Lex Luthor Found a Twisted Way of Using Superman for Profit

In situations where Superman is not Lex Luthor's direct foe, the villain has not been stopped from trying to get something from the alien lifeform. Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl saw Luthor find a new way to use Superman to his benefit. While the Kryptonian refugee never grew up, his body was still beneficial to Luthor's endeavors.

Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl is an Elseworlds DC comic that has the creative team of Barbara Kesel, Matt Haley, and Tom Simmons. It presents a world in which Batgirl and Supergirl are prominent heroes, and Lex Luthor is seen as a friend to the Justice Society and a mentor to Kara. In this world, Kal-El initially doesn't seem to have arrived on Earth. However, he was sent to Earth and his fate is very unlike the one fans have known for decades.

Related: Even Sinestro's Heroism Proves He Never Deserved to be a Green Lantern

Instead of landing in Kansas and being raised by a couple there, Kal-El landed on Earth and came into Lex Luthor's possession. This was something he kept secret, in order to achieve personal gain from the discovery. In fact, Kara doesn't know about it until she is teaming up with Batgirl, thinking she is saving Luthor from the Joker. While in the Lexcorps sub-basement, Kara discovers blueprints for a "solar battery." Lex has been portraying himself as a friend to heroes, donating land for and overseeing the building of the Justice Society's world headquarters. Kara believes his use of Kryptonian language is a mark of his respect for her and that the solar battery must be incredible. However, his solar discoveries came from a much darker source: Kal-El.

Instead of growing into one of the DC universe's greatest heroes, Kal-El was never allowed to grow. He has been held in a jar for Luthor's scientific research and financial gain. Superman IS the solar battery that Luthor has been developing. This dark reveal forces Kara to see that her entire life has been a lie, where Luthor is concerned. He has never respected her Kryptonian history or her. He has only ever sought to use it to his own advantage. What seemed like philanthropy and humanitarian efforts have proven to be selfish, profit-driven actions. Often Luthor is depicted as at odds with Superman due to human and alien superiority struggles he perceives. However, Lex has proven that he isn't always after being the dominant species over Kal-El. When Superman isn't around to oppose him, he will instead use what he can to further his own career.

Superman is often desired for his abilities: his strength, heat vision, invulnerability. Many of his foes have wanted to replicate his powers or syphon them from him for their own use. They have also tried to possess him to twist him to their own side and reap the benefits of his skillsets or clone him to have a controllable Superman (in the case of Superboy). However, this is the most twisted use of Superman that Lex has come up with, using the hero as a test subject for a biological extraterrestrial battery. Knowing the truth allows Kara to thwart his efforts and lay Kal-El to rest as a fellow Kryptonian, but Luthor likely had many years of experimentation and gain from this horrific source. No matter what Superman's role is on Earth, Lex Luthor will always do his best to come out on top—whether Superman is aware of it or not.

More: Supergirl Reveals Graphic New Details of Krypton's Destruction

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