#1 Edited by nickzambuto (13799 posts) - - Show Bio

All my life, I've been taught brains over brawn, how it's more important to be smart than it is to be strong. When I was young, I always thought it an odd moral that this powerhouse character could overcome the smartest man on the planet through sheer brute strength and power, how Lex's tactical plans and great intelligence, consistently fails to overcome someone stronger than him.

But then I started reading comics, and several stories, All Star sticks out in my mind, began painting the image that Clark might actually be smarter than Luthor as well.

So that's good on the moral front, but then we reach the issue of, without his intelligence advantage, how on Earth does Lex Luthor stand any chance against the man of steel? So the question I've asked myself for years is, SHOULD Superman be smarter than Lex Luthor? Not is he, but should that be a trait of their characters?

#2 Edited by AweSam (7375 posts) - - Show Bio

Should Superman be smarter than Lex? No. "Brain over brawn." What does that really mean? Could a smart man beat up a strong man? Probably not. However, the smart man knows better than to fight. The smart man has the ability to reason and avoid conflict. Does Lex ever reason with Superman? No, Lex tries to kill Superman.

#3 Edited by PapiNacho (2482 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope, for the simple reason that it is the only real advantage that Lex Luthor has over Superman. So for storytelling reasons no he should not. Now for canon reasons, Superman has an alien brain more powerful than the fastest computer so yes, yes he should. For moral reasons, no because intelligence doesn't mean right. There is a glorification of logic as it is what the world has turned as the answer to the uncertainties of life, but it isn't absolute and it certainly doesn't define morality. Intelligence just makes Lex more dangerous than any other flying brick like Zod; his constant failures is self-inflicted by his arrogance.

#4 Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse (6350 posts) - - Show Bio

No...Superman isn't all that smart, and really shouldn't be. If Superman was the most powerful, intelligent perfect being ever, he really wouldn't be interesting. Not to mention that Lex Luthor would be completely useless if that were to happen.

#5 Posted by Jayc1324 (12337 posts) - - Show Bio

No, he shouldn't be, but he definitely could be if he tried to.

#6 Posted by SOG7dc (7326 posts) - - Show Bio

@nickzambuto: No. superman should be super smart and one of the smartest in the DCu but Lex.....remember in JLU when mobius told him that he needed to be a twelfth level intellect and Lex responded "Then I'm over-qualified"? thats what Lex should be. Lex's intelligence should be an anmoly in the universe. He should be giving Reed Richards a run for his money.

#7 Edited by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes. What Lex should have over him is the lack of restraint to use "tabboo" knowledge (like Brainac's tech) and the focus on what the intelligence is projected upon (e.g. killing Superman, Dominating the world, etc. as opposed to Superman's curing cancer).

#8 Posted by ComicStooge (13087 posts) - - Show Bio

Lex should be smarter.

#9 Edited by Saint_Wildcard (10731 posts) - - Show Bio

Lex Luthor only considers Braniac a rival in the smarts department, So no.

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#10 Posted by LyraFay (2527 posts) - - Show Bio

No, he shouldn't.

#11 Edited by Onemoreposter (4065 posts) - - Show Bio

@nickzambuto: The brains vs brawn dichotomy isn't always true my friend. Often and likely the side with the most "force" is going to win the conflict. For example look at Lee and Grant in the civil war. That example just springs to mind. However, the dichotomy between Superman and Lex is a moral one. It doesn't matter how smart Lex is (and he's generally written to be smarter than Clark) he's going to lose because he's on the side of wrong and Superman is on the side of right. Simple as that.

Now, as for who's "actually smarter" in the context of the comics; Superman is more intelligent, Lex is more clever. Superman's mind works at a speed which is a million times faster than the speed of Lex's mind. Superman is classically trained in the sciences (at least as far as classical training goes on Krypton) and that's why he can create "super"-technology such as robots and computers ect. However, Lex is devious. Lex Luthor's mind works in ways Clark's doesn't. He thinks of possibilities Superman doesn't consider and coupled with his own above average intellect, it makes him dangerous.

Lex Luthor is much like Bruce Wayne in this sense. Neither have a superior minds to Kal, but both follow lines of logic which would never occur to Superman.

Lex is one of the most superior if not THE most superior intellect on the planet and he thinks in ways Superman doesn't, but he will never possess the cognitive abilities that Kal-El does.

#12 Posted by SanoHibiki (1543 posts) - - Show Bio

Kryptonian’s brain is like a supercomputer in New-52 (well, at least in Morrison’s ran). Plus I prefer when Superman portrayed as intelligent man, not as flying brick.

Think that at least in creating high-technological toys they both should be on approximately even ground. Then difference in their personalities should be taken in account. Lex’s policy “end justifies the means” gives him more opportunities to show his brilliance, while Superman’s moral somewhat restricts him in that department.

#13 Edited by RustyRoy (12812 posts) - - Show Bio

@awesam said:

Should Superman be smarter than Lex? No. "Brain over brawn." What does that really mean? Could a smart man beat up a strong man? Probably not. However, the smart man knows better than to fight. The smart man has the ability to reason and avoid conflict. Does Lex ever reason with Superman? No, Lex tries to kill Superman.

Well a smart man can hire some goons to beat up that brawny guy, maybe that's what Lex tries to do.

And no Lex should be smarter than Superman.

#14 Edited by M3th (2099 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman sHould be smarter and is smarter. MetH fails to see How a lesser intelligent person beats a more intelligent person in a game of cHess.

It is like tHe tHing witH Doom, if Doom is so smart wHy does Reed always defeated Him?

Superman can learn a lot more and way quicker tHan Lex can, but Supes spends His time being a good guy.

I mean if Batman was smart enougH to take down tHe JL? WHy isn't LutHer smart enougH to take down Superman? Because no matter How clever LutHor is, Superman is able to figure out a solution to save tHe day.

However, just because Superman is smarter tHan LutHer doesn't mean LutHor is dumb. Lex can still come up witH ideas Superman can't because He doesn't spend His time trying to be a genius like LutHor does.

-ABstract4$$#073-

#15 Posted by Enrique_Boy (22 posts) - - Show Bio

It's not

brain > brawn

it's

good > bad

#16 Posted by Zandalf (134 posts) - - Show Bio

Kryptonian’s brain is like a supercomputer in New-52 (well, at least in Morrison’s ran). Plus I prefer when Superman portrayed as intelligent man, not as flying brick.

Think that at least in creating high-technological toys they both should be on approximately even ground. Then difference in their personalities should be taken in account. Lex’s policy “end justifies the means” gives him more opportunities to show his brilliance, while Superman’s moral somewhat restricts him in that department.

qft.

But still even if Superman can think billion times faster than Lex that doesn't mean he is more clever than him (even if logically such a superior brain would led to a superior intellect in the reality). Still i believe that Lex should be smarter than superman because that is the only thing that can make him as a real threat, but this gap shouldn't be huge.

#17 Posted by SanoHibiki (1543 posts) - - Show Bio
@zandalf said:

But still even if Superman can think billion times faster than Lex that doesn't mean he is more clever than him (even if logically such a superior brain would led to a superior intellect in the reality). Still i believe that Lex should be smarter than superman because that is the only thing that can make him as a real threat, but this gap shouldn't be huge.

Guess a little clarification in order. I didn’t say that Superman should be smarter than Lex, but also Lex shouldn’t be like 100 times smarter than Supes.

Superman – in New-52 Brainiac stated that Kryptonians be default have 9-level intellect; in his Fortress of Solitude he have access to advanced alien technologies; his brain powered by sun and so on. But (there is always “but”) while his computer-like brain can process, store and operate information with super speed, there some restrictions. Superman can use already existing information, for example, reverse-engineer some alien tech by using already invented before scientific methods or x-raying its design (plus I prefer when Clark have pretty good investigating skills and literature talent – he is journalist, after all). Lex, while capable of the same, can imagine and invent something entirely new, something that didn’t exist before – that’s the main difference between Lex and Supes for me. Also Lex is incredibly adept in been human puppeteer, manipulating people’s opinions, advancing his agenda, …, which Superman isn’t.

Overall I’ll give it to Lex, but Superman not far behind.

#18 Posted by DEGRAAF (7887 posts) - - Show Bio

While i would like for Superman to be smarter than Lex (he comes from a more advanced species, it would make sense that he has more intellect and higher learning ability then any human) Lex is also supposed to be the smartest man on the planet and while i believe brain can defeat brawn in many things how can a genius create a device to defeat Superman if superman can break through any material known to man. I believe that is why kryptonite and red solar rays come in to play so much. I like the idea of the Kryptonian battle suit for Lex bc it puts him on a more even level of strength. I hope Lex is shown with a battle suit in MoS2. That would be something new for a Superman movie. While i like to believe brain over brawn that only works to an extent. When i used to wrestle i was still able to beat people more skilled then i was simply because i could over power them. I wasnt the most skilled but i had a pretty unbreakable grip and enough power to suck an opponents leg in tight