Wasn't the Luther as businessman Marv Wolfman's idea.
|Posted: 28 July 2012 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 3
Wolfman called, shortly before I started on MAN OF STEEL, and said he'd been offered the second seat. But before he accepted, he wanted to tell me what he had worked out for Luthor. If I liked it, and wanted to use it, he would come aboard. If I didn't like any part of it, however, he would decline the co-pilot job, and he wanted my promise I would not use any part of his idea. This I was happy to agree to.
He then said this: "Outside Metropolis there is a mountain. On top of that mountain, in his fabulous Xanadu-like estate, lives Lex Luthor, the world's richest man, and his mistress, Lois Lane."
Immediately, I said no. I had not thought too much about what I was going to be doing with Lois, but that was definitely NOT the way I wanted to go with her. In fact, I said, Wolfman's idea seemed more like a reinvention of Lois than a reinvention of Lex. So, politely, thanks but no thanks.
"Oh, you don't have to use that part!" Wolfman said. Which confused me a bit, since just moments before I had agreed to an "all or nothing" scenario.
In any case, I said I liked the World's Richest Man part -- if I could use just that we might have a starting point. Wolfman agreed. He came aboard and pretty much went off in his own direction, with Luthor AND Superman. (Early in the run, I gave a newspaper interview. The interviewer, having read my first few issues and Wolfman's, asked why there were TWO Supermen now.)
Later, as I went along, I discussed various plans with a lot of people, and Luthor pretty soon had many fathers, including Roger Stern and Mark Gruenwald, who contributed ideas. Luthor's Legion of Lovelies, of course, I borrowed from Heinlein's STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND.
Years later, long after I left Superman, I found out, almost by accident, that DC had paid Wolfman a big bonus for his "creation" of the new Luthor. Ah, well!