Maxwell Lord IV is the son of Maxwell Lord III. Maxwell Lord III was a good business man who always had enough to help others and also his family. Maxwell the III always made an effort to do what was right and be a great example for his son. At the age of sixteen, Maxwell Lord IV came home to find his father dead to an apparent suicide. Max was told by his mother that powerful people are always evil and that he must have control over them all. She stated that if Max ever meets powerful men or women, then he must plan every step.
Maxwell Lord was created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMateis, and Kevin Maguire. A pastiche of the business minded yuppies of the 80's, Maxwell Lord was introduced as a conniving opportunist with a good heart. He was closely associated with turning the Justice League into the Justice League International.
Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths / New Earth
Years later, Maxwell Lord was portrayed as having been playing a double game holding a deep distrust of non-humans. When Max was helping during the Coast City destruction, Max ultimately decided that heroes would have to be exterminated for the good of mankind leading to the events of The OMAC Project where Lord managed to hijack a satellite Batman had built, calling it Brother Eye, and creating millions of sleeper agents to attack the worlds superbeing populace.
Post-Flashpoint / Prime Earth (2011 - )
Maxwell is the head of Checkmate and Cadmus. He is at war with Brother Eye and its pet O.M.A.C.
Major Story Arcs
Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths / New Earth:
Justice League: A New Beginning
After the events of Legends, Max feels it is time to make the Justice League of Ameica, an international group. He orchestrates an attack at the United Nations Building, but is sure no one will get hurt by not giving the terrorist the firing pin for the bomb they plan on using. This act bring the Justice League into the public eye. Max also tries to force Dr. Light and Booster Gold onto the team, but Dr. Light feels used and storms out and Booster isn't really excepted until he helps the League defeat the Royal Flush Gang. Max, mush to the objections of Batman is the man who announces to the media that the Justice League is back and now international.
Justice League International
Who is Maxwell Lord?
While the Justice League International and Metron are flying toward New York and Maxwell's base of operations, Max finds the body of Ms. Wootenhoffer, and realizes that he, under the control of the computer, had killed her. This forces Max to rethink his current situation and reexamine his life.
When he was younger just starting out in business, he learned that the man above him, the president of the company was the only thing standing between him and total power. So, Max pretended to be befriend the president of the company and act like he liked the same things. This led to the two going spelunking, where Max planed on causing an accident, but before he could the president had a real accident and fell to the cave floor. Max debated leaving him but his consonance got the best of him and Max started to climb down to help the man up. On the way down Max heard a computer, and when he investigated the computer scanned him and explain that the two had the same goals.
Max left the president in the cave to die and with the computer's help began to take control of the business world. With the computer's help he grew more and more powerful. When he heard about the potential Justice League International, he made his move and was voted the leader. Everything was going as planned, then Ms Wootenhoffer, who was Manhunter in disguise, shot him and he died, but the computer brought him back.
Now alive once more and facing the computer and realizing all the things it made him do, Max's conciseness came out again, and instead of letting the computer control him any more he destroyed it. Unknown to Max by destroying the computer the repairs it had done to bring Max back from the dead reversed and Max collapsed. Luckily the JLI found him and took him to the hospital, where Martian Manhunter read his thoughts and learned what happened. J'onn had seen that Max truly changed and offered him a second chance.
Formerly Known as the Justice League/ I Can't Believe it's Not the Justice League
Lord forms the group Superbuddies, a group design to be available to the everyman. During his time a leader of the group he had to fight off Queen's Community Board to be allow to operate out of Queens. Then his team was kidnapped by Roulette, and while they were gone Lord Manga returned to Earth to retrieve L-Ron. Max and Sue kept Manga busy until the Superbuddies returned. Then when the JLA showed up, Max was able to divert and intergalactic war.
The Death of Maxwell Lord
Lord had control and surveillance over everything that would happen around him. Blue Beetle uncovered his scheme and, for his troubles, was shot in cold blood by Maxwell. Maxwell's plans would continue until Superman and Wonder Woman came onto the scene. Using his mind control over Superman, he made him fight Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman could only find one way out, and broke Maxwell Lord's neck. Maxwell Lord has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice.
He was brought back as a Black Lantern, and would harass Wonder Woman often during the events of Blackest Night before he was eventually fully resurrected by the White Lantern Entity, having to complete the task it assigned to him. After a brief confrontation with former teammate Guy Gardner, Max would ultimately escape into the night.
After the resurrection in Blackest Night, 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 inadvertently be producing Black Lanterns 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 fulfills 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
Maxwell Lord IV has the extreme power of mind control. He can mind control people from close range and also great distances. While originally not being a metahuman, Max gained this ability while serving as a leader of the Justice League International. While the mind control ability is useful, he does have a downside to using this great power. The more minds he controls, equals, more blood loss.
Controlling one mind makes him bleed out of his nose, however wiping his entire existence from everyone's mind off of the planet caused Max to loose much blood from his eyes, ears, and nose. Eventually leading to blacking out, Max only uses his mind control ability when needed, however tries not to use it on many people all at once, as it could lead to his own death.
Maxwell Lord IV owns his own business when he was still very young. At the age of 20 (or so) he had already bought lots of weapons and business from areas all over the world. Including heroic locations like in Metropolis and Gotham City. Maxwell uses his wide reach over the world to set up many, secret, locations which allow him to not be watched by heroes like the Justice League International or the Justice League of America. Being wanted all over the planet for would-be world domination and murder, his business was shut down and bought by Bruce Wayne. Maxwell is still a wealthy business man and entrepreneur.
By many of the super villain community, Maxwell Lord has been called "One of the greatest masterminds on Earth". This is true and he is titled second or third greatest to Superman's enemy, Lex Luthor. While Lex and Max share the same goals, they despise one another enough to kill for the title of #1 villain in the world. With Maxwell Lord's resources, Lex Luthor might stand a chance, however the two will frequently team-up to defeat a common enemy.
Black Lantern Ring
When Maxwell Lord was killed by Wonder Woman, he was placed in the Justice League of America's secret morgue for dead rogues, called the Hall of Justice - or the Hall of the Dead. During the rise of the dead, Maxwell was one of the many rogues to rise and seek revenge. Having a rope around his neck, Maxwell Lord tried to eat Wonder Woman's heart for killing him. He played a minor role, however he also tried to kill Mera, Atom and others. When his life was restored, the power ring left him.
When Maxwell Lord IV was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was soon killed, the Kilgore was waiting for this moment. Kilgore wanted control over Max's body and created a duplicate body and exchanged Max's conscious into the robot body. While Max no longer has the robot body any longer, which also made him temporarily loose his mind control ability, Max used to have great strength to back up his mind.
.45 Caliber Pistol
Maxwell Lord carries a .45 caliber pistol which he used to kill the Blue Beetle, Ted Kord with. While he's not one to usually use brute force to get the job done, Max will do whatever it takes to get complete control over any obstacle.
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.
Justice League Unlimited
Maxwell Lord has appeared in one episode of Justice League Unlimited entitled "Ultimatum" where he was a powerless manager for a hero team called Ultimen. Eventually, he was exposed of fraud and was attacked by his own team.