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"You will always be my greatest enemy on any Earth. It's written in the stars and in this book, or I wouldn't know that on this Earth, Clark Kent--heh heh--is Superman. Where I come from, that would be ridiculous. He can't see past his glasses."
—Lex Luthor[src]

Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor[1] (c. 1984[2]–2019; resurrected 2019) is a billionaire industrialist, inventor, and scientist, as well as one of the most intelligent people in the world. He was the best friend-turned-archenemy of Superman, whom he viewed as an obstacle to his megalomaniacal plans and as a threat to the very existence of humanity. A charismatic and well-known, yet controversial public figure, Lex was the CEO of Luthor Corp until he was succeeded by his half-sister Lena following his incarceration of 32 consecutive life sentences at Stryker's Island Penitentiary. Lex later managed to escape from prison to continue his war against Kryptonians, eventually being killed by his half-sister. Mar Novu later resurrected him in order to have Lex's help in the crisis, during which he used the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality and replace Earth-96's Superman as the Paragon of Truth. As a result, he became one of only few survivors of the original multiverse, into a new universe where he was never arrested and nobody remembers his crimes.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

Lex Luthor was born in Metropolis to billionaires Lionel and Lillian Luthor. He hails from one of the city's wealthiest and most prestigious families. Since early childhood, Lex exhibited an extremely high intellect, which made his mother greatly proud of him, often referring to her son as a "genius" and being very close to him as he grew up.[3][4]

During his early childhood, Lex learned to play chess from Russian grandmaster Anatoly Karpov.[1] An introverted child, Lex had a dog named Ignatius, whom he considered his closest companion. When Lex was 7 years old, Ignatius fell ill and had to be put down. Lex wanted to be present at the procedure, but Lillian felt that her son was too sentimental and forbade it, forcing him to go on a business trip with his father instead. There, the duo were accompanied by a woman to whom Lionel gave all of his attention. At first, Lex swore to himself that he would loathe the woman for taking his father from him when he needed him the most, but couldn't keep his promise because of how kind she was to him. On the day they put down Ignatius, the woman embraced Lex and sang him a beautiful Irish song in order to comfort him. By the end of the trip, Lex wished that the woman was his mother.[5]

Young Lex Luthor

Lex as a young boy in 1997.

In 1997, after Lena (whom Lex figured out early on was secretly Lionel's illegitimate daughter with the woman on their business trip) was adopted into the Luthor family after her mother's death, Lex made her feel especially welcome.[6] When they first met, he invited her to play a game of chess that the four-year-old girl eventually won.[7] After this, they started to playing chess together very often, regularly leaving secret notes for each other inside chess pieces.[8] Sometime later, at the age of 13, Lex read the entire biography of Oscar Wilde and began impersonating him to the point of asking for weeks to being called with the author's pseudonym: Sebastian Melmoth.[2]

Luthor family in 1997

The Luthor family right after Lionel brought Lena home.

During their youth, Lex and Lena were very close;[9] he affectionately referred to Lena as "The Lost Princess" like the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanova,[8] and would always challenge her to succeed in her inventions.[10] Despite constantly being very hard on her, Lex acknowledged Lena's potential and considered his behavior the best way to ensure that his sister would keep getting better.

According to Lena, Lex would build anthills for days in order to make ants believe they were coming back home before setting them on fire.[5] Also, in their school days, both he and Lena had a Latin tutor named Ms. Krinick who, every time Lex misquoted Salutati, sent him to a corner and forced him to repeat "Ego me non placebo" ("I don't like myself") until his Latin improved.[5]

Lionel Luthor

Over the years, Lex's difficult relationship with his father Lionel eventually grew to a deep hate over him.

Despite being deeply loved by his mother and half-sister, Lex had a difficult relationship with his father, as Lionel was distant[5] and favored Lena over him.[4] Their relationship worsened when Lionel started heavily drinking eventually becoming an alcoholic, Lex grew to hate his father because he stayed with the family, making their lives miserable.[1]

Young Lex and Lena in their tree house

Young Lex and Lena in their tree house.

One day, Lena stole Lionel's prized fountain pen, a gift he received from the King of Jordan, in order to please Lex. However, Lex deemed the gesture "pathetic" since if Lena knew how brilliant she was, she didn't have to cry to gain attention. To escape their father's wrath, they hid on their tree house, where Lex would comfort Lena, assuring her that Lionel could not climb when he was drunk. Lex promised that one day, he would have had all the money in the world and build a house on the Alps for his sister in order to keep her safe.[8]

Luthor Corp

The Luthor Corp building.

Lex inherited the family company, Luthor Corp, after his father passed away, becoming the new CEO. He then hired Mercy and Otis Graves as head of the company's head of security and a member of security, respectively.[11] Over time, Lex's relationship with Mercy grew deeper, to the point that she eventually became his closest confidant and frequent dinner guest. It was even strongly implied that there was a romantic connection between them.[10]

Illegal business with Bruno Mannheim

At some point, Lex became partners-in-crime with Bruno Mannheim for illegal schemes related to Luthor Corp. With Lex's help, Mannheim laundered money through Luthor Corp, but he soon dumped Lex as his partner when the latter was investigated by the state. The center of the scheme were parking lots which Mannheim purchased through a subsidiary he bought from Lex. According to Lena, it was Lex's affiliation with Mannheim that sent him down the wrong path in his life.[11]

Dealings with Superman

Superman

Superman, Lex's best friend-turned-archenemy.

Years later, as the Kryptonian superhero Superman made his debut in Metropolis, Lex kidnapped and interrogated Jimmy Olsen, the young photojournalist who took the 1st photo of Superman, in order to find out what he knew about the superhero.[2] In spite of this, Lex and Superman would later become best friends and they initially worked together to repel the threat of alien invasions. However, Lex's methods were far crueler than Superman's, which set them at odds. Although Superman tried hard to trust his friend, defending him against the accusations of others and continuing to give him several chances to atone for his wrong deeds,[7] Lex ultimately proved unable to forever deceive Superman, who eventually realized his true nature; this consequently resulted in a falling out between the pair. Shortly after this, Lex came to believe that Superman himself was the cause of alien terrorism, since his presence attracted extraterrestrials, and declared war on his former friend, becoming his greatest enemy.[3][6] Lex's obsession with taking down the Man of Steel soon dissolved his relationship with Mercy.[10]

Lexosuit in the mountain vault

One of Lex's battle armors, the Lexosuits, stored in his mountain vault.

After Lex started targeting Superman, Lena grew concerned for her brother's well-being and tried to help him, but he ignored her.[12] Thus, their relationship quickly fractured as Lex kicked Lena out of Luthor Corp[1] and proceeded with his plans to destroy Superman, committing unspeakable crimes. He tried first to use Spheerical Industries' technology in order to pulverize Kryptonite (a mineral that he later began to study intensively) and spread it in the air.[13] One of his subsequent endeavors involved triggering a fault line in California with an "earthquake machine", which was tended to by Superman.[6] Another incident involved Lex creating and selling a series of battle armors he called "Lexosuits", which Superman was not happy about.[14] Lex would use the Lexosuit to even the playing field when facing the Kryptonian.[7] Also, Lex wrote in his journals several possible methods to defeat Superman, one of which involved a crippling overdose of the drug of a certain Doctor Crane, while another consisted in using a sample of Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy's pheromone in an attempt to mind control his nemesis.[8] Lex also had notes of his own way to do so by using Q-Waves to get past Superman's invulnerable skin.[15]

Lex's Mansion

Lex Luthor's cloaked mansion.

Over the years, Lex built many secret storage facilities around the world, where he kept arsenals of weapons that he collected to defeat Superman once-and-for-all.[7] He also converted his own cloaked mansion's basement into a bunker designed to protect him from any threats, only confiding in Lena of the mansion's location.[9]

Theorizing that Superman had hidden every weapon used against him by Lex himself or anyone of his many enemies into a "secret fortress", Lex spent years searching for it, although to no avail.[16]

Lex went so far as to inject himself with Kryptonite in order to keep Superman away from him,[5] as well as kidnapping Jimmy again, whom he tortured and left with 16 scars.[1]

Incarceration

After several years and various brutal encounters resulting in numerous fatalities, Lex and Superman had a final confrontation in early 2016, prior to which Lex turned Earth's yellow sun red in an attempt to de-power the Kryptonian, consequently causing destruction on a global scale.

Lex watches over Metropolis with Lena after he turned the sun red

Lex watches over Metropolis with Lena after he turned the sun red.

Lex took Lena captive in his office in Metropolis while observing the results of his work from various monitors, as his half-sister tearfully told him that he didn't have to go through with his actions, Lex, quoting a sentence from Epicurus, claimed he was doing it for the entire human race, then, taking her in front of the window to listen to the citizens' cries of pain, commented that they were already cheering. When Lena angrily replied that he would kill millions of people as the world couldn't live under a red sun, Lex responded that not even Superman can and explained that humans had grown complacent and they must put faith in themselves instead of looking up to Superman. He considered it his duty to dispel the world of the notion that Superman was invincible since, by killing the Kryptonian, Lex would finally wake them up and show them what Superman really was; a false god.

Lex surrenders to the police

Lex surrenders to the police.

Shocked after seeing him shoot down a Metropolis Police Department helicopter during his monologue, Lena commented in disgust that at least Superman was a good man, causing Lex to yell in anger that he wasn't and he (Lex) should be the "Man of Tomorrow" instead. Lena then asked if then was all about his ego, to which Lex answered it was for science as he wanted to see if the Kryptonian could bleed, since even gods can die. Then, a team of agents stormed into the office and Lex calmly allowed them to arrest him, telling his half-sister that one day everyone would thank him for what he had done.[5]

Lex was somehow able to escape from them, being subsequently recaptured at his mansion after Superman managed to thwart his plans and finally defeat him.[7]

Lex speaks at his trial

Lex speaks at his trial.

Two months later, he underwent a trial in which Mercy was a key witness, betraying him,[11] also both James and Lena (the latter revealing she was wearing a wire when he turned the sun red) testified about his actions. Lex scribbled in Kryptonese on a sheet for the duration of said testimonies and as before reading the verdict, the judge asked him if he had any statements, he replied that "Superman made him do it" stating that he was trying to protect humanity from extinction since aliens lived among them and there would always be a "before" and an "after" Superman.

Lex is escorted to Stryker's Island Penitentiary

Lex is escorted to Stryker's Island Penitentiary.

After the judge condemned him to 31 consecutive life terms, she and the jury started to cough and eventually died poisoned, to which Lex pointed sarcastically that maybe 32 was better, being consequently dragged away by the guards.[1]

Lex was incarcerated for said consecutive life terms[6] in Stryker's Island Penitentiary.[17]
Eve meets Lex

Lex meets Eve Teschmacher.

There he was visited by Eve Teschmacher whom he noticed amongst the crowd, calling out to him while being taken away from court, prompting him to have Otis recruit her since he recognized her as the fangirl who sent him several letters over the years. During their meeting, Lex asked her to infiltrate CatCo Worldwide Media to spy on James Olsen.[1]

After Lena took over Luthor Corp, with plans to rename it to "L-Corp" and atone for Lex's crimes, he hired the international assassin-for-hire John Corben to kill her in National City. However, his plan was thwarted by Superman and Supergirl, leading Corben to be nearly killed and later turned into the Kryptonite-powered cyborg known as Metallo by Project Cadmus, headed by Lillian.[6]

Plotting with Kaznia

Lex engrave a bass-relief on his cell's wall

Lex engrave a bass-relief of Hannibal crossing the alps on his cell's wall.

While in prison, Lex spent the next few years planning his escape, corrupting the warden, as well as the guards and the other inmates; furthermore, to alleviate boredom, he began to engrave on the wall of his cell a bas-relief depicting Hannibal crossing the Alps and building a secret computer room inside it, he also wrote dozen of diaries.[8] Then, in mid 2018, he was informed by Kaznia's Minister of Defense about the existence of the copy of Supergirl and, after leaving an hologram in his cell at his place, he leave prison for seventy-two hours and reached for her in Kaznia, eventually founding the girl in a cabin in the woods after she saved a young boy from some thieves, due to her only memory: the name "Alex". Relying on this, Lex convinced the copy to be "Alex" and accepted the offer of the Kaznian government to condition her in order to make her a weapon, then, after Eve recognized a soldier who had made the copy "uncomfortable", Lex ordered for him to be executed and later scolded Eve for flinching during this.

Lex, Eve and Otis in Kaznia

Lex, Eve and Otis in Kaznia.

He got close to the copy and asked her if she would like to learn how to control her strength, then having a first training session with her, and beginning to instruct, promising her to explain everything regarding her origins and sending her books and other material before departing due to his seventy-two free hours having nearly expired. Moving away, he asked Eve how the copy's existence could be possible, to which she replied revealing him about the Harun-El and her experiments with Lena. Lex complimented her and ordered her to ensure she got results with her research, then explained his plan to force a war between United States and Kaznia to foil it and become a hero in the eyes of public opinion, ordering Otis to manipulate his sister to create the Children of Liberty placing Ben Lockwood as their leader to serve as the "All-American Hero" to use as a scapegoat, while Lex came back to prison since considering it "the best alibi". On October 10, 2018, Lex bought a missile base in Kaznia using the pseudonym of Sebastian Melmoth and ArmeTek as a cover.[2]

Lex plays chess with Supergirl's copy

Lex plays chess with Supergirl's copy.

Some weeks later, he came back to the copy in Kaznia, to control her training and continue to teach her English, during a game of chess, Lex told the copy to consider her very similar to his sister, who, however, had disappointed and abandoned him; after which he scolded her for appreciating The Great Gatsby (one of the books he had sent her) instructing her on how capitalism makes men weak and that the only reason he has money is to fight them.

Lex conditions Supergirl's copy

Lex conditions Supergirl's copy.

Later, as the Children of Liberty released Kryptonite into the Earth's atmosphere, Lex placed the copy into a special confinement cube to protect her and pierced her ears to make her more similar to Supergirl. Lex decided to spend the time necessary for the cloud to clear up to tell the copy that she was one of the last Children of Krypton and that her task was to start a period of peace on Earth by bringing together all the peoples and fighting the champions of corrupt governments: Superman and Supergirl. He also told her that Supergirl was her sister and robbed her of her place in the World.

In the aftermath of those events, Otis got killed by an Hellgrammite[18] and Lex ordered Eve to perform the "Metallo Procedure" over him reviving him as a Kryptonite-powered cyborg.[19]

A disguised Lex and Linda Lee in National City

A disguised Lex and "Linda Lee" in National City.

After a month, he took the copy to National City under the alias of "Linda Lee", in order to let her see how dissolute are the lives of the people that Supergirl protected. Lex also brought "Linda" to see Kara Danvers' apartment (revealing to know her secret identity) so that she learned her way of thinking and developed disgust for her counterpart's luxurious lifestyle. While there, Lex and "Linda" were almost caught by Alex, but the copy managed to deceive her posing as Kara. A few hours later, he was informed by Eve that the copy "has a conscience" and it could be a problem for their project, as she founded her while trying to approach Lena at CatCo, so, in order to strengthen her resentment towards the Americans, Lex ordered her and Otis to stage the bombardment of the house of the child that the copy saved, by an American aircraft carrier.

Lex scolds Supergirl's copy

Lex scolds Supergirl's copy.

However, after she discovered it, she attacked the aircraft, ignoring Lex's advice not to do it, and, after he stopped her and staged her attack at the platform to seem like an accident, he scolded her for having risked compromising all their work due to a moment of weakness, after the copy confronted him about everything he wasn't telling her, Lex simply replied she had "disappointed" him.[1]

Meanwhile, he ordered the abduction of numerous aliens, having them deported to Kaznia with the secret support of the U. S. government, in order to perform various experiments on them and their powers.[20]

Cancer

Months later, Lex was informed that the copy was sick due to some sort of disease and, against all of Eve's advises not to do it, he decided to enter a radioactive chamber in order to developed an inoperable cancer[1] telling everyone that it was due to having previously injected himself with Kryptonite.

Lex contacts his sister for help

Lex contacts his sister for help.

His plan worked and he eventually suffered a stroke, so he contacted Lena for assistance and she decided to help him. Knowing that Lena was working on the Harun-El in search of a cure for cancer, Lex pulled some strings, arranging for her to work with the D.E.O. and use their resources, with Colonel Lauren Haley oblivious to the fact that he was behind it. He also sent Eve,[19] to shoot James Olsen and use his signal watch to call Supergirl onto the scene as part of a larger plan.[5]

Cure and escape

Freed from prison on a mercy furlough, Lex was transported to his mansion on a helicopter, escorted by a massive deployment of FBI agents. After he arrived and Lena coldly asked if he wanted to see her so badly, Lex sarcastically answered he missed her.

Lex at house arrest in his mansion

Lex at house arrest in his mansion.

After he was escorted inside and handcuffed to a wheelchair by the federal agents, Lex explained that they never let him out of their sight as if they feared he would escape like a dog without a leash, to which Lena told him he would have done it, causing Lex to smile and told her he couldn't due to his condition, reminding her that he was dying. Lena replied sarcastically that she knew it, since in the past six weeks he only spoke about that during their phone calls. Lex told her that he was not accustomed to needing help, telling he considered it "weak" and "pathetic", as well that he would be saved if she tested the Harun-El on humans. After Lena firmly refused, he asked her what was the meaning of all he had done to help her have better resources to her work then, asking if everything she really wanted was "a front row seat to watching him die", to which she replied that despite everything he was her brother and she wanted to save him. They were interrupted by Eve Teschmacher, who entered the room in a panic to inform Lena about James, and was mocked by Lex who asked for a macchiato, telling her to call him "Lex" as it was easy to write.

Lex and Lena working together at the Harun-El drug

Lex and Lena working together at the Harun-El drug.

Once Lena came back from the hospital and asked him to help her work on the Harun-El in order to save James' life as well as his own, Lex commented on the irony of the two of them working together to save "Superman's pal," wondering what would their mother had think, all while staring at a painting of Lillian. While working at the Harun-El remembering the times they "worked together" as children, Lex felt sick and started coughing up blood, so Lena called a guard to bring him a glass of water but he let it fall to the floor, saying he could lick it like a dog. Before Lena could react, Lex told her that he was used to it since "he wasn't very popular in prison." He then told her that he was proud of her and her accomplishments, right before saying to get back to work as sentimentality would have killed him faster than his cancer.

Lex tells Lena about her mother

Lex tells Lena about her mother.

Lex was subsequently assaulted by an utterly indifferent government agent and, while Lena helped him by telling the agent to gave her the keys to his handcuffs, he told his sister not to blame the man as "He knows not what he does," comparing himself to Jesus. Later, while Lex and Lena were testing the Harun-El drug on tumorous hearts while reminiscing about their childhood, they finally managed to shrink the tumor but, moments later, Lena received a phone call from Alex Danvers and was informed that James was about to undergo a surgical operation with a high risk of death. As she fell depressed and stated she couldn't save James anymore, Lex told her that he always knew she was his half-sister and revealed the beautiful memory he had of her mother, stating that, unlike him who was born from hate, Lena was born from love and even if the rest of their family lurked in darkness with pride, she would always fall into the light. Then he urged her to reach for James, telling her that he needed her.

Lex during the power outage

Lex during the power outage.

After Lena left, Lex remotely cut off the backup power of the hospital during the power outage caused by Manchester Black, forcing his sister to inject James with the Harun-El in order to save his life. However, Lena realized what he had done and confronted him while he was having a cup of tea. Lex immediately admitted that he was responsible for the hospital's blackout as well as James' shooting in order to give Lena the incentive and a human test subject on which she could test the Harun-El to guarantee its safety to be used as a healing agent. When a disgusted Lena replied that she would never give him the cure, Lex, not surprised, revealed that he already had someone administer it to him.

A cured Lex escapes house arrest

A cured Lex escapes house arrest.

The FBI agent in the room then revealed himself to be Otis, thought to be dead and disguised by an image inducer, and he restrained Lena to Lex's wheelchair after the latter stood up and tore off his prison garb to reveal a sharp suit. Lex then called for Eve, who entered and shot another federal agent, revealing she was working with Lex all along. Lex revealed he had no intention of killing Lena, then ordered Otis to chloroform her and Eve to "take care of her." He then left the mansion, killing a handful of federal agents with the mansion's security systems and another group of agents with landmines hidden in the ground. Then, Lex prepared to flee by helicopter, only to be intercepted by Supergirl, whom he was happy to finally meet in person.[5]

Lex smashes the Daily Planet's globe on Supergirl

Lex smashes the Daily Planet's globe on Supergirl.

Lex quickly jumped out of the helicopter and donned his Lexosuit being chased by Supergirl through Metropolis' skies and over the roof of the Daily Planet, there Lex had a brief confrontation with her revealing to have developed powers thanks to the Harun-El and then lifting the Daily Planet's globe to smash it on Supergirl. A few hours later he arrived to Kaznia and gave Supergirl's copy a blood transfusion in order to restore her health, apologizing with her for having leave, giving her a suit and calling her his legacy: his Red Daughter.[1]

Some weeks later, Lena and Supergirl went to his cell at Stryker's Island Penitentiary in order to find evidence regarding his plans, triggering a secret alarm. Lex sent Otis to take care of them, however, when his henchman failed and the National Guard broke in to arrest the Girl of Steel as the Public Enemy No. 1, Lex called Otis via phone ordering him to enter his cell and detonate him to destroy all the evidence. He then had Eve rebuild Otis and resurrect him a second time.[8]

"Hero" of his Country

Lex suggests Red Daughter to attack Eliza Danvers

Lex suggests Red Daughter to attack Eliza Danvers.

Later as Lex was working in his laboratory, Red Daughter reached for him to inform him that Kara Danvers had escaped her and she failed him, however he reassured her that she had not, since she made her bleed and he knew that Kryptonite alone couldn't kill Supergirl yet her heart could, so he ordered her to head to Kara's apartment and threaten to kill Eliza Danvers.

Lex and Eve experiments on a Lexosuit's gautlet

Lex and Eve experiment on the Lexosuit's gauntlet.

Lex subsequently created a compact version of the Claymore satellite for his Lexosuit powering it with the energy extracted by the powers of all the aliens he has kidnapped, then, as he was experimenting with it alongside Eve, he tested his function ordering to a random security officer to "stand very still" and then kill him by firing to him an energy blasts from his gauntlet. He then scolded Eve again for having flinched, but she reassured it was not because of the murder but for Otis, who was killed again by Ben Lockwood; Lex ordered the man's execution and asked Eve if she realized that the World was about to be theirs, prompting the girl to answer that she knew it from the very first time they met, they shared a kiss and then the woman departed to deal with Lockwood.

Lex talks to President Baker

Lex talks to President Baker.

Five hours later, Lex went to the White House and met his secret accomplice, President Baker, who since Kaznian's forces were gathering at the border has begun to be doubtful of the plan, Lex reminded him of everything he had done for his political career and to never doubt the success of his plans, then he received a phone call from a Kaznian General and gave them the green light for the attack, wishing him good luck.[21]

Lex kills Red Daughter

Lex "kills" Red Daughter.

However, as Kaznia began its invasion on the soil of the United States, he attacked them immediately, annihilating single-handedly their forces and, when Red Daughter reached the battlefield late due to her battle with Supergirl (in which she had supposedly killed her) Lex shot her in front of the cameras, making it appear as if he had murdered her, thus accomplishing his plan and prompting the media to acclaim him as a hero with a special broadcast held by the President.[22]

Lex mocks an imprisoned Red Daughter

Lex mocks an imprisoned Red Daughter.

Afterwards, Lex transported Red Daughter to Shelley Island and imprisoned her in an ArmeTek's containment cell designed to extract energy from her alien powers and convert it into a power source for a bigger and most powerful version of Claymore. As she regained consciousness, Red Daughter claimed that she had trusted him, prompting Lex to mock her stating that she should have been either stupid or naive, since she had access to the Internet and thus all his personal history and should have known that defending Kaznia was not something he would have done and, especially, that he hated Kryptonians like her. Red Daughter told Lex that he should have killed her, however, he left the room stating that he had bigger plans for her.[21]

Lex Luthor is rehabilitated to the media

Lex Luthor is rehabilitated to the media.

Later on, Lex showed off various "proofs of magnanimity" including rebuilding and supplying energy to the houses that had been damaged by the Kaznian bombing, and the President announced his upcoming appointment to Secretary of the United States Department of Alien Affairs.[21]

Descending upon Washington, D.C.

Lex and Eve at the White House

Lex and Eve at the White House.

He then settled at the Oval Office and summoned his mother and half-sister for a private tea party, commenting that three Luthors in said place was something that could happen only in America as they entered the room. After Lena asked him if he had tied the President in a closet, Lex stated that "puppets don't need to be tied"; then Lillian asked her children to play nicely as that was their first family reunion in years, stating her murderous son having duped the Earth to think he was a hero was something completely normal for the Luthor family, suggesting they had a cup of tea while Lex explained that everything he had done was for all of them, in order to have their family's name rehabilitated and take their proper place in history by revolutionizing energy worldwide using aliens as batteries with his last discovery. When Lena stated how vile his plan was, Lex quoted responded that he "doesn't see why men shouldn't be cruel as nature", to which Lillian noted that he should not quote Hitler in public.

Lex confronts Eve over his plan to destroy Argo City and Superman

Lex confronts Eve over his plan to destroy Argo City and Superman.

Lena pointed out that since he had supposedly killed Supergirl and took over America, Superman would come back from Argo City in order to defeat him, however, Lex stated that the first batch of depleted aliens would have charged the satellite weapon that would have destroyed both Argo and his nemesis. Hearing this, Eve asked Lex to speak privately and expressed her concern about wasting an amount of energy that should have lasted for decades because of his obsession on defeating Superman, however, he remained that they weren't partners due to him being the boss and that all victories need fireworks.

Lex has a toast to victory

Lex has a toast to victory.

After Lex came back to Lena and Lillian inside the Oval Office, he brought champagne and proposed a toast, assuring his mother that, unlike the tea she had offered to him, it doesn't contain poison; Lena then told him that what he was about to do was genocide and the public would eventually found out the truth, however Lex replied that the truth was meaningless since everyone believed he was Earth's savior due to their need of a human hero, he claimed that facts are irrelevant as people don't read and even if they do, they don't think since he was the leader of the Country.[21]

Battle of Shelley Island

Lex prepares for his final showdown with Supergirl

Lex prepares for his final showdown with Supergirl.

Following his toast to victory, Lex turned on a monitor and tried to activate the satellite but it doesn't fire, so Eve informed him of the Superfriends having attacked Shelley Island and he immediately donned his Lexosuit to take care of the matter personally. After he arrived at the island and started to shoot the implant, Lex was intercepted by Supergirl, who sent him falling to the ground into a warehouse. Surprised, Lex commented how similar she was with her cousin, stating that no matter how many times he got rid of her, she would always resurface. They started to battle and, despite Supergirl was wearing her protective suit, Lex managed to best her and poison her with Kryptonite, however after he was ready to kill her with a final Kryptonite blast, Red Daughter (who was freed alongside the other aliens prisoners) shielded Supergirl from his shot and died, merging back into Kara and giving her enough power to reject his next blast with her heat vision, sending Lex through the window.

Lex refuses to be saved by a Kryptonian

Lex refuses to be saved by a Kryptonian and fall to his "death".

Although he managed to escape, his Lexosuit was badly damaged and eventually he fell into the void and his grabbed to the arm by Supergirl but, refusing to be saved by a Kryptonian he unhooked his gauntlet and let himself fall to the ground while the crowd cheered the superheroine after Lex's crimes were exposed to the public by a blog posted by Kara.[21]

Death

Lena extracts the Harun-El from Lex's system

Lena extracts the Harun-El from Lex's system.

Lex Luthor, however, managed to survive the impact and teleported himself to the cabin he and Lena loved when they were children thanks to a device of his suit. There, he was ambushed by Lena, who extracted the Harun-El from his system removing his superpowers. Lex complimented his half-sister for having found that location and, as she pointed a gun at him he stated that she was unable to harm him, being sincerely surprised when she shot him in the chest.

Lex dies

Lex dies.

On the verge of dying, Lex accepted his fate with dignity telling Lena that he was proud of her, admired her abilities and had underestimated her for all their life, right before to showing Lena a video footage that revealed Kara Danvers' true identity as Supergirl and the fact that everyone in her life has hidden that secret from her. Lex's last words to Lena before dying were that, unlike her, he hasn't lived as a fool and that she would have remained with no one and nothing.[21]

Resurrection

Lex in the Monitor's realm

Lex in The Monitor's realm.

Later on, Lex's body was visited by Mar Novu who decided to use Lex for his goals, filling his body with interdimensional energy.[21] Novu resurrected Lex to put his mind to use during the crisis. Lex was left in the Monitor's realm with only intergalactic chess games to entertain himself, which he always won. Eventually, Novu returned and after Lex welcomed him back pleasantly, noting that his realm is a bit stale, Lex was offered the opportunity to become the hero he always thought he was.

Lex negogiates with Novu

Lex negotiates with Mar Novu.

Though Lex already believed he was a hero, the Monitor's approach proved to be right and Lex happily agreed to help. He got up from his chair and demanded that before he offered his aide they first discuss how to properly handle his sister.[23] The two struck a deal that in exchange for Lex's assistance during the impending Crisis, Novu would insure that Lena survived the multiversal threat unscathed and all her memories of her life up to that point and after would be intact.[24]

Anti-Monitor Crisis

Killing the Supermen of the Multiverse
Lex Luthor on Earth-74's Waverider

Lex Luthor on Earth-74's Waverider.

After the Anti-Monitor Crisis began, the Monitor brought on board of the Waverider from Earth-74, shocking Kara who told the cosmic entity she couldn't trust someone that considers Lex Luhor an ally, however he replied that Lex has a role to play in his plan. After Kara left the room, Kate Kane, having overheard the conversation, threatened Lex remembering him that if he died again no one would have bring him back.

Lex holding the Book of Destiny

Lex holding the Book of Destiny.

A few moments later, Harbinger started to hear voices in her head telling her to prevent Luthor from taking the Book of Destiny so she went to the ship's library only to find the man already holding the item and opening a breach stating that "No Man Should Be Able to Fly" before to disappear in it. As the Monitor entered the room, he told Harbinger that was all part of his plan. Then, Lex went to Earth-75 and killed its Superman right in front of Lois Lane's doppelgänger.

Lex confronts Earth-167's Clark

Lex confronts Earth-167's Clark.

Later, he went to Earth-167's Smallville appearing right in front to its version of Clark Kent and making disappear Lois Lane, Iris West-Allen and Earth-38's Clark, who had slightly preceded him to inform Clark of the danger, then introduced himself. Unimpressed, Clark said he wasn't Lex, to which he replied no matter the universe, Superman would always be his enemy as the Book of Destiny told Lex that his true name was Clark Kent, but he believed that was only true in this universe and that the Clark Kent in his own universe couldn't possibly be Superman, to Clark's amusement. Lex declared that he would kill him and every other Superman in the multiverse.

Lex leaves Earth-167 disappointed

Lex leaves Earth-167 disappointed.

Lex pulled out a piece of Kryptonite, but because Clark had given up his powers, it had no effect and Clark snatched it out of his hand and threw it into a field. Lex was incredulous that Clark would give up the powers of a god, so Clark explains that he did it to have a family. When Clark was distracted by Earth-167's Lois calling for him, Lex angrily tried to punch him, but Clark easily caught the punch and decked him. Lex said killing a powerless Superman would be no fun and left through a portal, saying Clark and his world were doomed anyway.

Lex uses the Book of Destiny to force Supermen to fight

Lex uses the Book of Destiny to force Superman to fight Superman.

Later, Lex appeared on Earth-96's Daily Planet, where Earth-38 Clark, Lois and Iris had finally found the Paragon of Truth: that universe's version of Clark Kent. As he walked in the editor-in-chief's office, he jokingly told them that to his own astonishment, he is getting tired of killing Superman, so he used the Book of Destiny's power to force Earth-96 Clark into try to kill Earth-38 Clark, the two Supermen engage in a battle through the skies of Earth-96 Metropolis, until Lois managed to knock Lex out, and they were able to make Earth-96 Clark came back to his senses.

Lex imprisoned on the Waverider

Lex imprisoned on the Waverider.

Then, Clark, Lois, Iris and Earth-96 Clark returned to the Waverider locking Lex in a cell, while the Monitor confessed that his had always been to take advantage of Lex's jealousy towards Kryptonians to have the madman weed out the Supermen in the multiverse that weren't the Paragon.[25]

Making himself a Paragon

On December 10, 2019, after the Paragon detector was ultimated by Ray Palmer and Cisco Ramon, the heroes split in order to accomplish their separate missions with Lois coordinating them; the only two who remained on board of the Waverider were Kate and Kara.

Kate interrogates Lex

Kate interrogates Lex.

Being determined to use the Book of Destiny to restore her homeworld, Kara went to Lex's cell and had him interrogated and beat by Kate in order to make him reveal how the artifact worked. Lex stated that the user should concentrate on something specific - as he did with his hatred for Superman - otherwise he would have gotten crazy like happened to Deegan. Hearing this, Kara and Kate lock him once again inside his cell and left the room, with Batwoman determined to prevent Supergirl from using the Book.

The Paragons in the Vanishing Point

The Paragons in the Vanishing Point.

Later, after the Anti-Monitor possessed Harbinger, killing the Monitor and destroying even Earth-1, thus the whole multiverse, with a massive antimatter wave, Lex seemingly dies together with all of the heroes on board of the Waverider. However, after Pariah teleported the Paragons to the Vanishing Point, Earth-96 Superman started to deteriorate and eventually vanished, while Lex appeared at his place, revealing he used a page of the Book of Destiny he had kept with himself to replace Clark as the Paragon of Truth. Then, he playfully smirked asking what the others planned to do now.[26]

Lex and Ryan Choi works on a teleportation device

Lex and Ryan Choi works on a teleportation device.

Over their several weeks in the Vanishing point, Lex and Ryan Choi attempted to create an inter-dimensional teleporter device in order to escape, although they weren't sure if it would work as there was nowhere to be teletrasported.

Lex's teleportation experiment fails

Lex's teleportation experiment fails.

After the machine was completed, nobody offered to test it, so Supergirl forced Lex into doing it, prompting him to ironically ask her is she was mad at him for having killed his cousin's counterpart. Right after the test failed and the machine short circuited, Barry returned after having disappeared for over a month, stating he was trapped in the Speed Force and lost track of the time as everything was destroyed and he had no place to run.

Supergirl, Ryian and Lex on Maltus

Supergirl, Ryian and Lex on Maltus.

Then Oliver arrived, stating that he had became a "Spectre" and that Mar Novu was the one responsible to open a breach between their universe and the netherverse bringing there the Anti-Monitor during an experiment around 7980 B.C., Barry suggested to use the full potential of the Speed Force to take all of the Paragons to the Monitor's home planet, Maltus, in order to prevent him from ever entering the antimatter universe to begin with, however the Anti-Monitor attacked them resulting in Lex, Kara and Ryan being the only ones to successfuly arrive. Lex immedietly left, but was caught by Kara whom he knocked unconsious with a blast of energy, revealing that he had used the Book of Desitiny to give himself powers. Ryan arrive and unsuccesfully attempted to stop him, only to be incapacitated as well.

Lex meets a young Mar Novu

Lex meets a young Mar Novu.

Then, Lex went on to find Mar Novu and interrupted his experiment, having already knocked his wife, Xneen, unconsious. Lex explained how Mar Novu's experiment would release the Anti-Monitor and doom the entire multiverse, but stated that he could help prevent that in exchange for Mar Novu killing Superman and Supergirl after he eventually gaining his powers. Right in that moment Kara arrived, having regained consciousness, and began to fight Lex, buying Ryan enought time to take Mar Novu to check on Xneen and convince him to let go of his experiment.

The Paragons fan the flame

The Paragons "fan the flame" to create a new universe.

Shortly afterwards, the other Paragons arrive and they all found themselves transported to the Dawn of Time, where the Anti-Monitor awaited for them, stating that despite all their efforts, there would always be a version of Mar Novu who would travel to the antimatter universe and oper the way to his arrival. All of the Paragons, including Lex, fight off an army of shadow demons while Oliver sacrificed himself to defeat the Anti-Monitor using his powers to open a breach, to which Lex understood they had to concentrate their willpower like ha has done while using the Book of Destiny, in order to "fan the flame" and create a new universe.[27]

New multiverse

Lex at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony

Lex receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the new universe created after Oliver's death, Lex Luthor was known worldwide as a beloved and respected humanitarian as well as the owner of the D.E.O. He also has a much better relationship with Lena and has defended Supergirl to the president on multiple occasions. The day the Paragons gained memories of their Pre-Crisis lives, Lex received the Nobel Peace Prize.[28]

Lex Luthor in the D.E.O. spot

Lex Luthor in the D.E.O. spot.

The following day, Lex visited his sister at her office at LuthorCorp bringing her some eggs and orange juice in order for her to cope with the methohexital hangover she suffered the previous night; however, having regained her memory for before the Crisis as sanctioned by Lex's deal, she asked how could be possible for him to be alive.
Lex and Lena after she regained her memories

Lex and Lena after she regained her memories.png

Lex explained about the Crisis, the deal he made with Mar Novu, how he "forgive" her for having killed him and how they could now work side-by-side to create a better world, stating that Kara Danvers would never have seen the world the way they did, prompting Lena to spitefully told him he was nothing but Leviathan puppet before and now it won't be any different, to which Lex surprisingly asked what Leviathan was.
Lex has a meeting with Alex and Supergirl

Lex has a meeting with Alex and Supergirl.

Later, Lex began to search for information about Leviathan obsessively, and called Alex and Supergirl in his office at the D.E.O. in order to offer them a temporary "peace" to better work together against the common enemy, however they stated that there were no sign of Leviathan after the birth of Earth-Prime, meaning he was the only threat to the world in their view.

Lex and the truth seeker

Lex and the truth seeker.

That evening, after leaving his office, he visited Lena once more, stating that he knew she was skeptical because she couldn't trust him, so he placed a baby Truth-seeker around his arm prompting her to ask everything she wanted. Lena asked him if he really could help her with Project Non Nocere to which he answered positively, stating that he wouldn't cause any unnecessary murders, then as she asked when will he betray her, Lex declared that that would happen if their partnership would became unconvenient and that he knew she was planning to use Non Nocere on him. With this, the two Luthors shaked their hands sealing their alliance.

Brainy offers to help Lex's investigations on Leviathan

Brainy offers to help Lex's investigations on Leviathan.

Later that evening he went to the ceremony to be awarded with the Man of Tomorrow Prize and, during Lena's speech to introduce him he thanked his mother for having persuaded her not to ally with the Kryptonians, to which Lillian responded that they were parthners when they took over the last world and they should be even in this new one. Back in his office, Lex was visited by Brainiac 5 who offered help with his investigations regarding Leviathan, prompting him to reveal they would need information from the future and, while the timeline they knew may be different, they had a way to "bring the future to them", thus showing him a picture of a doppelgänger recently arrived to thei world via wormhole who may could help them.[24]

Legacy

"Your friends have been lying to you from the start. Your boyfriend Jimmy, Alex, J'onn, that little alien runt Brainy. Even your own mother. They've mocked you, humiliated you, betrayed you. Every last one. Denial's a powerful thing, Isn't it? It's been standing right in front of you this whole time. And you chose not to see it. Kara Danvers is Supergirl. I'm about to die, but at least I lived without ever being a fool. You're left with no one and nothing."
—Lex Luthor on his legacy[src]

As a result of Lex's actions, the Luthor family's name was tainted to the point that most individuals are unwilling or at least have difficulty trusting anyone with the last name "Luthor".[6]

In Lex's final moments, he spitefully revealed to his half-sister Lena that her best friend Kara Danvers is Supergirl and that the Kryptonian has been lying to her from the beginning. This revelation severely damaged Lena's friendship with Kara[21] and also began leading her down a dark path spurred by this betrayal. Unlike Lex though, Lena took steps to avoid falling into madness.

However Lex undid his villainous legacy after Earth-Prime was created.[28]

Personality

"Narcissist, sociopath, evil genius—there are a lot of ways to describe Lex Luthor. But I find douchebag to be the most descriptive."
Ryan Choi[src]

Lex is a human supremacist who genuinely believes his crusade against aliens to be a righteous one, as he committed unspeakable acts in his attempt to protect Earth from alien invaders. He is a narcissist and a sociopath, with a complete lack of conscience, empathy, and remorse for his actions. Lex's sociopathy stems back to his childhood, where he would frequently torture and murder animals, as well as constantly criticize his half-sister to push her. According to Lena, Lex has always been a lunatic and because of this is willing to do anything or hurt anyone to achieve his goals. He schemes, manipulates, tortures, and kills without conscience or empathy for his victims. Lex is extremely callous towards the well-being of others as, despite claiming that he wants the best for humanity, he displayed no qualms about murdering millions in order to accomplish his goals, he considers himself the real "Man of Tomorrow" and is so misguided in said beliefs that he was sure, in the end, people would understand and thank him for his actions.[5]

Lex often presents himself as a calm, level-headed, patient, and sarcastic man, but he is very prone to losing his temper and yelling in a delusional manner. His ego, conceit, and megalomaniac trends are so great that, even while suffering a seizure under the watch of an utterly indifferent government agent, he couldn't help but compare himself to Jesus Christ, muttering to Lena, "Don't blame him. He knows not what he does".[5]

Lex was once best friends with Clark Kent (under the persona of Superman) as the two initially tried to work together to repel the threat of alien invasions, but his methods were far crueler than Clark's, despite Clark doing his best to trust Lex, defending him against accusations of others and continuing to give him several chances to atone for his wrong deeds; the two ultimately fell out and became bitter enemies once Clark realized Lex's true nature, with Lex, for his part, coming to believe that Superman himself was the cause of alien attacks, which led him to declare war on Superman, committing unspeakable crimes in his relentless crusade to take down the Kryptonian.

Lex is ruthless not only towards aliens and humans, but also towards his own family as well, as he hired Corben to kill Lena simply because she was going to rename the family company, which did not sit well with Lex as he was proud of his family's name, these negative traits of his are what eventually led to Lex's incarceration. Despite this, he has proven to care for Lena as he does have a link he can't break with her and to some degree, he acknowledges that she is incredibly gifted as an intellect and a scientist, so he loves her in a twisted and narcissistic way due to finding them both "alike".[29] When Lena finally kills him, Lex seems actually proud of her ability to bring herself to do so.

Despite Lex having a difficult relationship with his father and falling out with his half-sister, he remained fond of his mother, since she seemed to agree with his views, he even kept a portrait of Lillian in his mansion,[9] however, when he met Lena's mother during childhood, he wished she was his, though this may have merely been a young Lex's attempts to manipulate his family.[5] In truth, even his bond with Lilian was nothing more than a façade. As he was more than willing to murder her in cold blood while she was imprisoned, as Lena explained to her, the clincher being that her cell number on a Blueprint of the prison they shared, while handing it to her mother showing the name Lilian written beside it in bright red; a sign of which is known to indicate of Lex's giving a kill order in his family.[19]

Part of this familial enmity stems from the years of harsh tutorship his mother paid for to which, in his sister's words, damaged his already demented psyche even more; Lena stating how it contributed to him becoming a sociopath when a particularly shrill instructor of his would make him stand in a corner while repeating the phrase "I do not like myself" in perfect Latin whenever he messed up his studies. These resentments were made extant by Lex punching the eyes of Lillian's portrait out once after he was cured of his cancer.[5]

Overall, Lex is completely capable of committing horrible crimes, such as mass murder, without conscience or hesitation, and displays a sadistic side to him, such as when he gleefully took down federal agents using his mansion's security systems while calmly strolling out of his house. He has proven to be several steps ahead of his opponents, even having had a hand in the events of surrounding the rise of the Children of Liberty and Lena's experiments with the Harun-El.

Due to Lex's profound derangement, he is unable to form any real attachments with those around him and will do anything to complete his goals, and according to Lena, Lex has always been unstable, and is incapable of truly empathizing or caring for anyone, Lex shows this by manipulating Red Daughter and attempting to murder a child, the one person she cared for most, just to get her to start a war with Supergirl, Lex is seemingly incapable of genuinely caring for anyone and uses those around him for his own means, which he is very good at disguising as caring. Also, he gives apparently no value to life at all, as he planned to eradicate Argo City solely because his mortal enemy, Superman, was there, completely disregarding the thousands of bystanders, putting his preeminent hatred of Kryptonians ahead of the loss of innocents.

Despite Lex's intelligent and calculating traits, he is extremely arrogant to the point of being delusional, as Lex believes himself to be the most intelligent individual on the entire planet, completely disregarding the fact that Clark Kent (under the persona of Superman) is slightly more intelligent than him; which eventually led to his downfall at the hands of the Kryptonian, even after being defeated by Clark, he still believes himself to be more wiser than the latter; a sign that Lex is not only incapable of acknowledging his mistakes, but he is also incapable of learning from them as well.

Lex is proven to be extremely overconfident; for example, he believed no matter how much Lena despised him, she would never kill him, he not only finds out the hard way that he was wrong, but he also realizes that he has been underestimating his half-sister from the beginning, despite this, Lex accepts his fate with dignity. In his final moments, he also proved to be spiteful and vindictive, revealing to Lena that her best friend Kara Danvers is Supergirl and that the Kryptonian has been lying to her from the beginning; thus, damaging Lena's friendship with Kara.

After Earth-Prime was created, Lex's personality seemed to have changed. He became a world-wide respected humanitarian, although how much of this is true remains unknown, but he clearly changed in the fact that he showed a strong desire to have his family back at his side and even offered Supergirl and Alex peace and an alliance to fight threats.[24]

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Lexosuit application: Lex is masterful in using his Lexosuit, a battle armor he created to suit his needs and protect himself against Kryptonian-level threats.[1][30] He further improved his suit by equipping it with a self-created compact version of the Claymore satellite, which converts aliens powers into kinetic energy in order to defeat them.[22]

Former powers

  • Harun-El mutation: Lex had given himself the Harun-El serum in order to save Red Daughter from Harun-El withdrawal, by giving the cure to her through a blood transfusion. By injecting himself with the drug, he acquired the following abilities:[1]
  • Powers via the Book of Destiny: Using the book, Lex was able to perform metaphysical feats, until it was taken back from him.[25]
    • Absolute reality perception: Once opened, the Book enabled Lex to look at the whole of reality.[25]
    • Anger inducement: Lex managed to use the book to manipulate the Superman of Earth-96 into attacking the Superman of Earth-38. He did this by turning his love into hate.[25]
    • Ergokinesis (presumed): The book would have allowed Lex to release surges of energy powerful enough to even harm Kryptonians, though it's unknown whether he ever used it for that purpose.[25]
    • Essokinesis/Reality manipulation: Once opened, the book allowed Luthor to manipulate reality to how he saw fit in the blink of an eye.[25]
      • Breach creation: As seen when fighting Kara Danvers on Maltus, Lex exhibited the power to open a small breach, thereby directing Kara's heat vision back at her, explaining that he'd given himself this power with the Book of Destiny.[27]
      • Energy projection: As revealed when he fought Kara and Ryan Choi after being sent to Maltus with them and again when fought the Anti-Monitor's army at the Dawn of Time alongside the Paragons, Lex demonstrated the power to channel blasts of energy through his hands, revealing that he'd granted himself this ability using the Book of Destiny.[27]

Abilities

"I brought you back because the universe will need a mind like yours."
"Someone who can checkmate anyone?"
Mar Novu and Lex Luthor[src]
  • Genius-level intellect/Great business acumen/Master tactician/Leader: Lex's intelligence is nearly unrivaled, even among the highly notorious Luthor family, a nearly flawless planner, able to assess and account for the numerous variables and from this effectively manipulate the situation to unfold as he sees fit, Lex is also an exceptional tactician, leader, and businessman. In addition to being among the greatest CEOs of Luthor Corp, his intellect having been more than enough to successfully oversee for years the company's daily activities and maintain its status as a multi-billion dollar corporation, Lex successfully set up hideouts all around the world and led his minions in it to collect weapons successfully in secret to defeat Superman or any sort of alien-related threats.[7] His immense intelligence and strategical abilities were seen in his years-long war with the tremendously powerful and notoriously intelligent Superman, as Lex was able to stalemate the Man of Steel with many complex plans, plots, and attacks against him, although in the end, Superman ultimately defeated and exposed his true nature to the public.[6] Lex was also able to efficiently and patiently program his escape from prison despite his failing health, infiltrating Eve Teschmacher at Lena Luthor's side to get her research, having himself placed under house arrest in his mansion, curing himself of his disease, effortlessly kill his handlers with the mansion's secret defenses, and finally escaping by helicopter, catching his extremely intelligent sister completely off-guard, proving he is more intelligent than her.[5] Lex was personally trained in playing chess by grandmaster Anatoly Karpov and was able to transfer his knowledge to dim-witted prison inmates to teach them to achieve checkmate. Lex may be one of the most, if not the second most intelligent individual on Earth-38; with the only individual capable of outsmarting him being Clark Kent. Mar Novu also deemed Lex's mind as being an important piece to helping the Multiverse survive the crisis.[23] Lex even managed to survive the destruction of the Multiverse by changing his destiny to becoming a Paragon and replace Superman of Earth-96.[26] In the new Earth-Prime, Lex once again displayed his exceptional leadership and business skills, running effectively both the D.E.O. and Luthor Corp.[24]
    • Master of deception/Manipulator: Lex is exceptionally talented in the art of deception, as he is able to fool and convince many others of his agenda, to the point that he was able to keep up the façade of being merely a normal person of extreme intelligence and a famous CEO of Luthor Corp while simultaneously fighting Superman to a long standstill, only being exposed as a criminal after Superman defeated and revealed his crimes to the public. Lex's great proficiency as a manipulator and deceiver was so great that even Superman, despite his exceptional perception, was fooled into trusting him for years.[7]
    • Master scientist: Lex has a great aptitude in the field of bioengineering; for example, he was able to inject himself with Green Kryptonite and understand Lena's research on the Harun-El with ease, despite the fact that it took her months to study it.[5] Lex is also an extremely capable biologist and is considered among the greatest living experts on Kryptonians, having studied them intensively due to his obsession.[5] His mastery regarding said aliens is acknowledged even by various governments over the world.[1]
    • Master engineer: Lex is a brilliant inventor, specializing in various scientific fields of engineering, with Lena noting despite her own great proficiency, Lex still outshines her. An extremely talented engineer, he was able to design many sophisticated devices such as an "earthquake machine" that triggered a fault line in California,[6] a device to turn Earth's sunlight red,[5] a warsuit to argument his physical attributes,[7] a secret computer room inside his cell,[8] and many other weapons.
    • Medical knowledge: Though he was never explicitly stated to have an M.D. or doctorate, Lex demonstrated satisfactory resourcefulness and remarkable knowledge in the medical field, as he was able to make a correct diagnosis on his condition, as well cure himself.[5]
    • Computer specialist/Master computer hacker: Lex was able to build a miniaturized computer into his watch and use it to take control of various complex devices, such as Luthor Corp's and his mansion's security systems.[5] Lex's computer expertise is so advanced that he managed to disabled with ease the security sistems of Mar Novu's laboratory on Maltus describing them as "a joke".[27]
    • Multilingualism: Lex is capable of fluently speaking English, Latin,[5] and Kaznian-dialect Russian.[1] He can also read and write in Kryptonese.
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Lex is highly trained in close combat. While wearing his battle armor, which gave him the necessary physical powers needed to combat a Kryptonian, he proved to be able to single-handedly compete against Superman. Despite being able to put up a fierce fight to the point of stalemating the superhero many times, Lex is (seemingly) ultimately less skilled as his ex-best friend-turned-archenemy, as Superman was eventually able to best and incarcerate Lex in their final and presumably prolonged encounter.[14][30] Though he proved to be a formidable opponent for Supergirl in their two encounters,[1][21] Lex's skills are no match for fighters of the caliber of Earth-167 Clark[25] or Kate Kane.[26]
    • Expert marksman: Lex is highly trained in using firearms, capable of shooting and killing a group of US Navy soldiers using a single shot each.[1]
  • Artistic: Lex is an incredibly skilled painter, considering it to be "mere geometry".[1]
"Lex is completely unhinged. His obsession with Superman is out of control. He'll stop at nothing to kill him and I am very afraid that a lot of people are going to get hurt... or killed in the process."
Lena Luthor to Andrea Rojas[src]
  • Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain: A driven and determined person, Lex is nearly fearless and almost never gives up, as proven by his lifelong feud with Superman. Lex's willpower is so strong that he managed to enter a radioactive chamber - voluntarily poisoning himself with radiation - in order to get cancer, without having the slightest hesitation,[1] as well as to orchestrate the rest of his master plan despite his failing health.[5] Later on, despite sustaining two gunshot wounds to the chest from Lena, Lex refused to give in to his wounds until he fully revealed to a dismayed Lena that her best friend, Kara Danvers, is Supergirl - successfully damaging his half-sister's friendship with Kara.[21] His willpower is strong enough that he was able to use the Book of Destiny without losing his sanity in the process.[26]
  • Intimidation: Lex is universally regarded as an extremely dangerous individual and among Earth's most feared men; he commands an intimidating presence, to the point where most humans and aliens are afraid of him.
  • Network: Lex had a dense network of information throughout the world; despite being in a maximum security prison, he maintained enough influence and connections to hire the professional assassin John Corben to kill Lena,[6] orchestrate the assassination attempt of James Olsen,[5][31] manipulate the government to have his sister work with the D.E.O., and organize his escape from house arrest.[5]

Weaknesses

"Lex went insane."
"Exactly. And if they could take the brightest mind on Earth and drive him crazy defending himself, imagine what they could do to you."
Lena and Lillian Luthor on Lex Luthor[src]


  • Mental instability: Lex is extremely arrogant, erratic, cruel, and unstable, believing himself intellectually superior to the rest of the world and the real "Man of Tomorrow". He grew to resent Superman's popularity with the public and his animosity against the superhero eventually corrupted him, resulting in all of Lex's personal relationships collapsing, including that with his half-sister Lena[9] and then-girlfriend Mercy Graves.[10] Lex even went so far as to inject himself with Kryptonite to keep his obsession at bay.[5] He is also very overconfident about his schemes and takes no further caution beyond his initial plans, greatly losing his temper if something happen beyond his expectations.[5] The fact that Lex had not learned from Superman's ability to defeat him - not only in direct combat but also outsmart and reveal his crimes to the public - also proves that he cannot learn from his mistakes, as Lex still proclaims to be the strongest and most intelligent individual on the entire planet.
  • Lack of empathy: Despite his intellect, Lex completely lack any ability to emotionally connect with others; though he was able to figure out on his own that Kara Danvers is Supergirl, Lex failed to realize Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent simply because he can't imagine a frail human like Clark to be someone as powerful as Superman, and simply deeming it as "ridiculous".[25]

Former weaknesses

  • Failing health: After voluntarily locking himself in a radioactive chamber,[1] Lex had a stroke and developed inoperable cancer. However, he was able to cure his condition after hijacking his sister's research on the Harun-El.[5]

Equipment

  • Lexosuit: Lex has created a high-tech battle suit, nicknamed "Lexosuit",[14] which gave him enhanced strength, durability, flight, energy blasts and advanced weaponry, among other capabilities.[7] He used it to better match Superman.[14][30]
  • Watch: Lex always carries with him a special watch of his own invention with whom he is able to remotely control various devices.[5]
  • Guns: Lex is an expert in using multiple types of guns. He keeps a pistol holstered inside his jacket, though only used it in emergencies.[1]

Former equipment

Appearances

Supergirl

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5


Batwoman

Season 1

The Flash

Season 6

Arrow

Season 8

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 5

Comics

Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant

Gallery

Promotional images

Supergirl

Season 4

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Trivia

  • In the show, it's strongly implied that Lex's baldness is an inherited trait which he gained from his father instead of something caused by an accident as generally represented.
  • Having killed millions of people during the years of his war against Superman, as well as dozens of F.B.I. agents in his first physical appearance, Lex is arguably the main villain with the highest body count in the Arrowverse, alongside Vandal Savage.
  • Lex is the third known human capable to understand Kryptonese, after Winn Schott and Thomas Coville.
  • It is stated in "American Dreamer", that Lena had already been adopted when Lex was 13, thus, placing his birth year as 1984 at the earliest, making him around 9 years older than Lena and at least 5 years younger than Superman.
    • This also makes him the second version of Lex Luthor who is younger than Superman, after Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal in the DC Extended Universe.
  • Lex is the sixth character in the Arrowverse to be brought back to life without time travel, after Sara LanceKuasaRoy HarperOtis Graves, and Nate Heywood.
  • He is one of only nine survivors of the original multiverse, alongside Earth-1 natives Barry Allen, Sara Lance, Kate Kane, and Ryan Choi, fellow Earth-38 natives Kara Danvers, J'onn J'onzz and Lena Luthor, whom was spared and resurrected as per Lex's wish, and Earth-TUD5 native Jennifer Pierce.
    • Lex is the only surviving main antagonist of the Arrowverse after everything was destroyed by Mobius and his Antimatter wave.

Behind the scenes

  • Lex Luthor first appeared in Action Comics #23 (April, 1940) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He is considered to be the intelligent and ruthless archenemy of Superman. He usually appears as a brilliant scientist and sometimes corrupt billionaire industrialist, with a personal vendetta against the Man of Steel. Even though Lex has always been a controversial figure in the public eye, he has also maintained political popularity, once serving as the President of the United States.
  • Lex's act of creating an earthquake in California[6] is a reference to the original 1978 Superman film, where Luthor's master plan was to use the quake to sink the West Coast and turn the near-worthless desert real estate he'd bought up into valuable water-front property.
  • Jon Cryer also portrayed Lex Luthor's nephew, Lenny Luthor, in the 1987 DC film, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, which is widely regarded as the most disappointing Superman movie ever.
    • According to Cryer himself, the film's less than sterling reputation was half the reason he accepted the role, alongside his love of the first Superman movie and the comics, as he wanted the opportunity to do the Luthor name justice.[32]
  • Lex served as the main antagonist of the second arc of Season 4 of Supergirl, but is revealed to be the hidden mastermind and is the true main antagonist of Season 4.
    • This also makes him the third male main antagonist of Supergirl after Non in Season 1 and Agent Liberty in the first arc of Season 4.
    • Lex currently has the least appearance in Supergirl as the main antagonist, with only three official appearances.
  • Interestingly enough, this is the first live-action adaptation of Lex Luthor with facial hair.
  • Lex and Superman once being best friends is likely a reference to the TV series Smallville, which started with Lex and Clark being best friends before the duo eventually developed the classic animosity between Superman and Lex Luthor.
  • Lex having an inoperable cancer after injecting himself with Kryptonite is a reference from the original comics, where he discovered that Kryptonite radiation was deadly to humans (if not quite so fast-acting as it is with Kryptonians) after he began wearing a Kryptonite ring to keep Superman at bay and later developed cancer.
  • In a flashback from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"​​​​​​, Lex turned Earth's sunlight red in a bid to de-power Superman. This is a nod to the Superman: War of the Supermen storyline of 2010, when he briefly turned the sun red to save Earth from an invasion of hostile Kryptonians.
  • In "The House of L"​​, it was mentioned that Lex was named after Alexander the Great, a reference from the DC comic books.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 "The House of L"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "American Dreamer"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Darkest Place"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Medusa"
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 "The Adventures of Supergirl"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 "Luthors"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 "Crime and Punishment"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 "Shelter from the Storm"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Fallout"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "American Alien"
  12. "Welcome to Earth"
  13. "Confidence Women"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Midvale"
  15. "Blurred Lines"
  16. "Tremors"
  17. "City of Lost Children"
  18. "Ahimsa"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "All About Eve"
  20. "Will The Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?"
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 "The Quest for Peace"
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Red Dawn"
  23. 23.0 23.1 "The Wrath of Rama Khan"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 "The Bottle Episode"
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 25.8 "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two"
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three"
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four"
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five"
  29. Jon Cryer Breaks Down Playing ‘Sociopath’ Lex Luthor on 'Supergirl'
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 "For Good"
  31. "Stand and Deliver"
  32. Jon Cryer reveals why he said yes to playing Lex Luthor on 'Supergirl'


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