When Lex Luthor was President of the United States, Superman and Batman committed one of their biggest legal crimes.
In the main DC Universe, Superman and Batman have never actually acted as registered members of law enforcement agencies. Still, DC’s greatest heroes have often worked alongside the law and done their best to uphold it. However, The World’s Finest made a highly illegal move when they stormed the White House.
The risky heist of Superman and Batman took place in the pages of 2001 Superman # 168, by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, and Detective comics # 756 by Greg Rucka and Coy Turnbull. It all started when Clark Kent and Lois Lane were sitting at home, enjoying dinner with their parents. Lois’s father, General Sam Lane, spoke about Lex Luthor’s recent presidency. Lane praised Luthor and bragged that the president was in possession of a kryptonite ring in case The Man of Tomorrow became dishonest.
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Very concerned by this news, Lois asked Batman for help. Lois knew that Clark would make no move against Luthor, as he realized that they were about to commit a federal crime. Batman was asked to go with Lois to Washington, DC, so they could steal Luthor’s ring.
The job seemed pretty straightforward. Bruce Wayne dispatched Lois, resetting her press pass and telling her to disable electronic security at the White House. The Dark Knight then snuck through the tunnels below the White House undetected, and the two would meet to steal the ring. However, just as Batman and Lois were about to make their move, Superman arrived and immediately ordered them to stop what they were doing.
Superman attempted to escort Batman and Lois out of the White House. Although Lois tried to convince Clark that they were helping him, he insisted on taking them to the authorities. However, before Superman could take them away, Batman fled. The chase that followed swept through the corridors of the White House. The Caped Crusader managed to evade the Man of Steel as Luthor had lined the walls of the White House with lead and installed sonic generators everywhere.
With Superman’s senses impaired, Batman gave his friend a great chase. When Clark caught up with Bruce, the two got into a lot of fights. The Dark Knight used all the resources at his disposal to stop Superman. After temporarily disabling Superman, Batman reunited with Lois to grab the ring. However, just when they achieved their goal, Bruce and Lois were captured by Luthor and Superman.
Clark gave Luthor the ring, which appeared to be a fake. Realizing that Batman gave Lois the royal ring, Superman confiscated it from his wife. However, once they left the White House, Clark and Bruce revealed that they had organized this whole mishap. Superman has been conspiring with Batman the entire time, feigning his outrage at the heist. The World’s Finest also tricked Luthor into believing that the real Kryptonite ring was a fake, and vice versa. In the end, the true Kryptonite ring was out of Luthor’s hands.
This whole debacle is probably the most illegal thing Superman, Batman or Lois Lane have ever done. The trio broke into the White House and robbed the President of the United States, which, as Superman put it, is a federal crime. Even if the president was Lex Luthor, one of DC’s worst villains, this is still an extraordinary crime.
Breaking into the White House is undoubtedly a greater crime than the usual crimes of vigilantism and Batman trespassing. Lois Lane has probably bypassed some laws from time to time in hopes of uncovering a good story, but it’s hard to imagine how Lois could go beyond robbing the president.
It’s quite surprising that Superman commits such an offense, considering his nature as a well-meaning boy scout. At first, it seemed like Clark was toying with his type, preventing Bruce and Lois from stealing the ring. However, Superman was involved in this heist the entire time, which made it one of his biggest legal crimes. Still, the Man of Steel was acting against his worst enemy, so understandably he wanted the ring out of Luthor’s hands as soon as possible.
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