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Lex-El was born on the planet Krypton to the master scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara. Lex was bald from infancy, when his father held his head next to a radioactive mineral as punishment for disobedience. His mother was killed on the day celebrating the 10,000th year of Kryptonian civilisation when one of his father's experiments went awry. The grief-maddened Jor-El destroyed Krypton and fled with his son to Earth, although Lex was kept ignorant of his father's role in Krypton's destruction.

Lex and his father crash-landed on Earth, killing the notorious bank robbers Jonathan and Martha Kent by blinding them with the rocket's exhaust and causing them to crash. Jor-El and Lex began living in Smallville under the names Jordan and Lex Luthor. Under Earth's yellow sun, Lex developed superpowers, becoming the hero Superboy, wearing a wig in his civilian identity as Luthor.

Lex grew up in Smallville with his friends, Clark and Lana Lang, although unbeknownst to both of them, Clark Lang was in fact Clark Kent, the orphaned son of Jonathan and Martha. One day, while Superboy was building a hospital single-handed, he was shot at by an assassin using a bullet made of Kryptonian metal, but the assassin was foiled by Clark, saving Superboy's life.

Lex decided to reveal his secret identity to Clark during a trip to the Rocky Mountains, but just as he was about to do so, Clark became paralyzed and fell off the mountain. Lex saved Clark and carried him to his father's office, only to find Smallville being destroyed by a Matter Vacuum. Lex defeated the machine, and noticed that the circuits were labeled with Kryptonian symbols. Realizing Jor-El had tried to destroy Smallville, Lex headed off to confront his father, but returned home to find his father dead and Clark missing. What Lex did not realise was that Clark, now under the influence of the Chromo-Stimulant implanted in his brain as a baby, had killed Jor-El and fled to embark on a crime spree.

Lex began his career as Superman, having many adventures in Metropolis and around the universe. At some point he built a full-sized replica of the planet Krypton and populated it with androids. He also somehow came into posession of the Temporal Prism, which allowed him to see through time.

Ten years later Lex, now a reporter at the Daily Planet, followed his coworker Lois Lane, who he had a crush on, to the hospital where she volunteered as a nurse. Using his x-ray vision, he saw Lois ministering to a comatose Clark, and overheard a doctor referring to him as a criminal. Lex headed to the precinct station, where Lt. Hanley informed him that Clark Lang had been in a coma for ten years following a failed gas station robbery.

Lex carried Lois to his Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole, where he used his Temporal Prism to show her the truth about Clark Kent, that he was a vicious criminal mastermind and the son of notorious criminals Jonathan and Martha Kent, and that criminal scientist Doctor Markem had implanted the Chromo-Stimulant into Clark's brain as a baby. Lex warned Lois to stay away from Clark, but she refused to listen, declaring she still loved him. Despondant, Lex ordered one of his Superman Robots to carry her back to Metropolis. He then used the Prism to view Clark being teleported away from the hospital. Recognising the old man who abducted Clark as an aged Markem, Lex deduced that Clark had been revived and was ready to strike.

The next day, Superman, in his civilian identity as reporter Lex Luthor, and Lois witnessed Clark robbing a bank with Markem's Matter Digestor. Under the guise of phoning in the story, Lex changed into Superman. A dazed Lois, under the hypnotic influence of Clark's Chromo-Stimulant attempted to approach the criminal, who planned to simply run her down. Superman saved Lois from the Matter Digestor, and knocked her out as she frantically tried to reach Kent. As Clark fled the scene in his Scoop-Craft, he triggered a cobalt bomb in the Matter Digestor, forcing Lex to carry it away and allowing him to escape.

Several days later, Lex rescued Lois from falling masonry incognito rather than making a grand display, causing her to reconsider her view of him as a publicity hound. Lex did not have time to enjoy this, as that evening he was attacked by a Killer-Robot in his apartment. The robot burned off his outer layer of clothing, but Superman quickly destroyed it. However, the robot contained a tape recorder of Clark Kent's voice, who revealed that he knew Superman's secret identity and gave him a time and place for a meeting.

That night at 7PM on Mammoth Mountain, a Superman Robot met with Clark, who informed it that he had tricked Lois into coating her scalp with a deadly chemical, which allowed Kent to kill or stun her at the touch of a button. Superman attempted to grab Kent while he was distracted by the robot, but Kent had anticipated this, and it was revealed that the robot had in fact been speaking to a hologram.

Killer Kent went on a massive crime spree, with Superman powerless to stop him. However, eventually a malfunctioning Superman Robot named XM-7 intervened in one of Kent's robberies. Superman found a note from Kent in Lois' apartment, and believed that Kent had killed her. Although distraught, Superman vowed to foil Kent's next robbery, as he now had no hold over him.

During Clark's next robbery, he warned Superman that he would destroy all of Metropolis with his Sonic Tractor if he attempted to stop him. Lex attacked anyway, destroying the Tractor even as Kent laid waste to the city with Sonic-Bombs. However, Superman revealed that the entire city was deserted, and the civilians that Clark had seemed to kill were merely androids from the replica Krypton.

As a last resort, Kent shot Lex with an Equalizer, a device that stripped Superman of his powers amd transferred them to a nearby object, a broken steering wheel. The two struggled for the wheel, and Lex was able to grab it, regaining his powers. Kent was immediately killed by his short-circuited brain implant. Superman reflected on his old friend's tragic death, noting that he was finally free of the influence of the Chromo-Stimulant.

Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Lex-El possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
    • Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Lex-El's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
    • Heat Vision: Lex-El can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
    • Super-Hearing: Lex-El's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
    • Enhanced Vision Lex-El's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
      This umbrella ability includes the following:
      • Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Lex-El can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
      • Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
      • X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Lex-Els can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived - such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans - is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
      • Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
      • Infrared Vision: Lex-El can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
    • Flight: Lex-El is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
    • Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Lex-El is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Lex-El is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
    • Superhuman Strength: Lex-El's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
    • Superhuman Speed: Lex-El is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
      This also confers:
    • Super-Breath: Lex-El is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.

Weaknesses

  • Kryptonian Metal: Under the light of a yellow sun, Kryptonian metal can pierce Lex-El's invincible skin.

Equipment

  • Temporal Prism: The Temporal Prism is a giant crystal from the planet Ulra. When struck by a beam of light at just the right angle, it allows Superman to see through time and learn secrets of the past.
  • Kryptonite does not exist on Earth-230 as Krypton was destroyed by Lethal Liquid rather than exploding. As such, there was no Kryptonite in the pre-Crisis multiverse which would harm Lex-El.

Related


Footnotes


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Superman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman, and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Family members" category.