Who is smarter Dr. Doom or Lex Luthor?

If these two threw down who would win?

Got to be the monarch of Latvia. Face it, he’s gone up against Galactus, I don’t remember if he won or not. Who’s Luthor ever taken down?

Reed Richards.

Yeah, but Luthor is one of the smartest men in the DC universe, and the geniuses there are generally more outsized than Marvel. He’s right there with Bats and Mr. Terrific.

I’d agree with Reed though. I’d really agree with where they were going with Ultimate Reed for a while.



And my money would be on Luthor. Doom is smart, but he augments his normal smarts with magic. Luthor is just a straight up evil genius.

What would that be (I dont read comics anymore but I’m curious)?

They don’t really have a lot of overlap in their skillsets, so it’s hard to really say.

One place they overlap is robotics.

On the one hand, Doom’s got a swarm of Doombots, compared to Luthor’s handful of androids.

On the other hand, Doombots are a patch for inconsistent characterization. So, by definition, their programming is lacking. Whereas the Luthorbots we’ve seen, or Loisbot, are indistinguishable from the real ones until the robot-bits are visible (aside from Loisbot hanging around with Luthor, of course).

I’d say Doom, if only for the fact that he actually *won *once. Beat every last hero (well, mind controlled all of them at once), had the world done and conquered, ruled it for a stretch.
Then he got really bored and basically let go of his throne.

Of course he also got dusted by Squirrel Girl, so I suppose it evens out…

I point out that Luthor was briefly god.

Until he ruined it because he refused to let Superman be happy.


Which give Doom an advantage over Luthor.

Doom is also better at surviving “certain death” than Luthor is.

The question isn’t who’s more of a badass, though, it’s who’s smarter.

Luthor’s* smarter, Doom’s more versatile and more ambitious.

Luthor could take a pen, a pad of paper and a light bulb and make an explosive device with it in seconds (actually he chose not to–he was in prison at the time and realized that if he did, they wouldn’t give him a pen and paper the next time he got caught-which in and of itself is pretty clever) . Doom couldn’t do something like that–it’s just not how he thinks. Luthor can casually cobble together time-machines and FTL machines out of stuff found in an average suburban trash-can. Doom couldn’t.

But…Luthor’s never set his sights higher than “Take out that damned alien”.** Doom’s got a much further reaching vision, he’s not as narrowly obsessive AND he has magic (plus an army of Doombots that can go toe-to-toe with The Thing. They’ll lose, mind you, but they can go toe-to-toe) and stuff that drains The Power Cosmic, he’s played with Cosmic Cubes…

If they fought, it’d be a good fight…but Doom would win: Luthor creates a device out of his shoelaces that disables Doom’s armor, but Doom summons up a million demons from hell…and an army of Mindless Ones just in case…to eat Luthor. My money’s on Doom.

But for pure “smarts”? My money’s on Luthor. (He’s also not as psycho as Doom and that plays into the smarts)

*There are multiple versions of Luthor (Doom too, but less so). With Luthor, let’s assume the smartest one–the super-scientist from the 60’s through mid 70’s. For Doom, let’s use one towards Mark Waid’s end of the spectrum (Has abbatoirs in his basement, is willing to flense his one true love to make magical leather armor of her skin, etc) than Byrne’s Doom (a cuddly, caring, compassionate guy who…well, has some obession issues with Reed)

**Although sometimes it’s more nuanced than that. The Elliot S! Maggin version has an interesting variant on that: He thinks that Superman playing “Daddy” to the world is undermining humanity and by keeping Supes focused on Luthor, Supes doesn’t have time to, say, develop a cure for cancer that WE should develop on our own or something.

I’m smarter than both, as I know better than to provoke super-heroes.


For bonus points, we never get to see his non-pen-and-paper jailbreak plan in that story – because Superman shows up with a Presidential pardon to ask for Lex’s help – but he’s back in prison at the end of it, and the follow-up story has Lex escaping his cell by using his own body as a painful teleportation device.

(That story also neatly covers why Lex never bothered to deduce Superman’s secret identity: as with the explosives, it’s not that he can’t figure it out; it’s that – while hiding out behind a paste-on mustache with matching wig, using fake credentials to bolster his latest alias – Lex got halfway through narrowing down a short list of suspects before concluding that Superman is likewise smart enough to start over in no time flat, choosing a new name for fake IDs that fit a new hair-and-makeup disguise.)

When the bars at his window failed to keep out a slanted ray of sunlight, Lex built a solar-powered time machine using a needle and thread plus some aspirin; the minimally harder part was first learning the right ancient language, so that he could fast-talk a startled Hercules into busting 'em both out of the joint.

Doom is a serious magic user, has a time machine in his armour and has taken over the entire Marvel Universe. It isn’t close.

No No-Prize for you.

So he does get a prize, then?