Superman reached the 82nd anniversary of his comic book debut this week, but the actors who've played his nemesis Lex Luthor aren't celebrating the occasion. First appearing in DC's Action Comics #1 in 1938, the Man of Steel was an instant hit with comic book readers, going on to become one of the most popular superheroes of all time. The anniversary of Superman's entrance into pop culture might be a cause for celebration for the people of Metropolis, but some of the men who've played the Son of Krypton's arch-nemesis are instead using the opportunity to poke fun at the famous superhero.
On Twitter, Jon Cryer got the ball rolling by responding to a tweet commemorating the birth of "world's greatest superhero" in 1938. In response, Cryer merely says: "He's not so great." Of course, this would be Cryer channeling the role of Lex Luthor, which he portrayed as the most recent live-action version of the character in the Arrowverse series Supergirl and the crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Cryer also appeared alongside Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor as the supervillain's nephew in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. You can take a look at his tweet about Superman below.
Cryer's tweet caught the attention of two other Lex Luthor actors on Twitter, bringing about a couple of amusing responses. Michael Rosenbaum, who starred as a young Lex opposite Tom Welling in the Superman prequel series Smallville, responded directly to the tweet by saying: "Agreed. In fact... quite a dick." Meanwhile, Clancy Brown, who voiced the cartoon version of Lex in Superman: The Animated Series and other animated projects, backed up Cryer as well. "Seconded," Brown responds with the simple but effective post. It's essentially a mini-gathering of Lex Luthors meeting to throw some shade at Superman, and it's very entertaining.
On the big screen, Gene Hackman famously played Lex Luthor alongside Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent in the original Superman movie and two of its sequels. In 2006, the supervillain was played by Kevin Spacey in Superman Returns with Brandon Routh taking over the role of the titular superhero. More recently, Jesse Eisenberg played the character in the DCEU, appearing as Lex in the crossover movies Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. On the small screen, the character is also set to appear in the upcoming third season of Titans, but it's not yet known who will be playing him this time.
As for Superman, we all know Henry Cavill has been most recently playing the superhero on the big screen, beginning with Man of Steel and reprising the role for the DCEU crossovers. It's unclear if Cavill will ever play the role again or even when the Superman character will return in any theatrical movie. On television, Tyler Hoechlin has also been portraying the Clark Kent character in Supergirl and will star in the role in the upcoming spin-off series Superman & Lois with Bitsie Tulloch as Lois Lane. The original tweet shown above comes from Jon Cryer on Twitter.