Maxwell Lord was an unscrupulous businessman who conspired with an intelligent New Genesis computer to take opver the world in order to get their own kind of order. Lord manipulated the Justice League in an attempt to turn them into his goons, and forced them to accept Booster Gold into their ranks. Max had a change of heart when he thought the computer had gone too far and destroyed it, almost losing his life. This selfless act earned him a place as the League spokesman.
When the Dominators blew a "gene-bomb" on Earth, many humans with potential superpowers went sick, Max among them. After recovering, he got the power to put little suggestions into others' minds.
Space-time alterations by Superboy-Prime caused Max to revert to his ruthless personality and his powers became outright mind control ones. He re-created the government organization Checkmate in order to get rid of superhumans, as he saw them as a threat.
- In the DCEU movie Wonder Woman 1984, Maxwell Lord is played by Pedro Pascal, who plays the title character in the TV show The Mandalorian
- Maxwell Lord's minifigure counterpart recycles Gunnar Eversol's outfit and Henry Turner's head.