Lex Luthor & Martian Manhunter's New, Deadly Rivalry Makes Total Sense

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League: No Justice #4 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Josh Williamson and Francis Manapul, in stores now.

The Justice League saved the world in Justice League: No Justice, but like Dark Nights: Metal before it, new threats have already sprung out of supposedly definitive solutions. For example, the Omega Titans are gone, but the Legion of Doom is coming in Scott Snyder, Jim Cheung and Jorge Jimenez's run on Justice League. The final issue of No Justice shows us how exactly this new threat comes to be, and the adversarial relationship between Lex Luthor and Martian Manhunter, not Superman, is at the heart of it.

As the miniseries comes to a close, we learn that various divisions have formed within the ranks of the heroes. Having learned some hard truths about humanity and the universe itself, Lex Luthor has fallen from grace and blatantly turns his back on heroism. At the same time, Martian Manhunter, freshly returned from exile, manages to ascend to the position of Justice League chairman. We can expect this dynamic to be front and center during the next big conflict to come, of course, but the true level of conflict is bigger than it seems at first glance.

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Lex Luthor and the Power of Chaos

Lex Luthor is a villain again, or he soon will be when he goes on to form the Legion of Doom in Justice League. Considered to be something of a hero in the Rebirth era of DC Comics, Luthor has recently abandoned the symbol of Superman he once adopted, and now has seemingly given up his new sense of morality. As it turns out, the events of No Justice proved to be a little too traumatic for Lex to handle; after embracing the power of Entropy and seeing it take command of Earth, he sees superheroes in a completely different light.

As Scott Snyder has previously mentioned, Luthor's experience during No Justice makes him wonder if  "'Maybe being a hero — maybe the heroes themselves — are this fallacy. Maybe the whole thing is the wrong way for humans to be.'” The idea that the people of Earth tend to embrace Entropy over any of the other four cosmic energies seems to have greatly impacted Lex Luthor's view on the universe. In a way, he has embraced this fatalistic sense of how humanity should operate.

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He sees that this planet is not looking for Wisdom or Wonder, knowledge or justice. It wants only chaos, so why not accept that truth and embrace it? Instead of worrying about putting out the literal and metaphorical fires, understand that the world is just prone to destruction. This is what he comes to learn over the course of the story, and it is what allows him to charge the fruit with enough entropic energy to take the Omega Titans down in the end.

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