Guy Gardener wrote:
Meanwhile just before Final Crisis, Lex takes a break during a big ass fight, and he talks to Superman as if they're friends, and as if Superman is Clark Kent and Superman is not shocked or surprised. it was just two buds hanging. Maybe it's like with the Flash's Rogue's Gallery, they never go for the kill, and niether does the Flash... There are rules. Lex doesn't attack Clark's family, barely acknowledges that Clark is Kal-El and in return, Superman does not melt him in his sleep from orbit.
That was two reboots ago.
The situation reminded me of the While E. Coyotee Vs Sam the Sheep Dog cartoons with how after they finished trying to kill each other all day, they clocked out at 5 o'clock on a literal punchclock, then went out for a beer together.
Batman and the Joker in the killing Joke, less so.
It was around Action
800, Action Comics #795
, to be exact, but a few years before Final Crisis
or Infinite Crisis
, for that matter. It happened during "Ending Battle," in late 2002. Manchester Black, from the Elite, set up things to make Superman run through a gauntlet. One part of it is having Luthor "discover" Superman is Clark Kent. He did this by making Lex believe he was being given satellite information no one had ever seen that showed Kal's rocket landing on the Kent farm.
In the scene you are talking about, Luthor is president, but ducked out on everyone (it was a common theme during his presidency that himself, Vice President Ross, Lana Lang Ross, etc. would disappear for various reasons). He went to a hide-out that he told Superman he would destroy right after their meeting. He realized Superman came there because he heard Lex's heartbeat, which made Lex realize Superman had memorized his heartbeat. Lex convinces him that the Hell Superman is currently going through is not due to him, even though he knows Superman's secret.
He also reveals that the reason he has not used the information on Superman's identity is that he knows it will hurt Lois. Lex reveals he still loves Lois and wouldn't want to hurt her.