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Maxwell Lord

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W-logo CHARACTER W-logo
Max Lord
Maxwell Lord
Real name Maxwell Lord IV
Debut Justice League #1 (May 1987)
Created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire
Affiliations Checkmate, Justice League International
Abilities Mind Control, Tactician, Businessman
Played by Gil Bellows, Tim Matheson (voice)
GALLERY
Max Lord WWv2 219

Wonder Woman v2 #219

Max Lord Infinite Crisis 01

Infinite Crisis #1

Max Lord JL Generation Lost 15 (2011)

Justice League: Generation Lost #15

Max Lord WWv2-219

Wonder Woman v2 #220

WWv2 219 variant teaser

Wonder Woman v2 #219 variant cover

History

Initially, Lord worked behind the scenes to establish the League, while under the control of a villainous computer created by Metron (a later retcon would say that this was actually the villainous computer program Kilgore, which had taken over Metron's machine). The computer wanted Max to set up a worldwide peacekeeping organization, as part of its plan to dominate the world.

Lord's ruthlessness at this time was illustrated when he set up a disturbed would-be terrorist as a villain for the League to defeat, resulting in the man's death. (The would-be terrorist believed he had a bomb connected to his heartbeat, but in fact, Max had disconnected it.) Later, however, he rebelled against the computer and (seemingly) destroyed it.

Once free of the computer's influence, Lord was portrayed as an amoral businessman, but not a real villain.

New found Power

Originally a normal human, Lord was one of many on Earth gifted with super-powers during the Invasion crossover, when a Gene Bomb was exploded by alien invaders. This bomb activated the latent metagene present in a small percentage of Earthlings. Lord gained the ability to control the minds of others, albeit at great difficulty.

After he was shot and placed in a coma, Dreamslayer, a supervillain who, with the aid of the Extremists,a team of robotic servants, had once destroyed all life on their planet, took over Lord's body and "supercharged" this power, allowing him to control thousands of minds at once. Using Lord's body and power, he caused the JLI to lose its charter, and almost forced them to disband. Finally, however, while the possessed Lord forced the JLI to battle itself, the mortally-wounded Silver Sorceress managed to contain Dreamslayer and held it within her mind as she died, taking it with her, and while Lord was freed, his power was burnt out.

Cyborg

Later, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and seemingly died. The Kilgore, however, had been waiting patiently for the right moment to reactivate its control of Lord and downloaded his consciousness into a duplicate of one of the Extremist robots, Lord Havok. In this form he spent some time testing the League, for unknown reasons. He also took control of the secret organization known as the Arcana.

His cyborg body later came to resemble his original human form. Recently, he pulled together several former JLI members, including L-Ron Captain Atom,Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Fire as the ``Super Budies`` advertised as "Heroes the common man could call."

Infinite Crisis and Death

Lord was no longer a cyborg and, apparently, a criminal mastermind who spent years running the JLI gathering sensitive information about the world's superheroes, whom he considered a threat to the planet. At the same time, he sabotaged JLI efforts in order to render the superhero team as ineffectual as possible. At the end of the prologue special issue, he shoots and kills one-time JLI member Blue Beetle when the hero discovers Lord's secret and refuses his offer to join him.

During this time, Lord was given control of Batman's Brother Eye project (created to monitor all superhuman contact; Batman had grown paranoid when discovering the JLA had mindwiped him) by Alexander Luthor Jr. (the god-like son of Lex Luthor from an alternate earth), taking it over and creating an army of cyborgs called O.M.A.C's (humans infected with a virus that transformed them into the OMACs) programmed to hunt down and kill all superhumans.

He also used his powers to influence Superman's mind, causing him to brutally beat up Batman and attack Wonder Woman, believing them to be his old enemies (i.e. Brainiac,Doomsday,Ruinand Darkseid). This is significant because he was never before shown to actually be able to cause full blown hallucinations through his minor psionic powers. After barely escaping from Superman, Wonder Woman confronted Lord and bound him in her lasso of truth; telling him to tell her how to free Superman; Lord tells her she has to kill him, and she snaps his neck. In response, Brother Eye cast the footage of Wonder Woman executing Lord all over the world, destroying her reputation and her friendship with Batman and Superman (who rejected her despite the fact that she saved their lives).

Blackest Night

In the Blackest Night, Maxwell lord is shown to be one of the bodies entombed below the Hall of Justice Lord's dead body is revived as a Black Lantern during the time of the Blackest Night. He targeted Wonder Woman and lured her to Arlington National Cemetery with a trail of slaughtered bodies. When she arrived at the scene he sprung a trap on her and used black rings to revive the bodies of the men he had just killed and left as a trail. Wonder Woman used her lasso to destroy Max and the other undead to dust. But as she leaves the dust starts to regenerate into the former shells of bodies. A while later, Max resumes his attack on Wonder Woman (after she turned into a Star Sapphire) and she encases his body in a violet crystal and shatters it to pieces. But Maxwell never gives up and continued to taunt her, his mouth speaking out of a part of the crystal.

Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost

Lord is among the other resurrected heroes/villains, featured in the Brightest Day (2010) series. He is first seen attempting to push his mind control powers further than ever, but severely injures himself in the attempt, despite his meticulous preparations, including a constant blood supply and an ice pool. Later, Deadman's white power ring shows a vision where Lord is shown shaking hands with Jaime reyes, the third Blue Beetle, but Lord is hiding a gun behind his back, implying that he is planning to kill him just as he killed Jaime's predecessor, Ted Kord.

After the resurrection, Maxwell Lord has become a fugitive in a global wide manhunt called "Land Lord". Part of Maxwell's plan was to set-up bombs in predictable locations while he'd setup up his larger plan at the Justice League International headquarters. Booster Gold discovered his plan but was later beaten down by Maxwell. Before Booster became unconscious he had sent a alarm through the JLI frequency. Once the former JLI members arrive (Captain Atom,Fire and Ice), Maxwell finished his plan by erasing everyone's memory of Maxwell's existence except the JLI's. Maxwell Lord was seen at the end of issue 1 in Switzerland at his castle base preparing something big to get the last surviving members of the JLI's. The former JLI's that came for Maxwell are the only ones that remember him, possibly due to being in the epicenter of Maxwell's mind wipe.

The former JLI members then start to realize that Maxwell not only wiped the memories of him but introduced a subliminal message that when they say his name turns the listener aggressive towards the JLI members. This is part of Maxwell's plan to discredit those who still remember him. He then leads them to the current Blue Beetle's home, Jaime Reyes. There they are attacked by OMACs but when they suddenly start to teleport they follow them and they are ambushed by Rocket Reds.Meanwhile Maxwell's attempts at mind control are shown to inadvertly be producing Black Lantern which Maxwell guns down.

The original Rocket Red helps the former JLI members against the brigade and they realize that this was Maxwell's plan all along to get the JLI reunited when Maxwell talks to them through one of the Rocket's armor. He then blows up the armor with the soldier still in it. They then figure out that Maxwell is in Checkmate's Headquarters and make their way there.

As they make their plans, Maxwell is shown in contact with the White Lantern's Entity He briefly becomes a White Lantern and apparently makes Magog commit suicide at a distance. This probably fullfills his mission for the Entity ("Magog will plunge this world into war. Stop the war before it starts.") In the main Brightest Day series, it is shown that Deadman remembers Max. When Blue Beetle is kidnapped by Max, he is eventually killed by him. The Justice League International witness his death, but came to late to save Jaime. Booster promised that he would kill Max if he gained the chance, and Max left his old team to die.

Detonating a bomb in the ship, the Justice League International took their dead teammate to an abandoned island. Trying to see if Jaime is really dead, Red Rocket does all he can, but tells Booster (and the team) that he is dead

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Extreme Mind Control

Abilities

  • Master Manipulator
  • Master Tactician
  • Businessman

In other media

  • Maxwell Lord makes 2 appearances on season 9's Smallville. His first appearance was on a episode entitled "Charade" where Maxwell Lord (portrayed by Gil Bellows) is a Checkmate Agent sent to kidnap Louis to try search her memories to identify the "Blur". He is later stopped by Clark. The second appearance is on a episode entitled "Hostage". Maxwell Lord has to kidnap someone but this time it's Tess. He searches her mind to try to kind out who is the "Red Queen" but fails and is defeated by Tess. When he calls into Amanda Waller that he was unsuccessful a stun vibration is emitted from the phone.
  • Maxwell Lord appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum" . He is shown as a normal human with no special powers. He acts as the manager of the Ultimen, a superhero team that works independently of the Justice League. It turns out, however, that the Ultimen are a series of artificial life forms cloned and given false memories while interacting with actors portraying their parents. The team was developed with the assistance of Project Cdamus as part of an ongoing project to protect the Earth from the Justice League. As the clones (which are imperfect) die, they are replaced until one generation of the clones learns the truth and escapes. Maxwell is told by Amanda Waller to get them back or she will call in the "squad" to take them down. The Ultimen ended up attacking Maxwell Lord demanding answers. He told them that they were created to be a better superhero team than the Justice League. When he offers to help them when their lifespan ends, they deny his plea and head back to the building to look for Amanda Waller and their as-yet-unactivated clones. After four of the Ultimen are subdued by the Justice League, Maxwell Lord and Amanda Waller arrived with some Cadmus soldiers and take them into custody to be there for when their lifespan is up.

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