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Quote1 You've taken my family from me... You've taken my world from me... Until now, I always thought I hated you as much as any one human being could hate another! But I was wrong... Until today, I didn't even know the meaning of the word! I'm coming for you, Superman... And I have only just begun to hate! Quote2
-- Lex Luthor src

Origin

Alexis "Lex" Luthor was born into a middle-class family household supported by his absentee father, a traveling salesman. Because his father was rarely around, it fell to Lex to take care of the family at home and cultivate the family's fields. However, in spite of his humble farmboy lifestyle, Lex entertained a variety of esoteric interests, chiefly a keen fascination with all manner of scientific disciplines and an obsession with the exploits of the neighboring town Smallville's resident hero: Superboy. As his hero-worship grew, Lex badgered his parents into moving to Smallville so that he could be even closer to his hero. Over some amount of time, Lex accumulated a small gallery of souvenirs from Superboy's adventures and constructed a hidden shrine to the Boy of Steel.[3] [4]

One day, Lex happened upon Superboy in the family fields, where an undiscovered Kryptonite meteorite was sapping his strength away. The quick-thinking Luthor removed the meteorite from the vicinity and introduced himself to Superboy, eagerly showing the Kryptonian teenager his collection. The flattered Superboy repaid his fan for saving his life by creating a miniature hi-tech laboratory and gathering chemical substances, some unknown to the scientific community at large, to stock it with. With the materials at his disposal, Lex succeeded in a magnificent project: He synthetically created life. Ecstatic at his achievement, Lex prepared to return the favor to Superboy by creating a serum that would make him immune to Kryptonite radiation. However, in his excitement, Lex accidentally knocked over a beaker containing a flammable liquid and caused a chemical fire. Noticing this, Superboy arrived at the scene to extinguish the flames with his super-breath, but in the process, he inadvertently blew a vial containing a strong acid into the proto-lifeform, disintegrating Lex's creation and causing Lex's hair to fall out from the resulting fumes.[5] [6]

Lex confronted Superboy in his grief and anger, accusing him of intentionally destroying his creation and making him bald out of envy. Convinced of his idol's betrayal, Lex vowed that he would have his revenge upon Superboy someday.[7] [8]

Luthor vs. Superboy

Initially, Luthor sought to outdo Superboy as Smallville's hero through philanthropic acts making use of his scientific expertise. However, every endeavor by Luthor to improve the town's prosperity ended in calamity, and it was none other than Superboy whom the townspeople relied on to restore peace and order. Luthor inadvertently not only helped Superboy's already excellent reputation with the people of Smallville but also made himself the most reviled man in town, denounced as a good-for-nothing crackpot at best and a public menace at worse.[9]

Already unstable since the accident that made him bald, Luthor's psyche finally cracked under the weight of his frustation and increasing monomania, and he soon began to resort to petty villainy and acts of violence. When Superboy approached Luthor again, seeking to offer his condolences for his former friend's misfortunes, Luthor tried to kill Superboy with a Kryptonite trap, even as he dangled the only existing sample of his Kryptonite-poisoning antidote just out of Superboy's reach to torment him. However, Superboy used the suction of his super-breath to smash the beaker containing the antidote against his face and ingested droplets of the liquid, saving himself from certain death. Upon regaining his strength, Superboy refused to arrest Lex, recalling how Lex saved his life from the Kryptonite meteorite in his field not long ago, but also making clear that he owed Luthor nothing going forward from that moment.[10]

Still thirsting for the bittersweet nectar of revenge, Luthor used a telekinetic helmet to animate and control an army of Kryptonite humanoids and set them to attack Superboy and his Superdog, Krypto, in outer space. In all likelihood, Luthor would have killed the Boy of Steel if it were not for the timely intervention of Lightning Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who overloaded Luthor's machine.[11]

Lex would continue to plot scheme after nefarious scheme against Superboy, but not without cost to his own public persona and mental health. In the process of waging a one-man war against Superboy and his allies, Luthor earned the mistrust and spite of Smallville's townspeople and other people his age, even alienating his family. Desiring to have nothing to do with their son and his tarnished name, Lex's parents kicked him out of their house and changed their last name to "Thorul": an anagram of "Luthor." As Lex's sister Lena was too young to remember anything at the time, her parents successfully convinced her when she grew older that her brother died in a car accident. This was in spite of the fact that Lena was one of the few people that Lex genuinely still cared about at that point, and probably only fed into his growing misanthropy. In time, Luthor's criminal actions would catch up with him, and he would be remanded to the Smallville Juvenile Detention Center.[12]

In one of Superboy's final Smallville-era adventures, Luthor marked his escape from juvie by stealing a helicopter and a 20-megaton bomb from a military base, using them to goad Superboy into yet another confrontation. With his incredible powers, Superboy snatched Lex from the pilot's cockpit as soon as the bomb was detonated and neutralized the sound, fallout, and concussive power of the nuclear explosion. Soon afterwards, a now-college-aged Clark Kent moved to Metropolis to go to journalism school, and Metropolis would become the new hub of Superboy's activities.[13]

After his next escape from juvie using a set of spring-loaded shoes, Luthor transferred criminal operations to Metropolis in pursuit of Superboy. Learning that the Metro Bank was switching over to using a computerized banking system connected to the city's phone lines, Luthor manipulated it by sending electric singals through the phone lines into transferring $48,000 in cash into a bank account he held under a false name and identity. Before long, a disguised Luthor made his withdrawal of the cash, which appeared to be legal in the system. When that money was inexplicably detected as physically missing, however, the bank president and Inspector Bill Henderson summoned Superboy, who summarily arrested Luthor after he made a second illicit withdrawal. Things were different this time in one respect: Both Superboy and Lex were 21 at the time. As a result, when Luthor was found guilty in a court of law, he was sentenced to do time in the state penitentiary, not a reform school as before during the Smallville days.[14]

A few weeks later, an again-escaped Luthor contrived to launch a network of satellites into Earth's orbit. These satellites would be capable of a world-destroying orbital bombardment, as well as channeling their energies into Luthor to grant him abilities equivalent to a Kryptonian's under Earth-conditions. Luthor then hijacked every TV and radio broadcasting frequency worldwide using his satellite network and presented an ultimatum to Superboy. Either he would track Luthor down to his base and fight him in one-on-one combat, or Luthor would activate his satellites and rain fiery doom down on the Earth. Accepting the challenge, Superboy engaged Luthor in battle and ultimately defeated him, not through force so much as trickery. Having matured greatly over the course of the previous months on account of other developments, Superboy made the decision to rename himself as "Superman." Under that name and the shield of the "S," Kal-El would lead the vanguard of a new age of heroes. On the reverse-side of the coin, Luthor would remain the Kryptonian hero's most implacable foe, at the head of a growing tide of creative villainy.[15]

As Superman's Archenemy

Being considered as one of the most dangerous criminals of the age, Luthor would make the acquaintance of a number of others belonging to the same ilk. On multiple occasions, Luthor has allied himself with the criminally insane Joker to accomplish an evil objective, usually to counteract the strong friendship and unity of purpose that Superman has with his fellow crime-fighters, Batman and Robin.

In Luthor's first encounter with Brainiac, Luthor used a mental probe to determine Brainiac's true origins as a Coluan "living computer" and conspired with him to shrink, paralyze, disempower, and imprison Superman. Luthor also managed to get Brainiac to agree to a procedure whereby he would enhance the android's intellect to a 12-level intelligence, though it was merely an excuse to implant a device in Brainiac that would cause him to deactivate in the event that Brainiac double-crossed Luthor. Subsequently, Brainiac mesmerized Luthor into removing the device and losing all memory of his secret origin. The villains' brief victory was cut short by arrival of the Superman Emergency Squad, who captured them and brought them to Kandor for Brainiac to be judged under Kryptonian law for the city's abduction. Luthor agreed to serve as Brainiac's defense attorney, but all reasoned arguments to vindicate Brainiac before the Kandorians rang hollow. With Brainiac's (and his own) incarceration seeming inevitable, Luthor blackmailed the Kandorians into allowing them to escape unpunished, pointing out that they still held Superman captive and helpless and would be required to put him back to normal. Reluctantly agreeing to the villains' terms, Kandor released them. Surprisingly, the villains held up their own part of the bargain by restoring Superman, then fleeing.[16]

On another occasion, Lex embarked on a journey to a faraway world orbiting a red sun and challenged Superman to fight him him there in single combat, as Superman's powers would be negated under such conditions. After an initial battle, the two archfoes wandered through the desert for days until Luthor discovered the remnants and people of a great civilization, which had been annihilated in a massive war long ago. Out of pity, or perhaps simply seeing the opportunity to play the hero for once, Luthor helped these benighted aliens regain some of the technical standards of their vanished civilization, but Superman ultimately found and captured him. Before returning to Earth, however, Luthor convinced Superman to recreate the now-barren world's natural bodies of water, as Luthor had promised the planet's natives that he would do this for them before his departure.[17] Luthor was credited with this magnanimous deed by the aliens, who would rename their planet Lexor out of gratitude. Over the years, Luthor made frequent visits to Lexor, where he was regarded as a hero and a savior while Superman was thought of as a villain for opposing him. [18].

In his ambition to create an obedient creature with the raw power to destroy Superman, Luthor gave life to misshapen and frequently rebellious monstrosities such as Bizarro[19] and the Galactic Golem[20]. He also made a constant effort to upgrade his hi-tech arsenal, eventually taking to wearing a purple-and-green outfit equipped with the finest offensive weaponry at his disposal. In addition, Lex was responsible for the construction of a fleet of UFO-like armed hovercraft, which was to be employed in the execution of a future plan against Superman. Instead, it was commandeered prematurely by the Parasite, who had managed to replicate Luthor's physical appearance after brushing up against him in the Superman Museum. Luthor was forced to help Superman to take the Parasite down when the villain proved too powerful for Superman to defeat by himself, though it was not without a pinge of regret that Luthor saw his fleet get trashed by Superman because of Parasite's ineptitude with the controls.[21]

Over the years, Lex has bedeviled formidable costumed adversaries other than just Superman. In one of his schemes, Luthor used an age-reduction device to transform both Batman and the Flash into young adolescents both physically and mentally as a prelude to his usage of the machine on Superman. Luthor reasoned that his grudge was first made against Superboy, not Superman, and that a teenage Man of Tomorrow would be less experienced and tactically-minded, making the task of eliminating him all the easier. Yet, Superman and his allies still defeated Luthor by the end of the day.[22] In a separate incident, Lex pleaded guilty to killing the Batman in an underground "court of law" headed by Ra's al Ghul, which comprised of several of the Dark Knight's enemies. He claimed that he launched a satellite into Earth's orbit intended to simultaneously fire two rays: one to erase Batman's mind, and another to transfer Superman's mind into Batman's wholly vulnerable body. Claiming that he had then gone on to murder Superman in Batman's body, Luthor announced to Ra's and the jury of villains that his next move would be to transfer his mind into Superman's body and conquer the universe, but at that moment, Superman crashed on the scene to apprehend Luthor, assuring him that Batman learned of his plan before it could be enacted and arranged to trick Luthor into believing he had succeeded. Tipped off by Batman, Superman masqueraded as Batman when the satellite activated, evaded its ray's effects, and pretended to be killed by Luthor when he arrived to murder him. In actuality, the real Batman was secretly disguised as Two-Face in the very jury hearing Luthor's case and explained to Luthor, without giving away his true identity, exactly how he had been duped by the World's Finest duo.[23] On still yet another occasion, an experimental mishap caused Lex and the Joker to swap personalities, with the Joker being granted Luthor's mental clarity and genius-level intelligence and Luthor being cursed with Joker's crippling insanity and murderous psychopathy. Of course, things were back to normal for both Luthor and the Clown Prince of Crime before long.[24]

Lex also entered into a brief partnership with the Luthor of Earth-Two and the Crime Syndicate's Ultraman, with the goal of using their combined power and resources to destroy the Supermen of Earth-One and Earth-Two. However, the Luthor of Earth-Two and Ultraman settled on a plan to obliterate Earth-One and Earth-Two realities with a doomsday weapon and consolidate supreme rule over Earth-Three, which not even the Luthor of Earth-One was so cold and heartless to accept. Fortunately, the Earth-One and Earth-Two Supermen, assisted by the heroic Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three prevented the deaths of two realities.[25]

During this time period, Luthor also took to joining various criminal organizations as a means of furthering his goals. For instance, Lex became a member of the first incarnation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, albeit with his own ambitions to gain power over the team,[26] and allied himself with several other villains in a conspiracy against Superman led by the enigmatic Mr. Xavier.[27]

Later, during a time when Superman believed Lois Lane and Lana Lang were going to die from the same microbe that killed Jonathan and Martha Kent, Superman was forced to consult with Lex for his assistance in finding a cure. Naturally, Luthor refused to comply simply out of his desire to see Superman suffer. To rub it in by making a mockery of Superman's moral principles, Luthor even threatened to shatter the glass container of the microbe against the nearest wall and contaminate himself, only to laugh contemptuously in Superman's face when Superman stopped him from going through with it.[28] This encounter was very illustrative of the depths to which Luthor had sunk from the days of his youth: Where once Luthor had virtues, aspirations, a family that supported him, and a future, Luthor's inability to let go of his grudge turned all his talents over into the service of evil causes and reduced Luthor's reason for being to an all-consuming hate.

Ever so briefly, there did seem to be a time when Luthor changed for the better. One day, Luthor spotted a terminally ill patient from a Metropolis hospital named Angela Blake, who was being transported by Superman even as Luthor had the Man of Steel in the crosshairs of a weapon powerful enough to kill him. Unable to bring himself to shoot Superman as long as it would endanger Angela, Luthor had his androids kidnap her so that he could devise a cure for her illness. Afterwards, Luthor fell in love with Angela and publicly professed that finding true love motivated him to rehabilitate himself. Now ostensibly a force for good, Lex aided Superman in drawing out and rounding up Metropolis's major mob bosses, and then helped Superman fend off Terra-Man and his super-strong extraterrestrial partner when they came to Earth to express their disgust in Luthor for giving up crime. Luthor and Angela finally decided to be wed, but on the day of the wedding ceremony, Angela and Superman abruptly disappeared in a flash of light. Luthor was manhandled by his own androids and taken to his hideout, where it was explained to him that he kidnapped, killed, and cloned the real Angela Blake weeks ago, infected the Angela clone with a deadly disease that he knew how to cure, and gave himself amnesia regarding these events, all as a setup to lure Superman into a trap. The trap evidently did not work, as Superman immediately burst into the room to arrest Luthor. Ironically, Luthor was denied his redemption by none other than himself in the end.[29] [30] [31]

The New Luthor

After one particularly painful defeat at Superman's hands, Lex decided to abandon his struggle against the Man of Steel, and abandon the Earth entirely, in favor of taking up permanent residence on Lexor. Already considered a sort of ultimate hero on that alien planet, Lex finally committed himself to his relationship with Lexor by marrying the Lexorian woman Ardora and siring an infant son. In spite of the recognition he received from the people, Luthor remained secretly unhappy with his venerated status and his new family as long as his long-running conflict with Superman remained unresolved. One day, Luthor stumbled upon an ancient yet sophisticated subterranean laboratory within Lexor and found a hi-tech battlesuit capable of projecting enough raw power to put its user on equal footing as Superman. Knowing that Superman would eventually catch up with him, Luthor tested out his new battlesuit's capabilities on shipments of goods, becoming known in his armored alter ego to the people of Lexor as the "Mystery Marauder." When Superman finally did arrive on Lexor to take Luthor in, motivated by one of Luthor's still-active machines threatening mass destruction on Earth, Luthor unveiled his suit of armor and attacked Superman in it. The people of Lexor, horrified that their beloved defender and champion was secretly the Mystery Marauder the whole time, immediately lost their faith in Luthor, their spirits crushed by the apparent betrayal. Mere moments later, an energy blast fired by Luthor reflected off of Superman's body and hit the Neutrarod, a tower-like construction of Luthor's design which stabilized Lexor's internal vibrations. The immediate result was the complete destruction of Lexor and all of its native inhabitants, including Luthor's wife and child.[32]

Consumed by hatred and grief like never before, Luthor became even more determined to destroy Superman and his loved ones. Locating a chunk of Lexor's crust adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, Lex established his new base of operations there, naming it as L-Island. Then, Luthor confronted Lois Lane with the intention of killing her, hoping to make Superman suffer as he had suffered. Fortunately, learning that Superman was no longer romantically interested in Lois convinced him to spare her and try something else. Ultimately, Luthor settled on building a fake Neutrarod on Earth and waiting for it to grab Superman's attention, reasoning that the Last Son of Krypton would think he was trying to replicate the cataclysm that destroyed Lexor. The ploy worked, and Luthor fought Superman again, this time being forced to flee from an inferno created by Superman's heat vision.[33] [34]

In Luthor's next scheme against Superman, the criminal mastermind's goal was to entrap Superman in his own battlesuit, which he modified to possess limited artificial intelligence and new hologram-projection features. After encasing the Man of Steel, Luthor's semi-autonomous battlesuit proceeded to negate any of Superman's attempts to escape or damage it, simultaneously projecting a hologram of Lex around Superman within and modifying Superman's voice to sound like Lex's. Everyone, including Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen, was deceived into thinking that Superman was Lex Luthor for a day, to the Man of Steel's chagrin. Only a ruse perpetrated by Superman with the collusion of Supergirl tricked Luthor into releasing Superman. In spite of his failure to contain and humiliate Superman, Luthor nonetheless obtained the vital information about Superman's physiology that he hoped to acquire, which he went on to use in his next plot to defeat the hero.[35]

Luthor used a ray capable of altering Superman's perceptions and memories to trick Superman into "relaying" a hallucinatory adventure in which he saved a NASA satellite to his "friend," Clark Kent. When this story was published in the Daily Planet, NASA issued a statement denying the veracity of the story, prompting Morgan Edge to question Superman about whether he gave Clark the bogus story or not. Forced to save the reputation of one of his alter egos and forsake the respectability of the other, Superman told Edge that he relayed no story to Clark Kent, causing Clark to be fired from WGBS and the Daily Planet. Furthermore, although Lex remained unaware that Superman and Clark Kent were really the same person, his plan worked perfectly from his own perspective: To Luthor, Superman fraudulently blamed Clark Kent with making up the satellite story in order to spare his own reputation with the public, and his intent was to wrack Superman's conscience with guilt for condemning his "friend" Clark.[36]

Fortunately for Clark, he found employment at a sporting goods store owned and run by former WGBS sportscaster Steve Lombard, yet as Superman, he still remained a victim of the condemnation of Lana Lang, who refused to believe Clark was dishonest, and of Lex Luthor's mind-games, among them a hallucination that he killed Luthor and accidentally triggered a bomb that destroyed the Earth. Luthor's final attempt to drive Superman insane focused on using his ray to make Superman perceive that the entire world was vanishing around him, leaving him locked within a blank limbo of his own perception, where only Lex Luthor's mocking jeers existed. Superman managed to break through the illusion by focusing on the super-hearing-detectable sounds of his Daily Planet comrades, who were gathered at a celebration held in Clark Kent's honor many miles away. Before Superman and Luthor could get to trading blows, Luthor was teleported away by Brainiac to help plan a course of action for the impending Crisis.[37] [38]

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Aboard Brainiac's Skull Ship, Lex gathered villains from across the Multiverse into a single world-conquering army, even as the Multiverse's heroes expended their energies in war against the Anti-Monitor and his hordes of Shadow Demons. The sacrifices of the Monitor and Earth-One's Flash and Supergirl earned the Multiverse a reprieve from the Anti-Monitor's onslaught. Even still, only five universes (Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, Earth-S, Earth-X) remained in existence, and the means by which these worlds were saved made their continued survival a precarious matter at best. Nonetheless, it was then that Luthor and Brainiac chose to make their move, unleashing the villain army upon the worlds in a grandiose bid for total conquest. Luthor and Brainiac's leadership of the villainous offensive was challenged by Psimon of the Fearsome Five and the Earth-Two Luthor, who were mercilessly exterminated for their defiance.[39] [40] [41] [42]

The climactic war between good and evil was interrupted by the Spectre, who warned that reality would be doomed unless heroes and villains put aside their differences and worked together to put a permanent stop to the Anti-Monitor. While the Spectre, supported by the Multiverse's heroes and sorcerors, traveled to the dawn of time to confront the Anti-Monitor head-on, the Multiverse's villains, once more led by Luthor, were sent back aeons ago to the planet of Oa in order to stop Krona from witnessing the dawn of time through his forbidden experiments. Due to the villains' crippling indecision and pettiness, they failed in their task, and by a cosmic fluke, reality was shattered and reconstructed in that moment. In the present, the five surviving universes were no more, at least in their original differentiated state. In the place of a Multiverse was a New Earth with topographical characteristics and a timeline formed from the merger of the five worlds. Only the individuals present at the dawn of time at the moment of the universal reset could remember that there ever even was a Multiverse, and certain individuals were no longer accomodated by the new timeline and ceased to exist completely. The reset's initial effect was to wipe out all versions of Lex Luthor from time and space except for the Earth-One Luthor, who reappeared in prison with no knowledge or memory of the events of the Crisis or the Multiverse.[43]

For some months after the Crisis drew to a close, Luthor continued to match wits and blows with Superman on a number of occasions.[44] [45] When the timeline of New Earth stabilized though, a number of alterations were made to Luthor's history, transforming him into an essentially new person to match the new state of reality.[46] The continuation of Luthor's original Earth-One timeline would have seen his future rehabilitation and the foundation of his company LexCorp.[47]


Abilities

  • Genius Level Intellect: Lex Luthor was one of the most brilliant minds on Earth, or indeed on any Earth in the vastness of the Multiverse. His genius approached and possibly surpassed that of even super-intelligent alien beings such as Superman and Brainiac.
  • Science: Luthor's comprehension of the sciences is virtually omnidisciplinary.
  • Robotic Engineering: Lex Luthor was an expert in the field of engineering and manufactured no small number of robots and automatons in his lifetime.

Weaknesses

  • Pathological Hatred of Superman: Luthor's hatred of Superman is so deep and all-consuming that it compels Lex to commit to self-destructive, irrational, and petty behaviors in the service of his grudge. This has cost him happiness, victory, and peace of mind on multiple occasions.[48][49]

Equipment

  • Jet Boots: Lex Luthor's later costumes and armors used jet propulsion units in the boots to propel Luthor through the air.
  • Various hi-tech weapons and gadgets
  • Various android and robot minions

Transportation

  • Lex Luthor's Warsuit: An extraterrestrial, highly advanced suit of hi-tech armor found on Lexor prior to that planet's destruction. The warsuit gave Lex physical strength to trade blows fairly evenly with Superman, and its energy weapons proved more than capable of rendering super-powered beings unconscious and inflicting serious pain on Superman himself. The warsuit also gave Luthor roughly an equal degree of invulnerability to Superman, seeing as both of them survived the explosion of Lexor. Later modifications made to the warsuit by Luthor gave it a sort of limited artificial intelligence, enough to follow commands and directives delivered by Luthor himself, and also project a holographic representation of Luthor's image inside the cockpit, enabling Luthor to make Superman appear to be him once Superman was inside. The warsuit was durable enough to resist all of Superman's efforts to escape from it during his time locked inside against his will.[50] [51] [52]
  • Various forms of hi-tech aircraft and spacecraft

Weapons

  • Kryptonite
  • Lex Luthor's Warsuit: An extraterrestrial, highly advanced suit of hi-tech armor found on Lexor prior to that planet's destruction. The warsuit gave Lex physical strength to trade blows fairly evenly with Superman, and its energy weapons proved more than capable of rendering super-powered beings unconscious and inflicting serious pain on Superman himself. The warsuit also gave Luthor roughly an equal degree of invulnerability to Superman, seeing as both of them survived the explosion of Lexor. Later modifications made to the warsuit by Luthor gave it a sort of limited artificial intelligence, enough to follow commands and directives delivered by Luthor himself, and also project a holographic representation of Luthor's image inside the cockpit, enabling Luthor to make Superman appear to be him once Superman was inside. The warsuit was durable enough to resist all of Superman's efforts to escape from it during his time locked inside against his will.[53] [54] [55]
  • Power-Gloves: A pair of gauntlets vastly increasing the concussive force of Luthor's punches, and also capable of draining the power away from Superman upon physical contact to accomplish this feat.[56] [57]
  • Various deadly weapons and gadgets
  • Various hi-tech weapons and gadgets
  • This version of Alexis Luthor (Earth-One), including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • There is a noted discrepancy between Lex Luthor's chronological age in relation to that of Superman's. Both men are approximately the same age, as revealed when they first met as teenagers in Adventure Comics #271. However, in Adventure Comics #253, Superboy passed Luthor on the street, and Luthor was significantly older than the Boy of Steel, and still had a head full of hair (even though he had lost it during his first encounter with Superboy). No explanation has ever been provided for the discrepancy, nor has the Earth-One canonicity of the older Luthor ever been repudiated.
  • Lex Luthor originally had brown hair unlike his other dimensional counterparts who had naturally red hair. Alexei Luthor of Earth-Two for example had a full head of hair and was clean shaven; Alexander Luthor, Sr. of Earth-Three was bald with a red goatee; and the New Earth incarnation of Luthor was first shown with a receding mane of red hair.
  • The Earth-One Luthor's first name in full is actually Alexis, not Alexander. See, for instance, Superman #416.
  • The Pre-Crisis Earth-One Lex Luthor was not characterized as an "untouchable" corrupt corporate magnate, as later incarnations of Luthor would exemplify, starting with the Post-Crisis/pre-Infinite Crisis version introduced in The Man of Steel. Rather, the Earth-One Luthor was a mad scientist, a master criminal, and an occasional would-be world-conqueror. The Earth-One Superman villain who came the closest to the dynamic which the New Earth Luthor would create with Superman (from his debut in the late-80s to the early-00s) was Vandal Savage, who transmigrated from Earth-Two to Earth-One in the early-80s (to evade the complications of his Earth-Two criminal record) and matched wits with the Earth-One Superman for a time as an "evil executive"-type villain.
  • Alexis Luthor is also known as Defender of Lexor; Cyrus Groat; ; Professor Clyde; Mechano-Master; Cerebron; Kryptonite Conqueror; Dominus; Herr Eisner.
  • In 1986, author Alan Moore wrote a two-part imaginary tale which represented the swan song saga of the Pre-Crisis Superman family of characters. Beginning in Superman #423 and concluding in Action Comics #583, the story revealed that Lex Luthor had cybernetically interfaced with his old partner Brainiac. This plot device was later revisited in several of the final season episodes of Justice League Unlimited, in which Luthor was the leader of a cadre of super-villains. Luthor's team was reminiscent of the Legion of Doom from the Challenge of the Super Friends animated series.
  • In the WB/CW television series Smallville, a young Lex Luthor (played by Michael Rosenbaum) becomes close friends with Tom Welling's Clark Kent. Their friendship (and subsequent falling out) is similar to the original flashback meeting between the Silver Age Luthor and Superboy. Like the original story, young Clark is indirectly responsible for Luthor's hair loss, although in Smallville, it is actually radiation from the meteor shower (caught in the wake of Clark's rocket ship) that ultimately causes Lex's hair to fall out.
  • After a time-traveling adventure with Superman, Lex Luthor inadvertently caused the infamous San Francisco earthquake of 1906.[18]

Related


Footnotes


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Superman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."

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Secret Society of Super-Villains member
This character is or was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cadre of super-villains who band together to accomplish feats no one super-villain can do alone, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Secret Society of Super-Villains members" category.