When the time came for the DC Universe to have a SHIELD of their own, Lex Luthor botched it right out of the gate and held Earth back for years.
It seems that Lex Luthor kept the DC Universe from getting a properly-working equivalent to SHIELD for years. The remobilization of one agency proved that DC’s original protection organization was too poisoned by Luthor’s intense xenophobia to ever work like its Marvel counterpart.
Despite the world at large loving the Man of Steel and accepting him as its savior, Lex Luthor never trusted the hero, mostly due to the threat he feels Superman represents. No matter how many times Superman has defended the Earth, Luthor refuses to see the goodness in an alien. In fact, when Lex Luthor became president he made that belief a large part of his administration. He even commissioned an organization known as the Human Defense Corps to wean the population off of its dependency on superheroes, with a special emphasis on being able to neutralize any threats from aliens.
However, an organization that hostile to metahumans and aliens doesn’t seem exactly tenable in the DC Universe and the Human Defense Corps was largely forgotten about. However, despite their lack of popularity, they remained an official branch of the United States government. In fact, they’re an integral part of General Sam Lane’s plans in Superman’s “New Krypton” story arc. In Superman #692 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes, readers see the fallout of Lane’s public discrediting of Superman, and now the world has turned against Clark and other Kryptonians. Even worse, Lane is being hailed as a hero that’s out to protect the Earth from any Kryptonian menaces. As a result, General Lane is placed in charge of the Human Defense Corps to protect the world from all “otherworldly threats” and now has America’s armed forces behind him ready to take out Superman at a moment’s notice.
Obviously the organization is a lot more hostile to Earth’s superheroes than Marvel Comics’ SHIELD. Marvel’s premier defense force isn’t perfect, but they have notably worked with a number of heroes such as Captain America, Spider-Man and Falcon. Even Iron Man Tony Stark once worked as SHIELD’s director. Unfortunately, the agency that could have given the DCU its own version of the infamous organization was far too radicalized by Lex Luthor’s paranoia and propaganda to ever be an effective force. Lex Luthor is always talking big about how someone like him could change the world for the better, and he actually had that chance during his presidency. However, because of his blinding hate for Superman and aliens, he was more focused on making sure DC’s version of SHIELD was a weapon against Superman rather than an agency capable of actually helping the world. Lane’s own biases perpetuated the problem, but it all started with Luthor and his petty feud with Superman.
Had Luthor actually cared, he could have pioneered an organization that identified actual threats and worked with metahumans to keep the peace. Instead, Lex Luthor allowed his hatred to ruin the DC Universe’s first chance for their own SHIELD.