Maxwell Lord
Maxwell Lord
General Information
Real name: Maxwell Lord IV
Created by: Keith Giffen
J.M. DeMatteis
Kevin Maguire
Affiliations: Formerly White Lantern Corps
Black Lantern Corps
Justice League International
Super Buddies
Portrayed by: Tim Matheson (Voice)
Gil Bellows



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.

Newfound 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.


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 Beatriz da Costa as the "Super Buddies," advertised as "Heroes the common man could call."

Infinite Crisis

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 (ie 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).

Powers and Abilities


  • Mind Control: ability to control the minds of thousands by shear force of will.


  • Master Manipulator
  • Master Tactician
  • Businessman


  • Cyborg Body (Formerly)


  • Coming Soon


  • 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; 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."

In Other Media

  • Maxwell Lord has appeared on an episode of Justice League Unlimited as the money manager and PR person who took care of the Ultimen. He was voiced by Tim Matheson.


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