Something I’ve been wondering about lately. Magic exists in the DC Universe. Luthor has seen proof of this first hand, multiple times - which also shows that magic isn’t particularly rare. Learning magic doesn’t take any special powers. Anyone can do it, provided they’re resourceful enough to find a teacher or a magic tome to learn from, and that they’re smart enough to understand it. Luthor’s a super-genius with an effectively bottomless bank account. Magic can make someone powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with the strongest capes on Earth. Which is something that Luthor does fortnightly, mostly against Superman. And this is the biggie: magic is one of the few things in the universe that presents a definite threat to the Man of Steel: aside from things like hypnotism and mind control, magic weapons can overcome his invulnerability. Forget scrounging up incredibly rare space rocks, all Luthor needs to do is to shiv the big blue boyscout with a dagger +1.
So, why has Luthor never dropped the cash to pick up a copy of the Necronomicon and learned how to blast mystic fire out of his hands?
Don’t have my comics here, and it would take a lot of going through, but IIRC, Luthor doesn’t believe there IS such a thing as magic (or didn’t before the last reboot). He thinks it’s all done with mirrors, mind control or futuristic technology.
Luthor’s entire hate-on for Superman (besides his ego) is that Superman’s an alien whose very existence diminishes the accomplishments of humanity. I can easily see someone like him consider magic as an extra-human power (after all, it can be wielded by any race), as opposed to the wonders of the uniquely human mind.
Besides, he’d probably think that having to ADD to what he already knows to beat Superman would be a defeat for him.
To whatever extent he believes in magic, I don’t think he trusts it. Given the variety in both power and type of magical manifestations in the DC Universe, it’s difficult stuff to quantify and rely on, and his paranoid tendencies are likely to lead him to think (often correctly) that there’s a catch to any offer to teach him.
He did resort to magic in the DCAU, though not by learning it himself. He relied on Tala’s sorcery in the midst of his Brainiac obsession. He didn’t recruit Tala himself, however, and probably wouldn’t have, given the contempt he expressed toward her. (On the whole, that would likely have been better for nearly everyone.)
Wasn’t Zatanna’s father also a powerful wizard, though? Where’d his power come from? What about people like John Constantine, or Felix Faust?
Science is hardly a uniquely human thing, and that’s Luthor’s whole deal. And he’s routinely discovering new technology and scientific principles to help him defeat Superman without feeling like that’s a “cheat.”
Yeah, but his megalomania is going to lead him to think that he’d be able to identify and circumvent any potential catch that might crop up in his training. And as a scientist, you’d think his first reaction to a new and unquantified field of study would be to dive in and start quantifying the living fuck out of it.
I was watching that episode last night. It’s what prompted this thread.
All of the Zataras are at least part Homo magi - John’s wife was a full-blooded H. magi, but he himself was descended from them.
However, there are plenty of magic users in the DCU who simply learn magic.
Mantou Raven and Mantou Dawn
Other origins for inborn powers, just for the fun of it:
Being Lords of Order or Chaos
Being born on Gemworld
Being born on Sorcerer’s World (the same place, by some retcons)
Being born in Witch-World
And just what makes you think you’d do better than Titano, Metallo, the Kryptonite Kid, Luthor, Dr. Alchemy, or all the other guys who tried it? Bottom line: by now, he expects to get hit with Green K.
Okay, so, full geek mode: you aren’t considering he has super-senses and superspeed. He’s gonna know the kryptonite’s coming before it has a chance to affect him. Then he’ll kick in his heat vision and melt it before it arrives. And yes, he’s done this so many times it’s become tiresome. There’s a reason the writers keep making Green K scarce. It’s no longer a believable threat.