The Lethal Luthors:  
Whatever happened to John Clay?

 by  Dennis Power

(After you read this article you may want to take a look at the greatly, revised and greatly expanded revision,  The Lethal Luthors: A Deceptive Brilliance)

     Although kept a secret for years,  Lex Luthor was part of one of the rarest births in history, identical quadruplets. However this incident was never brought to public attention at the insistence Mr. Paul Luthor, the boys' father. He claimed that it would be dangerous for the boys, for his wife and for him should the public be aware of their existence. He told the boys that he and they were true royalty, Princes of the House of Lutha, which had been usurped by the Rubinroths.(1) Their lives would be immediately forfeit should the Usurper discover their existence.

    More recent evidence has determined that this story was a lie. Paul Luthor lied a lot; in fact he once had an entire career based on prevarication. His original name was Paul Clayton; a family named Finglemore adopted him. He had a long career as a con man as seen in the Red Headed League by A. Conan Doyle and in Grant Allen's The African Millionaire.(2) He was at one time the paramour of Urania Moriarty and by her had children who would be known as Dr. Caber and Carl Peterson. Something must have happened to their relationship in late 1899, because John Clay apparently dumped Urania Moriarty or, as she was known at the time Patricia Donleavy. He disliked the idea of being involved with the deadly Krafthaus organization.(3) Urania was enraged by his betrayal and took out an assassination contract to be left standing open until "he was beyond a shadow of a doubt proven dead."

    Finglemore went into hiding upon hearing that his scorned woman had put a price on his head. He was also wanted for various crimes; this is why when quadruplets were born he kept a lid on the whole shebang. During his time as a worker on a railroad in Missouri, he met and married Sally Finn, whose Grandfather Henry's boyhood adventures were immortalized by Samuel Clemens. Settling down on a small farm in Kansas, a few towns over from Smallville, they almost immediately had an instant family, the quads.

    Interestingly enough, rumor of their existence did leak out and some very imaginative writers later attributed the incident to the family of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. (4)

    The four boys were born on December 17, 1903 and were named Lawrence, Alexander, David and Scott. All were gifted with shocking bright red hair, gifts from both sides of the family. However being identical quads they all also carried a genetic flaw that was apparently unique to them, that is total scalp baldness.

    All of  brothers were possessed of a remarkable intellect which their father encouraged turning what extra cash the family could acquire into books on a wide variety of subjects. He also taught them well in the arts of disguise, escape, subterfuge, opportunism, situational ethics and adaptable morality.(5)

    All the brothers were born alive and well, although the fourth, Scott, was born with his cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off his oxygen causing a minute amount of brain damage. While he also possessed a superior intellect, he was a bit shorter than his brothers were, possibly the brain damage caused a physical difference in stature.

    Lawrence was born first by a full five minutes, a fact he used all of his childhood to lord over his brothers. He was always a strange boy, He believed his father's story that royal blood flowed in their veins and so looked upon himself as superior to all the peasants living around them. He also regarded himself as superior to his brothers for as first born, he was heir to the throne and they were nothing.

    Influenced by the works of  Darwin,  Rousseau, Nietzsche, Spencer and Gobineau he vowed to make himself into the superior man, the epitome of human evolution. To this end he studied all he could about biology, chemistry, alchemy and other arcane sciences. By the time he was fourteen he believed he knew all that there was to learn in these subject.

    He believed that extraterrestrial matter had incited life on earth and that evolution had been accelerated by constant infusions of extraterrestrial matter. In the course of his studies he learned about a meteorite that had landed near Smallville. The main mass of the meteorite had evidently been vaporized on impact, since it was never found. However strange colored crystals were found near the impact crater. The Leading Geologist at Kansas State University had declared this nothing more than strangely colored impact glass. (6)

    Lawrence hitched a ride to Smallville and had some rube kid named Kent show him where the meteorite had landed, the kid however  became ill as he neared the crater. Lawrence realized that his kid was of an inferior breed and had been affected by residual radiation. He sent him home as he collected several of the crystals and returned to his own town. The incident with the Kent stuck in his mind and would have dire consequences in years to come. (7)

    There were emerald, crimson, sapphire, ivory and golden colored crystals. Upon his return home Lawrence and his brother tested the crystals and ascertained their extra-terrestrial origins. Lawrence decided to use the golden crystals as the basis for his elixir vitae, which would bestow on him immortality and accelerate his body to the peak of human evolution. Gold was after all the metal used by the alchemists to signify perfection.

    He ground up a gold crystal added the other ingredients and let it distill. When it was ready he went off into the woods by himself to drink it. His family never saw him again.

    The elixir probably would have had little effect outside of a belly ache had not his brother Lex as a prank ground up and sprinkled a bit of each of the other crystals into the elixir.

    After drinking the elixir the fifteen year old boy suffered the tortures of damned for two days. When the agony finally passed he felt limp as a dish rag. Dragging himself to a pond, which he had the foresight to be near. He drank heavily of the water. In his reflection he noticed that he was completely bald. This was to be expected he reasoned, as humans evolved they would naturally lose all ties to their animal past, so hair would become obsolete.

    Then he noticed that he still had eyebrows, and eyelashes, and facial hair and. wrinkles.

    He had aged. Rather than accelerating his body to the ultimate evolutionary stage of Humankind, the elixir had instead accelerated his body's maturation process, giving the fifteen year old boy the body of a forty year old man.

    Although it is possible that Lawrence was insane prior to this shocking revelation, this put him over the edge. He hated all of humanity for this lost youth and yet at the same time believed himself to be the ultimate form of human evolution.

    He embarked on a life of crime, calling himself the Ultra-Humanite. While he was building up a reputation as a ruthless criminal using high tech gadgets to commit crimes, he also spent time researching  methods of either rejuvenating his body back to its youth or to transfer his consciousness into a younger body.

    It was during these researches that he came into contact with the being known as Brainiac.

    The general public knows Brainiac from his appearances in the cartoon adventures based on Superman's life. He is depicted as a bald-headed, green skinned man with a web work of wires on the top of his scalp. Purportedly he came to earth in a time/space ship. This portrayal is actually not too far from the truth.

    However he did not originate on Colu or, on Krypton, as has been more recently suggested.

    Brainiac's origins actually lie outside the known universe.

    Brainiac was originally what is referred to as a Black Beller, although he never looked like Black Beller as described in the Wold of Tiers series by Philip Jose Farmer. Brainiac was a prototype model designed and created by the Black Bellers themselves during the course of the Black Beller War. When it appeared as though the Black Bellers would lose the war, his creators placed him in a small vehicle that could travel through the pocket universes. However, the vehicle emerged into a real universe than a pocket universe. A real universe is one caused by the splitting of the time lines and so is complete universe filled with galaxies etc. A pocket universe is a created, self-contained universe containing only a few solar systems at the most.

    The vehicle did land on a planet that was inhabited by humanoids closely related to earth type humans. It was here that the device first initiated. Made of an indestructible metal akin to adamantine, it resembled a skein of wires, but it was actually the product of advanced micro-electronics having limited mobility of its own and ability to broadcast lulling subsonics.

    There was a flaw however in the make up of the prototype, although it would extract the consciousness of the host body on contact and input the personality of the Black Beller the input was not complete. The wire skein had to remain in place for the Black Beller to control the body and to experience the sensations of the body. The interface caused baldness and increased the host body's production of copper so that the host body would also turn green and eventually perish.

    In this phase he was known as Brainiac. Because he caused physical death and personality death when he took over a body, Brainiac was forced to travel from world to world. On one such occasion his borrowed body died prior to his arrival on a suitable planet. His ship took him to Colu, which was inhabited by machines and giant computers, probably, an information database long abandoned by the preservers or Ancients.

    The computers built the Black Beller an android body complete with synthetic green skin, however marvelous the machine body was, it did not allow the Beller to feel or taste, sensations he had grown to love.

    Brainiac traveled the galaxy for  quite a few years before ending up on Earth. His arrival was nothing dramatic as in the Superman comics he merely landed and disembarked in a remote area. He had finally discovered a planet whose population was identical to that of the Thoans. Brainiac spent a few years switching back and forth between his android body and human hosts. Since his appearance prevented him from taking part in regular society and because he lacked human morality, he turned to a life of crime as a means of gaining quick wealth and power. Due to the coloration of his android body and the unfortunate consequences of his neural net, he was whispered in criminal circles as the Green Goblin. (8)

    Brainiac learned of the Ultra-Humanite's quest for body switching technology and thought that perhaps if he worked with him they would both achieve their goals. Brainiac visited the Ultra-Humanite in android form but the stupid human refused work with Brainiac  Viewing him merely as little more than a wind up toy. To this Brainiac withstanding gunfire, grabbed the Ultra-Humanite and broke his back over his knee. The Ultra-Humanite was forced to find a proper body switching technique or be forever crippled.

    The wily Ultra-Humanite managed to convince Brainiac to demonstrate how he took over a human host. The human host that Ultra had chosen for him was doped to the gills, as they used to say. Brainiac found himself inside a host body that was thoroughly restrained. Ultra introduced Brainiac to the concepts of torture and unrelenting agony.

    Ultra picked up what little scientific information Brainiac possesses. It was however enough to build a crude robot, piloted by his brother, Lex.

    After Lawrence had left home, Lex had taken a turn for the worse; he had begun losing his hair at sixteen and was totally bald within the year. He had not taken to the jibes and jests of his fellow citizens with humor. He struck back becoming a petty thief, burglar and finally a stick up artist. He ended up in the Smallville, Kansas reformatory. Hearing of this and knowing his brother could be useful, Ultra broke him out of jail without revealing his identity.

    Superman and Batman defeated the crude robot in one of their earliest collaborations, before in fact they had become full-fledged crime fighters. Lex was arrested and took the blame for the robot that Ultra had planned to rob the diamond exchange. Ultra allowed Lex to get convicted and be sent to jail before arranging for his escape. This all took place in 1929 (9)

    Ultra placed Brainiac in a box to prevent him from being a threat to him. He continued to construct crude robots and made progress with his body switching techniques, utilizing some of the knowledge gleaned from the Black Beller Brainiac device. Lex meanwhile figured out who the Ultra-Humanite was but was smart enough not to let on that he knew. He was planning on leaving as soon as he got his cut from the big Metropolis job. His brother had become less humane about the crimes they were committing, even to point of killing innocents. Lex had protested at this but had been physically chastised for daring to speak against the Ultra-Humanite. He planned a fitting retirement for his brother and hoped to rid the world of another menace at the same time.

    In 1939, Metropolis, NY was the sponsor to the World's Fair, well part of it at least. Gotham also had a section. The Ultra-Humanite contacted the Mayor of Metropolis and threatened to destroy the World's Fair unless he was paid a million dollars. (10)

    The city refused so the Ultra-Humanite, having replaced the World's Fair giant model of a robot with an actual working robot, sent it on a rampage of destruction. Lex once again protested the killing of innocents and was slapped down.

    As before, Superman and Batman stepped into the scene, they managed to stop the robot. However, reports concerning the events that followed are conflicting so we will be using the version derived from the Omega Files. (11) Knowing that payment would not be forthcoming, Lex had left clues behind that would lead Superman and Batman back to the Ultra-Humanite. However Lois Lane stumbled onto the scene and was captured by Ultra's men who wanted to kill her out right. To save her life, Lex took her back to the Ultra and prepared her for interrogation, stalling for the time when Superman or Batman would show up. Lex planned to make good his escape, neutralize the Ultra-Humanite's and Brainiac's threats and do so with out any fatalities.

    When Superman and Batman appeared on the scene, Lex freed Lois Lane and pushed her towards them. He and Ultra rode a super fast lift into the interior the World's Fair Pyramax, a large pylon, or so it appeared. Actually at the last second they ducked into another super fast lift that dove down to the city sewers beneath the Fair where the Ultra had his secret lair. Ultra had rigged the Pyramax into a rocket which would explode shortly after take off, although some accounts tell of Superman throwing the Sphere at the rocket, causing it to explode, if he in fact did so it was a fortuitous coincidence.

    Once they were in the Ultra's lab, Lex locked the Ultra's wheel chair into place. He had already donned earplugs and special gloves. He took the Brainiac Black Beller device out of its box and slapped it onto his brother's bald head and made hell for leather departing from the lab. Lex had also rigged the Hypersphere to explode, hoping to eliminate both the Ultra-Humanite and Brainiac in the blast. If that failed he hoped that by placing the Brainiac device on his brother's head it would at least destroy his brother's evil mind and trap the Brainiac into a crippled body.

    In one of the coincidences that only happen in fiction or quite frequently in the WNU, the blast of the hypersphere loosened an electrical cable that landed directly onto the Brainiac device on the Ultra's head. Thousand of volts, well hundreds anyway, of electricity went coursing through the Brainiac device and Ultra's body and a strange sort of fusion took place.

    Rather than the Black Beller taking over the Ultra's body, the Ultra's personality partially overwrote Brainiac causing it later to experience personality shifts.

    The Ultra-Humanite normally would have been killed by the massive jolts of electricity but he was partially shielded by the Brainiac device and by the crystals that he had ingested years before. The crystals were if you hadn't figured it out, kryptonite and the electricity coursing through his body activated them in a manner the Ultra had not foreseen. The electrical blast reset his biological clock undoing the change that had occurred years before. He was now aged back to his correct biological age. After the electrical blast had spent itself, Ultra sat up and tentatively stood up, it had also repaired his broken back.

    He escaped from the lab and went to his main hideout, discovering that Lex had already cleaned him out. He vowed vengeance on Superman, Batman and his brother Lex. He plucked the Brainiac device off of his bald scalp and put it on the android body. He was a bit shocked when the android body woke up and ran screaming out of the hideout.

    Lawrence Luther had been made into an identical copy of his brother Lex; he rarely used the name Ultra-Humanite again. He instead planned bloody, elaborate crimes for which he was certain to be blamed and used the name Lex Luthor.

    The real Lex also pursued a life of crime but and used his great genius to devise machines that would bring him wealth and defeat Superman and but was careful not to use deadly force. During one such encounter with Superman he discovered a small device from the crashed capsule that had contained Superman. It was a genetic stabilizer, there had been the off chance that Kal El would land on a world whose atmosphere or solar radiation would break down his genetic structure. This device was designed to periodically reconfigure his genetic structure to the Kryptonian norm. It had a fail safe, should a non-Kryptonian life form use it, it would only function once and then never function at all. Lex was temporary made into a Kryptonian. However after 48 hours the reconfiguration wore off and he lost all of his extra powers and strength. However, he did retain for years the physique the device had given him.

    Yet despite Lex's protestations, his denials of the incidents where he used deadly force were scoffed at. The authorities also did not believe that most of his so-called high tech jailbreaks were actually someone breaking him out of prison. Eventually  however someone did believe him.

    Brainiac was, to be blunt, short-circuited. If it is possible for an artificial intelligence to be classified as insane, then he met the criteria. He would go for long periods where he was Brainiac the Android with a hatred for all humanity, then abruptly his personality would switch to where he believed he was the Ultra-Humanite who had to search for the perfect body in which to place his supreme consciousness. The tales of him using the body of the film actress Delores Winters and one of the stolen offspring of the Son of King Kong are true, believe it or not. (12) Oddly enough the electrical blast that fragmented his personality also fixed the problem of him being able to completely download his consciousness into a host and then remove the neural net but he no longer possessed the background to use it properly.

    Lawrence Luthor's subterfuge of being Lex Luthor may have fooled Superman and it may have even fooled Batman, but it did not escape the analytical mind of Doc Savage. Savage thoroughly examined the case studies of the crimes of Lex Luthor and discovered several distinct differences. He personally visited Lex Luthor in his cell and offered him a deal. If he would undergo a special treatment that would remove his propensity for crime, Doc would arrange for him to be released. (13)

    Lex Luthor had one more jailbreak and then the real Lex disappeared. What exactly the Crime College's treatment is still a closely guarded secret, however it is interesting to note that whatever it was, Lex retained his memories and his intellect.

    After Lex was cured of his criminal tendencies in early 1940, (14) he decided to travel to Lutha, to see how accurate his Father's claims to the throne were. He discovered that they were entirely bogus. While in Lutha he was caught up in the invasion of Lutha by the Nazis. King Barney and Queen Emma were imprisoned by the Nazi's and sentenced to death for crimes against the Aryan Peoples of Lutha. (15)

    Lex Luthor organized a resistance group that freed the King and Queen. There was however a  quick counter strike and Luthor had to decoy the Nazi's away from the royal family. Using his gift for disguise he pretended to be the King and allowed himself to be captured. He was tortured to reveal the location of the Royal family. When they thought he was near dead, he escaped from their prison.

    For the remainder of the War, Lex was leader of a partisan band that kept the Nazi's occupied  and guarded the Royal Family. At the war's close, the King and Queen remained alive but barely so. Their children had been killed and the royal line had been reduced to a ten year old boy as heir. During his stay in Lutha he had been using the name Xander Zirkon, the Luthan's accent made it sound like Zarkon. King Barney gave Zarkon the vacated Principality of Noventia and appointed him Prince Regent.

    Prince Zarkon was regent of Lutha until 1957 when Prince George reached his maturity. Zarkon returned to the United States to thank Doc Savage for having changed his life. He discovered that Doc Savage had disappeared and that some poor substitute was acting as him. Thinking that this was a terrible waste of a great man's legacy, Zarkon formed his own team to fight crime, based on the Doc Savage organization.

    You will undoubtedly note that this origin contradicts that given to Prince Zarkon in the first Zarkon adventure, Nemesis of Evil by Lin Carter. However in the prologue, Mr. Carter himself states that the origin given was completely false. Prince Zarkon's adventures are Nemesis of Evil, Invisible Death, The Volcano Ogre, The Earth Shaker, Horror Wears Blue

    After Lex Luthor disappeared in early 1940, Lawrence Luthor continued to use the Lex Luthor name, hoping that one day his brother would reappear and be blamed for all the crimes done in his name. Lawrence Luthor would occasionally use the Ultra-Humanite name as well but mostly the Ultra-Humanite name and persona was used by the Braniac creature.

    Lawrence Luthor in the mid-forties became head of the international criminal organization known as Scorpia. Very few people knew that The Scorpion was Lex Luthor.

Lawrence Luthor was responsible for a fifth Luthor brother being born. In 1958, Lawrence Luthor became ill with cancer. Rather than stay in a disease ridden body, he decided to use technology stolen from Brainiac and transfer his consciousness into a cloned body. He also used stolen technology to genetically engineer the cloned body so that it could not get cancer and he dramatically improved the muscular capabilities of the cloned body. To Lawrence Luthor's dismay the process did not transfer his consciousness but rather duplicated it. Although his first reaction was to kill the duplicate he thought rather he could use it as a sort of decoy. The duplicate however had all of Lawrence Luthor's memories and thought processes. Despite the trauma of finding himself in a cloned body, the duplicate Lawrence Luthor escaped.

    After a few hours of separation, the duplicates began to diverge in terms of thought and emotion as environment and biology influenced their minds. The duplicate also began to discover that Lawrence's genetic tinkering was not entirely flawless. The clone's metabolism was such that it had required a massive intake of food. The large quantity of food ingested caused the clone to bulk up but because of other changes to the body the bulk did not manifest as fat but as thick solid muscle. The cloned Lawrence soon looked like a Sumo wrestler composed of solid muscle.

    Although the duplicate and Lawrence clashed several times during the clone's first year of existence, they came to an agreement. Lawrence Luthor had very little interest in maintaining an urban criminal organization on a daily basis. The clone undertake these duties and would receive protection from Scorpia, he would receive ownership of some legitimate businesses, partnership in some international criminal activities and would have control of the lucrative Las Vegas Scorpia chapter.

    The clone took the identity of a child killed in an orphanage fire, Wilson Fisk. Although to throw people off, Fisk often claimed that his real name was Moriarty. (16). His ambition was to one day rule the world but he knew that he would have to outmaneuver or outlast his elder "brother"

    Wilson Fisk became a well-known financier and businessman whose criminal activities were suspected but never proven. In the criminal underworld he is known as The Kingpin. The modern version of Lex Luthor in National Periodical Comics is based on the Kingpin, although it is unknown if they actually know he is Lex Luthor or at least Lawrence Luthor.

    We have discussed at length the first two Luthor brothers, what about the other two?

David Luthor ran away from home at the age of ten to join a circus. He spent five years under the big top, befriending an Indian fakir and an animal trainer who had been a safari master in India. He resolved to go to India and close to his fifteenth birthday he worked his way across the Pacific on a merchant ship. He jumped ship in Bombay. He knocked around India for a few years becoming involved in a few adventures with a British agent named Kimball O'Hara and a semi-shady character named Danny Dravoit. (17)

    Something about what Dravoit mentioned to him that a man could be the richest bloody man in the world if he kept the world supplied with guns clicked with him. When he and a friend discovered a temple filled with jewels they thought not a second about looting it. His friend and he were surrounded by a group of religious zealots who objected to their temple's treasure being pilfered. David Luthor's friend made the ultimate sacrifice and made a stand while David Luthor escaped with the jewels. He returned to the United States to discover that his brothers had already turned to a life of crime. Not wanting this to affect his reputation in the slightest, (although at the time they were only petty criminals) he took the last name of his friend as a sort of tribute and called himself D.D. Warburton. (18) Using his fortune in gems as the basis for his business venture, he bought into a small arms factory. He quickly used his great intellect to design and distribute munitions.

    He was twenty years old but looked considerably older with his bald scalp, he also used his training in make-up to make himself appear older, so as to gain more respect from his fellow businessmen. Out of the blue he received a note from his brother Lex who had broken out of the Kansas State Reformatory. He had seen D.D. Warburton's photo in the newspaper as an up and coming millionaire and recognized his brother. They arranged to meet. Lex said that their parents had moved away from Kansas and changed their name, ostensibly because of the disgrace to the family name but also because their father was afraid of being discovered by his enemies. Their brother Scott has also disappeared shortly after graduating medical school. Neither Lex nor Lawrence were in a position to do what needed to be done, so that left David.

    Lex gave David a choice he could either pay a yearly stipend to him so his true identity would not be revealed or he could take care of a little girl. David was perplexed by the offer. Lex told them that their brother had sired a child as an experiment to see if his ultimately evolved genes would carry onto to the next generation. The child's mother either died in childbirth or abandoned the child out of shame. It was not until Anne when of legal age was able to discover that her birth mother's name was Alice Adams.  Lawrence had no use for the child, even if the genes had carried over; the child was female and therefore inferior.

    Although, he almost would have rather have paid the yearly stipend,  D.D. Warburton used his wealth and fame to become the guardian of Little Anne in 1923. The family resemblance with the bright red hair was immediately noticeable. Although he used his influence to keep the press of the story down to a minimum the story leaked and he acquired the nickname Daddy Warbucks. A cartoonist by the name of H.W. Gray based a long running comic strip on the basic story, although he gave Warburton and Annie, as he called her, a mostly fictional background. He also filled the strip with his own ultraconservative social and political views. When strip first came out David was furious but then he thought that it would be a good cover, and make people believe that he and Anne were fictional characters. He took to granting H.W. Gray interviews in which he would expound on some of the adventures that he and Anne had. Although these were mostly fictional and although Anne was a delightful child she was a bit of a trouble magnet always managing to find herself in a jam when had to go away on business.

    As the world progressed towards another war, munitions became a highly competitive and dangerous business. David hired a bodyguard for himself, one of his ex-circus friends, who was a trick shot, an expert knife thrower and a trick rope artist named Britt. This man was incorporated into the comic strip and given the name The Asp the mysterious, almost protector of  Daddy Warbucks. Warburton also acquired a bodyguard for Anne,  a man he had met in his Indian travels. His name is never really given but a certain clue that was contained within the comic strip can narrow down the search, in the comic strip he is called Punjab. Punjab is a place name rather than a family name. Anne's bodyguard was a Sikh warrior, possibly with the last name of Singh. (19)

    Shortly after I first posted this article, I began receiving mail asking me to explain the "evil" Daddy Warbucks who was killed in the Shadow comics. I was asked if this was indeed Daddy Warbucks or one of his brothers pretending to be him. I finally located and re-read the story arc, which takes place in Shadow Strikes! #27. I re-read the story arc and having done so I don't think it is really necessary to think that there was any sort of substitution. I was expecting some overt act of murder or  something to that effect which would demonstrate a truly evil character.

    First of all,  it is important for the readers to remember that David Luthor is Daddy Warbucks but Daddy Warbucks is not David Luthor. What I mean is that the comic strip was based on D.D. Warburton but doesn't always reflect his true character.

    While what Daddy Warbucks in the Shadow story is certainly reprehensible by our modern standards, all he did really was to supply an army, lead by Siwan Khan, to destabilize the area of China so his company could have oil rights. This sounds like very much like actions undertaken by American Big Business during that period and even later. United Fruit, AT&T, Firestone and a few other companies have done similar to worse actions, often sanctioned by the US government

        So did David Luthor a.k.a. D.D. Warburton die in 1935,  shot by Chinese gunmen. Not very likely. Certainly staying in an unstable region like that he would have taken precautions should his men ever turn on him or be defeated. And even if he had not taken elaborate precautions. Punjab was there, he could have turned that cape around and made all the bullets disappear before they ever found their target. Seriously, the allusion that they were killed is there but we never actually see the execution.

    Around 1928, Kimball O'Hara came to visit Warburton, he brought with him his cousin Deirdre O'Hara. Deirdre was heir to a parcel of land in Georgia, through some convoluted legal process she found herself part owner of a remnant of the famed cotton plantation, Tara. The Butler family owned the other portion.

    Kimball had come to America to help her settle her affairs. Warburton was interested in purchasing the property, he had been thinking of expanding into cotton and tobacco. There was an immediate attraction between Deirdre O'Hara and David Warburton. They wed in a quick ceremony and had a tumultuous, tempestuous passionate love affair that lasted six months, ending with Deirdre on a luxury liner heading back to England. She bore David's child but never let him know about it. She named him Austin David O'Hara. She later married a military man named Dangerfield Powers. He adopted the boy and he was renamed Austin Dangerfield Powers. Austin would often joke that Danger was his middle name.

    Austin grew up to be a top notch soldier or sailor; his military career is still classified. After the military he joined the M16 British spy service and became a top spy. He was provided a cover as a advertising photographer and he blended into the madcap swinging sixties as if made for that era. His greatest foe was the man history knows as Dr. Evil. We will get to this conflict a bit later.

    David Warburton never married again nor did he ever adopt Anne, her father had suddenly taken an interest in her and blocked every attempt to do so. Anne and Warburton had several adventures all over the world as Warburton expanded his financial empire. All the while they had to avoid the various assassination, kidnap attempts and various other machinations often promulgated by his brothers, Lex or Lawrence using various stooges and henchmen.

    In the comics Annie never grew up, in real life however Anne did grow up but as of yet her later life has been carefully shielded from the researcher's meager means by the Warburton billions. Rumor has it that she took over the Warburton Industries in the mid fifties but that is all pure speculation as are the rumors that David Warburton became a reclusive, paranoid much like Jonas Cord. (20)

    The last brother in the Luthor Quads was named Scott Luthor. As stated before, Scott was a victim of oxygen deprivation, which affected the growth portions of his brain. It also affect other areas of the brain so even given their identical nature of the quadruplets, Scott was always a bit different. While brilliant he seemed to a bit scatter brained at times.

    Because of his smaller stature, Scott was lorded over by his brothers. His personality in his early childhood was divided between wanted to be liked and wanting to be the leader. These followed him all through his life. Of the four brothers, he is the only one, who actually completed formal schooling, although he entered college at the age of 15. His dichotomous personality coupled with his early baldness won him no friends at college. Scott Luthor is one of those people who believe themselves to be natural leaders but have absolutely no charisma.

    Desiring to "belong" he attempted to join several fraternities. He underwent several humiliating and often painful hazings, but none of the fraternities accepted him as a member.

    In an almost pathetic attempt to make friends, he broke into the offices of several professors and stole the answers to examinations. He gave the answers to any who wanted them. On exam day the test questions were all different. Scott passed all of the exams because he had done the reading, however quite a few of his classmates did not.

    Thinking that he had set them up, they cornered him, stripped him naked, threw him in a burlap sack, beat him with reeds, shaved his scrotum, lathered ground beef onto his scalp and hung him upon a flag pole outside a women's college.

    A hundred screams woke him from his faint, as the girls who had lined for their morning calisthenics spotted him.

    This was the defining moment in Scott Luthor's life, no longer would he be Mr. goody-two shoes but he would dedicate his life to being evil. He would even call himself evil. Mr. Evil. After graduating college at 17, he entered medical school. After finishing Medical School, he called himself..... Dr. Evil.

    The name change however did not help matters much; he was still a short, bald man with no charisma and an overweening ego. His attempts to start criminal gangs ended in failure, as very few people would follow him. He decided to make a study of it and see what he was doing wrong. Traveling to England he is dismayed to find the once great Moriarty crime organization in a shambles, however he does work for the newly formed Thrush organization, after performing a service that earned his place in the organization, he was asked for a transfer to the Germany to study with Thrush ally, Dr. Mabuse. Mabuse accepted him as a gofer and errand boy. That is until Mabuse discovered that Dr. Evil was taking post hypnotically suggested gifts of large amounts of cash from Dr. Mabuse's "patients". Dr. Evil was forced to flee Germany and ended up in Poland.

    In Poland he met the man who would forever be his mentor, albeit unknowingly. This was Ernst Stavro Blofeld. While in Poland he became a minor member of the mostly fictitious espionage network TARTAR. Dr. Evil or as he was calling himself, Doktor Übel met  Blofeld once or twice and was overwhelmed by the charisma that flowed off of this man. He had found the perfect person to emulate that would allow him to be a great leader of a criminal island.

    After Blofeld fled Poland, leaving his crew of actual spies behind Dr. Evil was stuck in Poland, although records have not surfaced that detail his stay in Nazi Poland, one can be assured that what ever he was up to was no good.

    Having survived the Germans and the returning Russians, Dr. Evil was gratified to discover that Blofeld had also survived the war and had begun another organization named SPECTRE. Once again he played a minor role in the organizations, studying the organization and the man who ran it.

    He became intimately acquainted with Blofeld's personal history and with his father's gift for fabrication wove much of Blofeld's past into his own. Sadly he also began to believe that his lies were the truth.

    It is possible but cannot stated for a certainty that Dr. Evil was part of the three operations run by Blofeld detailed in the James Bond novels, Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice. That he was part of the last operation seems very likely for it was in this operation that Blofeld was finally killed and this is the physical form of Blofeld that Dr. Evil modeled his own body image after. He drew together second string and minor members of the Blofeld organizations, such as Mustapha and Frau Farbissina, and formed his own criminal empire. It is possible that he convinced several of these people that he was in fact Blofeld in another guise. Between the years of 1963 and 1967 were years when he was building his organization and make his initial forays into the theater of super-villany.

    World leaders tended to dismiss Dr. Evil, well, pretty much as a joke. While he was considered a threat, he was not considered that much of a threat, certainly not one to warrant the assignment of one of their top agents such as Bond, Smiley, Carter or Helm. Yet he was not to be entirely dismissed, although a bit of a bumbler he did exhibit great intelligence, having either created on his own or having "borrowed" laser technology, advanced robotics, cryogenics, vulcanonics, -the conversion of the energy rising from a volcano into energy, time travel and other esoteric sciences and incorporating them into his own schemes. He was also shown to be ruthless and amoral, having little qualm about assassination or about the destruction of cities in his plans for world domination. Although countless murders can be attributed to his organization, some traced to his very hand, it is just that he was either too inept to carry out his grander schemes or that he had been thwarted by the agent in charge of his case.

    The agent chosen to lead the fight against Dr. Evil was the agent who accidentally stumbled onto his organization, code name-- Danger Powers.

    Dr. Evil hated Austin Powers immediately He reminded him of his dimly remembered brothers, he had all his fricking hair and he exuded a plethora of charisma, which he called mojo.

    When exactly their first meeting took place has not been as yet released from classified records, however from the context of released documents we do know that Dr. Evil  hijacked a nuclear bomb and used it as a means of extortion, following in the Blofeld Pattern. Of course, if he truly had convinced others that he was Blofeld in another guise, he could have been referring to Blofeld's scheme and claiming it as his own.

    In 1967, Danger Powers tracked Dr. Evil to a lair above the Electric Psychedelic Pussy Cat Swinger's Club but failed to stop Dr. Evil from launching himself into a cryogenic space vehicle. Not one to let his enemy escape, Austin Powers had himself frozen until Dr. Evil returned. Both Dr. Evil and Austin Powers of the 1960's stayed frozen for thirty fricking years.

    When they were unfrozen, Dr. Evil was a bit upset to discover that Virtucon, the dummy corporation created to cover the activities of his evil activities had been guided by his Number Two man into a multinational conglomerate worth 90 billion dollars. He also had a twenty-five year old son, named Scott Evil. Frau Farbissina claimed that he was a test tube baby created from Dr. Evil's frozen sperm. Despite having more wealth than he could have ever hoped for, Dr. Evil like Blofeld before him, would be satisfied with nothing less than global domination, to have people fear and respect him. So he once more hijacked a nuclear bomb and used it for extortion.

    He also attempted to form a bond with his test tube grown son, Scott, even going to the length of attending Father-son group therapy. Although, being his Paul Finglemore's son, Dr. Evil completely fabricated his past. However he did let slip some telling traumas from his past into the web of lies. It was as much to cover up this slip as well as a feeling that the therapy was just not working that he had the group and its therapist liquidated.

    Austin Powers and his partner, Vanessa Kensington, defeated Dr. Evil but he once again escaped into an orbiting cryogenic chamber. Vanessa Kensington convinced Austin Powers to remain in the 90's with her as her husband. As Austin discovered on the day after his wedding night that Vanessa was an assassination fembot, the real Vanessa evidently having been replaced with a robot duplicate during their assault on Dr. Evil's underground Nevada lair. Dr. Evil, in a shrewd turn had immediately returned to earth and been unfrozen.

    He discovered that Frau Farbissina had another surprise for him, since he had expressed disappointment with his test tube son, they had grown a clone of him. The clone was however quite short, mute and had a tendency to bite. Frau Farbissina brushed aside questions about why the clone had turned out this way. The fact of the matter was that Dr. Evil's genetic tissue had been damaged, so they had used the only other available DNA material in the lab, cells from Dr. Evil's beloved Sphinx cat, Mr. Bigglesworth. The clone called Mini-me was not exactly a true clone but rather an ad hoc copy of Dr. Evil.

    He then utilized a time machine to enact his evil schemes during the time period that Austin Powers was frozen. He traveled to a time two years after they were frozen. Dr. Evil had a minion break into the cryogenic lab and steal a DNA sampling from the frozen Austin Powers body. They used this to isolate the chemical component that comprised Austin Power's charisma. Dr; Evil imbibed the charisma potion and immediately consummated an intimate relationship with Frau Farbissina. This was the actual conception of Scott Evil. (Evidently the baldness that the Luthor brothers experienced was a genetic aberration which being identical they all shared but did not pass onto offspring.)

    Austin Powers wanting revenge at Dr. Evil for having killed his beautiful Vanessa, traveled back into the past. Austin and a new partner prevented Dr. Evil's scheme of using a giant "laser" based on the moon from destroying the earth. However the wily Dr. Evil and his clone escape via time machine. Austin Powers convinced his new partner, Felicity Shagwell to return with him to the 90s.

    The Austin Powers-Dr. Evil war had not ended merely come to a lull before battles.

    There is one more Luthor we should discuss, although she does not necessarily fit under the lethal designation. As has been stated earlier, all of the quads with the exception of Lex had left home early and he had become a petty thief and stick up artist. When  Lex was sentenced to the Kansas State Reformatory, his parents had left their town and changed their name, ostensibly because of the shame that the Luthor name had been tainted with because of Lex's criminal record. In actuality, however Paul Luthor was afraid that his enemies who had long memories would track him down and kill him and his wife and children. The Luthor's had a daughter about ten years old named Lena and it was to protect her more than anything else that they left their old life behind.

    As it turns out, Paul Luthor did indeed have reason to worry, his enemies did indeed have long memories or at least they had good records. Paul and his wife sought anonymity in a large city, believing that the rural life was now too exposed. Moving to Chicago, Paul Thorul as he was calling himself had the misfortune to witness a gangland shooting. Although he was in a small crowd, his picture made it into the newspaper. The photo was picked up by national press and used to demonstrate this incident. A sharp eyed former member of the Krafthaus and current member of Thrush, recognized a man in the picture as one of the standing contracts still left over from the founding of the Krafthaus. He contacted the central office and they wanted to clean up this piece of old business. To carry out the contract they chose an as yet untested member of Thrush, one who had come from that general region.

    The agent flew to America in one of the fast transports that Thrush possessed from leftover alien technology. He tossed a bomb in the home that the Thorul's lived. It was leveled. Mr. and Mrs. Thorul were killed outright; the daughter was not expected to live. Lena Thorul however did live but bereft of most of her memories except for a few days prior to the blast. The blast was attributed to the shooters of the gangland slaying removing witnesses.

    The agent dispatched to do the dirty deed was Doctor Evil. Was he aware that these were his parents and sister? Undoubtedly. Yet as we have seen he had little or no qualms about killing his son or at least making the attempt, so this killing of his mother, father and sister should come as no surprise.

    Lena Thorul was a struggling waitress when she suddenly came into an inheritance from a rich uncle, one that her father had neglected to tell her about. This amount while not great did allow her to live comfortably and to attend school. (The rich uncle was actually her brother Lex) Also brilliant she became a leading biologist and eventually married fellow scientist, Aloysius Wright. His brother was famed scientist, Simon Wright. They were descendants of Jack Wright, whose super science inventions were detailed in many a dime novel.

    Lena Thorul's and Aloysius Wright's daughter married, over their strenuous objections, Richard Newton, the son of Joshua and Rosabel Newton, both of whom were brilliant enough to have been leading scientists in almost any field they had chosen, had they been given the chance. Because they were African-American, their choices for professions were limited. Josh and Rosabel devoted their lives to fighting crime with Justice Inc. working for a man who utilized all of their talents to their utmost, hoping to bring about a better world. Their son Richard was a medical doctor, a leading biochemist and a second generation member of Justice Inc. (21)

    Justice Inc had also recruited Susan Wright. She was a leading mathematician and physicist.

    Their son Roger became a biochemist, physicist and medical doctor. One of his early accomplishments was to place the brain of his dying great uncle into a self contained chest containing nutrient material. So that Wright and many other peoples would be able continue to live after their bodies had worn out or become hopelessly crippled. Rather than creating a cloned body without a body, which Newton thought was too Frankensteinian, Newton became interested in creating artificial biological life that would house the living brains. He and his wife were threatened by a criminal scientist Victor Corvo who wanted to steal the brain saving technology. The Newtons and Roger's great uncle Simon Wright travel to the Moon where they set up a secret laboratory. Work is soon completed on Grag the robot and Otho the android.  The Newtons also are blessed with a son, Curtis Newton  Newtons are killed by their enemies, leaving Curt to be raised by robot, android, and brain. Curtis Newton later became famed as Captain Future. (22)

    Afterword: You may find that my linking of Lex Luthor to Austin Powers, of Dr. Evil to Little Orphan Annie, of Captain Future to John Clay to be odd or disturbing or even infuriating. Yet everyone of these people possess red hair of some shade, at least at least at one point. Lex went bald at an early age but he was most often depicted with red hair, Dr. Evil's son has red hair which would lead to the supposition that at least one of his parents possessed red hair, since Frau Farbissina does not, unless it is dyed, this leaves Dr. Evil as having had red hair prior to his baldness. I understand that red hair is a tenuous way to make a connection but there is the added factor of brilliance to be considered as well.


1. The account of the Rubinroth's own dynastic struggles are depicted in Edgar Rice Burroughs The Mad King.

2. Paul Finglemore's heritage is discussed in greater detail in Philip Jose Farmer's Doc Savage: An Apocalyptic Life.

3. The story of the Moriarty's Krafthaus are related in Rick Lai's Secret History of Captain Nemo.  The connection between the Krafthaus and the Circle of Life  was made by Win Eckert in entries relating to Moriarty and the War of the Worlds on the Original Wold Newton Universe Chronology and the article The Malevolent Moriartys.

4. Whether or not the birth of the Dillinger children is true or not, I make no claims. Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson reported the incident in the Illuminatus trilogy.

5. These courses are now standards for those seeking employment in the legal profession, in high finance or politics.

6. Despite all the amount of evidence to the contrary, Scientists back then, even despite the recent Martian Invasion, tended to dismiss any notion of extra-terrestrial origins or materials outside the realm of their experience.

7. Although fictionalized, the Ultrahumanite's discovery of Clark Kent's secret identity in John Byrne's Generations and its tragic consequences do have some basis in fact.

8. This name was later adopted by the insane Industrialist Osborn but for reasons having nothing to do with Braniac. The Green Goblin was, as you know one of the many foes of the 1970's version of The Spider.

9. This incident was also reported, with a fair amount of accuracy, in John Byrne's Generations.

10. This may sound confusing to the those who only know of Metropolis and Gotham through the comics but understand that despite the place name differences and some misleading geographical information such as the distances between Gotham and Metropolis and Wayne Manor that Metropolis/Gotham is actually the WNU analog of New York City. The misinformation was deliberate fabrication by the comic book writers so people could not track  down the true Wayne or Kent families. The city of New York failed to undergo incorporation of the Five Boroughs in 1897, although some incorporation did take place. Metropolis is Manhattan, Staten Island and Bronx Gotham is Brooklyn and Queens.  Although, Gotham and Metropolis are separate political entities when most people refer them as New York City, they are referring to the area in which both communities reside, as when people refer to St. Louis or Chicago they are actually referring to a several hundred counties in one metropolitan area.

Stately Wayne Manor is in Westchester County.

11. The Omega Files are naturally enough the secret files of the organization created by Prince Zarkon as related in the case studies edited by Lin Carter

12. These incidents of  Braniac/Ultra Humanite are depicted in various DC comics, albeit in a highly fictitious manner. They range from the Justice League of America, Society of Secret Villains, Infinity Incorporated, All Star Squadron.

13. Doc Savage's encounters with the Luthor brothers will be recounted in an upcoming article entitled tentatively, The Caliban Connection.

14. In order to fully twist your minds, I will now try to break down the identities of the Luthors.
Up until 1939
Braniac was the Beller who used a series of bodies
The Ultra-Humanite was Lawrence Luthor
Lex Luthor was Lex Luthor
After the incident at the World's Fair 1939-1940
Braniac was Braniac and at time the Ultrahumanite. He switched between these personality profiles without conscious volition. He was the body switching Ultrahumanite.
Lawrence Luthor would at times use both names of the Ultrahumanite and Lex Luthor, although he would use the Lex Luthor name more and more to discredit his hated brother.
Lex Luthor was Lex Luthor more often as not framed for his brother's crimes and broken out of jail by his brother so even more charges could be arraigned against him.
After 1940
Braniac still switched between the Ultrahumanite and Braniac personalities.
Lawrence  Luthor was primarily using the Lex Luthor name although he would still use on occasion the Ultrahumanite name
Lex Luthor had been cured of his criminal tendencies by Doc Savage and so went by a variety of names until he was made Prince Zarkon by the citizens of Calbia.
15. The upcoming article, the Calbian Connection will also have more details about Doc Savage's involvement with this particular nation. Also how Lutha relates to some of the other smaller European principalities.

16. One wonders if Lawrence Luthor/Fisk had discovered his father's connection to the Moriarty family or if he just used the name as a tribute to one of the great criminal masterminds.

17. Kimball O'Hara and Danny Dravoit are depicted in two of Kipling's works, Kim and the Man Who Would be King respectively.

18. Research is still continuing to see if this particular Warburton was related to the Warburton's encountered by Sherlock Holmes in the Madness of Colonel Warburton from the Resurrected Holmes or the Warburtons in the All-Consuming Fire.

19.  A short word about Punjab. Fellow researcher Matthew Baugh writes, "One thing still troubles me about Warbucks' giant servant though.  In addition to changing their name to Singh, the Sikhs are required to refrain from cutting their hair or trimming their beards.  The hair is bound and covered by a turban (which "Punjab" has) but where is his beard?  I also have it on authority that, in the region of the Punjab, there is a secret society of Sikh warriors who are trained to act as guardians to those individuals they call the "Blessed ones".  On being initiated into this order the warriors give up their birth names and all take the name of their order's founder.  Members have guarded and assisted Anton Zarnak and Richard Wentworth.  I believe that the giant 'Punjab' may also be a member of the "Order of Ram Singh"."

    In light of this new information I did a search through my various reference materials. The various materials were often contradictory but what seemed clear was that "Punjab" was a Sikh but not one that we would necessarily recognize. The organization which my colleague Matthew Baugh refers to as the Order of Ram Singh I have found variously referred to as the Guardians of  the Blessed and the Soldiers of the Light. This sect is unique to the Wold Newton Universe and it appears to be a syncretic religion based in part on Islam, Christianity and Sikhism.

    During the Crusades there was a good deal of contact between the Order of the Assassins and the Knights Templar, some say that the Templars were heavily influenced by the Assassins, other accounts state that the Assassins were influenced by the Templars to the point of nearly converting to Christianity. Whatever the truth of these accounts may be, apparently one or more of the Assassins did adopt some Christian theological doctrine into their belief system creating a syncretism with a strong belief in the Mahdi as a sort of Savior of the souls of the world. The belief was tied to the Assassin code. The Mahdi would come when there was a true balance between Good and Evil. Each evil life the Assassin took brought one soul closer to heaven, purified the assassin's soul  and hopefully brought the world closer to balance.  A former Assassin tired of having to kill to reach paradise and having been sent on a mission in India circa 1840 to infiltrate the Sikhs and became almost a true convert. While much of the philosophy agreed with the man, he cannot warm to the idea that his identity will be erased upon his death and that there is no paradise. Ramida eventually comes up with a faith that has components of sikism, Islam  Hassan I Sabah's theology and his own ideas in it. Adopting the name of Ram Singh, his philosophy was rather than killing to achieve paradise you protect, usually one person or family. If need be you will kill to protect them or die to protect them. He used many of warrior elements of Sikhs including the wearing of the turban and the long hair and beard of Sikhism. Generally when a Guardian failed his duty by allowing his charge to be harmed or killed. He would undergo a period of penance in which he would shave his beard and possibly his head as well. He also had his disciples undergo training of many weapons and fighting styles of the assassins.

20. Jonas Cord was of course the wealthy industrialist who became a movie mogul. If he is known for one accomplishment in Hollywood it is in making a star out of Nevada Smith. See Harold Robbins, The Carpetbaggers for more information.

21. How could there be a second generation of Justice Inc. when Richard Henry Benson and most of his operatives became agents of the ISD? Justice Inc. continued on into the fifties, sixties and seventies. Richard Benson and his operatives did in fact work for the government on various cases as free lance operatives during the cold war. They were in fact a sort of precursor to the IMF. Benson and his operatives either knowingly or unknowingly dismantled several of the covert and personal operations of  the man known as Grayle. As a consequence during the sixties he tried to discredit and then failing that try and kill them.

 MacMurdie had personal business to attend to and so was the first to "die" Having decided to settle down Nellie Gray and Smitty also dropped out of sight. Since Benson arranged the events in which his operatives were apparently killed. Grayl used this to further discredit him.

 Having been written based on released documents Justice/Betrayal by DC Comics does not tell the whole story of what happened. I believe that Benson did in fact impersonate Grayl and was able to undo much of what Grayl had done and to expose Grayl for the corrupt official he was. Grail committed suicide upon his exposure. Benson was appointed interim head of the ISD which was then disbanded.

22. For slightly more information please visit The Captain Future family tree or the Future timeline.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
New Line Cinema 1997

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
New Line Cinema 1999

Baugh, Matthew-
For suggestion as to how Lex Luthor acquired Prince Zarkon's physique.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice
The Mad King

Byrne, John
Generations: An Imaginary Tale D.C. Comics 1999

Carter, Lin
Prince Zarkon series
Nemesis of Evil
Invisible Death
Volcano Ogre
Earth Shaker
Horror Wears Blue

D.C. Comics-
Remembered various stories in which Lex Luthor and the Ultra-Humanite appeared.

Eckert, Win Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe
For information on Krafthaus-Thrush and on Ernst Blofeld.

Farmer, Philip Jose Farmer
Tarzan Alive
Doc Savage An Apocalyptic Life
A Private Cosmos- World of Tiers 3

Fleming, Ian
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
You Only Live Twice

Hamilton, Edmond,
Captain Future Series.

Lai, Rick
"The Secret History of Captain Nemo"

Liss, Stuart The Official  Little Orphan Annie Homepage

Robeson, Kenneth
Avenger series All rights reserved Copyright 2001 by Dennis Power

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