Lex Luthor was the owner and CEO of LexCorp. After the star athlete Dale Suderman left the Los Angeles Talons in 1999, Luthor attempted to sign him to the Metropolis Monarchs, which he owned. He told the media that he was close to reaching a deal with the Mayor to build a new sports arena on Metropolis' Westside. He believed that the opportunity to play in a new arena would entice Dale to join the Monarchs. However, immediately afterwards, Dale announced that not only was he was establishing his own basketball franchise, the Metropolis Spartans, but that he had won the contract to build the arena on the Westside.
Swearing revenge for this humiliation, Luthor had his best reporter Lois Lane, a Pulitzer Prize winner who worked at The Daily Planet and was acquainted with Dale from her days of covering sports, try to find any improprieties in his past. Lois objected to Luthor's tactics, telling him that in spite of the fact that he owned the Planet, its function was not to advance his business agenda. Nevertheless, she proceeded with the interview. Hoping to find out the truth of Dale's origins, Luthor also sent a private investigator named Malloy to Dale's native Pleasantville, Kansas to learn all he could. While Malloy's investigations came to naught, he hit a breakthrough when he heard a salesman turned self-help guru's commercial mentioning his encounter with the "miracle baby" in Kansas in 1974. From the guru, they learned the exact location of the accident and were able to find the ship which had brought Dale to Earth.
The next day, Luthor printed a story claiming that Dale was an alien. Dale was outraged, calling the story "science fiction crap." Luthor told him that he had prove and showed him the ship. After being temporarily weakened by a piece of green rock contained in the ship, Dale threatened Luthor physically but was shot by his security men before he could do so. Dale fell out of the office window, hundreds of feet to the ground below, but flew back up immediately. This proved to not only Luthor but the general public that Dale was, in fact, an alien. Although Dale considered killing Luthor, he ultimately refrained from doing so.
With the revelation that he was an alien, public opinion began to turn against Dale with many demanding that he return his numerous medals and trophies as he had cheated. They did not believe Dale's claims that he had previously suppressed his memories of having superpowers. By reviewing CCTV footage of the incident, Luthor's scientists determined that the green rock was detrimental to Dale's health. To that end, a man in Luthor's employ shot Dale while he was being interviewed on The Whitty Banter Show. Dale was grievously injured but survived. Several months later, Luthor was indicted for his role in the shooting.
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