Decoding the comic book origin of Maxwell Lord
Wonder Woman 1984 has finally released worldwide after a constant delay due to the pandemic. The reception of the film so far has been mixed, but more towards the positive side. Interestingly, the film also introduced one of Justice League's biggest rivals in comics, Maxwell Lord. Before you watch Pedro Pascal's amazing portrayal of Lord, here are some details about his origin.
Created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire, Maxwell Lord was introduced as a good-hearted opportunist. Then, he was portrayed as someone who didn't trust non-humans, which led to the events of the Brother Eye debacle, something we will get back to soon. Currently, Maxwell is the head of Checkmate and Cadmus, and is at war with O.M.A.C. Let's start at the beginning.
Spoiler alert! In the movie, Lord is a man of Latinx descent who comes from an abusive home. But in comics, he is the son of a successful businessman who commits suicide after discovering that one of his company's products causes cancer. This portion of his tale has been retconned several times, but in every version, his wealth connects him to Justice League.
During the events of Crisis on Infinite Earth, the helpless are left alone with the increasing mistrust among the superheroes. So, Maxwell decides to establish a brand new Justice League International with the help of an alien computer which he had discovered on his personal expeditions. But the members discover that this was Lord's first step to achieve global domination.
After Lord weasels out of this accusation by blaming his extraterrestrial computer, the world is invaded by the Dominators, a metagene-farming alien race, which takes the attention of all the heroes. During this event, Lord's metagene is activated which gives him the power to manipulate the minds of others (in the DC Rebirth timeline). Unfortunately, these powers cause health hazards, including a brain tumor.
After his death and resurrection, he plans to end the international league. When Blue Beetle discovers this plan, Lord shoots him. Then, he uses Batman's Brother Eye satellite and unleashes superhuman-killing OMAC drones. He also takes control of Superman's mind until Wonder Woman kills him. After Flashpoint, he is now Black King of Checkmate and Amanda Waller's nemesis. His next plan? No one knows.