- The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist.
- -- Charles Baudelaire src
- -- Charles Baudelaire src
Initially, Lord worked behind the scenes to establish the League, while under the control of a villainous computer created by Metron. 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.
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 super villain 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.
Later, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and seemingly died. The Kilg%re, 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 somehow came to resemble his original human form. He pulled together several former JLI members, including L-Ron, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Fire as the "Super Buddies," 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 mind wiped 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, Darkseid, Ruin, and Doomsday). 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).
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.
That is until he is later brought back to life by the power of a white light. Along with other heroes and villains they stand wondering how they are brought back to life. Guy Gardner tries to restrain him but Max 'convinces' Guy to let him be and he escapes into the mist.
The DC Universe heavily changed its continuity into the DCnU following the events of Flashpoint in 2011. This was part of an effort to make storylines more accessible to newer readers, beginning with the New 52. This new timeline combines elements from the DCU, Vertigo Universe and Wildstorm Universe while drastically changing the origins and histories of characters.
In this continuity, Lord is still the leader of Checkmate, which is now an international organization referred to as a Global Peace Agency. Having imprisoned the sentient satellite Brother Eye, Eye turns on him and begins using OMAC to attack their Project Cadmus facilities. Lord sends a team of elite agents after OMAC led by Sarge Steel. Mokkari gets the assignment after Steel fails, but he's unsuccessful as well. He calls S.H.A.D.E. in to help deal with the threat, and Father Time sends his top operative Frankenstein who nearly kills OMAC. Brother Eye attempts to assassinate Lord with an employee of Kord Industries, making their conflict personal. Max eventually destroys Brother Eye by outsmarting him with magnetizing weaponry. Having neutralized the threat, he determines OMAC to be harmless and lets him go.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Blood Loss: While using his powers Maxwell Lord starts to bleed from his nose. The more people there are the more blood is lost and this may lead to bleeding from eyes, mouth, and ears.
- Loss of Consciousness: With the blood loss that comes from the use of his powers he sometimes losses consciousness. When that happens the people under his control also lose consciousness.
- Many fans were angry at Lord's role in the Infinite Crisis saga, as Lord's innermost thought processes had been shown to readers for years without criminal intent (though it was recently revealed his mother was in Coast City when it was destroyed and took it personally against "Super"-types); also, the Martian Manhunter scanned his entire mind and considered him trustworthy. In addition, the fact that he had lost the power in question twice over - once when Dreamslayer burnt it out, and then lost even the potential for regaining it since he was no longer in his original, human, body - caused controversy.
- At the "Crisis Counseling" panel at WizardWorld: Chicago, Dan DiDio explained why Maxwell Lord was used. After going through several possible characters who could be the "new leader for the offshoot of Checkmate", Maxwell Lord was suggested. Many of the editors thought that the idea made sense, as Lord had been shown to have a mean streak and to have killed previously. The idea was dropped due to the continuity errors, such as him being a cyborg, but they went back to it later after deciding none of the other possible characters were suitable. "We thought about that aspect of the story [where Maxwell was turned into a cyborg] some more," DiDio explained. "And then asked, 'Did anyone read it?' No. 'Did anyone like the idea?' No. So we moved ahead with Max as being a human, and having been a human, and not letting that small part of the past stand in the way of this story. We wanted what was best for Countdown, and for us, that meant that Max had to be a human."
- Maxwell Lord's birth date is April 1st, 1951.
- 222 Appearances of Maxwell Lord IV (New Earth)
- 68 Images featuring Maxwell Lord IV (New Earth)
- 10 Quotations by or about Maxwell Lord IV (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Maxwell Lord IV (New Earth)
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