Maxwell Lord played a crucial part in several comic storylines in the DC Universe. As the man around the Justice League from the start, his aspirations and intentions switched from their supporter to a mind-controlled metahuman who wants to bring superheroes down. His actions ultimately led to his demise, and in this article, you can find when and why Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord.
In ‘Wonder Woman‘ #219, Maxwell Lord mind-controlled Superman, and the only way for Wonder Woman to free Superman from that agony was to kill Max. After she battled Man of Steel, who was out of his mind, Wonder Woman snapped Maxwell’s neck, leaving him dead on the spot.
This event shed a dark shadow on how people perceived Wonder Woman after, and her relationship with Superman and Batman also suffered. In the movie ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, the encounter between Max and Diana went somewhat differently. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll discuss that in more detail.
Maxwell Lord’s murder is one of the most controversial events in the comic book history regarding Wonder Woman and her character
Maxwell Lord IV first appeared in ‘Justice League’ #1, created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire. He was initially introduced as a businessman who showed interest in the Justice League’s operations and financially supported them. His intentions and personality were always sketchy, and he clearly had a dark side.
Max’s thirst for power got the best of him, and he murdered his friend and mentor to become the CEO of the company where he worked. And that was the start of his turning completely to the dark side. Over the years, his character changed, and he shifted from being an ordinary human to a superpowered metahuman during the Invasion crossover when a Gene Bomb exploded. Lord gained the power to influence and control the minds and perceptions of others.
The most iconic moment in comic history regarding Maxwell Lord’s character occured in 2005. In ‘Countdown to Infinite Crisis’ #1, Blue Beetle discovered that Maxwell’s true intentions were to control all metahumans to eradicate them. Maxwell then murdered Blue Beetle in cold blood.
However, the most controversial moment was also the one that got him killed by Wonder Woman. In ‘Wonder Woman’ #219 story arc, Maxwell Lord mind-controlled Superman, making him delusional. Man of Steel thought he was fighting some of his greatest enemies, but he was actually attacking his friends, Wonder Woman included. The two of them engaged in a furious fight, and Wonder Woman was forced to slice Spuerman’s neck to get him to back off.
Maxwell made his intentions very clear to Wonder Woman. Unless she kills him, he would use his powers repeatedly for the same purposes, and killing him was also the only way to free Superman. Diana saw murdering Lord as the only choice she had, so she snapped his neck
What happened to Max Lord in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’?
In ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Max Lord is presented as the owner of a Black Gold Cooperative, an oil company. He is also a television personality and a respected businessman. However, it is all a facade. Max was drowning in debt and could not stand other people thinking of him as a loser. He was determined to prove himself to his son and everyone else.
Max came into possession of the Dreamstone, a powerful artifact that grants one wish per person. His wish was very strange and something no one ever wished for before. He wished to become the Dreamstone itself.
After that, he started using his newly founded powers for personal gain. When Diana realized that Max had the stone and was using it, she tracked him down and warned him that he was putting himself and everyone else in grave danger. She urged him to hand over the Dreamstone to her. But that was impossible since he was the stone.
Wonder Woman also wished for Steve Trevor to return to her, which was granted. However, she soon realized that the wishes come at a cost. When the wish is fulfilled, the person loses the most valuable things to them. That’s why many civilizations where Dreamstone appeared in the past perished.
Max was gradually becoming more and more ill. With every wish he fulfilled for others, his condition worsened. Things went too far when he granted the POTUS’s wish for more nuclear weapons, and in return, Max demanded absolute autonomy from the rule of law, taxes, and interferences of any kind. Nobody could touch him. Max turned the world into chaos when he discovered a new satellite that would allow him to grant everyone’s wishes simultaneously and use it to make himself more powerful.
The only way to restore the world to balance like it was before was for Max to renounce his wish. He had no intention of doing that at first since he finally had everything he wanted. But, when he realizes that his son needs him and calls for help, Max decides to renounce his wish and return to Allistair. He realized his mistakes and admitted to himself and his son that he is not perfect and has made many mistakes. The world was safe once again.
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