If you’re not currently reading Justice League, you might not know that Lex Luthor recently saved the world and received a full Presidential pardon. He then gifted the Justice League with a new Satellite HQ, and asked if he could join. After being unanimously declined by the Leaguers, he then proceeded to show up at Wayne Manor and asked to speak to Batman. (Who knew a little bit of blackmail could motivate Bruce Wayne?) Batman convinced Superman and Wonder Woman that he’d like to keep Lex close to keep an eye on him. Once those three agreed, everyone else went along with the unbelievable plan to let Lex Luthor into the Justice League.
I’m really digging this storyline!! We’ve had some great moments with Lex submitting to questions under the thrall of Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. A few Leaguers have taken Lex along on humanitarian missions to show him the value of helping others, besides his usual Public Relations stunts. He’s supposedly getting over his prejudice against aliens, and learning to be a team player with even Superman. Can one of the greatest villains in comic book history be redeemed? Apparently, maybe for a little while. Eventually something will cause Lex will revert to villainy. But until then, I’m going to enjoy this.
Many figures have been made of Lex in different versions of his battle armor. It first appeared way back in DC’s Super-Powers toyline. Different versions have been interpreted as an action figure since then. Lex’s current battle armor is the least bulky design so far. In fact, the similarities between Lex’s armor and Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor are so close that I can’t help but wonder if Geoff Johns is using Lex as a parody of Tony Stark. Parody isn’t the right word… social commentary, perhaps?
I’m not very familiar with Marvel action figures, but I started hunting for an Iron Man figure that matched Lex’s battle suit as closely as possible. Some were close, but none had the skin-tight metal ribbing on the arms and legs. I discovered that Marvel’s Crimson Dynamo figure (an Iron Man villain) shared many design traits with Lex.
I’d say from the feet up to the torso it was nearly a perfect match. The shoulders and chest were going to have to be totally resculpted. When the figure arrived in the mail, I was happy to see that the bulky shoulders and chest were actually a separate rubber piece, and was easily removed with a little boiling and elbow grease.
Sculpting with Milliput, I added on some touches like the round things on Lex’s kneepads, and the box things on his hips. I tried to sculpt the high collar, but every attempt looked like a dried macaroni noodle. I was digging around my box of figure parts when I found the shoulder pads and high metal collar that was on the DC/Mattel Red Lantern Atrocitus figure. I used masking tape to pop a straight cutting line at the preferred height and trimmed it with my exact blade. I trimmed the shoulder pads off the collar piece since they didn’t match the design. (They’ll be appearing on an upcoming custom figure!) I sculpted Lex’s shoulder pads from scratch.
Various stages of sculpting
Painting time! I couldn’t wait to break out some metallic paints I bought a while back. I used metallic purple, and I mixed metallic Christmas green and metallic peridot green to match the right shade of green on Lex’s armor. The only other paint I used was in the lens on his chest and the repulsor lens in the palm of his hand… glow-in-the-dark, of course!!
I was nearly finished, except for one really important bit; his head. I briefly considered using a Professor X head since it might fit better on a Marvel figure’s neck peg, but Xavier has sharper features than Lex, and I knew it would eventually bug the hell out of me as time went on. I looked at all the official Lex Luthor heads available from Mattel and DC Direct, and there was really only one choice to go with. Absolutely without a doubt, the best looking Lex head EVER was the DC Direct figure based on Alex Ross’s design from the Justice mini-series. I was able to get one (thank you Jack Maxwell!!) and finally, my Lex Luthor was complete.
And until the day comes that he inevitably falls from grace, he’ll be standing with the Nu-52 Justice League!
Trinity plus one.