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  #1    
Old February 9th, 2013 (11:08 AM). Edited February 25th, 2013 by Patchisou Yutohru.
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Welcome to The Superhero Debates! I had this idea while watching King of the Nerds and thought it would prove to be rather interesting, since I feel a majority of us have had at least some experience being exposed to superhero culture through various TV programs, movies, novels, and so on while growing up. The game is simple, use your knowledge of superheroes to argue for or against a statement provided. All who take part in the debate (by actually debating, not stating your opinion and moving on) will earn an emblem and a chance to earn a special prize!

Round 1 (Feb. 9, 2013 - Feb. 16, 2013):
Topic statement: Superheroes by their very nature attract super villains, thereby creating more problems for society than benefits.
Round 2 (Feb. 25, 2013 - Mar. 4, 2013):
Topic statement: Having super powers should give superheroes immunity from prosecution under human law

Begin!
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  #2    
Old February 9th, 2013 (11:44 AM).
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Good and evil are two sides of the same coin and you don't have one without the other. Also, the question is kind of like "what came first, the chicken or the egg". Some superheroes became superheroes in response to evil, meaning evil existed and already permeated society before the hero got there. Gotham was a hell hole long before Bruce Wayne was born.
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  #3    
Old February 9th, 2013 (12:06 PM).
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There are already good and bad people in the world and when you introduce superheroes you just have to acknowledge that not all the people who have superpowers (or super technology or whatever) are going to be good people. It's like cancer, if cancer gave you x-ray vision instead of illness. It can happen to anyone.
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Old February 9th, 2013 (12:22 PM).
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It really depends with which superhero. Some super hero rises to the occasion to stop villains and some heroes try to help civilians while villains think they would be a challenge for that specific superhero.

Example of superhero attracting the villain; When Superman landed on Earth he was just trying to make Earth a better and safer place, while Lex Luthor thought that Superman wasn't immortal and that he could beat him.

And another where the villain attracts the superhero; The Kingpin gave Jack Murdock a large sum of money so he can lose his next boxing match in which he took the money but then thought about it and won the boxing match. Then Kingpin later killed Jack Murdock for double crossing him. Which led Matt Murdock 'Daredevil' to become Daredevil and vowed to stop crooks like Kingpin.

So this really goes both ways.. it's pretty hard for me to take a side, but based on the comic books, I would say most super villains arose to give the superheroes a challenge.
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Old February 9th, 2013 (01:35 PM).
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You don't need a hero to have your demons. While good and evil may coexist on the same plane, that doesn't mean you need a prominent force of goodness like a superhero to attract your villains. On the contrary, there are many villains who have surfaced long before a hero ever becomes present; most of them shaped from their own past tragedies and personal experiences. Dr. Octopus and Mr. Freeze are two examples that come to mind. They didn't need a hero like Batman or Spiderman to emerge. They became the person they are due to personal life traumas.

The same could be said for heroes. Some aren't just born heroes and some don't just choose to become one. My point being, villains aren't always the source for attracting heroes just as how heroes aren't always the source for causing villains to arise.

Problems and bad guys are always going to exist, whether you've got a suited hero in town or not.
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  #6    
Old February 9th, 2013 (01:41 PM). Edited February 9th, 2013 by Rϵd.
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To start, some super heroes doesn't have super powers, neither the villains. For example: Phoenix Wright, he's a hero, the main character; a lawyer. A villain, like Manfred von Karma; a prosecutor AND a muderer who killed the hero's rival's father. That's just to start. Not all super heros have super powers. Another example: Batman. He doesn't have super powers, he's a man with a bat costume and with some equipments. (And he's really good at what he does xD) Now to answer this topic:

Thaaat's...not really true. It isn't the super hero's fault that some villains suddenly appear. It's the villain who wants to challenge the hero just like Superman, the hero and lex Luthor, the villain. Lex thought he could beat Super-man with his weakness a green crystal, I forgot what the name of this crystal was. It's a crystal from the planet super-man was born. That's his weakness.

But yeah, there IS be a super hero who attracted the villain, the vice-versa from what I said before; it was the hero's fault (not really).like Spider-man and Venom and Symbiotic. Spider-man also known as Peter Parker and Venom also known as Brock something (I don't remember his last name) worked at the same place, and Peter Parker did a greater job, and Brock got jealous. One day, a mysterious gosmetic THING came out of nowhere and entered Peter's body; He became a black Spider-man. Very strong. Peter suddenly changed personality into a cold and evil person. Prone to do bad things. However, this thing had a weakness. When a very loud noise surges, this "thing" just...I can't explain. So Peter/spider-man used a giant bell to get this thing out of him, and both Brock and the "thing" called symbiotic mad at Peter, joined forces and Venom was created. You get me, right? That's what I have to say. So yeah, it...depends.
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  #7    
Old February 9th, 2013 (01:48 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Livewire:
Good and evil are two sides of the same coin and you don't have one without the other. Also, the question is kind of like "what came first, the chicken or the egg". Some superheroes became superheroes in response to evil, meaning evil existed and already permeated society before the hero got there. Gotham was a hell hole long before Bruce Wayne was born.
I agree totally. Continuing with the Batman theme Live has going on here; much like everything that is emblematic of Two Face and his duality, good and evil can cannot exist without each other. This debate goes back to the good old Locke and Hobbes issue. Are people inherently evil? Or do they naturally align towards order?

Then you can also have issues like Avenger vs X-Men-- where neither side is good or evil. Cyclops wanted to create a mutant utopia with the power of the Phoenix Force, however, that jeopardized everything the Avengers built (but did not necessarily risk human lives). So, the "evil" party here, isn't exactly looking to create a giant weather balloon to control global warming, you know? That's for the reader to contemplate.

@ Ultimate PKMN Trainer Red : Baddie Venom was Eddie Brock. Secret Avenger Venom was Flash Thompson.

So to answer this question, yes, I believe that superheroes will inevitably draw more disaster and maladjustment to society. But, the consequences for aligning with evil are infinitely greater than that of what the superhero will do. This is where the ever-present problem arises when, "what happens if *insert superhero* dies?" (which is the plot of Identity Crisis).
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Old February 9th, 2013 (01:56 PM).
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But if Superman wasn't there, Lex would of never tried to go to extreme length to destroy Superman. And if he never knew about Superman he wouldn't have conducted a lot of research about kryptonite. So Superman arriving in metropolis triggered the evil in lex Luthor to burst out more than it already has.

When the Symbiote detached from Spider-Man, it already started to hate him since he got rejected by Spider-Man. And since the Symbiote can feed off the emotion off the host, it duplicated the hatred that Eddie Brock had for Spider-Man. Plus Venom is now an anti-hero, so he can't really be in the superhero or super villains section =/
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  #9    
Old February 9th, 2013 (05:02 PM).
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Quote originally posted by LilJz1234:
But if Superman wasn't there, Lex would of never tried to go to extreme length to destroy Superman. And if he never knew about Superman he wouldn't have conducted a lot of research about kryptonite. So Superman arriving in metropolis triggered the evil in lex Luthor to burst out more than it already has.
There's a bit of a chicken or the egg kind of thing playing out in a lot of hero mythos. The exchange at the end of Batman Begins addresses it quite well:

Gordon: You really started something, bent cops running scared, hope on the streets
Batman: But?
Jim Gordon: We still haven't picked up Crane or half the inmates he released from the asylum
Batman: We will, we can bring Gotham back
Jim Gordon: What about escalation?
Batman: Escalation?
Jim Gordon: We start carrying semi automatics, they buy automatics, we start wearing Kevlar, they buy armour piercing rounds, and *you're* wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops. Take this guy: armed robbery, double homicide. Got a taste for the theatrical, like you. Leaves a calling card. *reveal a Joker card*


But in the context of creating the story, there's more to it than fanciful heroes attracting fanciful villains. In Batman's world at least, Gotham has always been in turmoil. Even before Batman started his crusade. Gotham, the city, in many ways represents humanity at large. There's a lot of bad. But also good. In the context of an entertaining tale though, can we sit through three movies (and decades of comics) of Batman simply beating up thugs (which in itself is an interesting parallel for humanity as those individuals are often down on their luck or looking for kicks)? Probably not. Even with the super villains around, he still does that. It is part of his job, so to speak. We often see him just leaving cleaning up some street time. But, on a larger scale, there needs to be a threat to this incredible heroic and powerful force. And the way for that threat to seem appropriate is, ironically, to be outlandish.
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Old February 9th, 2013 (05:16 PM).
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Yea, well they'll always have villains before superheroes you're right, but I was addressing at the super villains that the heroes fight on occasion.

But they have heroes that become superheroes for to fight strong villains and vice-versa.
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  #11    
Old February 9th, 2013 (05:25 PM).
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Any world that offers the opportunities for a superhero to be created, rather than born with their powers, will offer the same opportunities to people that will go on to become villains. Often enough the difference between a superhero and a villain, much like in real life, is the attitude of a person, how they react to any given circumstance, and the experiences they've had in life that forge their personalities. This is why you have someone like Jason Todd, the second Robin, who went from a pretty cheerful, albeit bratty, Robin to someone like Red Hood. This is why Hal Jordon allows himself to go crazy and annihilate the Green Lantern Corps even though he's supposedly a superhero.

Rather than heroes drawing out villains, it's life in and of itself that we're going to find as the catalyst for the choices we make because we're creatures of emotion. We've already seen the Guardians of Oa think they could fix this issue by royally screwing up and creating the Man Hunters, who deem all creatures capable of emotions to be a threat to peace.
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  #12    
Old February 10th, 2013 (01:22 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Ryoutarou:
We've already seen the Guardians of Oa think they could fix this issue by royally screwing up and creating the Man Hunters, who deem all creatures capable of emotions to be a threat to peace.
I'm pretty sure you're thinking of the Jedi. ;(

No, no I'm just being silly. Yes, I agree.. there is equal opportunity for villains and superheroes alike in the comic universe. However, some heroes (and some villains for that matter) tend to be victims of circumstance, as you've already implied.

@ LilJz1234 : I think you've touched on something very interesting here. It's the cycle of the comic world. Hence why it's still in production, you know? In some cases the heroes arose out of a dire need for order like Batman (and Rick Grimes, to a lesser extent). That being said, Lex Luthor was always kind of evil. Or at least had a predisposition to crime. I definitely think that, given Luthor's evolution in the 80s from mad scientist to sociopath-politician, he was going to find a way to obtain power in Metropolis-- regardless of Superman's arrival. But that opinion is coming on the back of what I know about Luthor, which is, I admit, very limited. ;( I mean, it can also be argued that, without Superman's intervention.. Luthor could have had some terrible accident and broken his leg which caused him to reevaluate his evildoing. It doesn't make for a good story, but it's entirely plausible.
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Old February 10th, 2013 (02:04 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Alexial357:
@ LilJz1234 : I think you've touched on something very interesting here. It's the cycle of the comic world. Hence why it's still in production, you know? In some cases the heroes arose out of a dire need for order like Batman (and Rick Grimes, to a lesser extent). That being said, Lex Luthor was always kind of evil. Or at least had a predisposition to crime. I definitely think that, given Luthor's evolution in the 80s from mad scientist to sociopath-politician, he was going to find a way to obtain power in Metropolis-- regardless of Superman's arrival. But that opinion is coming on the back of what I know about Luthor, which is, I admit, very limited. ;( I mean, it can also be argued that, without Superman's intervention.. Luthor could have had some terrible accident and broken his leg which caused him to reevaluate his evildoing. It doesn't make for a good story, but it's entirely plausible.
Yea, there's always the 'what if' of comic books. Like what if Superman never came to Metropolis, would he still go to extreme measures to hatch out evil plans that are powerful enough to destroy Superman, or would he just stick to lesser schemes that is powerful enough to defeat normal human beings and not think about big ones that even Superman have trouble with?
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Old February 10th, 2013 (03:01 PM).
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@Alexial: i mean, the venom from the movie, not spectacular spider-man, the venom from spider man 3.

and to answer liljz's question, lex luthor was created because of superman, right? so if superman didn't exist...i don't think luthor would also exist but...well i dunno.
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Old February 10th, 2013 (03:18 PM).
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Well he was born before Superman arrived to metropolis x)

Lex Luthor wanted to dominate the world even if Superman wasn't there, he even wanted every country in Europe to engage in war against one another, but Superman stopped him.

Lex Luthor plans diverted from world domination and then mainly focused on killing Superman.
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Old February 10th, 2013 (03:20 PM).
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Quote originally posted by LilJz1234:
Yea, there's always the 'what if' of comic books. Like what if Superman never came to Metropolis, would he still go to extreme measures to hatch out evil plans that are powerful enough to destroy Superman, or would he just stick to lesser schemes that is powerful enough to defeat normal human beings and not think about big ones that even Superman have trouble with?
This sort of reminds me of an "what if" episode from the Fairy Odd Parents, which is weird, but, it talked about on how if Timmy Turner didn't exist, then Vicky, his "evil babysitter", would become nice... or at least nice on how a nurse can be. I guess that sort of makes me wonder on how villains like the Green Goblin operated without Spiderman, or how Kingpin operated without DareDevil. Would they come less... villainous in their own right, but stick to their own plans in the shadows?

Then again there are villains who were unheard of. Like from the Fantastic Four. When they started 'operating', most of their eventual enemies (Doom, Galactus, Mole Man, Annihilus, Diablo, Skrulls, Kree) had been in business for a long time even if the general public had never heard of them. Like Galactus for instance might of plotted to continue to "devour" worlds regardless of the F4, or how the Skrulls might of plotted to take over earth without The Avengers. (which I believe was from a prophecy?)

Also like Batman, Batman seems to attract a lot of freakish enemies, but actually, he was a product of Gotham's spiraling crime problem, not a cause of it. Joker, Penguin and Catwoman seemed to be seasoned veterans of the criminal profession by the time Batman first encountered them.
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Old February 11th, 2013 (11:14 AM).
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Hm. Thinking about this more it seems like the answer as to whether heroes attract villains revolves around what kind of villains you have. Specifically, whether the villains are more like criminals or terrorists.

If you're a real-world criminal, you don't usually seek out the forces of good and justice (a.k.a. the police). You want to stay hidden so you can do your bad things with less risk of people confronting you. It's the heroes who go seek out and try to stop the villains, like the police go and try to stop criminals. If your super villain is like this kind of criminal then they're attracting super villains.

If you're a real-world terrorist you're trying to get people's attention and cause fear and destabilize governments. You're more likely to target something big, like a police station or a military base. A super villain kind of terrorist would probably likewise target similar institutions of authority and justice, which in a comic book world could be a super hero.
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Old February 11th, 2013 (11:45 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
If you're a real-world criminal, you don't usually seek out the forces of good and justice (a.k.a. the police). You want to stay hidden so you can do your bad things with less risk of people confronting you. It's the heroes who go seek out and try to stop the villains, like the police go and try to stop criminals. If your super villain is like this kind of criminal then they're attracting super villains.
This can also depend on the societal status of the villain however. Once again bringing Luthor into this, he was already in a position of power when Superman was able to intervene. There's no point in surrendering the dominance you already have, you know? Luthor (again, this is why they changed him from mad scientist to politician) found "legal" routes to perform his misdeeds by way of corruption and manipulation. He already had the money and the power to get away with anything and he sure as heck isn't going to trade that for "swivel-chair-cat-petting-darth-vader-voice" in a secret dungeon.

But I like how you bring up criminals and terrorists, because the two seem to be used interchangeably. Like the Joker is definitely a terrorist. But, as the Joker himself has stated, he would not exist without the Batman. That being said, crime itself was rampant in Gothman, so Batman was born through necessity.. but specifically in the case of the Joker, he responded to Batman's arrival for sure. Again, duality and whatnots.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (03:12 AM). Edited February 12th, 2013 by Rϵd.
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Quote originally posted by LilJz1234:
Well he was born before Superman arrived to metropolis x)

Lex Luthor wanted to dominate the world even if Superman wasn't there, he even wanted every country in Europe to engage in war against one another, but Superman stopped him.

Lex Luthor plans diverted from world domination and then mainly focused on killing Superman.
yes, that's what i mean, if superman didn't exist, lex luthor wouldn't be as evil as he was before.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (05:19 AM).
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I'm not so sure about that. Lex has always been a megalomaniac and it's just difficult to seem him leading a life that would lead him to be but about the smarmy guy he's always been.

Though, an interesting little tidbit is that in any alternate world where Superman is evil, Lex is always a good guy. I think he's always going to go after what gains him favor with the public.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (06:01 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Ryoutarou:
I'm not so sure about that. Lex has always been a megalomaniac and it's just difficult to seem him leading a life that would lead him to be but about the smarmy guy he's always been.

Though, an interesting little tidbit is that in any alternate world where Superman is evil, Lex is always a good guy. I think he's always going to go after what gains him favor with the public.

Lex Luthor is more of a guy who seeks power, he doesn't really care about what the public thinks of him.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (07:35 AM).
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The same applies to the Joker. If Batman had turned himself in, during the events of The Dark Knight, the Joker's reign of terror wouldn't magically stop, it's not like the Joker would leave quietly and not hurt anybody else. The villians are antagonists and are usually the ones to strike first, and then a hero rises up to stop them.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (12:16 PM). Edited February 12th, 2013 by roosterman.
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of course the villain wouldn't stop right away but they do tend to try harder to win when there's some competition. anyone here watch megamind? they have some fun after winning but get bored eventually. try playing chess with someone and after you win (if you do) try to keep playing. kinda boring, right? eventually there'll be nothing left to do and you'll leave. the joker is kind of a terrorist. if he wins and there's no more hope, people will just give up and he'll be bored since he's not scaring anyone anymore. as for everyone talking of villians that do it legally, i wouldn't define them as super villians, villians? maybe, super? no.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (04:15 PM).
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Luthor is an interesting case as his motivations have been redone so many times it's difficult to say if he became a villain because of Superman. Although he did have control of majority of the crime in Metropolis and Superman didn't really bother him at all since he was just out saving lives until Superman got involved in some of Luthor's shady deals. So you could say that Superman actually changed Luthor from a crime lord into a super villain but I'm willing to bet he was going to launch a world domination plan whether Superman was around or not.

With that being said there are definitely more obvious examples of Superman enemies that were attracted to him like Mongul and Mister Mxyzptlk.

Quote originally posted by Miss Doronjo:
Also like Batman, Batman seems to attract a lot of freakish enemies, but actually, he was a product of Gotham's spiraling crime problem, not a cause of it. Joker, Penguin and Catwoman seemed to be seasoned veterans of the criminal profession by the time Batman first encountered them.
Joker was actually just a down on his luck comedian when Batman first encountered him. He needed money real bad as his wife was going to have a baby soon and he got caught up in this plan hatched by two robbers who would pay people to wear a red hood costume. This plan managed to fool the police and Batman into thinking that the red hood was the mastermind behind all the crimes, which ended up in the Joker's unfortunate accident to his face and the robbers killed his wife. So really the Joker is in a similar situation to Batman only he became a villain instead.

I think Gotham should just be ruled out in this debate since it's the city itself that really attracts heroes and villains. Even in Flash Point where Bruce is killed instead of his parents they end up making different decisions. His father became a merciless Batman and his mother became a Joker that went around killing children.
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Old February 12th, 2013 (04:24 PM). Edited February 12th, 2013 by Guy.
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Quote originally posted by LilJz1234:
Lex Luthor is more of a guy who seeks power, he doesn't really care about what the public thinks of him.
Lex Luthor can be conniving enough to the point where he'll play nice in front of the public eye and gain their trust for his own advantages behind the scenes. This is exactly what he's doing in Young Justice right now with The Reach. Whether that means he cares what the public thinks of him or not is questionable, but I think a part of him has always cared. For good intentions or not, having the general public's trust is a form of having power. So I guess you could say they almost go hand in hand for someone like Lex Luthor.

Having said that, if Superman had never come to Earth, I still believe Lex Luthor would have been playing his dirty little games and slowly growing towards power. It might not have happened at such a progressive rate as it did with Superman around, but his thirst for power and dealings would have taken him down that road I'm sure. With his resources in a universe where a mere mortal can gain the power of heroes by science, it would have been only a matter of time.
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