Welcome back Bat-fans to our fourth round of Lex Luthor vs. Bruce Wayne, aka, our beloved Dark Knight detective. The story we are looking at this time is Rock of Ages, from Grant Morrison’s run on the Justice League of America (which at the time were just titled “JLA”). As always, beware those of you who have NOT read these before, I am literally giving away entire plot points so please note: SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Now then, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Lex Luthor: To destroy the JLA, bit by bit, and to eliminate Superman. Point.
Batman: To prevent Lex from taking apart and eliminating the members of the JLA. And to teach Lex a lesson for thinking he can mess with him, or his teammates. Point.
Lex Luthor: Mr. Luthor has tons of preparation. He has reorganized a new Injustice Gang to take on the JLA. With the help of his allies, Doctor Light and Mirror Master, he creates a hard-light construct anti-JLA to learn their weaknesses. He also has a few other tricks up his sleeve. Point.
Batman: Once Bruce has become aware of Lex, or someone, attempting to learn the weaknesses of the JLA, it doesn’t take him long to prepare his own plan of action. Point.
Lex Luthor: Due to the fact that he has an escape plan, as always, this shows caution. Point.
Batman: From the moment the JLA encounters the hard-light constructs of themselves, Bats is onto the plot against them. He even points it out before he actually engages his own evil holographic double. Point.
4) Abilities/Gadgets Used
Lex Luthor: The Worlogog/The Sorcerer’s Stone, which he’s using to control an alien telepath. Also, the hard-light construct anti-version of the JLA counts as a gadget since technology is used to create them. The Injustice Gang satellite is also certainly a gadget, albeit a very large one. Point.
Batman: The JLA satellite (It only seems fair, especially since he funded and built it, or at least I believe that is still what happened. Apologies to those up to date in new 52 continuity, I’ve been out of the loop on the current run.). Also, his use of makeup and prosthetic masks and his disguises have Bruce donning the role of Matches Malone. Being a master of disguise is an ability. He also builds a portal device that allows he, Superman, and J’onn to enter the Injustice Gang satellite. Point.
This one doesn’t really apply to either of them, in my opinion. Not one of the environments that are visited and accessed in this story arc give either of them an advantage. No points for either.
6) Allies/Rogues Involved
Lex Luthor: Circe; The Joker; Mirror Master; Ocean Master; a red Martian (or some other alien species with red skin, it’s never addressed); Doctor Light. Point!
Batman: Superman (in his energy form); Plastic Man; Green Arrow (Connor Hawk); Green Lantern (Kyle Rainer); Martian Manhunter; The Flash (Wally West); Aztek; Aquaman; and, Mirror Master (?!). Point.
7) Most memorable story?
Lex Luthor: I commend Mr. Luthor in his involvement in this story arc, however, this is still just a great, classic Lex plot, but it doesn’t really do anything super exciting for me. No point.
Batman: Upon rereading this one, I started remembering all the little details I loved about this book the first time I’d read it. And they were all Batman-related nuances. First, his infiltration of Lex’s organization, so quickly, in the story and you don’t even realize it until the very end of the arc. His utilization of his allies, specifically Connor Hawk, Plastic Man, and the pay off of the Mirror Master to betray Lex and become Bruce’s spy. Brilliant. Then it gets better. I had nearly forgotten about the plot with Darkseid. Bruce tricks Darkseid himself into thinking that Bruce is Desaad for several years before getting a strike plan together with the time displaced Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash. Seriously awesome revelations in this book proving, as always, that you can’t beat the Batman. I have to give Bruce the point.
The final count:
|Is the story memorable?|
|Overall Round Winner|
So, the final count is Batman with six points and Lex with five points. Which means that Batman is our winner this round. I’m not gonna lie folks. I’m kinda looking forward to Lex winning another one of these. Stay tuned, Bat fans as round five is right around the corner.
Posted by Chris Gering