villain to Bruce.
Fans also got to see the reverse of this equation in alternative universe history Injustice. Instead of going after Batman, the Joker decides to attack Superman by killing Lois Lane. This caused Superman to kill the Joker and start a fascist state across the planet. Superman snapped because he was ill-equipped to deal with the brutal chaos the Joker can inflict. Meanwhile, when the Joker killed Jason Todd, Batman was able to recover and not let the Clown Prince of Crime crack him morally.
The reason the Joker and Batman go together is that they are opposites. Clowns are supposed to bring joy, but the Joker only brings horror. Bats scare people, but Batman saves them. Similarly, Superman is just one man with unlimited superpowers fighting one man with unlimited brain power and money. But the reason the conflict intensifies when the enemies change is that they are more mirror versions than opposites. Bruce and Lex face men with money. Superman is a colorful character who brings hope, while Joker is a colorful character who removes it. Fans deserve to see more of these two famous rivalries swapped.
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