At DragonCon 2018, a Lex Luthor cosplayer brought one of the most infamous superhero memes to life. Wearing the classic pink and green Lex Luthor outfit, the cosplayer wandered around the convention pulling a cart holding forty "cakes" behind him, catching the attention of numerous photographers.
Lex Luther stole forty cakes. And that’s terrible. pic.twitter.com/Pk7mYpFfvv— Kirin (@Kirinn) September 1, 2018
This, of course, is a reference to The Super Dictionary, an educational book for children featuring characters from DC Comics that was published in 1978. During the book's section on counting, there is an illustration of Superman's archenemy absconding with a cart of cakes alongside a caption that reads, "When no one was looking, Lex Luthor took forty cakes. He took 40 cakes. That's as many as four tens. And that's terrible."
Upon the advent of the internet, this image quickly resurfaced, becoming a meme in its own right, as well as fodder for other memes. The image eventually became so popular among the online crowd that DC actually brought it into the main DC continuity in 2011's Superman #709. The issue features a young Clark Kent, who is joined in detention by a young Lex Luthor back in Smallville. Clark explains that the reason Lex got detention was that he had stolen forty cakes from the school bake sale as a way of getting revenge on the administration for refusing to let him enter his fission-powered toaster in the science fair.
Based on this cosplayer's efforts, it appears this peculiar chapter in Lex Luthor's publication history is not leaving the minds of fans anytime soon.