As a teenager, Maxwell Lord arrived home to find his father murdered. Convinced his successful father's powerful business associates were responsible, Lord became sure of one thing that day: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When those with super-powers began to appear, Lord believed this philosophy extended to them as well and quickly grew to mistrust them. Those with super powers will always abuse that power—hero or villain, it doesn’t matter.
As he grew older, Lord became a shrewd businessman that favored government oversight and Big Brother-like politics over super hero vigilantism. His disdain toward those with super powers led to him growing more and more ruthless and manipulative, and eventually he helped form the Justice League International. He believed that the best way to watch over super heroes was to control them, and that he was the only man trustworthy enough and capable enough for the job. With this power, Lord grew to become one of the greatest threats to the DC Universe. Eventually he gained mind-control capabilities, and once even took control of the Man of Steel himself, sending Superman on a rampage.
Maxwell Lord’s ability to control another person's mind extends far beyond the capabilities of most with similar powers, going so far as being able to maintain control after an individual realizes they are being controlled. However, the more he uses his powers, the greater the toll on his body—ranging from a simple nosebleed to, possibly, a fatal brain hemorrhage. Despite the countless lives he's taken in his quest to rid the world of super-powered individuals, Lord sees himself as the real hero. Because in his mind—ironically twisted and corrupted by power—they are the real threat, not him.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
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This Just Happened: Maxwell Lord is Taken to Task
If you’re going to declare war on Amanda Waller, you’d better make sure you win. That’s what Maxwell Lord discovered in the final issue of Rebirth’s first big event,...